Massage Therapist: Political Poetry?

Marshall McLuhan is famous for saying “The medium is the message”, inferring the context of how a message is delivered is as important as the content.  I’ve taken material I’ve been writing about for 10 years and summed it up in – what else – a rap song!

Or, you can think of it as political poetry, highlighting the threats facing the profession and some promising opportunities we can act on if we choose to act together.  (Make sure to read to the end for the good stuff!)

I may be lyrical, but I’m not musical.  Perhaps you can take this poetic attempt and put it to music.  I’d love to see your renditions on YouTube!

At your service.  dqd

Hey Massage Therapist…A Rap Song

Hey massage therapist, are you interested?
Hope so… your livelihood and vocation are being tested.
You insist massage therapy is “health care”, complain you’re not being treated fair.
Gatekeeper providers surmise, “Massage treatment plans…why should we authorize?”
Government and insurers skeptical, “Without research, you’re just not credible.”

“Palliative, not curative”, massage claims appear too assertive.
Paucity of evidence, treatment guidelines lack precedent.
Funding forfeit, legitimacy in question.
Claims denied in auto insurance and worker’s compensation.

Chiropractors, physios add the proviso “We’ll authorize your care,
once we’ve taken our share.”
Public and media laud, “Why massage associated with prostitution and fraud?”
Employee health benefits – less than workers used to get.
Recessive economy… affects earnings, benefits and massage care delivery.

Government imposes regulation, yet offers no Medicare remuneration.
Goods and services tax loads a competitive disadvantage on all our backs.
Health care restructure…physiotherapists are the new gatekeeper.
Will PT Assistants provide massage, curtailing referrals to the massage practitioner?

Profiteers exploit massage popularity.  Practitioner earning surveys
portray income paucity.
Social media sentiment –complain of part-time income but full-time requirement.
Massage delivery-of-care model time and labour-intensive
…there’s only so much care you can give.
We need to support innovation, technology and collaboration.
We can blame ourselves for the state our profession is in.

Not earning enough income?  Don’t blame practitioners-turned-business-owners!
Our professional culture needs a wake-up call and a massive make-over.
Ontario RMTs need a strong association – scant resources and small staff equals
scant representation.
Bureaucratic quagmire and policy futility – RMT interests in Ontario, our focus should be.
Strategic plan, Ends policy…can we please see progress and bypass the hyperbole?
Inaction, rhetoric – we need progressive representation, not a train-wreck.

Your profession is in jeopardy…are you feeling the anxiety?
Take interest, show initiative…your bright ideas, energy and attention please give!
Look collectively to solid opportunity.  Take a stand, and alter your glum reality.
Collaborate across the country – share resources and creative currency.

Campaign for inclusion in Medicare and other types of insurance plans
…woo gatekeeper and insurer relations for proper consideration.
Chronicle “big picture” problems and track RMT demographics.
Incorporate funding, marketing and social media tactics.
Coordinate evidence-based practice, symposiums and public/media relations.
Use virtual and regional groups to build community, tackle key issues and take action.

Work with organized CAM professions.
Move farther, faster sharing training, research, advocacy, public and media relations.
Capitalize on employee benefits and workplace wellness.  Bypass the health care regime
…show corporations how massage addresses pain, strain and stress.
Care for tension neck, repetitive strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, state and trait anxiety.
Address job-related stress, absenteeism, work satisfaction and be an asset to the company.

Baby boomers and their brethren – an opportunity in the making.
People want wellness within their lifespan, will pay for massage beyond
employee benefit plans.
Boomers support their kids and grandkids
…prefer to limit muscle relaxants and pain meds.
Human potential, athletic performance, quality of life
…all values desired and worth their strife.
So massage therapist your livelihood and vocation are at stake.
What next steps do you plan to take?

– Donald Quinn Dillon, 2014

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