You Say To-may-to, I Say To-mah-to

Actually, I’m from the south, where we often say “mater.” A ‘mater sandwich should be on white bread, slathered with an artery-clogging amount of mayonnaise, and eaten standing over the kitchen sink so it can run down your chin and drip appropriately.

Everybody has their opinions…I’m out here regularly expressing mine, and not everybody agrees with them. That’s fine by me. The world would be a boring place if we all thought the same thing, and the world of massage is no different. This morning, as is my habit when I’m drinking my coffee, I looked at the comments on my blog, hung out on FB, checked out the massageprofessionals.com website to see what kind of arguments were brewing, all a part of my usual routine.

There are so many wonderful and dedicated people in our profession.

Some of them think the standards for entry-level education should be raised, and some of them don’t.

Some of them think massage therapy should be regulated to the nth degree, and some think it shouldn’t be regulated at all.

Some think continuing education requirements are nothing but a burden on their time and finances, and some look forward to taking it.

Some think teacher standards need to be raised, and some don’t.

Some think they have good representation from their professional association, and some don’t . Some don’t belong to one at all, nor do they care to.

Some massage therapists think of themselves as health care providers, and some don’t.

Some think evidence-based practice is the only way to fly, while others immerse themselves in energy work and all manner of woo-woo that can’t be proven.

Some get involved in politics, pay attention to what’s going on in regulation and legislation, and some don’t.

Some step up to the plate and volunteer, and some just want to be left alone to practice massage.

People have their own opinions on what constitutes dressing appropriately for massage, whether or not they should discount services, whether or not it’s okay to give away free massage, whether or not it’s okay to massage friends and family, whether or not it’s ethical to retail products, whether or not it’s okay to give undraped massage.

Every morning, during my routine, I am always noticing the differences of opinion. As I just posted on FB this Easter morning, my friends include Christians, Pagans, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, atheists, agnostics, and pretty much every other religion or lack thereof on the planet. It’s the same with my massage colleagues. The fact that you don’t share my opinions doesn’t make me like you any less, anymore that the fact that you have different religious beliefs would make me like you any less.

We’re all here for the same reason: we know the awesome power of touch. We know massage restores and heals. As for the rest of it, take what you like, and leave the rest. I’m going to go have a ‘mater sandwich.

7 thoughts on “You Say To-may-to, I Say To-mah-to

  1. Pingback: The Massage Pundit | Massage Magazine | Massage Blog

  2. Mike Hinkle

    And I hope it always stays this way under the Massage Umbrella. There is room for ALL! That is what makes massage so great! All these options make massage as special as it is. We need all the differences. That’s what I see so funny when people say ” Therapist feel this way……” Just as many don’t. I love hearing from ALL sides.

  3. Angela Palmier

    Thank you for posting this Laura. The massageprofessionals.com site was certainly full of comments regarding legislation, regulation, education, etc., this past week and I was right in the middle of it. In working with a variety of non-profit organizations (yes, we do work with other groups besides massage therapists!), I will say that difference of opinions are certainly present in other professions, even in religious organizations. However, I’ve yet to encounter any other group that is so wiling to attack each other for those differences. I ask a lot of questions….and I ask them for a variety of reasons. I want to take the time to fully understand the various opinions and I want to be able to have that level of understanding so that I can make informed decisions, or at least to understand the positions of others. I respect the fact that there are so many who care enough to get involved in the discussions, and am hopeful that the voices of many rather than the voices of a few are heard in this debate, and in others.

    Our profession seems to be more than willing to sacrifice each other rather than stand in support of each other, and I think that is evident in the massageprofessionals.com thread. In a world where anyone with access to the internet can be considered a “journalist” or as speaking on behalf of a group, it’s crucial that we choose our words carefully and that we are mindfully aware that others who may not be in this profession, or may be in opposition of us can, will and are watching what we do, reading what we post, and further….using it against us.

    I agree with Mike that there IS room for all massage therapists to practice and that the diversity of our interests is one of the more remarkable aspects of this profession. I’m left scratching my head at the remainder of his post to this thread, however. In contrast to the exchange last week, it is very open and inclusive.

    I suppose the important thing here is that there is dialogue. With effective communication comes real solutions. Ineffective communication causes discord. When the good work we do is clouded by the internal bickering…..no one wins and no one moves forward.

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