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What changes or improvements would you like to see in the massage therapy industry? (Ask the Muscle Whisperer Series)

Anatomy image made up of the names of muscles

We are really excited to share with you the next installment of our "Ask The Muscle Whisperer" series. This month we have asked the industry's top leaders what would they like to see change in our industry and how can we, as massage therapists, all work towards making these changes.  

Ask the Muscle Whisperer Question 2 - What changes or improvements would you like to see in the massage therapy industry? And what can individual therapists around the country do to help bring about these changes or improvements for the good of everyone?

You can watch the full video with all the specialist's answers compiled together here.... or watch each specialist's answer individually in shorter snippets below underneath their name! 


  • SUSAN FINDLAY 
    Susan Findlay Icon for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
    As an individual it can feel like your input alone may not have any influence. However, there are a number of things that you, as a therapist, can do within our community that will make a real difference. 
     
    One of the challenges we face as soft tissue therapists is the isolation of our job, often our contact is limited to our one to one relationships with clients and, more often than not, if we do get to converse with fellow colleagues, it is infrequently.
     
    We know that there needs to be a clearer understanding of what we offer, the depth of knowledge and the differences between one skill to another. Generally we can see what needs to change, and it is often associated with the misperception of what we do, that are held by many in the medical profession and the general public.
     

    So what can you do to bring about a change?

    Who can be your voice, who has the opportunity, who is well connected? Unless you are actively involved in, and sit on boards that can make policy changes, you may feel that you struggle to have a voice. One way to change this is to volunteer your time, become involved and sit on a panel that is dedicated to changing things, or invest in a professional association to do this for you. 

    I am aware that it is not uncommon for therapists to wonder what their professional associations do for them. Many therapists do not hold these associations in high regard. I frequently hear therapists questioning why they are paying their fees for each year, as they do not think that they are getting anything for their money.  What they fail to recognize is what they are investing in is not tangible. However, with your support and trust, your professional association can play an active role in changing the market, changing the current perception about what you do, making those connections that will elevate your status as the professional you deserve to be regarded as. When choosing the right association, you might want to see if they belong to GCMT (The General Council for Massage Therapists). This is the council for soft tissue therapies, and is the only forum in which other PAs and educators come together to discuss and resolve industry issues.

    Another option is the NMC, (the National Massage Championships). These competitions have been held at Olympia for the past 2 years. They are judged by those who have been involved in the industry for decades. Having been involved myself with the competition, the feedback I received is that everyone believes that these competitions can do a lot for our industry. They are good for the therapists involved as they offer space for connecting and networking, and also demonstrate to the general public, the very high level of skill that is out there. They educated the public about what they could expect from a well-trained and practiced therapist and what all the various forms of massage entail. Education such as this is vital if we are to change the historical perceptions that massage is a dark and seedy industry, and demonstrate its importance within the health and wellbeing fields.

    Being involved in the NMC myself, as well as the pride I felt from watching the incredibly talented and professional therapists, I was also able to use the opportunity to discuss with other judges the premise of this article: what changes and improvements we’d like to see within the industry. The judges at the event were some of the industry’s top professionals hailing from all around the world. Being able to analyse and evaluate our industry with these figureheads was incredibly insightful. I think the main conclusion that we all reached was that in order for these competitions to truly reach their full potential, and work as a beacon of professionalism and education for our industry, we need to form a committee. A committee would establish formal protocol and regulations for competitions the world over and give us all common criteria and standards to aim for.

    Finally I should mention the internet. The internet has made a big difference in the massage therapy world, just as it has everywhere. Thanks to the power of the internet and social media, as therapists we have access to more information than we ever have before. However, while some of this information is excellent and really beneficial, we also need to be wary of the misinformation out there.

    A great thing about the internet is that we have access to a community of therapists. On social media, there are groups and forums we can use to post questions, have discussions and share information. The best way to avoid misinformation is seek advice from other therapists you know and trust about which groups and forums to use. The more you use the internet, the more savvy you will become about what is genuinely useful information, and what isn’t.

    In conclusion, I think the most beneficial way we can all bring about change within our industry is by uniting together. Using our joint voices to be heard. I started off this article saying that as an individual perhaps we struggle to be heard, however although most of us work alone, we are not alone in our mission to elevate the massage therapy profession within the health and wellbeing world. We have a community of other professionals that we can access through our professional associations, through the events like the NMC, and through the multitude of forums and online communities. Therefore, I think the biggest change that I would like to see is that we start to view other professionals in the industry, not as competition, but as team mates, united together in our shared goal to raise professionalism in the industry, and change perceptions both within the medical fields and the general public. We understand how beneficial massage is for health and wellbeing, and by working together, we can also ensure that the world does too.

    Watch Susan answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

    To find out more about Susan's courses and sign up for her great Massage Monday series click on the image below or follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

    Susan Findlay logo

    Jing
    Susan Findlay
    Emma Gilmore
    Earle Abrahamson
    Jane Langston
    Sue Bailey
  • JING ADVANCED MASSAGE TRAINING 

    Rachel and Meghan from JING would like to see the standard of education for massage in the UK reflect the levels that already exist in the USA and Canada where therapists are required to complete a degree level of training. Rachel and Meghan believe this would radically change the perception of our services amongst the public and elevate the massage industry to the level already seen in similar complementary therapies such as physiotherapy. Not only would this provide a much needed confidence boost for massage therapists, it would also have tangible benefits to massage therapy businesses, with more referrals coming through from GP's and doctors as well as the opportunity to charge more as bodywork finally receives the recognition it deserves! Massage Therapists can help support the campaign for these changes by joining organisations such as the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Watch Rachel and Megan answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

     

     

    To see JING's upcoming training courses please click on the image below or follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

     JING Advanced Massage Training  

    Jing
    Susan Findlay
    Emma Gilmore
    Earle Abrahamson
    Jane Langston
    Sue Bailey
  • EMMA GILMORE 
    Emma Gilmore profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
    For Emma there are 3 changes she would love to see within the massage industry; standards, self development and supervision. As we know currently there is no standardisation of the qualifications required to practice as a massage therapist - a change that Emma, like many therapists, would welcome. However, as Emma points out, we can all raise the profile of the industry by committing to our own ways of raising standards by focusing on self development and participating in supervision. 

    By taking a few CPD courses each year and making sure our clients know about them we are demonstrating the depth of our knowledge as massage therapists and elevating the industry in the public's perception.

    Emma also believes self development can bring about crucial changes in the massage industry when therapists commit to taking care of themselves with activities like yoga, meditation or even spending time in nature. Taking time for this kind of self development will enable therapists to hold a healing space for their clients. Providing this kind of nurturing experience is critical to how clients view massage as a whole.

    Always remember clients are coming to us in their time of need. When people are vulnerable in this way visiting a stressed out therapist providing a rushed massage treatment with no individual attention is not only going to negatively affect a therapists' individual massage  business, but also the perception of the industry as a whole.

    Finally for Emma committing to regular supervision is a great way that therapists to help bring about change in the massage industry.

    Establishing a supervisor who you can talk to on a monthly basis about any difficult clients is common in other health practices and creates an ethical and professional forum for working through this issues that protects both you as a therapist and your client. 

     

    Watch Emma answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

     

    You can see the latest courses on offer at School of Bodywork by clicking the image below! You can also follow on Facebook and Instagram.

    School of Bodywork logo

    Jing
    Susan Findlay
    Emma Gilmore
    Earle Abrahamson
    Jane Langston
    Sue Bailey
  • EARLE ABRAHAMSON 
    Earle Abrahamson profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
    Earle would like to see massage therapy move away from its position within the beauty industry to sit more firmly within the health and wellness sector. 

    Crucial to making this shift is the way that evidence is used to demonstrate 

    the decisions, actions and outcomes of each massage treatment. As well as being best practice, this helps to position massage therapy within the healthcare system. Extending this into marketing and promotional material will also help to shift public perception and increase the public's awareness of our skill and expertise. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Watch Earle answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below! 

    You can find more details on Earle's latest book 'Muscle Testing – A Concise Manual' by clicking the images below or find out more details on the next Hands On Training courses by clicking here.

     

    Publications:

      • Making Sense of Human Anatomy and Physiology - Lotus Publishers 2016

       

        • Concise Manual of Muscle Testing - Handspring Publishers. Due out October 2019 
      Jing
      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Jane Langston
      Sue Bailey
    • JANE LANGSTON
      Jane Langston profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
      Jane would love to see more properly funded and designed clinical trials to help shift the perception of massage as a luxurious treat to being the go to solution for aches and pains. Integrating massage into the NHS and other healthcare provider would be a big step and for Jane this could be achieved by upping the levels of education of anatomy, physiology and pathology. 

      An increase in knowledge would doubtless give massage therapists more confidence in knowing when to treat and when to refer, a practice that would help solidify massage and soft tissue work's place within the healthcare system. Individual massage therapists can raise the profile of our industry by committing to regular CPD, keeping up to date with the latest developments in pain science and by undertaking good record keeping, conducting clinical assessments at the start of a treatment and recording change at the end of the session. Not only will this impress clients, but it will also assist therapists to choose appropriate techniques rather than falling into the trap of performing a set routine. 

       

       

       

      Watch Jane answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

      Click here to order Jane's latest book 'Muscle Testing – A Concise Manual' written in collaboration with Earle Abrahamson or click on the image below to join the next Muscle Testing and Human Anatomy & Physiology Workshop with Learn Anatomy Ltd.

      Learn Anatomy LTD

      Jing
      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Jane Langston
      Sue Bailey
    • SUE BAILEY 
      Sue Bailey profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer For Sue and her team of tutors, a better level of legislation is needed within the massage industry. They would all welcome laws to limit the number of daily clients for therapists working within spas and to formalise the education required to be in line with the licensing seen in the United States and Canada. 

      Their team would also like to see more funding provided to support therapists emotionally both when working withclients with complex health  conditions and with personal issues that they might share during their massage treatments. More self care should also be encouraged with employees of massage therapists providing access to training for no hands techniques and regular treatments from fellow therapists. Wellness and well-being are common buzz words being used by companies to promote their services but they need to reflect this in their own practice and support their workers to have long, healthy careers. 

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Watch Sue answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

       

      To see the latest courses on offer at Gateway workshops click on the image below or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

      Gateway Workshops

      Jing
      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Jane Langston
      Sue Bailey

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