How Many Years Of School To Be A Therapist latest 2023

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Keys to Choosing the Right Massage Therapist

Let’s face it, there are a lot of massage therapists in our community. With two top massage schools and several other corporate run schools, this area is saturated with many massage professionals. But how do you choose the right owner, is it by trade name, references or price? Although cost may inevitably be the factor, it is important that it is not the only reason behind choosing just one therapist from the group.

Number one is the bodybuilder you selected went to school? As insignificant as this may seem, it should be an important determining factor in the choice of therapist. More importantly, how many hours of training does he or she have and how long ago your practitioners last trained. If your practitioner has been a therapist for five years and hasn’t read a book since his nine-month course, is he really qualified to treat your sciatic pain? A competent and serious practitioner continues his training by striving, even beyond massage therapy, to acquire a better knowledge of the body and its functioning.

Number two, is the practitioner certified by the National Certification Board? It is a requirement to practice in the state of Virginia and also a barometer for understanding the fundamentals of bodywork. If your practitioner has just left school, there is a 60-day grace period before the requirement is imposed. This is due to the lengthy application process which can take 4-6 weeks. Additionally, once the practitioner is certified, they must obtain additional credentials by becoming certified by the Board of Nursing. Proper accreditation is mandatory when selecting a qualified therapist.

Number three, is your therapist listening? Massage is a very intimate engagement. Few therapists take the time to ask questions about your concerns, review a complete medical history, and advise you accordingly based on your condition as it exists. Many conditions are not recommended for massage and it is essential that your therapist can easily spot any condition that could put the patient or practitioner at risk. Even simple Swedish relaxation strokes can prove dangerous for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. Practitioners should complete a comprehensive health history to determine which massage techniques, if any, might cause more harm than expected.

Number four, does your therapist respect your privacy? Often, patients reveal a wealth of information about themselves, from why their knee hurts to why they feel inadequate in life. It is the responsibility of the therapist to refrain from sharing the idiosyncrasy of his patients. It is often necessary to share a certain amount of information with other health professionals, in particular when it concerns the well-being of the patient, but only if the patient gives his authorization. It is horribly inappropriate and unethical to release patient information to anyone not deemed appropriate. Although you may not know if the therapist has disclosed personal information, you can gauge the person’s ethics by their professionalism. Does your therapist talk about others in the session, or can you hear them talking about other patients in the lobby? If you can answer yes to either of these questions, imagine the worst.

number five; can you trust your therapist? Spring boarding of the last point of intimacy, the therapist-patient relationship is the one that is being built. It is important that a therapist respects your space; lets you fall asleep whenever you want or gives you the space to talk continuously. The therapist must be an excellent delegate in the relationship, knowing when to give and take as little as possible from you as a patient. After all, you come to them for healing. The therapist must be disinterested in each session. Therapy is about the patient and the patient guides the treatment. It is important never to feel directed, but rather to feel facilitated.

number six; Does your therapist respect your boundaries? This is an important but often overlooked stipulation for treatment. Often, due to the intimacy of the therapeutic relationship, the therapist may feel vulnerable. However, it is never acceptable for a therapist to talk about themselves all the time. When you come for treatment, the therapist should not be on autopilot during a monologue. A solid therapeutic massage requires intelligence and it is necessary to stay focused during the session to ensure that all your needs are met. Also, after a while of personal banter, it’s less about the patient and more about the therapist. Alternatively, therapists are not ethically allowed to step outside their scope of practice. Even if you hysterically break down into a sob, it is not appropriate for the therapist to explore the reasons why. As professionals, we understand and sympathize with emotional release as your body’s muscular system clings to various stagnant emotions. Thereafter, therapists must recognize the release and allow you to treat without interruption.

Seventh, does your therapist respect his scope of practice. Sure, massage therapists know a lot about the body, at least the good ones, but so does a nurse, surgical technician and/or nutritionist, but does that make them qualified to diagnose a condition. Absolutely not, in fact you should be tired if a massage therapist rushes to give you the reasons for your aches and pains. Truth be told, it’s hard to assess the root cause of most muscle dysfunction unless there’s been some trauma or accident, in which case you’ll know more than we do. Having a therapist assess in terms of opinions on visual assessments is more in line with their scope, not root causes. For example, I see your shoulder is higher on your right side, do you use the mouse with that hand. The therapist should guide you through the process of self-discovery helping you uncover the secret to your muscle mishap.

number eight; does your therapist speak the language? Let’s imagine for a moment that you have seen a massage therapist for a rare condition that you were being treated by a medical specialist, who recommended that you seek expertise in massage therapy. It would be important for the massage therapist to contact the doctor and take any advice they have in their therapeutic practice. But, let’s say for a moment that the therapist could not adequately communicate with the doctor in easily understood medical terms. This can be frustrating for the other healthcare professional and leave the patient in limbo when proper communication cannot be achieved. We all have our areas of expertise, but it is important to communicate in the same language. The correct use of medical terms is crucial in the discussion with the patient and provides clarity to ensure understanding.

Number nine; Does your therapist have an open mind? There are many modes of care and what works for one practitioner may not work for another. However, it is imperative for a therapist to be versatile and adaptable to the patient. If you love reflexology and your therapist hates this modality, this probably isn’t a good match. Also, if you’re a proactive patient who likes to research and find a technique that interests you and your practitioner is capable, shouldn’t they at least try to work with you, after all, it’s your body.

Number ten; does your therapist meet your needs? It is not uncommon to have different specialties and not all therapist care to perform all types of massage. It is healthy to have a few different practitioners to meet your needs. Having a therapist for Swedish massage (relaxation), a corrective or deep tissue therapist and one for a specialty like lymphatic or reflexology will help balance your therapy team. Sometimes it’s nice to relax and sleep during a massage while other times you wake up with a knot in your neck that needs relieving. Having a handful of different types of practitioners at your disposal is imperative and will help you decipher which body styles are best for you.

Massage is an emerging profession with many newly certified therapists every day. As an instructor and bodywork professional for many years, I have endeavored to educate the public about the many medical benefits of massage. Massage can be an incredible preventative and restorative experience when administered by an educated and skilled therapist. We shop for many things in life, from appliances to automobiles, but are we shopping for our bodies? Don’t settle for the cheapest act in town, as it may cost you more than money. Finding your optimal therapist takes time and is not an easy task. I have worked with amazing therapists, growing therapists and seasoned therapists. If you are working with a therapist who needs an evolution even though it is not your responsibility, please share your thoughts on areas for improvement. Send an anonymous letter or notify the receptionist, manager or owner; the one you deem most appropriate. This will not only help the therapist but the profession as a whole moving forward.

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