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From the Editor: Fall 2012

I find myself surrounded by signs of renewal


September 27, 2012
By Maria DiDanieli

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I find myself surrounded by signs of renewal. No, it’s not spring. But nature’s autumnal shift of gears, by means of its usual lively show, is not, if you think about it, an irony of defiance but the meticulous implementation of a new cycle. While aware of its environment, each element works from its inside-out to continuously evolve its existence and, in turn, sustain the Whole to which it belongs.

There is an interesting stir, as well, with regards to the profession of massage therapy (MT). Not all of it resembles the germinating of strong roots – in fact, some of it can appear quite more like weeds than seeds. For instance, several jurisdictions are still striving for – some struggling with – regulation of MT by their governments. Educators debate over the best course for MT training. Credibility, for some elements of MT, is still an issue. And, in the midst of all this, the profession continues to be hit with controversy as its identity becomes erroneously intertwined with alternative, somewhat more recreational, incarnations of touch therapy. 

It’s been said that the difference between a weed and a flower is in our perception of its potential or utility. Although the profession seems somewhat riddled with weeds, I prefer to see it as strewn with seeds for potential! Each new growth holds, embedded within the complexities of its presentation, a branch on which MT can demonstrate its unique capabilities, its potential for benefit, and its place in our health-care systems and societies in general.

I understand that the thought of tackling the enormity of the controversy, the scope of domestic conflicts and the challenges of meeting external requirements and/or streamlining internal practices – all without compromising the rich diversity that defines your group – can appear intimidating. In fact, with respect to difficult issues, I think the profession of MT is at an important crossroads. And here is where I find the spirit of renewal and growth that I referred to earlier. The work by individuals and groups, within the profession, toward realizing the goals of establishing credibility, increasing utility and improving quality of service represents the recognition of the need to harness what is already known and build on it in order for the profession to evolve into a strong, viable and sustainable entity. 

We should keep in mind, however, that this work should not be carried out in defiance, per se, of the current milieu, but in concert with it – that is, in preparation for a new cycle of the profession’s life. It should not be about countering each blow coming from the outside-in, but should be a process that, while aware of the challenges from its environment, works from the inside-out to develop the ability to withstand them. It should not herald the death of established ideals, in response to external pressures, but establish a blueprint for their progress. What’s more, it should not be about furthering one element over another, but about growing each of them in order to sustain the profession as a Whole.

Nature works this way. Despite external blows and outward appearances, nothing is dying; nature, as a whole, is always in a state of renewal that proceeds internally within even the tiniest blade of grass. Keep at it! Keep working – meticulously, with a big picture in mind, and from within – to renew and support the evolution that you chose to be a part of when you entered your profession. 

Bien à vous,


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