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Introducing myself...and asking for career input

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  • #16
    Hi David,

    I am dual licensed as a DC (Chiropractor) and a LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist). The majority of my practice is massage therapy, and has been since about 1999.

    I haven't been around much, due to a flood and some family member health issues. So, I don't check back often as of late. But, here is some info to just hopefully give you food for thought:

    I would suggest that if you decide to go the massage therapist route, you do the work you need to in order to get through school and get licensed, and then run your practice in the way you see fit, as is acceptable within the boundaries of the laws for the profession. There is a lot of leeway there. So, you really can do a lot with it.

    If you prefer AT licensure, I can't give you any information on that, but it looks like you've had some good input.

    As for looking into other fields to spend your GI bill monies, you can look into a number of educational options in the somatics fields, and these would compliment the style of work you may be interested in providing. I'd probably suggest looking into what it takes for to become a Hanna Somatics Educator over a Feldenkrais practitioner at this point. There is a lady by the name of Martha Peterson who teaches. You have a few options with her. If you have the background to take her Somatics Coaching class, that work is covered in a long week-end. If you want to just get the HSE education, I believe that is in long weeks over the period of 3 years. You can also look at the Novato School and Somatics Systems Institute for educational information.

    And, if you do look into Feldenkrais work, start with this thread. It will be helpful. The Mind Body Studies with Mia Segal comes to mind as a possible place to train.

    Since you are already a personal trainer, there is no reason why you can't use that information to work with your patients/clients if you become an LMT. However, it's not easy making a practice flourish, so you have to know that it will take time. Many of us are a bit like "starving artists".
    C.O. ( gender: ) - LMT, BS(Anatomy), DC
    Music Fog... pick a song to listen to... you can't go wrong.
    Need relaxation samples for your office? I have made a Deep Relaxation Massage Music Pandora Station and have others that may also be useful - about 8 massage music stations and about 49 other nifty options.


    • #17

      I sent you a PM, but in case you don't get it, I'm just going to throw out there that you may want to look into some other healthcare professions too, since you have a GI bill.

      If you can use the GI money to give yourself an education to get yourself a decent paying job, you can always follow your heart later.

      I am sure a number of people on this forum who have more access to medical facilities can give you input on the fields I am mentioning below in more detail.

      You may want to consider looking into the following:
      • Dosimetry (which I have been told in the past allows you to pretty much take a job wherever you like in the USA, when you are good at it. They also tend to have pretty decent hours of work, from what I have been told by a patient of mine who does this kind of work)
      • a sonographer program (where they teach you how to perform echocardiograms, dopplers and the like.
      • an x-ray tech program
      • Audiology
      • Speech Pathology
      Obviously each of these have certain skillsets that you will need to learn or perhaps even have prior education. But, you may find that there is something interesting in at least one that is a fit for you.

      Just throwing it out there. Maybe some other people can give you some other ideas you had not thought of up to this point.
      C.O. ( gender: ) - LMT, BS(Anatomy), DC
      Music Fog... pick a song to listen to... you can't go wrong.
      Need relaxation samples for your office? I have made a Deep Relaxation Massage Music Pandora Station and have others that may also be useful - about 8 massage music stations and about 49 other nifty options.


      • #18
        Originally posted by Gregory View Post
        Hi David,

        What is the scope of massage therapy in your region? Here in New York, massage therapy includes a large range of touch modalities, most of which are arguably not "massage." I am currently attending massage school. I practice a form of "touch therapy" that is not really massage, but is technically shoved under the umbrella of massage therapy. Here is NY's definition of massage therapy:
        § 7801. Definition of practice of massage therapy.
        The practice of the profession of massage therapy is defined as engaging in applying a scientific system of activity to the muscular structure of the human body by means of stroking, kneading, tapping and vibrating with the hands or vibrators for the purpose of improving muscle tone and circulation.

        And here are further guidelines on scope of practice. Notice how it ranges from physical to mental, from skin to deeper structures, from scientific to vitalistic (pseudo-scientific and anti-scientific), and from massage to other touch modalities:
        Massage therapists are licensed health professionals who apply a variety of scientifically developed massage techniques to the soft tissue of the body to improve muscle tone and circulation.
        Massage therapists work to enhance well-being, reduce the physical and mental effects of stress and tension, prevent disease, and restore health.
        Massage therapists use many different massage techniques and methods. These include the following, among others:
        Swedish medical massage
        Connective Tissue Massage
        Neuromuscular Massage
        Polarity Therapy

        As you can see, contradictions and hypocrisy are written into the law. While it forces you to get a massage therapy license to touch clients, it also gives you the freedom to practice many different forms of touch therapy that might have very little in common with massage. My school even teaches "forming a ki ball in and around the client," which sounds to me like they are including non-touch in massage therapy, by attempting to affect peripersonal space and beyond.

        Massage school has been a dreadful deluge of misinformation and militant defense of ignorance. I need to spend just as much time researching plausible information on my own outside class as I do studying class content. In other words, I have to study double to do damage control. That might not be much different in other manual therapy professions, but the massage therapy teachers I've encountered seem to be especially steeped in doubtful information. With adequate drive to self-educate, however, there is no need to follow in their unfortunate footsteps. I think there is much that can be salvaged from a massage therapy license, which is why I chose it.

        I mainly use very light skin contact to catalyze ideomotion (non-conscious non-volitional movement). I also use passive skin contact such as skin stretch. Occasionally I'll go as far as to use oscillations. I don't prescribe "exercises." I just touch the client to help them stop restricting their own reflexive movement. For home care, I tell clients something like: unassisted ideomotion has been helpful for me. Aside from assessing red/yellow/green flag pathologies, I think the most important checkpoint is asking clients if their complaints respond to movement/change of position. If yes, they might be helped by touch that targets abnormal neurodynamics, and that is what I provide.

        Good luck and please let us know what you decide.
        Sorry, I missed your question here. In Virginia the definition is the following:

        "Massage therapy" means the treatment of soft tissues for therapeutic purposes by the application of massage and bodywork techniques based on the manipulation or application of pressure to the muscular structure or soft tissues of the human body."

        So it may be a bit narrower than New York's. I wonder how one could integrate movement and manual therapy, with exercise into a practice without stepping on too many professional toes in my state? Do you worry about that in NY?

        Sounds like you have an interesting practice! Like a combination of Diane and Barrett's work - with your own thinking, of course.

        Also, if you have time: what massage therapy education would you recommend to avoid the common 'energy balls and reiki' kind of stuff? The most affordable school in my area is called 'The American Spirit Institute,' which causes me to look quickly at the ceiling, but I may have to bite the bullet and go just to get access to better training.



        • #19
          The shoulder is one of the most important joints of in the human body because it supports our everyday lives at home, work and in society.

          The shoulder is made up of three bones – the clavicle (collarbone), the humerus (long arm bone), and the scapula (the shoulder blade). The top of the upper arm bone, which is shaped like a ball, fits into a shallow socket in the shoulder blade.

          Strong ligaments hold the ball (humerus) in the socket. On their part, the rotator cuff muscles enable us to lift and rotate our arm. An issue with any part of this architecture can cause pain in the shoulder. Shoulder pain is diagnosed through physical examination, X-ray, and MRI.