Some Licensed Massage Therapists might feel that keeping up to date with the newest research in the field of massage & health is not necessary for having a successful career as an LMT. Many of us in the field probably felt this way until quite recently when research became a part of the curriculum to recertify your massage license. Today I believe and hope that more and more LMTs are seeing the value of staying informed about the latest research in the field and know how to use it in their practice.
From “Massage Spreads Cancer” To “Massage Is Beneficial In The Healing Process”
A few years ago, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork added 3 hours of research as a requirement to recertify. Many Board Certified Therapists and LMTS that I spoke with at the time did not see the value in this requirement. They preferred to spend their continuing education dollars on other types of content.
The general education we received at massage school became outdated very quickly and most therapists are not even aware of it. When I went to massage school 23 years ago, we were taught that massage could spread cancer and it was not considered safe to massage a pregnant woman during the first trimester. Thanks to science and research, we now know that appropriately skilled touch is beneficial to both of these groups of people. It is important to understand that keeping current with the science of massage therapy benefits our clients in many ways; allowing us to more effectively and efficiently address their concerns.
Being Able To Communicate The Health Benefits Of Massage Opens New Doors For LMT´s
In many places, massage is still looked at as an alternative therapy or a luxury pampering experience, as opposed to an accepted part of healthcare. Therapists who can communicate with other health care professionals about the proven benefits of massage and develop effective, individualized treatment plans, will be looked at as trusted experts in their field. This will lead to referrals from medical providers who may have previously been unaware of what massage therapy can do for their patients.
More and more, research is giving massage therapy legitimacy in the eyes of the medical profession. New doors are being opened and new job opportunities created in hospitals, cancer centers, birthing centers, pain clinics, and the like. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, health care providers and doctors are more commonly viewing massage therapy as a legitimate option to address health concerns.
Are you ready to start your research journey? Check out the Massage Therapy Foundation. It was founded in 1990 by the American Massage Therapy Association “with the mission of advancing the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education, and community service”. The Touch Research Institute is another reputable place to start. It was established at the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1992 as the first center in the world devoted solely to the study of touch and its application in science and medicine.
We would be happy to hear about how you use research in your career as a Licensed Massage Therapists? How has research helped you work in a more effective manner with your clients for example?
Wishing you a beautiful day ahead,