Body wellness for quite sometime has been multidimensional with numerous choices on how to help the body heal or increase its performance level. When looking at the functional aspects of the human body, massage therapists and personal trainers are on the front lines of this movement and the role that they play is coming more to the forefront.
This is quite apparent especially in the private club world with the advanced training and specialties that are available in both fields. Like in any profession, you have those that are dedicated to higher education and challenging themselves along with their clients to reach their goals and those that stay with the status quo. There is a strong synergy between massage therapists and personal trainers; there are some crossovers between professions but not enough to prevent a meaningful collaboration.
Personal trainers’ goals are to bring stability, balance and increase performance to the same populations that massage therapist work with while using a different approach.
A concerted effort should be made in order to bring education awareness to these two essential occupations on how they can work together to provide the best outcome.
As a massage therapist, I look at body imbalances and how we can assist our clients in initiating better posture, minimizing pain, improving athletic performance and increasing function for daily activities. We work with all populations from young to old, pre or post surgery and competitive athletes to name a few. Our primary goal is to increase blood flow to ischemic tissue and when this is obtained, the end result is better functioning muscles, less pain and ultimately a better quality of life.
There are many ways to accomplish this goal; the education process for personal trainers should be a basic understanding of the primary modalities, how they work and how to describe them to their clients.
What we do is only one piece of the puzzle; in order to set in place long-term results, a strengthening component is essential.
Personal trainers will help in strengthening the body so it can fight gravity more effectively while educating the muscular system on how to function at an optimal level. Without this component, the client will fall back into its old patterns and never achieve the desired goals.
Personal trainers need to educate massage therapists on the exercises they prescribe in the strengthening process whether it being corrective exercises, functional training or traditional strength rehabilitation.
This is just a microcosm of wellness options and the path that a client can choose; this is not to take away from spa services, aerobic classes, yoga, Pilates or any other movement specialty as they all play a significant role assisting the body in its healing process.
It is time for all of us to educate ourselves in the different modalities that are available so the population at large can be educated and supported as they reach out to the many options available to them; we owe it to our clients, our professions and the goals we are looking to achieve.