Massage Today
Massage Today dotted line
dotted line

dotted line
Share |
  Forward PDF Version  
Massage Today
November, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 11

Why Not Health and Wellness

By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB

I have always viewed massage as a profession; a health care profession that has the potential to be the premier wellness modality of an alternative, wellness-based health care system. The paradigm to which I subscribe is one of establishing and maintaining wellness through education, natural therapies and lifestyle.

Health of the people requires health of the planet and our life-support systems it provides, such as water, soil, food, air, etc. (the environment). This requires sustainable agriculture (organic) and good stewardship of the earth.

I believe in freedom, knowledge and individual empowerment, allowing each person to achieve their ultimate state of wellness and their goals in life. This requires a wellness-based health care system. That, to me, is the big picture for massage therapy. Massage needs to develop and expand its role as first-door providers and wellness practitioners. Other than emergencies and accidents, we, along with the other alternative providers, should be the gatekeepers to the allopaths, instead of them being gatekeepers to us. It means working with other natural therapy providers (chiropractors, acupuncturists, herbalists, homeopaths, etc.) to provide true health care - a system that would be sustainable and cost-effective.

Our current health care system has nothing to do with health and everything to do with sickness. It's a sickness-care system that is dependent on sickness to survive. Therefore, it must insure that there is plenty of sickness to keep it busy. The allopaths have not reduced disease - engineers and plumbers have. The sickness-based system does not use education, it uses fear. They control us by instilling fear of the flu, cancer, heart attacks and financial ruin if we don't pay extortion to their insurance companies. It is a system of dependence, sickness, and irresponsibility for one's own well being.

Sadly, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, since you create what you focus your mind on. By getting you (the public) to focus on what you don't want, you create the conditions you fear and the allopathic system profits from your suffering. Fear and worry are negative visualizations. You get what you focus your mind on. This is true for the individual, and it's also true for the collective consciousness of a country and of humanity. Of course, the system helps this process along with mercury-laced vaccinations and damaging, mostly toxic medications (some of which are appropriately necessary some times). This is commerce, not health care. Our health care system is by far the biggest killer of Americans, yet where is the outrage? Sadly, we have been trained to view subservience and obedience as virtues.

While this is seldom true of the individual practitioner (your MD), it's the case of the overall system that regulates what an individual practitioner can know and can do. We only know what we are allowed to know in any profession. Only a few step outside the box. Unless one of these rebels makes celebrity status quickly, they will be ridiculed, persecuted, prosecuted and otherwise marginalized so as to not disrupt the cash flow and integrity of the system. This system uses fear to keep its subjects under its iron grip - both patients and practitioners.

The massage profession is missing most of the potential in its calling. Instead of expanding our education and scope of practice as alternative practitioners, we are allowing ourselves to be co-opted by the same greed that drives the allopathic cartel. We lust for third-party payment. The majority of our schools resist expanding massage- training programs to turn out more well-rounded alternative providers, instead opting to turn out therapists who only can do a full-body, relaxation massage. The more who fail as therapists, the better for the schools because it keeps the demand for new therapists high. We are moving ever closer to gatekeeper control over our services as we seek recognition and validation from the allopaths, who deliberately eliminated "manual medicine" (massage) from their system long ago because it didn't generate enough profit or garner enough side effects.

If we lose this opportunity to establish an alternative system to the allopathic cartel, health care will fall into a very dark age. It might well take several generations for such a chance to arise again.

Without health, little else can be accomplished. Health is not a right - it is a responsibility. A sickness-based system does not provide or promote health, but it slowly destroys it. (U.N. statistics show the health of America has steadily declined since WWII.) As a profession, do we want to join with the allopaths and be controlled by them? Do we want to limit ourselves to just treating symptoms, be they general (relaxation) or specific, or do we want to become the premier wellness modality of an alternative to the failed sickness-based system we have now? A greater awareness must be created that recognizes the interdependence of man, the environment, the quality of our food, and the quality of our health. Our profession can lead the way to a better day on this planet, or we can resign ourselves to becoming merely a trade that provides temporary relaxation. Which will it be? Do you care?

"There are those who see the world as it is and ask, 'Why?' And those that see the world as it could be, and ask, 'Why not?'"

- Robert Kennedy

A Toast

The holidays are upon us. Almost every faith has a major holiday near the end of the year. That is probably not a coincidence. There is a reason for this season and it is not shopping. Take some time to go inside and find what you really believe and what you really want for the next year(s). My wish for you is your wish for you. May you rapidly manifest your greatest vision of yourself but, don't forget, you are not alone. We are all in this together, so put aside some time to work for the good of all. I'll be back with more thoughts next year. Until then, a happy, merry, joyous "holidaze" to you all.

Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB.


Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreement
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.
comments powered by Disqus
dotted line