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:
Leena S. Guptha
DO., MBA., BCTMB.