Research has indicated massage therapy bestows many benefits, from pain relief and stress reduction to alleviation of depression and increased flexibility, yet more research is still needed, experts say.

The Holistic Health Research Foundation of Canada has set a deadline of Sept. 30 for a competition for funding for massage therapy research.

A total funding amount of $50,000 (Canadian) is offered. Grant applications up to $15,000 will be considered.

The purpose of the foundation’s Massage Therapy Research Fund is “to fund high quality research that investigates the efficacy and clinical effectiveness of manual massage therapy and that contributes to our understanding of how massage therapy achieves its effects,” the foundation’s website notes. “A secondary goal is to increase research knowledge and capacity among massage therapists through their engagement in research practices at all levels.”

The foundation invites applications detailing pilot studies “that provide foundational data on conditions and populations where massage therapy is efficacious and that indicate direction for larger research projects.”

The foundation’s primary focus is on clinical research, with a secondary focus on mechanisms, policy issues and research capacity. “The MTRF aims to assist collaboration between the scientific and massage communities in developing well-designed research projects that will contribute to developing a fully informed, evidence-based practice of massage therapy,” the website notes.

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