First, before I write anything else it is important to state that I am supportive of the ELAP project. I want it to succeed.
Now here are some of my observations and concerns:
The initial survey attached to the Federation of State Massage Boards job task analysis survey was flawed. The only option for general massage was the term Swedish Massage and for a therapeutic intervention was deep tissue massage. The problem is:
Swedish Massage as an approach is too limiting and has current and historical confusion about what it means. I searched state licenses and seldom is the term Swedish Massage used. Massage Therapy and Therapeutic massage are much more common. In the state licensing descriptions of massage application terms such as gliding, kneading, pressing, shaking and so forth are use almost exclusively instead of effleurage, petrissage and so forth. If effleurage means “gliding” then use gliding and if petrissage means “ to knead” then use the term knead. I strongly believe that is time to use terminology that explains what is done and qualified by how it is done if for no other reason than to help researchers be able to standardize protocols. The project is attempting to describe entry level practice so the simpler the better
Alteration of the ELAP is simply a term replacing process while leaving the intent of the document in place. Easy to do and clinging to the historical terminology is not worth the potential problems that can arise and how this language could undermine the whole project. Please –the language should be as generic as possible.
As problematic is the inclusion of deep tissue massage. There is little agreement about what deep tissue massage is and that is a huge issue for entry level education. I strongly feel that this section should be eliminated and the general massage platform include the ability to adapt pressure to address the various tissue layers of the body.
The method of compression was totally left out and yet it is the approach that is used in many situations especially over clothing and when lubricant is limited or not used. This is a flaw in supporting methods like seated massage or in situation where static pressure is used.
I propose that entry level should be based more on safe practice of general nonspecific massage with outcomes of wellness, relaxation, stress management, and able to address minor manifestations of pain and mobility in the generally health client.
Content related to professional communication is important and I believed covered well in the document. There are aspects of specific methods for communication skill based on organized systems integrated into the document and I think this should be more generic. For example- I am skilled in the used the Myers Briggs system but would never suggest that this approach be incorporated into the ELAP document.
I also am concerned over content in the ELAP document that relates to psycho/emotional issues. Topics such as breath work, emotional release, psycho/social l behavior and energy balance are too controversial and if and when valid are way outside the realm of entry level. These topics should be eliminated.
I have some concern over the use of the taxonomy created by the work group. I think it would have been better to use a method to create the document that is grounded in current education and implementation into standard academia may be an issue. This being said, I believe what the work group did develop is workable. I do think that the curriculum map based on the taxonomy is too tight and could be perceived as dictatorial. I personally understand the domains and how a bit of content is addressed in each domain, but as I reviewed the document it felt like the curriculum map was telling me HOW to teach instead to indicating WHAT to teach. WHAT AND HOW ARE VERY DIFFERENT. For example many times it is stated to use mock forms to analysis something or write a sample massage plan or role pay and critique peer. These are all fine educational methods but they are HOW to teach something instead of WHAT to teach. I suggest that the curriculum map stick with WHAT to cover and if appropriate list methods that are used to teach this type of content separately. Personally I think the HOW should be more directly related to teacher training.
Also removing the HOW TO TEACH SOMETHING and concentrating on WHAT TO TEACH would significantly simplify the document which is overwhelming. I think the work group attempted to do too much and suggest that the document be simplified.This is enough for now. More to come. What do you think?
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