- The level of education. Professional Manual Therapists are trained in either Naprapathic, Osteopathic, Physical Therapy or Sports Therapy tradition. I am trained to be a Naprapathic Doctor but it is only licensed in two or three states in the U.S. so I and my peers in Michigan are left to linger under a medical massage license given to massage therapists who have only 500 hours of training. I have 2400 hours of training and 17 years of experience but there is no licensing for me.
- Manual Therapy employs tactile assessment, body mapping, soft tissue structure assessment, deep tissue folding and only liniment to warm the tissue before treatment. We don’t use oil as “part of” the treatment. We do not use effleurage, tapotement, percussion or our fingertips, thumb tips or elbows with oil on a nude body. Massage therapists use oil the whole time and use all of those massage techniques. If they try to go deep with oil they will hurt you. Don’t let them do it.
- Manual Therapists use some type of heat lamp to focus on the area of treatment and a stool to sit on. We also have our tables very low because we’re not standing most of the time. Manual therapists use draping for modesty. Massage therapists have their table pretty high and stand most of the time and I’m not sure what they do for draping.
- As a manual therapist, I can work until I’m 70 years old or more. There is no burn-out and my hands never hurt. My techniques are healthy for my body. Massage therapists burn out at about nine years and sometimes don’t recover from poor technique taught to them by their schools.
- Manual therapists are allied healthcare professionals and need to work alongside a Physical Therapist or an Osteopathic Doctor for maximum care for the patient, especially in the treatment of functional scoliosis. Ideally, a manual therapist will take plenty of time releasing all the adhesions first and getting the blood flowing. That should help free up the spine that is very rigid in these patients. Then they will see a physical therapist who will help them stretch and strengthen specifically FOR the spine. In accord with that, the Manual therapist will do Naprapathic bony lever on the spine to help straighten it again. But generally speaking, the manual therapist can only completely release the soft tissue. Massage therapists tend to work in Chiropractic offices.
- Massage therapists in spas overcharge, sometimes up to $120.00/hour. Manual therapists charge $80.00/hr. Massage therapists in private practice still charge $60.00 an hour or less and will even lower their prices to uncut their competition.
- Manual therapy is a very effective healthcare treatment that helps you get better. Massage therapy is touch therapy and entertainment massage that can and does cross professional body boundaries. It tends to be the most popular with the public but statistics show that is changing. Some massage therapy offices pose as healthcare but they are prostitution massage; especially in West Michigan.
- Manual therapy makes a real and lasting change in the deep soft tissue structures at the joint complex. Massage therapy is superficial and only treats the epidermis.
Healers have succeeded in healing themselves and are serving as good examples to their patients and students. We don’t heal others, we show them how to heal themselves if they are willing to do the work. It’s empowering vs. co-dependent.