Massage therapy has a collective unwillingness to hold the mirror up to itself (in terms of education, in terms of self-awareness, in terms of accountability to standards of practice) and to be honest about what it sees. We love to tout our unmatched compassion and our big hearts, but we don’t want to get real about all of the places where that’s simply not enough or where our unexplored big hearts can even prevent us from being effective care providers.
Resources & Recommendations:
- Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- Facts Aren't Enough: The Psychology Of False Beliefs, Hidden Brain podcast
- Read the NCB's Standards of Practice. Note how typically vague they are. What is "professional?" What does it mean to create a "safe and comfortable" space for clients? Every regulated state has its own standards of practice for massage therapy. None of them are clear. All of them depend on our cultural understanding of words. It's time for each of us to become intimate with the cultural baggage we bring to the understanding of these words and so many others.
- Look at the textbooks and reference materials in your office and in your home. When were they published? Are these the most recent editions? Is your practice informed by the most up-to-date information available?