What Do You Do?

Modality: noun ( pl. -ties) mo•dal•i•ty |mōˈdalitē|—a particular mode in which something exists or is experienced or expressed; a particular method or procedure. The massage and bodywork field is rife with modalities; these are specific disciplines, areas of practice, or specialties. In ABMP’s member database, we have catalogued 422 different modalities practiced by more than 72,000 practicing members (this excludes student members). In our current system, we call them “interests” (to have an “interest” listed, a member must provide proof of training in that modality). Now that I think of it that term doesn’t make much sense. To me, public policy, wine, or current affairs are “interests,” not reflexology or Hellerwork. I may need to get to work on changing that. Of our current membership, more than 93 percent practice massage. ABMP has long been recognized for its openness toward many forms of bodywork—a position we have embraced and believed in. Massage therapy is a form of bodywork, but not all forms of bodywork are massage. There are many of our members who don’t practice massage as typically defined (or perhaps more significant, as defined by their state’s regulatory arm). Regulation has been a typical and traditional means of constructing boundaries between practice disciplines. This has been both an aid and a burden, depending on what side of the conversation you’ve been on. But despite what a state says, the work is the work. Therapists are stuck between a rock and a hard place many times, because some states will only recognize what they regulate. In the case of continuing education, this becomes a problem where therapists want to expand their skill sets, but the state won’t recognize unregulated “non-massage” training. It’s easy to make the states seem like the bad guys (in most cases, very easy). But we the profession share some of the blame here. Take a trip over to Massagetherapy.com and search for a practitioner. Your first step is to “choose a modality.” The list to choose from is 136 entries long! How many of these will the general public be able to define or identify, let alone desire? As mentioned, our database lists 422 modalities. This means there are 286 modalities listed in our members’ records in our database that are not listed on Massagetherapy.com. Why aren’t those modalities listed on the web? Because fewer than 50 of our members practice that discipline. A full 66 entries include the word “massage.” Are there truly that many forms of massage? Does it help the public understand and appreciate our work to segment massage into 66 different classifications? Sorry, I have no easy answers to these questions. To those who practice these specific disciplines, these distinctions are important. And I don’t want to be an über-homogenized profession either. But greater acceptance and appreciation (goals most of us strive for) require easier understanding, and that might mean trading off some of our “uniqueness” for simplification and greater comprehension—at least to the general consumer, who may only be versed insofar as light, medium, and deep pressure. Besides, in the eyes of the law we’re practically all the same anyway. I guess that means I’ll postpone introducing the Sweeney Method of Massage. Follow Les at http://twitter.com/abmp_les.
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News

Agenda Confirms CAMTC Could Seek Fee Hike

CAMTC's meeting agenda confirms there may be a vote on a fee increase and discloses meeting location. Submit comments to the CAMTC as soon as possible.

Blog

Make Gratitude Part of Your Daily Life

Man Giving Thanks to Nature.

While this is the time of year that #gratitude starts trending, living a grateful life is not something to wrap up in a day, a week, a month . . . or a hashtag. We need to honor it all from an open heart.

Upledger CranioSacral Therapy Can Help with PTSD

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CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on treatment modality that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance.

Benefits

ABMP’s Lymph Talk Series

Lymph Talk is a series of conversations ABMP Director of Professional Education Kristin Coverly had with practitioners who specialize in the manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) modality. These talks were recorded in conjunction with the October 25, 2022, free, online ABMP CE Summit on Lymph. Kristin says, “My hope is that these conversations increase the awareness of MLD and demonstrate how effective it can be with different populations so massage therapists and bodyworkers are inspired to learn more about this gentle, yet powerful modality!”

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—MLD: Basic Techniques for the Neck and Face

Gain an understanding of manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) movements and the location of important lymphatic structures as you watch Nicola McGill’s dynamic demonstration of three MLD techniques and MLD sequences for the neck and face. Learn about this important modality that, when provided effectively, can support and enhance the movement of lymph fluid through the lymphatic vessels and eventually back to the cardiovascular system.

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—Introduction to Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a gentle, rhythmic form of bodywork that enhances and supports the movement of fluid through the lymphatic system to support health and well-being. Developed by Danish therapists Emil and Estrid Vodder in the 1930s, MLD is now practiced extensively by health and wellness practitioners and is used within the medical community to treat lymphedema and post-surgical and post-traumatic edema. Join Nicola McGill in this engaging course to learn the benefits, indications, and mechanics of this gentle, effective modality.

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