Massage therapy has been described as another form of wellness entertainment and emotional therapeutic mechanism, Ms. Hettie Mercer-Ricketts, Chief Executive Officer, Spa Body N Beyond Massage Therapy Institute has revealed.
She noted that the evolution of the massage therapy industry in the country seeks to support the health system and entertainment industry.
She called for integration into the national health sector the massage therapy, and stressed that the state licensing requirement must immediately develop mechanisms to regulate practitioners.
Ms. Mercer-Ricketts stated during the third graduation ceremony of Spa Body N Beyond Message Therapy Institute at which 40 people graduated, stressed the need to integrate into the health care industry massage therapy.
She suggested that Ghana can begin to learn from the jurisdictions of the other countries especially as both massage therapists and clients want to see massage further integrated into the health care industry.
She said it is therefore time for Ghana to begin to regulate the massage industry as well so that new professionals sit for and pass a Massage Licensing Certificate before they can begin practicing.
“With more and more people getting involved in the profession, it’s estimated that the profession would become increasingly accepted as a useful complementary health modality by mainstream medical practitioners, therefore the urgent need for the country to set the ground rules for practitioners,” she said.
She said: “It’s clear that the massage industry is growing. Massage is gaining popularity amongst Ghanaians, with an increasing number of people seeking out massage for a variety of reasons.
“At the same time, the number of massage therapists is inching upward from year to year. Clients are increasingly interested in preventative health care, while many clients will continue to come to see you for medical and injury-related reasons, it’s becoming more and more common for people to seek out massages as a kind of preventative therapy”.
Mr. Francis Ameyibor, Tema Regional Manager of the Ghana News Agency speaking on the “Role of communication in massage therapy,” explained that communication was the foundation of therapeutic relationships.
“Only by listening and speaking with authority can massage therapists contribute to their clients’ wellness, skilfully give and take are not only essential for successful treatment; they are the key to building a loyal customer base and a rewarding career,” he noted.
Mr. Ameyibor who is a part-time lecturer at the Spa Body N Beyond Message Therapy Institute emphasised that communication with clients is a two-way street, but as wellness professionals, massage therapists should take the lead.
“Massage therapists can enhance the power of their messages on the body of the client by ensuring that their touches are concise, concrete, courteous, timely, and correct,” he said.
He said communication has emotional facets through trust built on therapeutic relationships which enables the massage therapists to use different methods of communication with the fingers and touches to relate to the customers.
Mr. Ameyibor noted that massage therapist uses both verbal and non-verbal; “Gestures, posture and facial expressions. But while body language can be used to make a point, it’s more often something people do subconsciously, and if the message is negative, the results can be disastrous.
“Clients take cues from the body language they observe, so for a massage therapist, it pays to be aware of the signals they convey. A warm smile and a relaxed but upright posture can set the mood for a successful session”.