PRICE was delighted to welcome Dr. Niki Munk as a visiting scholar and keynote speaker on February 21, 2020. Dr. Munk’s presentation, “Addressing Pain with Therapeutic Massage: Benefits, Prospects, & Challenges” focused on the benefits of therapeutic massage for chronic pain as part of a multimodal and integrative approach to treatment. She discussed the importance of “elevating massage therapy into a meaningful field and a dignified profession” by increasing the research in the area of therapeutic massage, setting educational standards in order to improve practice, and increasing social awareness about the therapeutic benefits of integrating massage into patient care via the healthcare system.
Dr. Munk is an Associate Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Health Sciences at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Indiana University – IUPUI (Purdue University) in Indianapolis. She specializes in massage therapy practice and her research focuses on massage therapy efficacy and effectiveness for pain, mental health, and functional outcomes at all life stages, as well as barriers to its implementation and integration into primary care settings. Dr. Munk is a licensed massage therapist and she completed her doctoral training at the University of Kentucky in Gerontology. Dr. Munk is one of 13 international Fellows in the International Complementary Medicine Research Leadership Program at the University Technology Sydney (UTS): Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM). In addition, Dr. Munk is a Massage Therapy Foundation Trustee and co-investigator on the VA funded TOMCATT study, which examines care-ally assisted and therapist provided massage for Veterans with chronic neck pain.