I’ve been a massage therapist for over 15 years now and I love what I do. However, there is so much room for improvement to meet the needs of our clients. The biggest being, how we as healthcare providers diagnose musculoskeletal injuries, treatment protocols, when to follow insurance guidelines and when to break free of them and realistic expectations of the body and what it’s capable of doing as it pertains to time.
My first job out of massage school was working for a Chiropractor at a Family Doctors office in Scottsdale, Arizona. I chose to work here because I wanted to learn the harder science behind disease and injury. Massage therapists nation-wide are not allowed to diagnose. Meaning, we are licenses are not enough to label an injury like tendonitis, level 2 tear or bursitis. This is both an advantage and disadvantage.
Not being able to diagnose is a disadvantage because we do not get the formal training to better communicate within the medical community. If a doctor asks me what a clients’ injury is, I can only use Lehman terms, for example, stiffness, soreness, tender to touch, hot to touch, visibly swollen, red, splotchy, discolored Etc. This lack of communication prevents me from A) being taken seriously within the healthcare community and B) making any high level decisions about the clients care.
The benefits of not diagnosing has turned out to be my greatest asset.