My Journey to Providing Medical Massage By: Rick, LMT
My Journey to Providing Medical Massage; From Construction worker to Body worker By: Rick, LMT Peaceful Spirit Massage & Wellness Centers
When I first started in massage therapy I wasn’t sure what to expect, or whether I would like it or not. I had spent most of my working life in construction, first as a carpenter, then as an industrial construction electrician; quite a different world from that of a massage therapist. However, after losing most of my central vision due to a condition known as Stargardt's disease, a complete life change was needed. It took a few years to figure out what would be a good fit for me.
In 2010, I went to Shanghai, China to teach rhythm and percussion to students at an international school where my brother taught math and science. He frequently took me to a very nice spa to get massages. In my discussions with the massage therapists, I learned that it was common in Asian societies for people with visual disabilities to become bodywork practitioners since it doesn’t require the use of eyesight. After returning home I discussed it with my family and friends, who encouraged the idea, insisting I had a natural talent for massage. I finally decided to give it a try, and enrolled at Cortiva Institute in Tucson. While unsure at first, I quickly developed a passion for therapeutic massage. I graduated with honors from their 750-hour program in September 2011, earning my Arizona state license. I received my national certification from the NCBTMB in January of 2012. Realizing how much I enjoyed facing specific challenges during treatment sessions I pursued and received a medical massage practitioner certification in December 2012.
There are many modalities and specialized disciplines in the world of massage therapy and Medical Massage Training is on the rise. The medical system in the United States is beginning to truly recognize the benefits and necessity for soft tissue therapy. I chose to write this article because so many clients have asked, “What exactly is Medical Massage? It is important to note that medical massage is not a specific modality. It is a program of advanced technique training from a variety of advanced massage disciplines, such as facial kinetics, orthopedic massage, advanced sports massage, Thai massage, and more.
Therefore, Medical Massage is more a treatment plan utilizing these advanced techniques that address a very specific issue such as: chronic migraines, whip-lash from an auto accident, sports-related injuries, and post-surgical rehabilitation, to name a few. Another key distinction about Medical is that the patient has been given a specific diagnosis from a physician. (Diagnosing is not in the scope of practice for a massage therapist.) The massage therapist becomes part of the team of care providers, working specifically to address the problem diagnosed by the physician. So there would not be a full-body treatment involved with medical massage.
I am now able to apply what I learned into my everyday massage treatments, making it possible to achieve better results for the client. I take great pride in being able to provide clients with a treatment plan that achieves maximum results in minimal time. Each and every treatment is specifically designed to meet their individual needs.
That is one reason I love working at Peaceful Spirit Massage and Wellness Centers. Every therapist is encouraged to reach their full potential in whichever disciplines they enjoy. In the future, I will continue my education in advanced therapeutic techniques such as Myoskeletal Alignment™, and Craniosacral therapy.
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