Look­ing for a mas­sage ther­a­pist? Here’s how to choose

Start by think­ing about what type of mas­sage you’re look­ing for. The very first thing to do, says the Aus­tralian As­so­ci­a­tion of Mas­sage Ther­a­pists (AAMT) is to en­sure that your ther­a­pist is qual­i­fied.

Living Now - - Contents - by Daniel Lam­bro

Start by think­ing about what type of mas­sage you’re look­ing for. The very first thing to do, says the Aus­tralian As­so­ci­a­tion of Mas­sage Ther­a­pists (AAMT) is to en­sure that your ther­a­pist is qual­i­fied.

If you’re look­ing for a re­lax­ing mas­sage, your ther­a­peu­tic mas­sage ther­a­pist should hold a Cer­tifi­cate IV in Mas­sage Ther­apy Prac­tice.

Wor­ried about an old in­jury? Or per­haps you can’t put your fin­ger on what’s caus­ing that sore shoul­der? Your mas­sage ther­a­pist should hold a Diploma of Re­me­dial Mas­sage. A re­me­dial mas­sage ther­a­pist can as­sess and treat mus­cles, ten­dons, lig­a­ments and con­nec­tive tis­sue.

Liv­ing with chronic pain of mus­cu­loskele­tal con­di­tions? Con­sider a myother­apy treat­ment. A myother­a­pist should hold an Ad­vanced Diploma of Myother­apy and em­ploys a num­ber of treat­ment modal­i­ties for use of pain man­age­ment for chronic mus­cu­loskele­tal con­di­tions, pos­tural con­di­tions, sport­ing and oc­cu­pa­tional in­juries by method of ad­vanced as­sess­ment and treat­ment pro­to­cols.

Did you know re­me­dial and myother­apy and even some ther­a­peu­tic mas­sage ther­apy treat­ments al­low re­bates with the pri­vate health fund? Ask your ther­a­pist and pri­vate health fund to dou­ble-check if you can claim. Many ther­a­pists use elec­tronic claim­ing ter­mi­nals; so all you need to do is swipe your health fund card!

Ther­a­pists who be­long to a pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tion such as the AAMT fol­low the in­dus­try stan­dard and that en­sures they have valid first aid and In­sur­ance and agree to fur­ther their life­long con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion. So find out which as­so­ci­a­tion they be­long to.

What’s your next step? Make sure you feel com­fort­able with your ther­a­pist when you meet for the first time. Your ther­a­pist should ask you a se­ries of ques­tions and take notes. Part of this process means sign­ing an ‘ in­formed con­sent’ form to al­low you to un­der­stand what kind of treat­ment you will re­ceive; this is a leg­isla­tive re­quire­ment. If you feel un­com­fort­able, or your po­ten­tial ther­a­pist is not com­mu­nica­tive, it may be a good idea to keep search­ing.

Your ther­a­pist should briefly ex­plain dis­rob­ing. You should only re­move an item of cloth­ing you feel com­fort­able re­mov­ing. AAMT rec­om­mends ap­pro­pri­ate full drap­ing dur­ing any mas­sage treat­ment and, un­less modal­ity-spe­cific, there is no re­quire­ment for any area other than that be­ing treated to be ex­posed. Ask your ther­a­pist what drap­ing tech­nique they will be us­ing. If your ther­a­pist can­not help, you may want to con­sider your de­ci­sion and move on.

Please keep in mind that mas­sage ther­apy in Aus­tralia is self-reg­u­lated by pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tions and health funds. Mas­sage ther­a­pists fall un­der the Na­tional Code of Con­duct for Health Care Work­ers. It is im­por­tant to do re­search on your po­ten­tial mas­sage ther­a­pist to en­sure you get the best re­sult from of your treat­ment. n

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