MTRF Funded Projects

Since 2006, through the MTRF, CMTO has made significant contributions towards Massage Therapy research conducted by researchers, Massage Therapists working with researchers and Massage Therapists undertaking graduate studies across Canada.

Highlights about the MTRF:

  • Over $450,000 in grant funds awarded;
  • 26 Massage Therapy research projects from across Canada funded;
  • 4 Massage Therapists pursuing research training through a Master’s or PhD program at a Canadian university supported through the MTRF;
  • Researchers in 9 provinces from 21 different research institutions in Canada (universities, teaching hospitals and colleges) have received MTRF grants.

To ensure Massage Therapists’ have access to the findings and knowledge generated through the MTRF, CMTO provides a summary of each project in progress and a final report of each completed project.

Go to:

MTRF Funded Studies – COMPLETED
MTRF Funded Studies – IN PROGRESS


MTRF Funded Studies – COMPLETED

Recipient Name


Project Title

Grant Amount

Year Received


Amanda Baskwill

Humber College

Patients’ Experiences of Ending Massage Therapy Care



Baskwill – MTRF  Final Report

Amanda Baskwill

Humber College

Flunking or Flying Colours: A Canadian Massage Therapy Education Environmental Scan



Baskwill – MTRF  Final Report

Dr. Martin Descarreaux

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

The Effect of Massage Therapy on Trunk Muscular Fatigue in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain



Descarreaux – MTRF Final Report

Descarreaux – Published Article

Dr. Nathaly Gaudreault

Université de Sherbrooke

Can Massage Therapy Promote Recovery of Locomotion following Spinal Transection?



Gaudreault – MTRF Final Report

Gaudreault – Published Article

Dr. Anne Leis & Donelda Gowan-Moody

University of Saskatchewan

Development of a Taxonomy of Adverse Events in Massage Therapy: A Modified Delphi Consensus Study



Leis – MTRF Final Report

Gowan-Moody PhD Thesis

Dr. Greg Wells & Gillian White

University of Toronto

The Effect of Massage Therapy on Inflammatory Mediators in Skeletal Muscle Employed at Rest and following High-Intensity Intermittent Sprint Exercise



Wells – MTRF Final Report


White – Published Article

Amanda Baskwill

Humber College

Exploring Utilization and Knowledge of, and Attitudes, Barriers and Supports to Evidence-Informed Massage Therapy



Baskwill – MTRF Final Report

IN-CAM Symposium 2014

Baskwill – Published Article

Dr. Fuschia Sirois

Université de Sherbrooke

The Effects of Massage Therapy on the Anxiety and Sleep Quality of Individuals with Fibromyalgia: A Pilot Study



Sirois – MTRF Final Report 


IN-CAM Symposium 2014

Pamela Hammond

Princess Margaret Hospital

“Today I understand it better”: Evaluating Breast Cancer Patients’ Success in Learning Lymphatic Self-Massage at the Princess Margaret Hospital Lymphedema Clinic



Hammond – MTRF Final Report


Hammond Abstract – JCIM – IN-CAM Symposium 2012

Jean Paul Collet

BC Children’s Hospital

A Pilot Study to Assess the Feasibility, Efficacy and Safety of a Massage Intervention to Affect Changes in the Autonomic Nervous System of Intensive Care Unit Pediatric Patients with Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome



Collet – MTRF Final Report


Collet – Student MSc Thesis (L Guan)


IN-CAM Symposium 2014

Bernadette Nedelec

Centre de recherché du Centre hospitalier du L’Universite de Montreal (CRCHUM)

Preliminary Evaluation of the Effect of Massage on Adult Burn Scars



Nedelec – Published Related Article

Cathy Fournier

Wilson Centre for Research in Education, Toronto General Hospital

Professional Status within an Interprofessional Context: A View of Massage Therapy



Fournier – MTRF Final Report

Fournier – Published Article

Fournier Abstract – JCIM – IN-CAM Symposium 2012

Lucie Brosseau

University of Ottawa

The Implementation of Bilingual Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) on Effective Massage for Neck, Back and Tendonitis Amongst Educators



Brosseau– MTRF Final Report

Brosseau – MT for Neck Pain – Recommendations

Brosseau – MT for Low Back Pain – Recommendations

Brosseau – Deep Tendon Frictions for Tendinitis – Recommendations

David Behm

Memorial University of Newfoundland

The Effect of Massage on Range of Motion and Muscle Performance




Ania Kania

University of Calgary

Hospital-Based Massage Therapy – A Survey of Canadian Hospitals



Kania – MTRF Final Report

Kania Abstract – JCIM – IN-CAM Symposium 2012

Kania – Casey House Presentation

Kania – Published Article

Wayne Albert

University of New Brunswick

The Effects of Therapeutic Massage on Muscle Oxygenation in Fibromyalgia Patients



Albert – MTRF Final Report

Albert Abstract – JCIM – IN-CAM Symposium 2010

Albert – Abstract

Albert – Conference Presentation

Kimberley Dawson & Peter Tiidus

Wilfred Laurier University

Effectiveness of Regular Proactive Massage Therapy for Novice Recreational Runners



Dawson & Tiidus – MTRF Final Report

Dawson – Poster Presentation

Dawson – Published Article

Donelda Gowan-Moody & Anne Leis

University of Saskatchewan

Massage Therapists’ Research Utilization and Perceptions towards Research



Gowan-Moody & Leis – MTRF Final Report

Gowan-Moody – Published Article

Victoria Wiltshire & Michael Tschakovsky

Queen’s University

Massage and Post Exercise Muscle Lactate Removal



Wiltshire & Tschakovsky – MTRF Final Report

Wiltshire – Conference Abstract

Wiltshire – Published Article

Patricia Janssen

University of British Columbia

Massage Therapy and Labour Outcomes




Robert Gilbert

Dalhousie University

Use of Massage Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Improve Sleep in Patients Participating in an Inpatient Withdrawal Management (Detox) Program: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study



Gilbert – MTRF Final Report


Gilbert – Published Article

Trish Dryden & John Barrett

Centennial College and Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre

Women’s Experience of Massage Therapy during High Risk Pregnancy: A Qualitative Study



Dryden & Barrett – MTRF Final Report

Dryden – Project Summary – College Standard 2005

Dryden – Project Summary – Centennial College Report

Dryden – Project Abstract – IN-CAM Symposium Program – 2006


MTRF Funded Studies – IN PROGRESS


2017/2018 MTRF Funding Competition – Grant Recipients

Dr. Lucie Pelland, Queen’s University
Title: Myofascial Massage in Cerebral Palsy: Objective Measurement of Outcomes to Advance Knowledge and Practice
Grant amount: $24,166
Grant received: May 2018
Project Summary: Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of physical disability in children in Canada. CP is clinically described by impairments in posture and movement that evolve as the child grows and the demands for muscle strength and extensibility increase. As such, medical treatment focuses primarily on controlling spasticity to allow the muscles to lengthen with growth, and on correcting residual impairments in limb alignment to ameliorate function. We propose that myofascial release may be of therapeutic benefit to improve the mechanical parameters of spastic muscles in children with cerebral palsy. We will be using state-of-the-art motion capture combined with novel computing approaches and muscle imaging to provide objective and reliable measurements that are necessary to inform practice.


2018/2019 MTRF Funding Competition – Grant Recipients

Dr. Maryam Faiz, University of Toronto
Title: Manipulating the Gut Microbiota with Massage Therapy as a Treatment Strategy for Stroke
Grant amount: $39,710
Grant received: February 2019
Project Summary: Stroke is a devastating disease. In addition to long-lasting impairments in movement and cognition, many stroke survivors show symptoms of stress and anxiety. Recently, scientists have discovered that stroke causes a reduction in the number and types of bacteria in our gut. Massage therapy is a type of alternative medicine used in rehabilitation therapy to help with physical movements but also to reduce stress and anxiety in stroke survivors. We are interested in understanding whether massage therapy can change the gut bacteria after stroke and improve stroke recovery. If successful, massage therapy will become a new standard of care for stroke patients undergoing rehabilitation.

Dr. Trisha Scribbans, University of Manitoba
Title: Myofascial Release (MFR) of the Pectoral Fascia: Effects on Shoulder Posture, Upper Limb Reaching Strategies and Performance
Grant amount: $32,094
Grant received: February 2019
Project Summary: Prolonged office work is associated with postural adaptations, especially rounded shoulder posture (RSP) and a forward head, collectively known as Upper Crossed Syndrome (UCS). Techniques that focus on improving the flexibility of fascia, known as myofascial release (MFR), are a relatively new addition to the practice of Massage Therapy that improve joint movement, strength and the performance of functional tasks. The results of this study will provide critical information necessary to determine if MFR techniques are able to treat postural dysfunctions that contribute to the incidence of injuries/pain in the neck, shoulder and upper back.


2019/2020 MTRF Funding Competition – Grant Recipients

Dr. Nathaly Gaudreault & Dr. Nathalie Bureau, Université de Sherbrooke & Université de Montréal
Title: Ultrasound Imaging Measurements of the Thoracolumbar Fascia following Massage Therapy: A Proof of Concept Study
Grant amount: $23,500
Grant received: September 2020
Project Summary: Nonspecific low back pain (NSLBP) is a musculoskeletal disorder defined as lower back pain that may radiate to the proximal region of the lower limb. It represents an important public health issue, with an estimated prevalence of 38% among the general population. The deep fascia is believed to be a potential generator of pain and soft tissue stiffness in patients with NSLBP. A variety of “fascia” therapies are used by massage therapists; however, the precise effective mechanisms remain poorly understood. The overall aim of the present research is to develop ultrasonographic parameters that characterize the structure and the mechanical properties of the deep fascia, and to explore the effect of a massage therapy technique on these parameters.