Massage Therapy Canada

Features Research
From the Editor: Fall 2011

At a recent chiropractic conference, Dr. James Chestnut, a well-known DC and wellness educator, said: “It’s not about being loyal to the profession – it’s about being loyal to the people we serve.” This statement is applicable across disciplines but also merits closer examination, as it may be easy to lose sight of the distinction between its two elements – the “profession” and “the people we serve” – and thus misplace the “loyalty” it is calling for.


November 2, 2011
By Maria DiDanieli

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At a recent chiropractic conference, Dr. James Chestnut, a well-known DC and wellness educator, said: “It’s not about being loyal to the profession – it’s about being loyal to the people we serve.” This statement is applicable across disciplines but also merits closer examination, as it may be easy to lose sight of the distinction between its two elements – the “profession” and “the people we serve” – and thus misplace the “loyalty” it is calling for.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines profession in a number of ways. For our purpose, the relevant definitions are “a calling requiring specialized knowledge” and “the whole body of persons engaged in that calling.” But even with these factors in place, a profession still requires a number of functions in order to flourish. These may include setting guidelines for safety and efficacy; establishing associations and regulatory bodies, and determining jurisdictions in which members are recognized; building a structure for lifelong learning; and initiating and/or funding the collection of data in order to control for quality while improving methods and increasing resources. Though complex and laudable, all of these activities arise from, and are only secondary to, a more fundamental, primary purpose. As such, they are – or should be – dynamic, fluid and objective. They should not be treated as dogma or be based on personal or group interests, or emotionally upheld traditional philosophies.

What is this primary purpose? Serving a clientele as safely and effectively as possible. In massage therapy, as in other health-care disciplines, this service is embodied in attempting to alleviate the suffering, on various levels, of those who seek out a therapist for care. This should be the sole immovable tenet of any professional group, to which each of its members is loyal and accountable, and the cornerstone upon which all other developments should be constructed.

Fortunately, a firm consciousness of this concept is evident among many massage therapists. We are privileged to feature some of these in our Fall 2011 issue and I would like to invite you to share in, and benefit from, their knowledge. Like all other aspects of your profession, this publication, and the list of those who contribute to it, is not ever meant to be static. To this end, I also invite you to contact me at mdidanieli@annexweb.com with your own ideas and/or submissions.

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Before leaving you to our Fall 2011 issue, I would like to take a moment to commend our previous editor, Jill Rogers, a founder of this publication and its owner and publisher (and contributor) for many years. Without her vision to educate massage therapists via informative and easily accessible articles about technique, practice management, education and more, Massage Therapy Canada would not be the well-regarded publication it has become. I wish blessings and good fortune for Jill in her future endeavours, and thank her for establishing a model of quality and dedication worth striving to uphold.

In good health,
Maria DiDanieli


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