Professional status and interprofessional collaboration: A view of massage therapy

By | 1st February 2012

Fascinating article that examines massage therapy and professional status and interprofessional collaboration. Written by Cathy Fournier (Department of Health Studies, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario

Canada; Department of Psychiatry, Wilson Centre for Research in Medical Education, University of Toronto

Toronto, Ontario

Canada), Scott Reeves ( Director, Center for Innovation in Interprofessional Healthcare Education,University of California, San Francisco).

Massage therapy is one of the fastest growing complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities in North America. Massage therapy has been regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) in Ontario, Canada since 1994. The RHPA governs physicians, nurses and midwives, among other health care professionals. There
is a growing body of evidence for the efficacy of massage therapy for a number of conditions considered a burden for patients and the health care system, such as musculoskeletal
pain, discomforts of cancer treatment, depression and anxiety (Moyer, Rounds, & Hannum, 2004; Sturgeon, Wetta-Hall, Hart, Good, & Dakhil, 2009). Patient/public demand has contributed to CAM modalities, including massage therapy, being made available to patients on a fee for service basis within hospital and other medical settings (e.g. Soklaridis, Kelner, Love, & Cassidy, 2009). Despite the developing evidence for the role of massage therapy in health care and patient/public demand for this service, it remains on the periphery of mainstream health care. The peripheral role of massage therapy is apparent by questions about its legitimacy, and its absence in discussions of interprofessional collaboration, in health care. While regulation is commonly associated with a move towards professionalization and improvements in the status of health care professionals (Finch, 2009), these issues in relation to massage therapy continue to be a challenge. A small number of studies have recently examined CAM in relation to interprofessional collaboration, yet massage therapy was not the main focus (Gaboury, Bujold, Boon, & Moher, 2009; Soklaridis et al., 2009). The purpose of this study was to explore perceptions of the professionalization
and status of massage therapists, and the implications for interprofessional collaboration.

For more information, please see the Journal of Interprofessional Care January 2012, Vol. 26, No. 1 , Pages 71-72.

5 thoughts on “Professional status and interprofessional collaboration: A view of massage therapy

  1. Sean Haber

    A little about Sean Haber, RMT Massage Therapist in Toronto, Ontario. Haber graduated from the Toronto School of Massage and Hydrotherapy in 2010, at the top of his class, focusing strictly on Swedish massage. However, Haber did not stop there. He eventually took an interest in Craniosacral Therapy, which focuses on manipulation of the skull, Deep Tissue Massage; which focuses on trigger points deep below the muscle, Shiatsu Massage; which lends itself to manipulation of pressure points along the chakra meridians, and most recently, Sean has become a teacher in meditative healing in Toronto, for stress management.

    Sean Haber is a member in good standing of the CMTO, College of Massage Therapists of Ontario and the RMTAO

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