There is a misconception that anyone can operate as a massage therapist. At Washington State Community College, we want people to know that our graduates are well-trained in anatomy, physiology, techniques, and the medical-based treatment of pathological conditions.
Licensed Massage Therapists (LMT) have worked hard to move past an unsavory reputation. We are tested by medical boards and must pass an exam to legally practice. Our licenses or certificates are provided by the state medical board. We complete continuing education training to stay relevant in the field.
What is massage therapy?
Massage Therapy is the manipulation of the muscles and other soft tissues of the body (as by stroking, kneading, or rubbing with one or both hands or an instrument) by a trained and certified massage therapist for therapeutic purposes (as to relieve pain, promote healing, or improve physical functioning). It is a medical-based treatment and can be used to benefit many issues from anxiety, depression, migraines, and rheumatoid arthritis as well as multiple sclerosis, addiction, and post-surgery care.
While the definitions of masseuse and massage parlor might be acceptable, it portrays other services and an unprofessional type of atmosphere. We have attended schools and classes to be professionals in our trade to provide services in a professional atmosphere. Legitimate Licensed Massage Therapists will present with confidence and professionalism in every session. The client-therapist relationship is important and respectful.
Be wary of establishments that are open 24 hours or operate past 8 pm. These locations also tend to have obstructed views, out-of-state vehicles, unlisted businesses, and no paperwork.
Things to look for when seeking a professional LMT
A license must be visible in the treatment area. Make sure your therapist is licensed and has the correct certifications to administer treatment. Many therapists can specialize in advanced modalities such as cupping/ trigger point therapy, deep tissue/ sports massage, or relaxation spa-type services. Look and ask to see proof of these credentials.
Along with medical professionals, our goal is to provide maximum-level medical treatment to increase activities of daily living, decrease pain, and return function.
While LMTs need to have a firm and transparent stance on zero tolerance for sexual solicitations, a well-educated and supportive community is crucial to dissolve the stigma.
Jackie Krider, BS, LPTA, LMT
WSCC Massage Therapy Faculty