I sometimes wonder about the future of the massage profession and where it might be in another 20 years. I know when I first started in 1987 with my little 250 hours of training, I would have never thought I'd last this long. Back then there was no such thing as getting a job in massage - a real employee job. Any job back then was an independent contractor. My rent was $100 in my first office space in a gym and that was split between 2 people!
I think the biggest change was in having more jobs be available and the growth of massage franchises.
With more jobs available and the many massage franchises popping up looking for workers and more massage schools than ever trying to stay in business what will be in our future? (See other thread on that
I also wonder about the so called 'medical massage therapist'. I know being in WA I am 'lucky' to be able to be a contracted provider and be able to bill for my massage services. I don't have to be trained in anything specific to do so. I do have a bunch of extra training but don't even really feel like I use it anymore. I just do massage. Other massage therapists always think that they want this in their states. Here it has been a mixed blessing. Ins. companies are constantly reducing what they will pay us and the allowable benefits making it harder to work with clients and make a living.
I have a website on becoming a massage therapist - www.massage-career-guides.com
and I get more questions from people right out of high school asking if they have to take math or wanting to know what jobs are like that I had to start a section for high school students. ( I actually have mixed feelings about people right out of high school going into massage. The average age for massage therapists has been around 45 for many years. I wonder how that affects classes and how things are taught.)
I know we are working on things like the BOK which I still don't really know what it is doing or how it will be used to influence our future. I know that more research is being done and the Massage Therapy Foundation is holding their first conference. I still don't really get research. How can you measure touch? If one person does the exact same thing to 10 different people it will feel different to everyone!
I used to be totally against licensing and having more rules and regulations mainly because I was able to be so successful on just 250 hours. I have also heard horror stories of people going through 1000 hour programs and being so afraid to touch anyone that they never went into massage even after getting through school. I tend to hear more stories of MT struggling to make a living even after longer classes so I don't know what the answer is. I am a big fan of Keith Grant's White paper on licensing (www.ramblemuse.com/articles/masg_governance_rev.pdf)
but now adays I am even starting to think that a 4 year program is needed if more high schools students are wanting in.
Where is our future headed? Where do we want to go as a profession?
(this link has a few links to other articles on the future of massage and more of my thoughts on it.!)