The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.
Belief in myth allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort
of thought. ~ John F. Kennedy
As a profession, what myths are we entertaining? Are we comforted in our opinions, while we avoid the discomfort of thoughtful reflection and constructive debate?
Timothy Ferriss said “Your success depends on the number of uncomfortable conversations you’re willing to have.” I want to have an uncomfortable conversation with you, and with all RMTs. I want to shake up professional complacency, antagonize arrogance and challenge RMTs to move off their spot and reposition bodywork and complementary/alternative medicine at large as an ethos…a value desired and cultivated in society.
Here are some myths that I challenge:
“We should be accepted by medical doctors and insurance adjusters as readily as physiotherapists and chiropractors. We know more than they do!”
“My patients won’t pay for my assessment. They just want to get on the table.”
“Professional associations charge too much/I don’t need to be a member.”
“I can do both spa and remedial massage in my practice. The marketplace isn’t confused.”
“People may go to (unlicensed practitioners, regulated practitioners providing massage) but that’s not real massage and they won’t go back.”
“We can keep operating as we have always been (despite unfavourable government health care and taxation policy, problematic insurance compensation for services, gatekeeper health disciplines hiring assistants to compete with RMTs, negative public and media perception and exploiters/profiteers at the education or employment level) and there’s no reason to change.”
“Professional associations should keep their fees low, rely on volunteer board members to carry the load and avoid too much investment in public relations, building alliances or providing practice management services to their members.”
“I’m better off working for myself. I earn more than if I worked in some established business.”
“My patients/clients expect me to provide 55 minutes of hands-on care each time. I’m stuck with this model of service delivery.”
I’d love to know what you think. Please post your myths or arguments.
I believe the recognition that our profession as a whole deserves is warranted not because of any individual knowing more than any other profession but when you look at a lot of the manual therapy techniques out there they are all a form of fascial release. Whether it be ART, Functional Range Release, Soft tissue Release these are all techniques Chiropractors and Physiotherapists are dabbling in to improve their treatment to the client and they all work.
I guess the point is that these Manual Body Practitioners who are recognized by the insurance companies are stepping into our realm and no longer are they just the back crackers or body mobilizers they use to be. If their techniques are part of our foundation learning the only thing that separates them from us is how much money they paid for their education and the years spent learning their trade. Knowledge will always come down to an individual and their love for their job.
As for assessment that begins upon meeting the client watching them walk to the room, how they take their shoes off, how they sit themselves down. All of this is part of assessment and is more functional than the standard non-functional ortopaedic assessments. You see the muscles in action with weight bearing and their natural state with the client not even realizing it. Separating Spa from clinic is very difficult – I work in a clinic setting and a more relaxed setting and my treatments are very clinical but I have found myself asking more clients at the relaxed setting place what type of massage they are here for, only because they don’t know the difference themselves in most cases.
Most people will go to where they feel welcomed and treated properly whether the person is licensed or not. Unfortunately not everyone in our society has benefits to cover Massage Therapy, this is why the student clinics are so popular you can get supervised treatment at a low cost and reality is that sometimes we as Massage Therapists get uninterested in improving ourselves once we are established due to the cost of CEU’s and resort to minimal learning. I would love to see Massage Therapy grow into what Physio’s, Chiro’s, Family Physicians have all attained so whatever change has to be made to get there I think should be embraced.
The public requires still more education on what Massage Therapy can do for them and I don’t just mean commercials. I have found through volunteering my services in several areas (not just to boost clientel) but to show, demonstrate and answer questions about Massage Therapy and the role it can play in recovery, repair and maintenance has had a tremendous effect on peoples views, especially in the sports industry. I have recently worked with some amateur mixed martial artists who had no idea the benefits of what Massage Therapy can do for them.
As for working for yourself or someone else thats a personal preference. Just don’t get caught up in the money making thing so much much that it effects your treatment of clients. Yes everyone has to survive, but survive by treating your clients for the right reason. Explaining the benefits beforehand of what you want to do and how it will benefit the client is crucial. Even after the 55 minute treatment is over, take the time to explain what you would like to see happen for them and keep the focus all about them, especially if they really need what you are offering.
I have found this method to work that way when they come in for the next appointment. Will everyone be responsive to this method? Maybe not, but get to know your client and what they are looking for and you will see the change. These are just my thoughts on the above issues I look forward to anyone elses responses or enquiries.