What would you improve about the profession?

By M&B Readers
[Speak Your Mind]


In marketing materials for massage, I would like the photos used to be more representative of all customers.

Don Anderson


The disrespect given to light-touch massage. Not every client wants deep tissue, but therapists calling it “fluff” massage makes those clients feel unheard.

Carroll Garrity Monson


The ability—through ABMP or otherwise—to negotiate reduced health insurance rates for those of us who are self-employed. We are a big enough pool that we should be able to negotiate as a group. If we’re not taking care of ourselves, we can’t help anyone else, and this is a huge financial burden for those of us who don’t get insurance through a partner.

Andreina Torma


I think the whole industry needs to be restructured. I would like to see it as a degree program, with various levels of education, not just a licensure as it is in most states. Just like it is with physical therapists. Only then can it become the legitimate medical profession it should be.

Sarah Verneuille


When other professional fields don’t see us as equals in the health-care industry, it’s upsetting. They look down on what we know and how we learned our field, and they try to tell us how to do our trade. We don’t use drugs or other Western modes of medicine, and that supposedly makes us not worthy of being in the medical community. We do so much good, and it’s just us. So, what would I change? Perhaps getting people to understand that a big degree is not always needed when it comes to helping them take care of themselves and that the holistic way of the massage therapist is just as good.

Jeri Jo Fifer


Graded licensing. I don’t think all MTs need to be held to an MD-level understanding of anatomy/physiology/pathology, and clients deserve to know more about their MT’s knowledge and expertise. Lumping us all together as if our knowledge, expertise, and experience are the same doesn’t help any of us.

Ian Zigterman


Creating a sense of community within our communities, instead of competition.

Jenn Sorrell-Wikoff


Stop making it a legal requirement to not be allowed to say when doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors are wrong when they tell you not to combine massage with what they are doing. They don’t know the massage contraindications and precautions. We do! Doctors OK things for massage all the time that are not OK. Every doctor, physician’s assistant, and nurse practitioner I have spoken to about this admitted they are not qualified to advise their patients about massage. We should be allowed to tell clients when they are wrong about our field.

Christine Baker


Offer a six-month to a year mentoring program for new graduates.

Massage by Caroline



National certification, so we can work wherever we want without paying for and resubmitting transcripts and past state licenses.



We need to change how we are represented in the media. I wish there were more holistic and medical massage therapies being shown on TV and social media [instead of content] being pushed more toward the sex industry.



Better education. I think it needs to be a bachelor’s degree. I also think clinical should be off-site from schools like with any other health-care profession.



I would love for therapists to find the courage to set their fees to reflect the value of their services.



Better pay and full benefits. It’s hard to keep going in this industry when employers don’t treat us like educated, professional, licensed health practitioners.



More funding for massage research.



For people to stop calling us “masseuses.” It’s an old, outdated term with sexual undertones. I also agree with the other comments: health insurance, great education, and more recognition in the health field for being more than a “fluff” treatment. We work hard and are healers.



Nationwide standards for education, leading to nationally recognized licensures. As an educator, different standards for different states are exhausting and unnecessary.



I didn’t know how to say this or word it without offending anyone, but the ties [massage] has with sex work and the stigma there is for Asian women specifically in the industry and breaking those generational curses, barriers, and stereotypes.



Mentorships or apprenticeships. Options for self-employed/private practice health insurance. If we’re injured, we’re screwed. Better education programs with more consistency across the US. Less ridiculous fines and fees. The Department of Health offers little to no support or protection. Thanks for doing this good work ABMP.



I think every therapist should be trauma-informed. We touch people in a vulnerable position. An understanding of trauma responses should be required.



As a professor at a university that teaches anatomy and physiology (A&P) to massage therapists while being a therapist myself, I believe there should be an option to sign up for a bachelor’s degree. I’ve taught other disciplines in vocational/technical programs and none deep-dive into A&P, not nearly as much as massage therapists do. It’s a lot, and most times (in my experience), we know more than most.



Accessible resources for burnout. People turn to us for a lot physically and energetically. It seems like boundaries can be trickier to maintain than in other “helping” professions. Simply taking (usually unpaid) time off isn’t always an option.



Thankful for the support and resources ABMP provides. My first thought would be better, consistent pay and benefits. I feel like I’d have the time and money to better myself as a therapist if I had the funds. I’m always proud to say what I do, but it’s been a struggle for sure. Now, I teach at a school, and the pay is also not great, still leaving me needing to work multiple jobs.



The industry as a whole needs to stop pushing for only spa-type massages. There are so many courses for those of us who want to learn to do full-on treatment plans, but most of the public has no idea we exist.



More value in evidence-based practices and more valid research in outcomes and true physiological responses to massage techniques.



I feel like the education system isn’t consistent because of the various state regulations. As someone who traveled the country, worked in six states, and went to a COMTA-certified school, I rarely see things like passion, integrity, pride, and dedication to the industry anymore. Someone is out there telling people this career is easy because schooling is shorter or more affordable, but you shouldn’t be approaching massage school if you aren’t truly passionate about the human body or acquiring the helping hands of being a massage therapist.