NWHSU’s own subject matter expert Michele Renee contributes to seminal massage therapy textbook

Massage Therapy: Principles and Practice sixth edition includes chapters from our very own subject matter expert Michele Renee, Director of Integrative Care and Massage Therapy Programs. She offers a fresh and comprehensive look at two important topics for the profession: career longevity and clinical massage. The text takes an evidence informed approach and is jam packed with great references.

Career Longevity: This chapter takes a deep dive into the nuances of burn out – what cases it, how to avoid it, and how to recover if it happens. In massage therapy especially, burn out can include emotional considerations like empathy fatigue, and physical considerations with this strenuous career.

Clinical Massage: This chapter is so much more than meets the eye. We discuss the evolution of our understanding of pain, unpacking the latest theories on pain and pain management. Fascia is defined and described in detail, providing a glimpse into the stuff that holds our bodies together and the structures impacted by massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic. We then provide a comprehensive list and summarize commonly used soft tissue techniques used not only by massage therapists but many other manual therapists as well. This chapter gives the reader a top-down approach to evaluating and treating complex cases, both in applying appropriate techniques and collaborating with other providers as needed.

A recent blog post from Dr. Michele Renee and Dr. Susan Salvo also explores these topics as well as the wellness model and it’s application to promote self-care in the goal of career longevity for massage professionals.

Self-Care for Massage Professionals: Introduction to Career Longevity & the Wellness Model

Career longevity is the length of time spent in service or employment within a field. Although investigations into factors contributing to career longevity in the massage field have not been conducted, studies have been carried out in nursing, education, and athletic training. The information from these studies can be applied to massage because all these professions have commonalities—they involve taking care of others, and there is a physical component in the performance of professional activities.

While no study has been conducted on massage professionals investigating career longevity, we can look at research in other allied professions. This information can guide our decision-making until studies are carried out. Factors contributing to career longevity in nursing, education, and athletic training professions include a sense of pride and passion for the job (Alexander et al., 2015; Mazerolle et al., 2016); a supportive network and positive interactions with administration and team members (Alexander et al., 2015; Mazerolle et al., 2016); balance between work and family life (Mazerolle et al., 2016); feelings of optimism (Alexander et al., 2015); and education (Pustułka-Piwnik et al., 2014). Many professionals persisted in their careers and prevented burnout by utilizing self-care strategies such as exercising, talking with peers and supervisors, spending time with family, and practicing spirituality (Killian, 2008).

Read the full article from Dr. Susan Salvo and Dr. Michele Renee and learn more about the Massage Therapy: Principals and Practice textbook here.