Now you know about the problems and circumstances which led to this workbook. Let's now take a closer look at those benefits we just mentioned.
The first benefit these principles offer is that they drastically reduce the amount of time required to find a career focus. Until now, even the most determined therapist would still probably require from five to ten years to find his or her chosen career focus. That is because it is basically a trial and error process (i.e., you just keep taking this course and that seminar until you finally latch onto a preferred career focus). This approach may have been fine in the good ol' days when massage certification only required a hundred (or fewer) hours of training. Nowadays, however, massage certification can take up to 3,500 hours and cost thousands of dollars. Therefore, today's new therapists just don't have the resources to support themselves or the luxury of time to spend finding themselves. With these principles you can reduce the time from five or ten years down to a few hours of reading and practicing. Not a bad way to spend a few afternoons, wouldn't you say?
The second benefit afforded by these principles is their user-friendliness. User-friendly not just because they incorporate terms which are easily understood by the public, but they are also specific enough to communicate the real-world value your massage practice offers. The self-explanatory nature inherent in these terms will help you to overcome the limitations of descriptions such as Shiatsu, Manual Lymphatic Drainage, or even Swedish Massage.
The third benefit is in the way our theory of wellness areas from the Active Wellness System reveal how every style or technique has its own unique and valuable place within massage. Until now, you really could not defend yourself if someone said their method or technique was better or truer than your method or technique. We are truly hopeful that this aspect of these principles for career focus will bring peace and harmony o'er the land of massage.
The fourth benefit is actually an extension of the third, but it is one of the most exciting. Because our model of wellness areas is non-massage specific, we find these career focus principles apply to virtually every form of health care. So, not only will you understand where your particular massage practice fits within massage, but you will also understand where it fits in relation to the entire health care system. And, if you can see where your practice fits within health care, it doesn't take a great leap of intellect to realize that other health care practitioners and organizations will see where you fit.
Lest you not fully appreciate this benefit, let us explain further. Almost since the day massage became an organized profession it has struggled to justify its existence within the conventional health care system. Even the fact that we have to refer to the conventional health care system illustrates this point. Ipso facto, the conventional practitioners see massage as alternative. But now, with these principles, there is no need for phrases like conventional or alternative health care. Wellness is wellness, the only difference now is the degree and scope of the therapy.