Life as a Massage therapist can be incredibly lonely. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons so many therapists attend courses in a range of different treatments and approaches: this is their opportunity to be with fellow professionals, to connect. The downside is becoming a “Jack of All Trades” – and Master of none. But the subject of specialism or generalism is one for another day.
In addition to courses, there are also lots of therapist groups – both virtual and in person. These can be a fantastic resource, providing support, ideas and encouragement when most needed. What strikes me in these groups, however, is the huge potential for “crossed wires”. As mentioned above, there are a whole host of bodywork approaches, treatments and ethoses which people train in – and seeking professional support from people who have trained in a different approach can, sadly, mean the specifics of your issue are missed (at best) or, at worst, entirely misunderstood.
The structure of deepening expertise in one approach within NO HANDS means our therapists don’t face this issue. In fact, most times they are able to seek support from a more experienced practitioner in the specific modality they’re training in – and reap the rewards of hard-won years of experience, often from multiple practitioners. There’s a shared language beyond A&P and the basic Swedish strokes. There’s a shared commitment to core philosophies and frames of reference. Most of all, there’s a shared belief that the most important person in the room is the client. As experienced professionals, of course we bring our expertise to every treatment – but ultimately our clients are the experts on THEM. We can offer, suggest and explore – but the final say lies with them. As is right. Consent MATTERS.
Our practitioners put immense value on being a part of the NO HANDS community. Through the early days of the pandemic the NO HANDS community was a very literal life-line for some members. The shared understanding gained from being among therapists who have completed the same training is fantastic. Yet so many aspects of this community – the clinical support, many of the business building tools, the exploration of what makes for a successful practice beyond the strokes you use – have proven helpful for therapists even before they’re able to start learning the practical aspects of NO HANDS. As part of our own commitment to doing everything we can to support the broader profession as a whole, we’re looking at ways we could offer a “student” membership of the NO HANDS Community (even to people who can’t commit to attending in-person trainings in NO HANDS). Watch this space for more details (and if you’re reading this on our website or via facebook, get in touch to join our mailing list).
Touch is important. Support for the practitioners offering this powerful tool for health and wellbeing is even more important. So as this year winds down and we approach 2022, why not give your practice a “support audit” – and look at ways to plug any gaps you find.
Thanks for reading,
Master Tigger MacGregor
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