Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2021

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26 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k m ay/ j u n e 2 0 2 1 The Health-Care Collaborative Massage Therapists Fit Perfectly Into This New Paradigm By Cal Cates best practices | MASSAGE THERAPY AS HEALTH CARE "Noproblemcan besolvedfrom the same level of consciousness that created it." This quote, sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein, perfectly exposes the truth that underlies our frustration as we look at how and where massage therapists fit into health care. When I say massage therapists are health-care providers, I'm afraid we may already be starting at a deficit. If I say, "You're a hippo," to 300,000 people and invite them to draw a hippo, there's a solid chance most of those people will create similar images. Even being amateur artists at best, we'd come up with a lot of similar features. If I say to those same people, "You're a health- care provider," no such similarity in perspective will be enjoyed. I'd get responses along an entire spectrum, from downright aversion to a sense of recognition and pride. This is hard. Even if we weren't trying to hop onto a moving train, it would be hard, but this train is very much moving even though its destination is unclear. If we're being honest, the "system" we call health care has always had major challenges in terms of access, bureaucracy, affordability, efficiency, and more. Finding a means of integration into a system that is poorly constructed is no easy task. As a starting place, let's agree to set down our stories of what it has "always meant" to be in health care. When I suggest it's time to consider ourselves health-care providers, it's not an invitation to the lamest party ever. It's an invitation to blow up this joint, so to speak. Health care, as it currently exists, doesn't work. It never has, and that's no single person's fault. The people who have been called health-care providers for decades without question will not defend this "system." It has depleted them and prevented them from accessing and practicing their true passion. It's not working for providers, and it's not working for patients. This is the perfect time to build something new. Something with less hierarchy, less gatekeeping, more equity, and more humanity. Maybe it's a thing we don't even insult by calling it a "system." I'm talking about a "collaborative." A community of humans who work together, mobilizing the best of technology, finance, communication, access, and humanity to deliver meaningful outcomes at lower costs. Better lives. Less pain. More health. Massage therapists can fit perfectly into the emerging paradigm, nudged by both COVID-19 and forces that were already in motion. Community-based, collaborative care is the future we will be working in. This is the future of health care, even if massage therapists do nothing. So, let's get involved. It's challenging to be asked to move in the direction of a thing that has not yet formed or even been fully imagined. Or is it? Isn't that what we do every time a person gets on our table? Massage therapists are famous for TOA HEFTIBAUNSPL ASH

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