In the last 48 hours I have twice been asked about massage therapy and how to choose which therapist to go to. One enquiry from someone who is getting conflicting advice from GP, chiropractor, physiotherapist etc and another who asked the difference between us all. A good question and one I get asked often as it is not always easy to know who to go to when you are looking outside your own field of work.
The simple answer is you want someone firstly qualified and insured to give you advice. Secondly they should be able to explain why they are suggesting the treatment they are so you can understand and make informed choices. At the initial contact stage they should be able to tell you what they can do for you and gauge whether they can help or whether you will better going to someone with a different discipline. If asked I would always explain how I think I can help or if I think someone else might be better suited to help and if in doubt would offer a free consultation to clarify this. It is too easy to spend lots of money trying everything out before you find what works for you.
It is true that there can be a crossover between therapists in that your personal preference can lead you to for example a massage therapist or physiotherapist and for some conditions either could help but then there are cases where one is preferable to the other.
So how do you know and how do you stop this conflicting advice and improve?
How do you know? Do your research by asking for recommendations or if unavailable check the web registers for each regulatory body. As a massage therapist I am a member of www.sportsmassageassociation.co.uk who ensure good practice amongst their members. Then get in touch with the therapists you feel might be able to help. I will always offer a free consultation if preferred but can often give some guidance from years of experience over the telephone as to whether I am the best person to help you. I will explain my reasons for or against and if necessary have a good list of fellow professionals I work with to refer you to.
How do you make sense of conflicting advice? Any advice I offer I am able to give sound reasons for. So if I think I can help you or not my reasoning will be based on 25 years experience of not only massage therapy but working with a wide range of fellow professionals and knowing how they work. I would always recommend you to ask someone to explain why they are advising as they are. If it is good advice based on knowledge then they will be happy to do this and that allows you to make more sense of it. I can always say why I am suggesting a certain form or course of treatment, I will explain what I can do and give aftercare advice but will always be happy to refer you to someone else if I’m not the best person to help.