Mel Cash, who runs the LSSM where I trained in sport and remedial massage therapy, wants us to change our job description to Remedial Soft Tissue Therapists. On this guest blog (on a colleague's website) he explains why:
There is certainly a huge range of massage treatments out there and this can be very confusing to people seeking a therapist. My level 5 qualification means that my skills extend beyond basic massage, and much of the continuing professional development that my colleagues and I do involves developing this further still; for instance, the osteopathic technique (also used by physiotherapists) that my last course introduced me to.
Many massage therapists have other qualifications that inform how they practice and what they can offer you. They may also be sports scientists, nutritionists, personal trainers or yoga or pilates teachers. It is increasingly common for osteopaths and physiotherapists to do a remedial massage course. My university degree in herbal medicine and health sciences gave me a deeper understanding of physiology and pathology than my initial massage training and enables me to offer herbs and advice where appropriate as part of the treatment.
It is important to check the qualifications and background of any therapist that you are thinking of seeing, including whether they are insured and what professional association they belong to. Of course, word of mouth is always the most powerful recommendation and nowadays a search of various forums is often a first step in finding a therapist. As I say to my clients, we all work in different ways so if you don't get on with the first person you see it is worth trying someone else.