Muscle-renewal massage for athletes, weekend warriors, and everyone becoming the best they can be

About the Massage Profession

Here are some important thoughts about what massage is and isn't from the straight-talking Sandy Fritz, one of the preeminent massage educators and practitioners, and the author of numerous massage textbooks:

"Embrace massage therapy for the value it has: fantastic wellness care, support for well-being, management of stress, pain and supports functional mobility.

Massage therapy can also be an active part of rehabilitation, mental health care, medical treatment within the medical care environment as well as sport performance BUT massage therapists are support care and should have oversight by the medical team either on site or through referral and cooperation. Massage Therapist certainly can work autonomously in the health and wellness sector but provide the best care for complex and fragile clients as part of a team.

If you want to function as a physical therapist then commit to the education it takes to earn that credential. Same for other sport and medical professionals. Otherwise be excellent at what we do. Work with supervision and learn to part of the broader team.

We are fortunate that massage is available as a health and wellness service outside of the medical environment. Actually we really need to appreciate how lucky we are to be able to practice massage independently, whether in private practice or in wellness spa/clinic settings.

At entry level massage therapists are typically licensed with between 500 and 1000 contact hours of education. This level of education is fine for wellness care if scope of practice is respected and the education is solid and well presented. We really are in a unique situation. What other licensed occupation can do this?

I am just going to say it. Some people are embarrassed to say they are massage therapists so they put additional adjectives in their title such as sports massage or medical massage or manual therapy and there are other words used as well. Or they make claims that are unrealistic or use modality based language like deep tissue or a million acronyms (ABC massage) to sound special. When I speak about massage therapy, I am embarrassed by some of the things we do to sound special. Therapeutic massage is special and we are uniquely positioned to help people in multiple environments without having go through medical oversight for access to massage. Our ability to function in the wellness service industry is a gift we are able to give. Respect it."

--Sandy Fritz, massage practitioner, instructor, textbook author (from her Facebook page)


Also from Sandy Fritz:


OK--I do not think "medical massage" is a good term to use. It is confusing. It is used by some to reflect that they provide curative work, orthopedic focus, bill insurance, avoid massage for relaxation, do not work in a spa and the confusion is frustrating. There are no specific massage methods that are "medical".

Massage Therapy adapted to the Medical Setting is much more clear. If massage is provided in a medical setting then there is an expectation of increased knowledge relevant to the setting.

AND this applies to the other settings- Sport and Fitness and Wellness/Spa. There are no specific massage methods that are sport or spa. ERRR."

--Sandy Fritz, massage practitioner, instructor, textbook author (from her Facebook page)