Can Massage Therapists Do Manual Therapy?

The context in which the word is used can change its meaning. In the dictionary, we can find a long list of definitions of the same word that can be used in a different way. For example, depending on the context, the phrase “What a bitch! “It can be extremely offensive, or it can stress a heavy, pulling motion. Thus the application of a word beyond its popular understanding can give rise to considerable confusion.

Various technical terms are often related to a specific social context in which they are widely used. If a technical word is used in the wrong social sense, it may lead to uncertainty, leading to misunderstandings and needless and counter-productive arguments.

The use of the word “Manual Therapy” in the sense of massage therapy is a significant example of this unfortunate phenomenon. The Latin word manus means hand, and hence hand-held therapy is manual therapy. Technically speaking, massage therapists should call themselves manual therapists because the scope of their practice is soft tissue manipulation by the hands.

In the Western School of Massage Therapy, practitioners use their hands mainly while in the Eastern School of Massage Therapy, their feet or knees are used. However the massage therapists who employ Eastern massage methods are not called ‘pedisual’ therapists.

Around the same time, massage therapy does not use the full arsenal of manual therapy. For example, a massage therapist cannot conduct spinal manipulation, joint mobilization or carotid sinus massage. Thus the term “Manual Therapy” includes the term “Massage Therapy” as an integral component. These two words are not synonymous.

If a massage therapist introduces him/her to the D.O., D.C. as a “manual therapist.” Or P.T., they are more likely to view this concept in the sense of their own career and in many situations, believe that the massage therapist uses these qualifications improperly.

There are particular CPT codes for manual therapy that can only be used by physical therapists, osteopaths and physicians. In these cases, a massage therapist who claims that he/she is a “manual therapist” can be seen by other medical professionals as a “imposter,” causing a lot of misunderstanding.

If the validity of replacing “massage therapist” with “manual therapist” is dubious, why would so many massage therapists choose this direction today? The response to this question is two-sided. From one point of view, it’s a matter of publicity, and from another, it’s a general misunderstanding that the massage therapy profession is always striving to alter.

Are You Looking for Help with Your Pain?

Sports massage from Schemata Bodywork helps people who are active or desire to be active. Who can benefit from manual therapy from Schemata Bodywork? Individuals who have careers that are restricted to working at a desk, all athletes that are looking to improve their performance or physical gains, people who have community service jobs such as firefighters, law enforcement, or military personnel. If you are suffering from injuries with acute or chronic pain, or someone who wants relief from mental or physical stress, we can help change your life. Contact us now for your appointment.