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We need some input for our Round the Table column in the next issue of Massage & Bodywork magazine. Reply with your answers and you just might see it printed in the next issue!

 

 

The question this time is:

As a massage therapist, what are some of your professional pet peeves? 

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       Lee, I absolutely agree with you.  I don't for a moment believe that 3 out of every 10 Americans (34% actually) have had a massage--even if those who have accepted a free chair massage at some event are counted.  The article didn't give any details about the survey...who conducted it, what demographic was surveyed, what modalities they might have received, etc.  Find it here: http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=13382

      In school every modalities class does at least one community outreach every quarter: kids' baseball; lacrosse; track & field; community health fairs; art festivals--wherever people gather, we've probably set up our massage chairs.  Most attendees to those events have never had any other massage.

Lee Edelberg said:

Gary,

That statistic, 34%, seems very high to me.  My subjective experience and observations about how people regard massage is that the number is much lower. How many people were surveyed, and where?

L.

Gary W Addis said:

A survey conducted in 2006 reported that 34% of Americans have had a massage in the last five years. Of those, 28% received the massage as a birthday gift; another 40% specifically to relieve pain.  Three out of ten?  I think that's only remotely true if you include 10-minute chair massages.  The same massagetoday article remarked that 10 years ago (in 1996) massage therapists were the butt of jokes because the public thought we were all prostitutes.  It's gotten better, the article says.  But will our reputation take a big punch in the mouth next week when the MT-as-prostitute series begins to air? Certainly not in the minds of those who know us. 

But what about the 50-70% of the population who have never experienced any kind of professional massage?  A significant proportion just can't afford our services.  Others are too self-conscious about what they perceive to be their physical faults, such as a flabby belly; some, both males and females, already fear being in a room partially disrobed with either male or female therapist. 

While I understand the reasoning of those who believe we should ignore the happy-endings parlors and the new MT-as-prostitute series, I respectfully disagree.  For, as every business person knows, word of mouth is the best form of advertising.  Names-- reputations-- are important

In my humble opinion, our membership organizations should speak out forcefully in defense of our profession.  It would not take much: Lifetime should insert a few lines at the bottom of its credits affirming that, with the exception of a tiny minority who are operating illegally, massage therapists and bodyworkers are honorable, ethical practitioners of the healthcare industry.  Can you imagine the outcry from the AMA if home nursing services were being portrayed as call girl rings?  Are nurses and doctors any more deserving of respect as professionals than we are?

       Lee, I absolutely agree with you.  I don't for a moment believe that 3 out of every 10 Americans (34% actually) have had a massage--even if those who have accepted a free chair massage at some event are counted.  The article didn't give any details about the survey...who conducted it, what demographic was surveyed, what modalities they might have received, etc.  Find it here: http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=13382

      In school every modalities class does at least one community outreach every quarter: kids' baseball; lacrosse; track & field; community health fairs; art festivals--wherever people gather, we've probably set up our massage chairs.  Most attendees to those events have never had any other massage.

Lee Edelberg said:

Gary,

That statistic, 34%, seems very high to me.  My subjective experience and observations about how people regard massage is that the number is much lower. How many people were surveyed, and where?

L.

Gary W Addis said:

A survey conducted in 2006 reported that 34% of Americans have had a massage in the last five years. Of those, 28% received the massage as a birthday gift; another 40% specifically to relieve pain.  Three out of ten?  I think that's only remotely true if you include 10-minute chair massages.  The same massagetoday article remarked that 10 years ago (in 1996) massage therapists were the butt of jokes because the public thought we were all prostitutes.  It's gotten better, the article says.  But will our reputation take a big punch in the mouth next week when the MT-as-prostitute series begins to air? Certainly not in the minds of those who know us. 

But what about the 50-70% of the population who have never experienced any kind of professional massage?  A significant proportion just can't afford our services.  Others are too self-conscious about what they perceive to be their physical faults, such as a flabby belly; some, both males and females, already fear being in a room partially disrobed with either male or female therapist. 

While I understand the reasoning of those who believe we should ignore the happy-endings parlors and the new MT-as-prostitute series, I respectfully disagree.  For, as every business person knows, word of mouth is the best form of advertising.  Names-- reputations-- are important

In my humble opinion, our membership organizations should speak out forcefully in defense of our profession.  It would not take much: Lifetime should insert a few lines at the bottom of its credits affirming that, with the exception of a tiny minority who are operating illegally, massage therapists and bodyworkers are honorable, ethical practitioners of the healthcare industry.  Can you imagine the outcry from the AMA if home nursing services were being portrayed as call girl rings?  Are nurses and doctors any more deserving of respect as professionals than we are?

Thats good news to me...Gosh, haven't even reached 70% of the population yet...lol... Really

Gary W Addis said:

       Lee, I absolutely agree with you.  I don't for a moment believe that 3 out of every 10 Americans (34% actually) have had a massage--even if those who have accepted a free chair massage at some event are counted.  The article didn't give any details about the survey...who conducted it, what demographic was surveyed, what modalities they might have received, etc.  Find it here: http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=13382

      In school every modalities class does at least one community outreach every quarter: kids' baseball; lacrosse; track & field; community health fairs; art festivals--wherever people gather, we've probably set up our massage chairs.  Most attendees to those events have never had any other massage.

Lee Edelberg said:

Gary,

That statistic, 34%, seems very high to me.  My subjective experience and observations about how people regard massage is that the number is much lower. How many people were surveyed, and where?

L.

Gary W Addis said:

A survey conducted in 2006 reported that 34% of Americans have had a massage in the last five years. Of those, 28% received the massage as a birthday gift; another 40% specifically to relieve pain.  Three out of ten?  I think that's only remotely true if you include 10-minute chair massages.  The same massagetoday article remarked that 10 years ago (in 1996) massage therapists were the butt of jokes because the public thought we were all prostitutes.  It's gotten better, the article says.  But will our reputation take a big punch in the mouth next week when the MT-as-prostitute series begins to air? Certainly not in the minds of those who know us. 

But what about the 50-70% of the population who have never experienced any kind of professional massage?  A significant proportion just can't afford our services.  Others are too self-conscious about what they perceive to be their physical faults, such as a flabby belly; some, both males and females, already fear being in a room partially disrobed with either male or female therapist. 

While I understand the reasoning of those who believe we should ignore the happy-endings parlors and the new MT-as-prostitute series, I respectfully disagree.  For, as every business person knows, word of mouth is the best form of advertising.  Names-- reputations-- are important

In my humble opinion, our membership organizations should speak out forcefully in defense of our profession.  It would not take much: Lifetime should insert a few lines at the bottom of its credits affirming that, with the exception of a tiny minority who are operating illegally, massage therapists and bodyworkers are honorable, ethical practitioners of the healthcare industry.  Can you imagine the outcry from the AMA if home nursing services were being portrayed as call girl rings?  Are nurses and doctors any more deserving of respect as professionals than we are?

Actually I have trouble believing it is that small a percentage.

The other day I went to a new corporate client to do chair massage. I worked on 14 people only one had never had a massage and it was the first time the company had provided it. But with foot massage places in most neighborhoods around here in addition to chiropractic & acupuncture (meaning massage), spas, clinics, beauty salons it is hard to imagine they stay in business with that low a percentage. I personally know over 200 MTs in this area. Even if they were all part time that still equals a lot of massages in a year.

A national survey combines many areas of the country. Some have one massage therapists and other areas have thousands like here. Within a short drive of me are 10 massage schools turning out new MTs a couple times a year. Massages are available from $25/hr to $200/hr. Within two blocks of my clinic are 8 places to get massage. Over 20 Therapists support themselves working at these. And that does not include the many ads for outcall. This does not exist without a sizable client base.

Gordon J. Wallis said:

Thats good news to me...Gosh, haven't even reached 70% of the population yet...lol... Really

Gary W Addis said:

       Lee, I absolutely agree with you.  I don't for a moment believe that 3 out of every 10 Americans (34% actually) have had a massage--even if those who have accepted a free chair massage at some event are counted.  The article didn't give any details about the survey...who conducted it, what demographic was surveyed, what modalities they might have received, etc.  Find it here: http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=13382

      In school every modalities class does at least one community outreach every quarter: kids' baseball; lacrosse; track & field; community health fairs; art festivals--wherever people gather, we've probably set up our massage chairs.  Most attendees to those events have never had any other massage.

Lee Edelberg said:

Gary,

That statistic, 34%, seems very high to me.  My subjective experience and observations about how people regard massage is that the number is much lower. How many people were surveyed, and where?

L.

Daniel, if those stats are true....There is a lot of growth potential out there... Like you, I thought it would be more then 30%  hmm...If its true.. Its a good thing.

Daniel Cohen said:

Actually I have trouble believing it is that small a percentage.

The other day I went to a new corporate client to do chair massage. I worked on 14 people only one had never had a massage and it was the first time the company had provided it. But with foot massage places in most neighborhoods around here in addition to chiropractic & acupuncture (meaning massage), spas, clinics, beauty salons it is hard to imagine they stay in business with that low a percentage. I personally know over 200 MTs in this area. Even if they were all part time that still equals a lot of massages in a year.

A national survey combines many areas of the country. Some have one massage therapists and other areas have thousands like here. Within a short drive of me are 10 massage schools turning out new MTs a couple times a year. Massages are available from $25/hr to $200/hr. Within two blocks of my clinic are 8 places to get massage. Over 20 Therapists support themselves working at these. And that does not include the many ads for outcall. This does not exist without a sizable client base.

Gordon J. Wallis said:

Thats good news to me...Gosh, haven't even reached 70% of the population yet...lol... Really

Gary W Addis said:

       Lee, I absolutely agree with you.  I don't for a moment believe that 3 out of every 10 Americans (34% actually) have had a massage--even if those who have accepted a free chair massage at some event are counted.  The article didn't give any details about the survey...who conducted it, what demographic was surveyed, what modalities they might have received, etc.  Find it here: http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=13382

      In school every modalities class does at least one community outreach every quarter: kids' baseball; lacrosse; track & field; community health fairs; art festivals--wherever people gather, we've probably set up our massage chairs.  Most attendees to those events have never had any other massage.

Lee Edelberg said:

Gary,

That statistic, 34%, seems very high to me.  My subjective experience and observations about how people regard massage is that the number is much lower. How many people were surveyed, and where?

L.

Daniel, perceptions vary by locale, I think. Surveys often depend on the slant the questioners want to apply. So, we can both be right. BTW, it ain't me saying, it's the articles I am quoting. Alaska reports that it pays its MTs an average $86,000. However, according to dept of labor, earnings vary widely across the nation--averaging as little as $8.10 per hour for 10% to $33 per hour for the upper 10%, median being $17 per. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics is using the figure of only 63.000 massage therapists nationwide-- far, far below the 280,000 reported by the AMTA to be working at least part time as MTs. (abmp has, I think, 90,000 or so dues-paying members).

Corporate offices employ a significantly tiny percentage of the population and as a group are paid quite well compared to lowly wage earners in the Deep South. So, I think your experience in the corporate offices are unique to Southern California--the most enlightened population in the nation.

There's 311,000,000 people in the US, 24% of whom are under 18. 34% of the remaining adults = 79,305,000 people who have experienced massage according to MassageToday magazine. Divided by amta's 280,000 = 283 clients per therapist. So, yeah, I think the 34% may be very very high.

Gary thanks for the additional data. Regional difference is exactly what I was referring to. But this difference is also an indicator that massage is growing in popularity. Today it is found at many airports and malls around the country. Many people regard it as a necessary defense against the tension/stress of modern life. Many of my clients have brought in relatives and friends for a massage while they are visiting from different parts of the country or world. Of these a much higher percentage than locals have never had a massage. Of those perhaps half ask me to refer them to someone who does similar massage back home. I am glad to say referrals have gotten easier since many Therapists now have more than Swedish relaxation on their websites.

Skills are getting refined, client base grows, supporting evidence increases and I am very optimistic of the future of the massage profession in the USA and the world.

Hi Gordon.

I agree   as you said:” Too many massage therapists are falling off that platform...”

agree with you what you have said on schools. I mean a huge amount of them that pump up during “ bobbles”

should we blame this poor   students, who had a desire to heal using their hands, and where betrayed by greedy people? Of course no. Should we disrespect them, or to feel superior? Of course no.

Is it possible in this situation to make huge different, and to prepare situation, I am absolutely positive yes.

few years ago I was invited as an consult to help to develop more clinically oriented 720 hours program at title 4 school. Basically to rewrite curriculum and to prepare staff. I believe that during 720 hours mainly clinically oriented program, students have to learn Western massage as well oriental massage. Have invited as a consultant to work with me Dr.Kaneko, who was first one to introduce America to   shiatsu . Great master of his craft. At our first meeting, program director stated, that school already teaching CTM. On my question , who is teaching CTM. She replied I have to do this. I asked what doesn't mean you have to do it? And what is your background in CTM. She replied, no background, in the evening I am searching information, reading it and next day go to class to teach. She also stated I have to do it, because nobody knows better CTM than I do. I said I'm sorry, you don't know CTM at all and just admitted.

I brought up classical example. Where I disagree with you is that you are swimming on different platform. I know that I and all industry we are on one platform, and I know that we can make different. And this is interest of each of us. If I will provide successful treatment in Los Angeles, and this person knows somebody from  town where you practicing who's suffering, he/she will recommend to look for good massage  therapist at your town. This is very little example how important is it to keep platform on surface. I mean this is very little example. Soon I will extend on this.

Best wishes.

Boris

Hi Daniel.

Not long ago when we have meet , and discussed industry, you where the one, who said to me that all people around, providing this so-called massages, and getting no salary, but living on  tips.

If this is good condition of industry then we viewing it differently. I came from country where massage therapist was very much respected by medical community, as well general public. Many many doctors use to practice hands on massage. This kind position and reputation we must get here. And we can do it.

Soon my Part 2 article will be ready and I'm planning to extend on it as much as possible.BTW. I would appreciate very much if you will write comments on what I had said in my articles. I mean to agree or disagree will be nice discussion. I hope you and maybe others will respect my request. Best wishes.Boris

PS. You mentioned, that a lot of therapists providing chair massage at airports, malls etc. as a matter of fact I know persons who are running this business in Los Angeles. Business is very down. I mean very. People don't have or afraid to spend money on massage, because meantime it is in category of luxury feels good procedure.

http://medicalmassage-edu.com/articles/211-what-type-of-massage-the...

 

http://medicalmassage-edu.com/articles/53-article37

 



Daniel Cohen said:

Gary thanks for the additional data. Regional difference is exactly what I was referring to. But this difference is also an indicator that massage is growing in popularity. Today it is found at many airports and malls around the country. Many people regard it as a necessary defense against the tension/stress of modern life. Many of my clients have brought in relatives and friends for a massage while they are visiting from different parts of the country or world. Of these a much higher percentage than locals have never had a massage. Of those perhaps half ask me to refer them to someone who does similar massage back home. I am glad to say referrals have gotten easier since many Therapists now have more than Swedish relaxation on their websites.

Skills are getting refined, client base grows, supporting evidence increases and I am very optimistic of the future of the massage profession in the USA and the world.

Boris indeed business of all type has been dropping overall. We have not been immune to the hard economic condition of the past several years. But I also know of many MTs whose businesses have grown. Luckily I can say mine is among them.

As for the tips only I talked with you about, these are a violation of the labor law. They offer low prices because they have no wages or insurance to pay. It is the government's responsibility to see that this is stopped but we get no help from the government in seeing that everyone works by the same laws. That is a serious problem when law abiding citizens are penalized for obeying the law.

I agree that massage should be more than simple luxury and eagerly await your continued videos & articles on Medical Massage.

I understand what you are saying Boris.  I just think massage therapists graduate from these schools thinking that no matter what they do, they dont have the ability to help a client(patient) like other health care providers can...I had an example yesterday...A client came in who was a runner... She had nagging left hip pain that would start after she was well into her running workouts....She went to another type of health care provider that said it was because of her tensor facia latae was too tight...because the pain would run down the side of her leg.. Now that other type of health care provider had massage therapists working for him....So when those therapists got the diagnosis they proceeded to work and stretch out  her tensor faciae latae.   After about three sessions with those people she quit seeing them because there was no change at all in her symptoms...Somehow she came to see me a couple days ago...I checked her tensor faciae latae and  found nothing wrong with it...However I did palpate a trigger point in her glutius minimus and piriformis .. I released those trigger points...I saw her on a follow up yesterday...She was very happy...Her symptoms were gone...and she was very happy...She just came in because I suggested she come in for a follow up a couple days later... My point is.. the other therapists were told that it was her tensor facia latae so all they did was work on a healthy muscle.. After all they are only massage therapists, and if the doctor says its the facia latae, it must be.  They are conditioned in school that they are inferior.

Boris Prilutsky said:

Hi Gordon.

I agree   as you said:” Too many massage therapists are falling off that platform...”

agree with you what you have said on schools. I mean a huge amount of them that pump up during “ bobbles”

should we blame this poor   students, who had a desire to heal using their hands, and where betrayed by greedy people? Of course no. Should we disrespect them, or to feel superior? Of course no.

Is it possible in this situation to make huge different, and to prepare situation, I am absolutely positive yes.

few years ago I was invited as an consult to help to develop more clinically oriented 720 hours program at title 4 school. Basically to rewrite curriculum and to prepare staff. I believe that during 720 hours mainly clinically oriented program, students have to learn Western massage as well oriental massage. Have invited as a consultant to work with me Dr.Kaneko, who was first one to introduce America to   shiatsu . Great master of his craft. At our first meeting, program director stated, that school already teaching CTM. On my question , who is teaching CTM. She replied I have to do this. I asked what doesn't mean you have to do it? And what is your background in CTM. She replied, no background, in the evening I am searching information, reading it and next day go to class to teach. She also stated I have to do it, because nobody knows better CTM than I do. I said I'm sorry, you don't know CTM at all and just admitted.

I brought up classical example. Where I disagree with you is that you are swimming on different platform. I know that I and all industry we are on one platform, and I know that we can make different. And this is interest of each of us. If I will provide successful treatment in Los Angeles, and this person knows somebody from  town where you practicing who's suffering, he/she will recommend to look for good massage  therapist at your town. This is very little example how important is it to keep platform on surface. I mean this is very little example. Soon I will extend on this.

Best wishes.

Boris

Whats interesting is that if you are a new therapist.(or an experienced one). It might be better economically if you set up in an area that already has lots of massage therapists as opposed to an area that has few...kinda counter intuitive.

Daniel Cohen said:

Gary thanks for the additional data. Regional difference is exactly what I was referring to. But this difference is also an indicator that massage is growing in popularity. Today it is found at many airports and malls around the country. Many people regard it as a necessary defense against the tension/stress of modern life. Many of my clients have brought in relatives and friends for a massage while they are visiting from different parts of the country or world. Of these a much higher percentage than locals have never had a massage. Of those perhaps half ask me to refer them to someone who does similar massage back home. I am glad to say referrals have gotten easier since many Therapists now have more than Swedish relaxation on their websites.

Skills are getting refined, client base grows, supporting evidence increases and I am very optimistic of the future of the massage profession in the USA and the world.              

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