Physician referrals and employment in medical settings are both viable forms of practice growth for massage therapists.

A new survey shows Texas physicians are supportive of massage therapy use by their patients and believe their medical institutions should offer massage and other complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies.

Researchers from the Department of Family and Community Medicine School of Medicine, at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, in Lubbock, set out to determine Texas physicians’ attitudes about massage and other CAM therapies.

Among the results, published in an abstract on

• More than 60 percent of the providers would like to refer a patient to a CAM practitioner.

• About 75 percent of the providers believed that incorporation of CAM therapies into the practice would have a positive impact.

• Providers were most familiar with and felt most comfortable counseling their patients about massage therapy and St. John’s Wort among all CAM modalities.

• Of the 69 respondents, more than half (56.5 percent) were female and younger than 36 years.

• About 70 percent of the participants believed the institution should offer proven CAM therapies to patients.

“A study to examine the attitudes, knowledge, and utilization of CAM by primary care professional in West Texas” ran in Complementary Therapies in Medicine (2010 Dec;18(6):227-32. Epub 2010 Nov. 3.)

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