Reflecting on the changes that have occurred in our industry in the last few years, we can now see massage firmly entrenched in the private healthcare system after the government’s review of natural therapies. Myotherapy has increased in popularity in both professional associations and course accessibility across Australia. What this brings is a greater diversity to the field of massage and musculoskeletal health. This is definitely reflected in the topics/workshops offered at conferences and training around Australia and indeed the world.
Recent research is dumping old paradigms such as: “muscle knots,” joints mysteriously going “out of alignment,” “posture equals pain” and other dis-proven concepts that were taken for granted for so long. This can be very confusing (for all of us) and leads to a lot of perplexity for therapists as they try to find their identity, or perhaps change what they do as a therapist.
Why do I need to find my identity as a therapist?
A huge part of your identity is going to be defined by training, essentially what you have been taught to do. All qualified therapists are going to have a common level of basic knowledge (typically the Diploma of Remedial Massage). But, what you choose to study on top of this is going to have a huge impact on how you treat, your philosophy and practice. For this reason, it is a very good idea that you spend some time investigating many different approaches to care.
One simple way to achieve this is using social media to join discussion groups associated with massage, myotherapy, physiotherapy and health. This AMT blog is good place to start. Getting exposure to new ideas is essential to helping you develop, grow and change as a therapist. It can get pretty lonely as a therapist sometimes (working in ‘solitary confinement’ of a treatment room) and these mediums will help you to feel connected and grow.
Once you begin exploring the approaches, research, discussions and theories behind what we do, get out there and find courses that match with things that appeal the most. By scouring the nooks and crannies of social media to guide you to the training you want, you can definitely develop and find your “self” as a massage and myotherapist.