Perspectives on Allied Professions

When massage therapists look at working with allied professionals as an opportunity to learn—and teach—you open lines of communication that can find common ground instead of focusing on the differences.

You can positively impact not only the professional relationship you develop with allied professionals, but also the massage therapy profession as a whole, by taking the time to educate others about the benefits of massage therapy while also showing a genuine interest in learning about their profession. Remember, the one thing you are almost guaranteed to have in common is the passion you both have for your chosen professions.

Following are some key areas you'll want to be aware of when working with practitioners in allied professions.

Scope of Practice

The legal body that has authority to specify what services a member of a profession can perform will define the scope of practice. Many allied health professions are prohibited from treating, diagnosing and prescribing. Be ready to explain the scope of practice for the massage therapy profession, and have at least a preliminary understanding of the other profession's scope of practice.

Training

How many hours of training and hands-on practicum are required for a particular profession? Having a good understanding of how rigorous training and educational requirements are for other professions is a good place to start learning about allied professions. Also, be prepared to discuss your own educational background, as well as how many hours of massage you've provided and hours of core training.

Terminology

Each profession has a vocabulary of its own. Some terms might overlap but mean different things across professions. Make sure you fully understand how a profession is using particular terminology, and speak coherently about common terms used in the massage therapy profession.

Mutual Respect

Be open to learning. Don't be afraid to ask questions, but also come to the table with a basic understanding of the points referenced above. You need to also be prepared to educate others about the massage therapy profession, so have a good grasp on the important points. With mutual respect and genuine interest, working with allied professionals can be a win-win situation.

Related: Communicating + Collaborating With Health Care Professionals

"As a professional member of AMTA, I have found comfort in knowing that all the effort I put into obtaining my massage certification is recognized and protected. AMTA standards validate the profession."

Kim K., AMTA member since 2003

Massage