August 10, 2011

Ingraham on Cherkin

I loved this article this article about the Cherkin study on massage for low-back pain.

About the bad news for "advanced massage techniques" in this study, Paul nails it:
The results make typical so-called advanced massage really look bad, and they make the popular modality empires and structuralism as a paradigm look ridiculous. The technique gurus push and sell the idea that their methods are dramatically more effective than humble Swedish. If they were even half-right, these “advanced” therapists should have gotten results at least 50% better than their lesser-trained comrades — not just better by a statistically significant margin, but much better, impressively better, decisively better, undeniably better, argument-stopping better, better with bells on …

Instead, it’s like the New York Yankees accepted a challenge from a beer league softball team and couldn’t do better than a tie score.

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