resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
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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