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Features Op-Ed
From the Editor: Fall 2013

I have the privilege of taking over the reins as editor of Massage Therapy Canada. We thank the previous editor, Maria DiDanieli, for maintaining such a high quality publication.


September 27, 2013
By Mari-Len De


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I have the privilege of taking over the reins as editor of Massage Therapy Canada. We thank the previous editor, Maria DiDanieli, for maintaining such a high quality publication.

Massage Therapy Canada is proud of its commitment to the massage therapy profession and to promoting the health of Canadians. If historical statistics are any indication, massage therapy is well positioned to play a greater role in the health-care landscape.

Based on data from the Canadian Community Health Survey, Canadians are increasingly seeking complementary and alternative health care. Between 1998 and 1999 about 3.8 million people reported having used an alternative health practitioner. In 2003, the number increased to 5.4 million.

A 2006 study by Vancouver-based Fraser Institute reported 74 per cent of Canadians had used at least one complementary or alternative medicine in their lives. Of this number, 35 per cent used massage therapy, an increase from the 23 per cent who reported receiving massage therapy in 1997.

Clearly, people are happy with massage therapy as an alternative health-care service, as these studies indicate. There’s huge potential for Canada’s massage therapy practitioners to take advantage of this information, with the objective of increasing the profile of the profession across Canada – if they can move forward with a unified voice.

In almost all professions, it is common to have differing views on certain issues. As intelligent beings, this is to be expected, and massage therapists are no different. The idea is to not focus solely on the differences, but instead start with the common goals and aspirations of the profession, and let that be the guide to work through those differences.

Every massage therapist’s goal is to help alleviate a client’s health condition. It makes sense professionally and economically: a satisfied client is likely to return and refer friends and family to the practice.

Like other complementary and alternative health practices, massage therapy has great potential to help alleviate the country’s many health-care woes and lighten the pressure on an already constricted public health system. To a degree, it is already doing its part, but so much more can be achieved through greater collaboration

Massage therapists’ associations across Canada are proactive in their efforts to provide quality continuing education for members and strive to maintain a high standard for the profession. As well, increasing attention to research fuels the goal of raising the profile of the profession to the health-care community and the general public.

There are great challenges ahead – part of the growing pains of a relatively young profession – but the opportunities are even greater. There is no doubt Canada’s massage therapy professionals will rise to the challenge and grab hold of the opportunities to make the profession great and at par with other older health-care professions.

Now, let’s get back to the drawing board, shall we?

Mari-Len De Guzman, Editor


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