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Features Op-Ed
From the Editor: Spring 2014

Canadian philosopher of media and communications Marshall McLuhan was a man ahead of his time.


April 7, 2014
By Mari-Len De


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Canadian philosopher of media and communications Marshall McLuhan was a man ahead of his time. He theorized, back in the early 1960s, that “electronic interdependence” would bring together once-fragmented, individualistic humankind into a “global village.” This vision was realized with the advent of the Internet, transcending geographic barriers and enabling real-time, global communication.

McLuhan is also more popularly known for coining the phrase, “The medium is the message,” which means the way by which a message is delivered puts a lot of weight on how the message is perceived.

The phrase was first introduced in McLuhan’s book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, published in 1964. In a later book that elaborated his theory on the importance of the medium, McLuhan theorized that modern media have become extensions of human senses, enabling people to expand their perception of the world to an extent that would not be otherwise possible without the media. The book, published in 1967, was titled The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects. It’s not a typographical error. The title actually says, “massage.”  

An excerpt from the book could provide an explanation why it was an apt metaphor: “All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered. The medium is the massage.”

Today’s massage therapists and massage therapy practices have at their disposal a vast array of mediums for delivering their key messages and promote their practice to their community and the public, in general. Each medium has its own strengths and weakness that can make or break your message. The key is finding the most effective vehicle that will serve your purpose.  

The health and wellness benefits of massage therapy is an excellent message; the challenge is getting that message across in a way that will make the most impact and will result in positive perceptions and actions. The world today is in a state of information overdrive. With the advent of social media and the shift to a 24-hour news cycle, it is very important to ensure the vehicle used to deliver the message of massage is as great as the message itself.

And what better way to promote the benefits of massage than a great client experience and excellent results. A satisfied client will return and will likely bring in new clients.  

After all, as McLuhan puts it, the medium is the massage.

Mari-Len De Guzman, Editor


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