The Massage Therapy Career Focus Workbook


Therapeutic Outcome — Concept:

Therapeutic Outcomes define the benefits clients may expect from experiencing your massage services. Every massage treatment, regardless of style, produces generalized and specific beneficial outcomes. So why not call it beneficial outcomes? Honestly, therapeutic outcomes just sounded more credible. The intent here, however, is to help you recognize and communicate the primary benefit you want to provide (or that your existing massage service already provides). Simply wanting to "help people", or "make people feel better" are not specific enough terms for focussing your career. Nor will saying these things do much in the way of promoting your practice.

Once again, as we did with wellness areas, we made a list of all the therapeutic outcomes possible through massage and found we could divide them all into three categories: Experiential, Lifestyle, and Corrective.

Therapeutic Outcome — Options:

OPTION 1) Experiential Outcomes

Remember the little quandry we got ourselves into when we realized that massage is valuable for both the sheer experience and for what it produces at a later date? This therapeutic outcome solves that problem.

Clients who simply value the sensations produced during a massage treatment want this therapeutic outcome. Clients who seek this therapeutic outcome either want an escape from the over-stimulation of a hectic life, or they desire tactile inputs because their lives are lacking in stimulus.

This type of massage is often bemoaned by "serious" therapists, yet it is an important and valuable form of treatment which was the driving force behind the growth of massage in Western culture. The subtle nature of the styles and techniques required to provide an experiential outcome of good quality take years to perfect. However, no matter how proficient a therapist is at providing good experiential outcomes, he or she cannot claim that those techniques will provide any long-term benefits.

Therefore, if you enjoy providing people with a rewarding, enjoyable experience within the context of a single massage treatment, this would be the therapeutic outcome you would choose.

OPTION 2) Lifestyle Outcomes

Lifestyle outcomes are for clients looking for any one or all of the following benefits:

If you believe massage is best suited for promoting overall health and wellness and is part of a healthful existence, the lifestyle option would be your choice of therapeutic outcome focus.

OPTION 3) Corrective Outcomes

To employ our door hinge example for one last time, this is where the hinges have broken, the door is lying on the ground, and the horse is running south on a northbound highway.

Corrective outcomes would be your focus choice if you want to provide rehabilitation of specific injuries, impairments, and diseases which are preventing your clients from performing their desired psychosocial, biochemical, or biomechanical activities. You will work in cooperation with physicians, psychologists, chiropractors, physical therapists, and other health professionals. You like to solve problems and see quantifiable improvements.

Send us a letter if you don't agree, but didn't that last paragraph read like an ad you would see in the career section of your local paper? We've only covered two focus principles and already we are communicating more effectively.