For a prospective client, knowing the difference between massage and bodywork will make for better choices on whom to hire for your needs. For practitioners, a happy customer is good for business, and an educated customer is generally a happier one. Unfortunately, confusion persists regarding the difference between massage and bodywork.
Clients may think they are getting a massage and end up sore and perturbed after a deep tissue treatment. A massage practitioner attempts to address a shoulder injury and instead, worsens the injury. (True story based upon case history.)
First off, let’s be clear that neither discipline is “better.” If your washing machine is broken, you call an appliance repair person, but that doesn’t make him “better” than an auto mechanic–who might be able to use his current skill set to figure out how to fix the washer–just appropriate for your need.
Even talking to fellow professionals sometimes yields a blank on the difference between the two disciplines. For example, the web site MassageTherapy.com tries to define “bodywork” in one sentence:
“Various forms of touch therapies that may use manipulation, movement, and/or repatterning to affect structural changes to the body.”
After 20 years in the profession, this author understands what is meant by “manipulation” in this context, but a Chiropractor also uses the term “manipulation” when adjusting the spine. Within the context of their respective professions, both practitioners manipulate tissues to “affect structural changes.” Not clarifying exactly what is meant by “manipulation” causes confusion: If a bodyworker manipulates the way a chiropractor does, it is a legal and ethical violation of our profession.
If the potential customer doesn’t know this vital difference between scopes of practice, and the practitioner uses terms that are only self-evident to other professionals the client doesn’t get what they wanted or needed, and the practitioner loses potential clients.
What is massage?
The term “massage” is generally considered non-specific soft tissue work. As MassageTherapy.com notes:
"The purpose of the practice of massage is to enhance the general health and well-being of the recipient".
However, the term “massage” is included in manual therapy disciplines that perform tissue manipulation for specific goals. For instance, Maya Abdominal Massage “guides internal abdominal organs into their proper position for optimum health and well-being.” This is manipulation of the tissues to “affect structural changes to the body,” which makes it bodywork and not massage, according to the above definitions.
For the prospective client, you want a massage if you:
·Seek general treatment of your back, neck, arms and legs that leaves you feeling relaxed and maybe a little nurtured.
·Don’t have a specific injury you want addressed.
·Would like a treatment that uses soothing, lighter pressure.
Massage professionals often use natural, therapeutic oils to enhance the relaxing aspect of what they do, helping them glide their hands over your skin to make the treatment more soothing. This means, of course, that you generally disrobe and lie on a treatment table, covered by a sheet or blanket. Clients often find that regular weekly or monthly treatments lower their overall stress level and make their body more comfortable on a day-to-day basis.
What is bodywork?
As noted above, it’s true that a bodyworker performs therapeutic treatment methods designed to address and resolve a client’s specific issues or injuries. For example, if you injured your hip running last weekend, the right bodyworker could resolve the pain in a handful of treatments. However, this assumes there is no pathology like torn ligaments or muscles, which leads to the following practical definition of a bodyworker:
1. Addresses structural conditions using clinical manual therapy skills (e.g. deep tissue, trigger point, myofascial release) designed to manipulate the body’s tissues in order to resolve a specific problem.
2. Communicates with the client and other health professionals in order to assist the rehabilitation process. (e.g. charting, writing summary of findings using anatomical landmarks so others can see what happened and what needs to occur for rehabilitation to take place.)
3. Has sufficient assessment skills to quickly detect if there are issues outside their scope of practice and can refer to qualified professionals.
In addition, there are two main ethical aspects of qualified bodyworker:
1. Performs sufficient intake to determine appropriateness of accepting you as a client.
2. After treatment process begins, can determine what part of condition is treatable within their scope of practice, and which part (if any) requires appropriate referral. Often, successful rehabilitation requires a team approach, and an ethical practitioner will help you chart the most direct path from injured to well.
In addition to these criteria, look for some variation of the “Three-and-Out” rule. If a client is not experiencing noticeable improvement after three treatments, there may be another issue outside one’s area of expertise which needs addressing first. This highlights the importance of point 2 above. If the practitioner starts giving you a pep talk about how “these things take time” in order to justify a long series of treatments, you may have to reconsider whether the person is qualified to help your condition.
Differences in results
Massage feels good at the time of treatment, lasting for a period of time afterwards. But it generally results in short-term relief of persistent issues (if they exist) whose symptoms return in 2-3 days.
There is a difference between well and asymptomatic. Being out of pain is not necessarily being well. The best way to know if you are well is when symptoms do not recur with regularity, requiring regular treatments. Sometimes, there are subtle signs below the pain threshold: reduced function, strength, persistent tension, and soreness upon waking which diminishes with activity.
If you relate to the above paragraphs, perhaps you need a bodyworker.
How to pick the right practitioner
Referrals are the most successful way to find a good professional. Here are some questions to ask of others who previously sought treatment:
·How long did you hurt before you sought treatment from this practitioner?
·How many treatments before you saw significant improvement?
·Did you see other practitioners first? How much did they help?
·How long did the results last after you were released by the practitioner?
The goal here is to get a fuller picture of the prospective practitioner beyond: Are they good? People may not like to admit that they made a less-than-optimal choice, and sometimes they are uneducated about what they should have expected from the treatment. Also, their needs may not relate much to yours. The above questions help you quantify the practitioner’s skills, in order to determine if they are right for you.
Howard Nemerov is the developer of the Nemerov Method of neuromuscular therapy.
Dołączył: 05 Mar 2008 Posty: 214 Skąd: Poznań
Wysłany: 2009-07-30, 19:29
Źle wprowadziłeś wątek, powinno być: Massage or bodywork. Bodyworker to potoczne pojęcie osób zajmujących się różnego rodzaju terapiami i metodami pracy z ciałem a także poprzez ciało. Nie będę tłumaczył, bo ufam iż przeciętny terapeuta zna na tyle angielski. Sam wątek to temat rzeka, najkrócej mówiąc pojęcie bodywork jest o wiele szerszym niz pojęcie masaż. Obecnie na świecie funkcjonują obok siebie pojęcia massage therapist, bodyworker i soft tissue practitioner, ale prawnie stosuje się tylko to pierwsze pojęcie. podobnie jest z metodyką.
Przy okazji termin manipulacje nie odnosi się tylko do terminologii chiropraktycznej. Np legendarna już ksiązka " Soft tissue manipulation L. Chaitowa jest jednym z tematów przewodnich w zachodnich szkołach o programach therapeutic massage technician.
W gruncie rzeczy chodzi jednak o nieco inne zjawisko, tzw : Świadomego masażu - świadomego zabiegu, główna zasada to fakt: iz potencjalny pacjent wie kto wykonuje zabieg i jaka to będzie metoda lub metodyka, dotyczy to tzw wprowadzenia podczas ewaluacji pacjenta.
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