Let’s face it, factions exist within every profession and there are several in the massage profession.
Some argue which techniques are valid, some want increased research literacy requirements, and some push for increased licensing and regulations.
Others aren’t interested in any of this and want to practice without regulatory constraints.
My personal view about faction is to leave out the “f” letter and promote action that helps everyone. Action that helps calm discord, supports respect for all Massage Therapists, and advances practitioners and the profession through inclusion.
An important unifying factor is learning how to professionally manage your clients’ care in ways that naturally integrate the research with your hands-on technique you like.
It’s a powerful way to increase professional competency and credibility, and create greater unity and acceptance for the profession – embracing plausible techniques, research literature, and professional client management procedures.
It’s important to have a reality-based practice, one that implements professionally accepted standards that empower you to manage your clients’ care using protocols that are in alignment with those applied by other health care professions, especially doctors.
Such an integrated approach follows advice offered by Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author of Emotional Intelligence:
A working group of varied strengths and perspectives, if it can operate in harmony, is likely to come to better, more effective and more creative solutions than those same people working in isolation.
When Abraham Lincoln strived to unify our nation he quoted mathematician Euclid saying, “Things that are equal to the same thing are also equal to one other.”
If yours and other Massage Therapists’ client care skills use accepted standards that are professionally aligned with other health care professions, yet custom designed for your scope of practice, many divisions will dissolve, you will have greater professional competency and confidence, and increased validation and acceptance will be naturally granted.
The truth is, while your hands-on skills and supportive research literature are important for increasing professional validation, doctors and the public are more concerned about your competency in knowing how to properly manage important aspects of your clients’ care.
Without the ability to assess your client’s basic complaints and needs, measure them, and monitor their progress, you are guessing. Providing your clients with professional grade care and your desire for enhanced credibility require much more than guessing – they require knowing how to properly and professionally manage important aspects of your clients’ care.
Properly managing a client’s care involves knowing skills such as how to manage a massage therapy prescription that a doctor may recommend, how to assess a client’s findings related to their chief complaints, how to properly approach, measure, and monitor their subjective complaints, how to objectively correlate and measure objective findings associated with them, and knowing when it’s appropriate to refer a client–plus many other important client care procedures.
Once your competency and especially mastery of these and other important client care protocols and procedures can be trusted, your professional credibility and approval will soar. So will the massage profession’s. And you will be amazed at how much this enhances your respect, referrals, and practice success.
If doctors are to recommend and refer patients for massage, they want to be assured that you have a reliable, unified way of managing their care, regardless what the research says or how talented your hands-on skills may be.
It only makes sense that if you use client care protocols and standards that are aligned with those practiced by other health care providers, your practice will be perceived and received with greater validation.
So whether you practice with an empirical or empathic, intellectual or intuitive style, and regardless of your preferred hands-on techniques, or your views about the research literature, it’s important to unify these components with knowing how to properly manage your clients’ care. This makes the sum of your practice skills greater than the parts, empowering you to be a true master in massage and earn the credibility, respect, and success you deserve for the great work you provide!