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Welcome to the NZ Massage Therapy Research Centre

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The NZ Massage Therapy Research Centre (NZMTRC) was established in 2009 to foster massage therapy research in New Zealand. As a hub for massage therapy research, the NZMTRC aims to: promote massage therapy research and teaching across the wider massage community and provide access to New Zealand based massage therapy research findings.

Research findings are presented in a poster gallery, a publications gallery, as well as a section with additional resources and links.

There is functionality for you to search by author, year or key keyword.

Many posters are Bachelor of Therapeutics and Sports Massage (BTSM) research projects with a broad range of topics. These topics include, but are not limited to: education, professionalisation, practice patterns, and/or case study research.

As small scale studies, they contribute to a developing New Zealand research culture in Massage Therapy.


20th year celebration


Current Projects / Research

Research Posters

Staff Profile

Dr Jo Smith

Jo is the Programme Manager for Years 2 & 3 of the Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage (BTSM) and co-leads the New Zealand Massage Therapy Research Centre. Having developed the first Bachelor’s degree in massage therapy in the Southern hemisphere, she is now focusing on developing a culture of research within the BTSM and the New Zealand massage industry.

Her PhD research focused on the culture of care and practice patterns within New Zealand and she has also carried out research into outcomes, professionalization and educational issues pertinent to massage therapy. Prior to becoming a massage educator and researcher, Jo worked as a massage therapist and physiotherapist.


Dr Donna Smith

Donna is the Programme Manager of Years 1 & 2 of the Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage (BTSM), the NZ Diploma in Wellness and Relaxation Massage Level 5 and the NZ Diploma in Remedial Massage Level 6. Donna completed the Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage in 2004, a Post Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Teaching and her PhD.

Her PhD research focused on the Perceptions, benefits and barriers to degree-based education for massage therapy.  Current research has focused on degree-based education for the practice and growth of massage therapy in New Zealand, cultural safety in massage therapy, the delivery of online blended teaching and learning and navigating biculturalism within an educational organisation. She also co-leads the New Zealand Massage Therapy Research Centre.

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