February 27, 2011

Don't Touch That!

Once in a great while I run across someone who has been warned not to get a massage – with no apparent reason behind that advice.

That advice pops out, unfortunately, from the mouths of people who might just benefit from the person not getting a massage and perhaps continuing a long course of treatment in another modality. (Was that diplomatic enough?)

I find it irritating, frankly, because I often think the person would actually benefit from a massage. But I am hesitant to critique the advice of another presumed professional, along with the chasmic slide into politics that such criticism would entail. So I often am faced with pronouncements from people, of course totally second-hand hearsay, that “You should never rub a sore muscle.” Or “A massage will further inflame already inflamed tissues and make your pain worse.” Or even “Massage could rub out a knot that is actually holding your neck together.”

I’m just not going to debate something third-hand and possibly off-base, no matter how entertaining it might be to the client or how clueless the pronouncement. Snappy replies I’ve developed over the years include:
  • “Hmmmmnnnnn.” (A great reply useful in many situations in which any reply is unwise.)
  • “What can I say?” (Another fab dodge.)
  • “Must have gone to a different school than I did.” (Irony works!)
  • “Did you ask why you can’t get a massage?” (Nothing hangs in the air like the obvious.)

Now let me cast my vote for my personal favorite: “I can’t imagine why he/she would say that.”

I wonder how other MTs handle this one? Is it really professional to take the high road? Or should we light our torches and grab the pitchforks?

1 comment:

Heather said...

I think taking the high road is best in that situation. You don't want to criticize another health professional, especially one that the person has seen for a long time and trusts. Criticism would be valid however if that healthcare professional is giving advice that harms the client.