Become an Ambassador and Promote the Massage Therapy and Bodywork Profession

“No man is an island, entire on itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

Perhaps you remember that line of poetry from your high school English class, more specifically from the poem, “No Man is an Island,” by the poet, John Donne.  In the poem, Donne talks about individuals being separate, yet being a bigger part of humanity.

In our practices we can often be working as an individual with our client, yet it is our collective responsibility to promote massage therapy and bodywork whether we are working, networking or just out and about on errands, going to the health club, or getting together with your friends and family for a social event.

So, how can you as a massage therapy and/or bodywork professional accomplish this?

By becoming an Ambassador for the profession.  What does that mean exactly?

In a recent meeting of the Massage Therapy Coalition (comprised of ABMP, AFMTE, AMTA, COMTA, FSMTB, MTF, and NCBTMB), a well-known and well respected colleague of mine, Cynthia Ribeiro, greeted me with the following request, ‘Leena, you need to define Ambassadorship for the profession’.

After contemplating this request, I looked up the meaning of the word ambassador and found:  leader, advocate, doer, promoter, representative, steward, agent, and spokesperson.  These are all words that I’m especially fond of and that I use to promote the profession.

So as an ambassador for the massage therapy and bodywork profession, you can become an advocate for the profession in various ways……

  • Volunteer: Share with your peers your passion, the mission of your organization and information about the many benefits of contributing to volunteerism, whether it is on a committee, a task force, a think tank, a chapter, a board or in the community through massage events and venues.  Our profession relies on volunteers to elevate the standards of education and knowledge drive education and knowledge and deliver information to society.

  • Massage Therapists:  Share information about classes you have taken and different modalities in your profession, not because you had to as Sandy Fritz would say, but because you want to promote the advancement of education, knowledge and skills as an ambassador.

  • Board Certified Massage Therapists (BCTMB): You can inform massage therapists and bodywork professionals know about the requirements to attain the higher certification credential requiring 750 hours of education (core, continued education and college education), 250 hours of hands-on experience, CPR certification and a criminal background check.

  • Ambassadors educate Potential Students who are interested in the profession to become massage therapists or bodywork professionals by describing the work, its many benefits, and what it involves on a daily basis.

As an ambassador for the massage and bodywork community, spreading the word about massage therapy and bodywork is the key to success.

  • Physicians are a great place to start. Many physicians are interested in the benefits of massage therapy.  Many are looking for ways to help their clients outside of traditional Western Medicine and will listen to educated research or findings within our profession.  Researching The Massage Therapy Foundation’s website is a great place to find articles and information.

  • Social Events with friends and family presents an excellent atmosphere to talk about work and indications for massage therapy.  It can be an excellent avenue to gain new clientele and educate people about the profession.

  • Daily Life Activities provide opportunity to be an ambassador, like standing in line at the local grocery store, sitting in the doctor’s office, meeting new people, or striking up a conversation with other individuals about the benefits of massage therapy.  All of these opportunities increase awareness of the endless positive effects of the work.  And, of course, always be sure to carry plenty of business cards!

 

Think about these and other ways of inspiring others within and outside the massage therapy and bodywork community.  What are some ways that YOU can be an advocate, an Ambassador? How can you positively promote the massage therapy and bodywork profession?  I welcome your thoughts and ideas, as well as other ways an ambassador can help move our profession forward in society.

 

This blog was written by:

Board Chair
Leena S. Guptha
DO., MBA., BCTMB.
 

Comments

ANDY ILAN's picture
Submitted by ANDY ILAN (not verified) on Fri, 03/21/2014 - 08:10

Massage Therapy must be presented as a key element in the physical and mental maintenance of all of us.

Lynellen Carmony's picture
Submitted by Lynellen Carmony (not verified) on Fri, 03/21/2014 - 10:30

Thank you for this window into the thoughts of other therapists out there. I have been practicing full-time since 1991; board certified since the inception of NCBMTB in 1994. Ambassadorship is a natural extension of my love for this way of life and the means of support it provides. Down thru the years, I have educated, advocated and celebrated massage therapy easily, constantly and with deep gratitude for the health the lifestyle has brought me, personally. I feel like my longevity in the profession, dedication to continuing education, and enthusiasm for the value of massage therapy have made me a natural ambassador just by virtue of my commitment to excellence and ethics. Thank you again for your service and this thought-provoking subject. Namaste

NCB's picture
Submitted by NCB (not verified) on Sun, 03/23/2014 - 06:14

Namaste Lynellen, This is heart warming to read and you described ambassadorship in a wonderful way.....keep up the good work and thank you for sharing.

Jessica Warren's picture
Submitted by Jessica Warren (not verified) on Fri, 03/21/2014 - 11:06

I would love the opportunity to be an ambassador. Who should I contact?

NCB's picture
Submitted by NCB (not verified) on Sun, 03/23/2014 - 06:12

Hello Jessica, Thank you for your interest, please stay tuned for more on ambassadorship.

NCB's picture
Submitted by NCB (not verified) on Sun, 03/23/2014 - 06:10

Billie, It's great to know that you already serve as an ambassador. We will keep a track of everyone interested here and add it to an ambassador pool.

Debora W.'s picture
Submitted by Debora W. (not verified) on Fri, 03/21/2014 - 18:37

I love being an ambassador for Massage and Body Work. Becoming a Medical Massage Therapist and traveling for all kinds of continuing education I have been able to bring a whole new focus and thought pattern to clients on the value of Massage. Physicians and Surgeons are seeing a hugh difference in the health and well being in the people that we both care for. The respect for my work in the medical field is growing. I am so grateful for this field and love what it done for my own healing as well as for the amazing people I am able to assist.

NCB's picture
Submitted by NCB (not verified) on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 08:22

Hello Debora, Your ambassadorship is an inspiration, thank you for sharing your story.

Karla Bradis's picture
Submitted by Karla Bradis (not verified) on Fri, 03/21/2014 - 19:36

Sharing with the community this wonderful healing of human touch with massages is beneficial to everyone. Volunteering to those who have never been able to afford massages and those who have not experienced it yet. Teaching and outreach is so fulfilling. The official Ambassador/ and Professional recognition brings this industry to a whole new level.

NCB's picture
Submitted by NCB (not verified) on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 08:25

Hello Karla,
The interest is an official ambassador program that this blog as spurred is incredible and we will be looking to channel the interest as you say 'to bring the industry to a whole new leve;'.....what a wonderful perspective you bring. Thank you so much.....

Joan Hamilton's picture
Submitted by Joan Hamilton (not verified) on Sun, 03/23/2014 - 01:09

When I am not teaching and running the massage therapy program at Globe and promoting massage this way, I am working with people with chronic pain. I let people know the benefits of massage on pain management. Our school is also incorporating research into our program to help our students know the benefits of research and how to use it in their profession. I would love more information on working with physicians. Hope to see that come out soon.

NCB's picture
Submitted by NCB (not verified) on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 08:32

Joan, You are clearly an Ambassador for our profession. Research is such a critical component and cornerstone of a profession too - I am delighted to hear that you are incorporating research into your curriculum. We have one board member Dr. Randy Snyder who is actively pursuing the physician relation side and he will be blogging on the progress there. Thank you for taking the time to share you experience.

Tonya Feicho's picture
Submitted by Tonya Feicho (not verified) on Sun, 03/23/2014 - 15:36

I feel I am an ambassador everyday I go to work. I try to educate my patients/clients on the importance of massage therapy and what our goals are for them by receiving massage. I am currently taking on a patient who is a paraplegic. He has agreed to be a test case where I can hopefully use for research in the near future.

NCB's picture
Submitted by NCB (not verified) on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 08:28

Tonya,
Wow! Great work....we would really like to hear more.....we have a monthly spotlight feature and when you deem appropriate we can 'spotlight' your case/research/experience.

Sonja McCall- Strehlow's picture
Submitted by Sonja McCall- S... (not verified) on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 10:26

I love being an Ambassador to my students and to our local community with our school outreaches. A wise professor told me once knowledge is something you share with others. It's not something you own for yourself!
I love sharing the benefits of being National Certified and promoting the National Boards above and beyond those others folks lol... Best of Health Sonja

Spa Touch Mobile-NOLA's picture
Submitted by Spa Touch Mobil... (not verified) on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 14:10

Greetings Leena. At Spa Touch Mobile-NOLA, We introduce touch as "Hands on Medicine" & "Touching you Touches me". Just 15-20 minutes of Therapeutic touch prior to class helps calm the child with ADD/ADHD that means less Zoloft/Ritalin etc. Blessed be...KC

maureen mason's picture
Submitted by maureen mason (not verified) on Tue, 03/25/2014 - 12:02

Outstanding information! I am very excited to get on board as the first massage therapist volunteer here in San Diego at The Ronald MacDonald House. I have previously volunteered at San Diego Hospice and The Polinsky Center ( an amazing organization that assists abused and abandoned children from birth to age 18}. There is no greater reward than providing therapeutic touch to those most in need. I encourage all massage therapists to find a few hours a week to volunteer. Your spirit and soul will thank you.

Elia D.'s picture
Submitted by Elia D. (not verified) on Wed, 04/02/2014 - 12:22

I am currently a Board Certified Massage Therapist and am very proud of my profession. I was a full time lead instructor teaching 14 courses of study leading to completion of a 740 hour Massage Therapy Diploma program. I felt it was very much my responsibility to educate both students and other therapist about the requirements to become Board Certified. I would like to become more active in my role as a BCTMB. I look forward to more information. Thank you.

El La'  "Self Proclaim Ambassador"'s picture
Submitted by El La' "Self P... (not verified) on Sat, 05/03/2014 - 23:59

I am Ambassador for Massage Therapist. I like this forum. Every person I encounter always hear about sharing massage experience. Peer always asks where do I learn my techniques (?). The most important source of information of being and becoming Massage Therapist: Word of mouth, experience, knowledge, selling yourself. Online classes are great. But, the most and very important experience is in the classroom. Too many people Facebook, text, email, and more. Guest what? In our business hand-on experience and one-on-one with clients never fail. Not electric massage chair or hand held machine can replaced Massage Therapist. Only assistance tools. Therefore, sharing your experience and story with everyone you encounter daily. "Don't Facebook it, Face it." "Expect the unexpected in our business" Do the best work with your blessed tools (hand, elbow, arm and more....) God blessing, keep up the good work our future Ambassador.

Maribel Avalos's picture
Submitted by Maribel Avalos (not verified) on Tue, 05/27/2014 - 13:40

I am very interested in participating as an ambassador in this field. I JUST LOVE TO TEACH. So I am finding the way I can became an California State approved instructor. I have done some trainings in my hometown in Mexico, and wish I can do it in other places and at the same time be able to offer CEUs.
THANKS.

Tina Huebner's picture
Submitted by Tina Huebner (not verified) on Mon, 10/06/2014 - 13:33

Hello, I have been a massage therapist for 4 years now and I love what I do. I learned so much as a student but, learned so much more just being in the field. I don't look at my career as a job, it is a passion for me. I truly enjoy tailoring each session to each client. Occassionally I will get a client that has something that I haven't worked with but, it doesnt stop me, I enjoy doing my research and seeing what massage can offer. I'm always learning something new.
I would love to share my thoughts as being an abassador to the profession. Is there an email that I can send them to. I don't want to list them all. I do talk with seniors in care facilities, and I am always talking about massage. I currently offer Swedish, Deep Tissue, pregnancy, warm bamboo massage, and comfort touch.
Have a great day

Tina

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