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Poll Results for the following Question:

In your opinion, which of the following has the greatest negative impact on the public's ability to fully embrace massage therapy?


Lack of Information

Total Respondents: 508


Note: These comments are reproduced as written by visitors to this Web site.
They have not been edited for content, grammar, or spelling.

Misinformation Massage has come a long way and more people use massage for relaxation as well as for medical reasons. (both physical and mental). Those who stay away however, I believe do so due to their own misinformation re: body work. Often, people do not realize the extensive training involved not the research conducted which supports the value of massage. I am a licensed Clinical Social worker so I can legally touch and speak to clients. I spend alot of time educating my psychotherapy clients about integrating body and mind. Incidentally, I graduated from the Swedish Institute(1990) in NYC and had an excellent experience.
Thanks for this publication.
sylvie Varenne LISW LMT

Prejudice I work full time in a hospital setting as a registered nurse, and part time massage therapist after hours. I find that some of the more "religious" physicians have a definite predjudice about massage.It feels like the more I try to promote massage as an aid to healing, the more they hold me and it at arms length. It's unfortunate, because, I feel that there could be alot of beneficial work done, especially since with the nursing shortage, the nurses don't have alot of time to spend working "hands on" with the patients.

Lack of Information I believe that US Western medicine has become so intertwined with the economics of the country that it's heavy dependence on chemical and technological solutions makes any modality not dependent on them undesirable to both the mainstream health profession and the politics that govern it. There's no profit in a hospital that doesn't use (and bill for that use) their equipment. There's no profit for the pharmaceutical companies in supporting a modality that doesn't use their products. And there's no profit for insurance companies (who invests heavily in medicine and medical equipment manufactureres) to support MT for the same reasons. Mainstream media will support those organizations that buy their advertising products (commercials), and therefore will find profit in subtly casting MT in a bad light.
It is up to us, the MT's to get the truth out to the general public through word of mouth. I fear that it is unlikely that MT will ever gain the respect it deserves unless it becomes a major player in the economics and politics of the country. Just publishing the truth won't do it.

Lack of Information Due to the lack of proper information being awarded by the medical community and support this opens the doors for prejudice and misinformation. Hence, massage therapy will not hold a viable space in the arena with prestiegue as long as the negative attitudes by numerous medical professional continue.

I understand that this is a long standing problem within the health care system, but I do not have to accept it. I beleive that every doctor should have a massage therapist on staff. The massage therapist could be that valium that a particular patient may need. He/she could be that prozac to help lighten the dark cloud.

I have a friend that suffered from terrible migraines and for years was treated by many doctors from all ranges of the profession. One massage therapist on a healing journey of her own showed this young lady of 25 years of age to a better life without toxins of various medications that were in fact diagnosed as the root cause. Her compassion and love for the individual was the light that was needed to touch the truth inside her soul. Today the 29 year old woman is living a healthy life through healing touch and nutrition, herbs, reflexology and various other modalities within the spectrum of holisitc medicine to include colon cleansing. Her family is healthier due to her suffering and healing. Now that is what I call life and living!

Lack of Information simple ignorance and previous association are some of the major obstacles that need to be overcome. When adequately educated with an example of the healing could anyone say no??????

Misinformation In my rural area, therapeutic massage is still confused in the public mind with "massage parlors" (read-prostitution).

 The massage and chiropractic professions should press charges of slander and defamation of character against the twit who wrote those slanderous comments. Maybe if he ends up in jail or with a hefty fine and a couple thousand hours of public servive to perform he would grow up.

Lack of Information The American public does not yet fully understand that massage can be utilized for more than just relaxation as with Swedish style maassage. A massive educational campaign must take place which informs the public of the benefits of other syles of massage that are beneficial for orthopedic conditions, balancing meridians, lymph drainage, stimulating growth in premature infants, genaral well being, etc.. A large part of the problem is the lack of education about professional massage to our elected officials. Some state delegates have been around so long that they still hold onto the stigma that massage is connected with prostitution, making it difficult to get favorable laws passed. They need to understand that when massage practioners are liscensed or certified there is relatively less impropriety due to training in professional ethics and the want on the part of the practioner to be seen as an ethical and well trained health care provider. Another part of the problem is that we live in a very litegeous society where the victim mentality rules. This prevents practioners from dealing with tough medically oriented cases for fear of being sued. Without dealing with these tougher cases, it will be hard to break the pattern of massage being just for relaxation and pampering.

Prejudice I am in school (in Toronto) for massage therapy and I feel I am always explaining THERAPIST, not MASSEUR! It's better now that I am not explaining to high school guys, but still a lot of immediate, incorrect assumptions.
-B Manzak
Lack of Information There is still a general myth among people that don't exactly understand what some of us pros in the field of massage therapy are capable of doing for them. Most poeple still think that massage is a luxury item for only well to do folks. And there are lots of poeple that still think we provide are services too expensively. I come across a lots of poeple that don't know they can come to us and get some relief from aches and pains that they have been suffering from, which they didin't get very much result from chiropractic work, or physical therapy. Please understand that I am not condemning their work at all but for the of better health when the muscles are tight and in spasm, then allignment or excesive exercises will not help the problem. Plus note next time when you attend your advance courses for your CEs. You can easilly find out that some the attendees are chiros or PTs. So overall we are pretty good in helping poeple their skeletomuscular problems. So lets get out there and help the public awareness.

Prejudice I'm a licensed massage therapist i Louisiana. A lot of people, and I mean A LOT, still think of prostitution when they think about massage. There are still laws governing "sexually oriented businesses" even though it is not legal to participate in something of that nature! Thank goodness for licensure for massage therapists here, because we have been separated from the other kind of business. Most of this perception is probably due to a lack of information from the massage community - it isn't large here, especially in northern part of the state.

Misinformation actually its a little bit of all three, and as a profession there are times we need to educate ourselves before we can educate others...thanks for a great publication for the massage profession!!

Misinformation i think alot of people dont know the true benefits of massage therapy. alot of people just think of prostitution. you try to explain the benefits but whether or not they actually listened & believe that its not just some cover-up for prostitution. hopefully one day, as the career keeps growing & getting more recognition people will respect it!

Misinformation I feel that the greatest negative impact may stem from misinformation. There is definitly, I feel, a plethora of info out there about what massage therapy is and how it can benefit a client. The gap that is created may come from the lack of educating the clients, the general public, and/or related medical fields.

Misinformation  I wonder can you recommend a good school for Massage therapy in South East Ga. As well as Fla.? Thank You Kindly, Kathy Gardner

Misinformation As one who has benefitted greatly from breast massage (reduction of lymphedema and remarkable changes in scarring and hard tissue), I am amazed that after a surgical procedure like a lumpectomy, etc., we aren't informed by our doctors that there IS continueing treatment that is necessary.

I wished I had had this information soon after my surgery. I can only imagine the positive impact. It has been 8 years since my surgery and I stumbled across information about the benefits of breast massage. I was fortunate to find a therapist to work with me, and the change in the appearance of my skin, scar is more than I thought possible.

Women NEED this information. It's just not out there. I only stumbled over it myself.

Lack of Information I am a college student and the college has brought massage therapists in at finals time to help many frenzied and nervous students. I can tell you that it makes a WORLD of difference in the way I feel. I am so relaxed after a massage that I could be put to bed and sleep for a year. I feel so relaxed and unstressed!!! I love massage and would like to find out where I could get a massage for a lesser price.


Misinformation I believe that both misinformation AND lack of
information are so closely related its hard to choose.
Either way, massage is definitely not being presented
to the general public in ways that educate AND
eliminate false assumptions. I think tie-ins with
established, "accepted" practices will help to convey
its importance and lend "legitimacy"

 The greatest negative impact for massage comes from pornography and prostitution. I still hear comments that are derogatory about massage. You never hear those types of things about PT/OT services.

Misinformation 1 In Australia the SEX industry has maligned and misinformed the public attitude and knowledge of the Massage Practitioner.

2 Any hint of sexual misconduct by one Practitioner can seriously jeopardise attitudes towards all other Practitioners

Lack of Information I think there is a certain stigma that follows massage but most people I find, just don't know and are embarrassed to ask.
Angie Krakora RMT of Bastrop, TX

Lack of Information Many people are uninformed about the many
types of massage available or how a particular
modality may best benefit them. The questions
new clients ask indicate this. It seems that many
pick up que words and try to sort it out from there.
The experience of any particular modality in
bodywork speaks more loudly than printed words.
Even word of mouth cannot adequately express
the experience and that alone is so variable from
one individual to another.

Prejudice most people feel that 6 months of education doesn't hold much value compared to other professional therapist, with 2 and 4 year degrees. new york state hasn't given massage therapist the credit they deserves. yet the ny massage state board is comparabale to various other state boards. once they force insurance companies to reinburse massage by anybody licensed to do massage, we will not go beyond the recognition that we have now

Lack of Information as soon as the medical community recommends massage instead of just pushing medication, massage therapy will be more greatly accepted. kathy in rhode island

 Americans mistake massage as a luxury, not as a serious wellness effort. When added to an underlying American proclivity towards guilt, anything that makes you feel as good as massage must be illegal, immoral and fattening. I've seen it in the eyes of people who've had their first massage. A tough combination to beat.

Misinformation Massage today is where Chiropractic was 25 years ago. we will need full acceptance by the medical profession before the general public look to massage therapy as a viable option

Misinformation The massage therapy field is riddled with misconception and often out right lies.
This hampers the growth of the massage therapy field.

Lack of Information It seems that there is still to many people who associate Massage Therapy with "massage parlor" of the past. As Massage professionals it is up to us to teach the public at large that it is not some "backroom" operation to be ashamed of it is a ligitimate treatment option for some problems and that we can work with other heath care providers to help people.


 This notice is to reiterate to all users of the Massage Poll that while comments are appreciated and encouraged, continuing abuse of this privilege, either by use of offensive language and/or inappropriate or meaningless language, will result in the elimination of this option from Massage Poll. Please keep your comments on a professional level, as they are intended to foster constructive communication within the massage profession.

Thank you,

Peter W. Crownfield
Managing Editor,
Massage Today

 I have been a practicing massage therapist for 11 years. In all this time there have only been two reasons why people did not embrace massage therapy as a valid therapeutic modality: 1) lack of information as to benefits, what actually happens in a massage session, price, etc. and 2) being a person who does not appreciate or desire "touch" in general which, of course, would include massage therapy. Otherwise, after education/information the results have all been positive. After doing over 15K hours of massage, these are the only two significant reasons people have not embraced massage up to that point in their lives. After that point - - - excellent results!

Lack of Information  I believe lack of hands on experience turns people off they need and like to be touched...but there is
fear or misinterpretation....perhaps it is NEED...
some folks have difficulty asking for something they
need..and that would make them feel better

Lack of Information I feel that both misinformation and lack of information lead to the wrong idea of what a massage threapist is. ther need to be more teaching of the public by licensed massgae therapist. As a nurse of 30+ years I have noticed the back massages we were taught to give paitents did help the patients.
I remember one patient who wanted me to go home with
him. I told him that would not be possible since I was already married.
Sincerely yours
Mrs. Carolyn W. McGill,L.P.N.

Lack of Information  i do need a good man or woman to work me over at home or other.what are the rates and the time and how can i contact one. as long as you know the ropes, lets get it on.if you are good then you have a steady job.

Misinformation Personally I think all three. People today form opinions before or without asking questions!!

 My Goodness! MassageToday please exercise your rights stated below and delete the letter from the perverted one. This 65 year old great grandmother is still blushing.

Lack of Information I was not sure whether to put this under misinformation or lack of information since my comment addresses a blend of both.

Many people are uncomfortable with the idea that they must take off all their clothing to have a massage. Many others do not like to have oil applied to their body.

Information that effective, tension releasing, dry massage applied to the fully clothed body is available might appeal to many folks who have not tried massage for the above reasons.

Lack of Information I am totally suprised that bendover@bearnet was able to read and comprehend anything on this web site. It's a shame in this day and age of free education, that some of our children are not being educated in the three basics. I'm not appalled by the comments, just really saddened that another life will be on the streets, begging for money to feed an alcohol or drug problem, as by the response this person is not qualified for any type of employment.

I am outraged at for editing the the misnomer below states; reserves the right to edit or delete posts containing inappropriate or meaningless language. (Example: One massage therapist's comment on a managed care company was simply, "It (the company) stinks." Please keep your comments on a professional level.

Misinformation Many times magazine articles in national magazines don't explain massage treatments altogether correctly nor do they explain body treatments correctly. Also, TV does'nt portray massage therapist realistically. And even some massage buisness will call their massage a" theraputic massage", when in reality all massage is theraputic.

 None of the above. I feel that undereducated therapists are the greatest negative impact. On the whole, therapist are still not trained to be healthcare practitioners that can work professionally with other healthcare professionals. Skill level is often poor due to inadequate education. This creates a negative impact on our profession and it follows through to create a negative image for the people who refer to us and the people who are referred to us.

Prejudice I have a diagnosis of Cervical Disc Degeneration progressive, herniated disc between C6-7 which is is already intruding on my spinal column which is what I presume my Cervical Spondylosis is about ... this chronic pain and everything else started with me about 14 years ago, I am now only 48 ...

...when I tell people that I have a massage physical therapy appointment, they all say that that is a nice luxury ... I tell them it's like having a workout on your neck and back and is definitely not luxurious not when therapists have to use their elbows to get deep into my pain locations ... right now my Massage Therapist is considering discharging me as I will never be 100% - what he doesn't seem to understand is that these therapy sessions keep me loose enough to enjoy a couple of days until the next session ... he has asked me to arrange an appt with my Pain Management Doctor and see what he says, this has thrown me in a viscious cycle of Chronic Pain (which is always there anyway) and Major Depression - I am on Disability and am not sure if Medicare has these same prejudices or if they are advancing their thinking about the 'medical necessity' for Massage Therapy ... I surely hope so ...

Lack of Information The comments by the idiot with the profanity are the precise reason why public forums are not more prevelant (who wants to listen to that nonsense). Maturity unfortunately does not come with age, It's a learned behavior. Some parents just don't try hard enough or care, and this is what we get.


Misinformation I constantly hear people explain what they have heard or think they know to be facts about the massage profession.

Lack of Information Even though I am only a high school student with no qualifications, just a huge amount of interest in massage, I can see how the public is influenced my media AND other people to think that massage either doesn't work, or is a joke. When today's medicine points all its patients to medication and drugs for healing (or atleast to numb the pain) how are we supposed to help them? Massage needs to be integrated into the hospital system so patients have a choice, to heal naturally, or to pump themselves full of medication. We need to inform!

 lack of ability to enjoy touch is my opinion.

Misinformation The media, whether it be movie makers or television shows, almost always portray us massage therapists as either prostitutes or at the very least, airheads and ditzy. Hopefully, one day, media producers will become enlighntened enough to receive bodywork.

Thankfully, here in Maui. the licensing laws are strong and massage therapy is highly respected.

Pandora Kurth LMT ASHN

Lack of Information Fear of the unknown.

We are touch hungry -- and touch phobic.
Including ME. I was 53 years old before I had my first massage -- and 55 when I graduated from Massage college.

Lack of Information i think in todays society that people are not informed of the great benifits that massage has. I am a student currently taking massage therapy and i find that people are still wanting to take medications instead of trying to heal themselves naturaly. This is such a shame. Oh well hopefully by me being out in the work force i can make a difference.
Lack of Information People today rely so much on Western Medicine that they have it in their minds that only a doctor can fix something. They don't understand the body, mind, and spirit are all connected. Sometimes I work on clients that tell me "don't touch that spot on my neck... its sensitive and the doctor told me to avoid touching that area". So misinformed! What a great healthcare would be if it always offered master practitioners of holistic and western approaches. Hooray!
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