The Massage Therapy Career Focus Workbook


Act One

SCENE: A typical bank. Carol, a massage therapist, is standing in line. Robert, a senior production engineer at a local manufacturing firm, has just walked in and seen Carol.

Robert

(Genuinely pleased to see an old friend.)

Hey, Carol! I haven't seen you in ages. Gosh, you look great. How are you doin'?

Carol

(Startled from her waiting-in-line trance by ROBERT'S explosive enthusiasm.)

Wow! Robert! Well, I feel great. Thanks for asking. And you?

Robert

(Still bubbling.)

Couldn't be better! So, what are you doing these days?

Carol

I'm a massage therapist.

Robert

(Hesitates—then slowly.)

Oh, really? You mean like Shiatsu or something?

Carol

(Unfazed by ROBERT'S somewhat perplexed, but predictable response.)

Well, that's a technique I use sometimes. What I do, actually, is I help my clients avoid problems which might adversely affect their ability to perform certain biomechanical activities.

Robert

(Frowning, but in a genuinely curious way.)

Biomechanical activities?

Carol

(Getting enthusiastic herself now.)

Yeah, like walking or running. Actually though, I have a lot of clients who are computer programmers. They come to me because they know that if they can't sit and program all day they'd be out of a job.

Robert

(Bubbliness fully returned.)

Hey, I could use that! I'm writing technical manuals for our manufacturing business and all I do is sit and type all day. In fact, my wife has been telling me I'm going to cripple myself if I don't start taking more breaks. So, like, how do you do this stuff?

Carol

(Totally ignoring the fact that the line in front of her has moved on.)

Well, I like to find out all the factors which might be affecting your current condition. Things like how you sit, what kind of chair you use, even stuff like what you eat. It's called a whole-client approach. Then I'll work on those muscles and related soft tissues which are mostly likely to cause you problems further down the road.

Robert

(Full of awe.)

That sounds great! I didn't know massage could be so specific. How long does it take?

Carol

(Enjoying this conversation immensely.)

Well, each session lasts forty-five minutes. But I think it would take three or four visits to get a handle on your problem and for us to work out a treatment strategy. But I should let you know, Robert, I like to give my clients the necessary tools and referrals so that they don't always have to come running back to me to get them out of a jam. You've got to want to maintain your own wellness. It's called an active care mode of treatment.

Robert

(He pauses, somewhat taken aback by Carol's assertiveness. He strokes his chin and nods his head up and down as he thinks about what she just said. He has finally realized that Carol is serious about what she does, so he should think seriously too.)

Well, I've been wanting to get my act together, so why not start now? So where do you do this?

Carol

(Casually.)

I work in the physical therapy clinic across the street. Hey, do you have private health insurance?

Robert

Yeah, I do.

Carol

Well, see if it covers massage treatments 'cause I can provide all the necessary documentation. Depending on your situation, you may not have to pay for it.

Robert

Whoa, now you're talking my language. But let me ask you this. Does it hurt? I'm kinda a wimp. A friend gave me a massage a few years ago and I felt like I was being tortured by the Spanish Inquisition.

Carol

I'm glad you brought that up. I actually prefer to work at a medium touch depth. I won't be trying to massage the insides of your ribs or going through your armpits to get to the underside of your shoulder blade. But even if I were, you should know that you really should really tell the therapist if you don't like something.

Robert

(Sheepishly.)

I just thought it would sound impolite since I wasn't paying for it. Besides, what do I know? he's like this big expert.

Carol

Hey, if you don't enjoy something, why put up with it? It's your body, why shouldn't you get what you want?

Robert

Well, it sounds like you can give me what I want and need. When can I come and see you?

Bank Teller

Next please.

Carol

Huh? Oh, that's me! Here, let me just do this first, Robert. When I'm done, I'll just wait for you over by the coffee machine.

CURTAIN