I know what you're thinking...What revolution is there in Massage Therapy?
If you are a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT), you may already know the answer to this question. If you're not, let me enlighten you. But first, let me ask you this: Do you want to make a difference in your life and the lives of people you meet? If you do, please read on and be empowered; if you don't, reading further may change your life!
Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, Yukon, North West Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI all have something in common: Massage Therapy is not Regulated through their Health Region; we are all accredited private institutes through an educational branch of our provincial governments and massage associations, but we are still considered secondary health care. Why?, you may ask, and you would be right to do so! Because we have only a fraction of the support we could have and, as most of us know, to make change with any governing body, the number of people who support a cause determines the strength and speed of that change!
Doctors, chiropractors, and physiotherapists also all have something in common: they are considered Primary Health Care givers; they all benefit people in one way or another in our ever-present quest for a better lifestyle; they all use extreme measures (at times) to practice. Their methods serve to help us live a healthier life and to be happy and content. The only difference (other than technique application) that Massage Therapists have is being considered secondary health care givers. Our practice focuses on soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc.) manipulation for a number of purposes (increasing joint movement, increasing circulation, improving quality of life) and yet, we are considered to be less important than other health professionals who aim for the same outcome.
Why am I telling you this? What could you possibly have to do with massage regulation? Give me a couple more minutes of your time and you may just be surprised by the answer.
Every massage therapist or massage therapy student understands how difficult it can sometimes be to see their profession grow, not only in the eyes of their clientele, but in view of the government. Not to say we aren't growing ($4-6 Million average expenditures on Massage Therapy in 2003 alone). Various Massage associations do their best to raise awareness about the benefits of Massage Therapy and the need for regulation, but we seem to be missing something very important: YOU!
May I ask you another question? Oh, good :) Do you feel like you could have more purpose in your work, that your current lifestyle could be better? If you answered yes, then you have an option you may not have realized until now: becoming a Massage Therapist. I know, easier said than done, right? NO! Any RMT out there will tell you three things: (1) what a relief it was to only have to take 2 years of training and get right to work; (2) how fulfilling it is to hear some one say "wow, I don't know what you just did, but I can actually move my neck (or other area)"; and (3) how perfect it is to make their own hours, make $25-50 per hour, and be a part of something with purpose!
You may be thinking, "Ok, what's the catch? Why does it sound like all benefit for me when you said you needed me?" We do need you! We need you to be in a Massage Therapy career; not only that, we need you to be successful in that career (which, by the employment rates, is highly obtainable) and to be content with your new lifestyle. Why? Because happy, employed professionals with a purpose in life have the kind of voice and presence we need to reach out to our Provincial Health Regions for regulation.
If this has peeked your interest even a little, I encourage you to spend some time looking into a career start or change into this ever growing field. Here are a few sites to get you started: