Most people think massage is about going to the spa. They believe it’s too lavish to partake in, except on birthdays and special events. Most people aren’t aware of what is involved in a massage therapist’s education. A lot of people think we only learn how to use our hands in different styles; they don’t know we’re also heavily trained in anatomy, physiology, pathology, ethics and more.

I also believe massage education should include the serious and responsible side of the profession. More than the “how-to hands on,” there’s a depth of knowledge and critical thinking involved.

Another problem is how massage therapy is portrayed on television–it makes a mockery out of our profession. Sappy commercials, which only show massage as hot-stone therapy on the beach, downplay our profession’s validity. Our professional associations need to do more to educate the public on a broader scale.