resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
September, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 09
The Wide-Open World of Massage Therapy
By Linda Riach
In this helter-skelter world, stress reigns. With so many tense and jittery folks seeking help, there's never been a better time to be a massage therapist. According to the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), there now are almost 200,000 massage therapists in the United States, and more than 50,000 people are entering the field each year.Massage is over a $5 billion-a-year industry and has become such an important segment in the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) arena that massage therapists are its largest professional group, followed by chiropractors.
Much of this growth is attributable to significant changes in consumers' perception of the industry. Through its annual market surveys, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) discovered that only about 25% of Americans had ever experienced a massage from a massage therapist in 1999. By 2004, that number had almost doubled to 49%, and there is every indication the growth will continue for years to come.
With such explosive growth in the industry, massage therapists have more career choices today than ever. According to the AMTA, while the vast majority (84%) of massage practitioners continue to provide services in an independent setting, such as their offices or on location, considerable growth in massage is taking place in spas, salons, health & athletic clubs, hotels and resorts. And with the rapid emergence of CAM and medical spas, a growing number of massage therapists can be found working alongside medical doctors and other professionals in their offices or in hospitals. With such a plethora of choices available, many wonder what factors they should consider when deciding on a massage therapy career. A good place to start might be to assess why you decided to pursue massage therapy in the first place.
If you view massage therapy as a way to help people relax and reduce stress, you might consider working for a resort, spa or upscale hotel, where guests have massage therapy available as a means of stress-reduction. According to ABMP, massage therapy generates over 60% of such a facility's total revenue; therefore, as more resorts, spas and hotels open, massage therapists will be in greater demand. Visitors to these facilities often seek such techniques as Swedish and Thai massage and shiatsu, thus providing diversification to your practice.
If you identify with the growing acceptance of CAM, you are committed to the notion that massage therapy can help relieve pain and restore function from injuries that may previously have required surgery or other invasive procedures. In the most recent national survey by the AMTA, 91% of respondents agreed that massage is effective in reducing pain. Chiropractors, naturopaths, acupuncturists and other practitioners of alternative medical care often recommend massage therapy treatment for acute or chronic conditions. In-depth knowledge of anatomy, science and pathology will enable you to apply such techniques as myofascial massage, shiatsu, and deep-tissue massage for clients' improved health and healing.
Over the past several years, our society has become increasingly more exercise-conscious, leaving both amateur and professional athletes in pain due to overuse conditions or injury. Passage of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Title IX has brought an unprecedented number of women to the training room for treatment, thus requiring more trained therapists. According to Myles Brand, president of the NCAA, "In 1972, fewer than 30,000 women were participating in sports. Today, nearly 150,000 women are competing in sports at NCAA member institutions." And with the growth of sports programs in high schools, as well as in colleges and universities, many more massage therapists are being hired to keep their athletes healthy, limber and able to play. So, whether your clients are weekend warriors, scholars or professional athletes, the invaluable services you will provide might include sports massage, deep-tissue massage, myofascial release and/or hydrotherapy.
Thought of as an "enlightened" pursuit for years, massage in the workplace is being offered by more companies today than ever, primarily because an increasing number of them have found on-site massage to be a low-cost benefit with a high payoff. (So says ABMP in a recent survey.) With the growth in corporate massages comes an even greater opportunity for massage therapists. Having a massage therapist visit the workplace has become a real plus for employers wanting to attract new people and retain existing staff. It also has become a terrific source of business for the proactive massage therapist.
The rapidly widening acceptance of massage therapy in almost all corners of our environment means your career choices are limited only by your imagination. I've described a few options you might consider, but I also suggest you keep another thought or two in mind. Many massage therapists do not confine themselves to just one setting. Many therapists who work in resorts, spas and other places with large, established practices, do so part-time while they develop their own independent practices. That's the approach taken by many who are just getting started. Then there are those who look upon massage therapy as a part-time career. They have other jobs, but enjoy providing their healing touch in their spare time. So, there is no "right way" to pursue your career in massage therapy. It totally depends on your other interests and how much of your life you choose to devote to it.
Previous articles, a "Talk Back" forum and a brief biography of Linda Riach are available online at www.massagetoday.com/columnists/riach.
Click here for previous articles by Linda Riach.
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