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From the Editor: Winter 2013

It’s quite easy, isn’t it, to talk to patients about taking care of themselves


December 27, 2012
By Maria DiDanieli

Topics

It’s quite easy, isn’t it, to talk to patients about taking care of themselves – eat well, do exercises targeted to their condition, get good sleep, manage stress, meditate – and to underscore your advice with a recommendation to book themselves for a massage at appropriate intervals to support these efforts.

Indeed, a characteristic of your audience is that they are the optimal blend of captive and receptive: they have come to you out of need but they also recognize that you are an educated and knowledgeable practitioner with authority to speak on matters pertaining to their health. And, so, you do. You zero in on the relevant features of their presenting condition and lifestyle to provide strategies that will foster healing and achieve (and maintain) health – and you devise a meaningful way to discuss it with them that will inspire them to correct any current bad habits!

But what about the person dispensing all this advice? What about you? Longevity, in the massage therapy profession, is an issue because yours is a very physical calling that is tied in with the emotional element of caring for people in need of nurturing on a number of levels. Add to this an almost exponential development of guidelines, requirements and policies being appended to your roster of things to do to maintain your licence, and the element of running the business of your practice or contributing to the clinic in which you are employed. Although many describe the journey as gratifying and their efforts – with respect to their patients as well as the profession – as a labour of love, massage therapists are constantly required to plan and to reinvent themselves in order to continue within their vocation. Where, then, does taking care of yourself actually come in?

In this issue, your colleagues present a number of strategies to help you hit the ground running if you’re a new grad, and to ensure your survival if you’ve been in practice for a while. One sub-theme that has emerged is about walking your own talk when it comes to taking care of yourself. It’s no good telling your clients to lose weight if they observe you huffing up the stairs while clutching a steaming container of French fries. It borders on hypocrisy to recommend massage as a wellness and injury prevention tool if you don’t build time into your schedule to undergo a treatment yourself. And you’ll be able to serve your clientele, yourself and your profession better if you follow that great advice to take time in your day to regroup – to reflect on your progress, make plans for growth, read up on topics to enrich your performance and meditate. In our lead feature, Chris O’Connor, RMT, encourages massage therapists to build new and constructive habits that will enhance their value to the profession while ensuring that they build an immunity to many of the challenges to their longevity as practitioners.

Welcome to 2013 – I wish you all blessings and good health in the new year! If you have ideas for topics that you would like to see covered this year, news/developments you wish to share with your massage therapy colleagues, or comments about our articles or our www.massagetherapycanada.com website – please do not hesitate to contact me at mdidanieli@annexweb.com.

Bien à vous,


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