Deceptions within the Massage Industry

Deceptions within the Massage Industry

I’d like to take a moment to discuss deceptions within the massage industry. I have been a professional massage therapist for nearly 8 years now, and have seen so many different alternative therapies trying to basically hitch hike on the shoulders of the massage industry, that it is time to clarify what I deem to be no more than smoke and mirror deception. There is a vast amount of the populace that looks to massage therapy and practitioners as professional alternative medicine care givers and authorities on the modalities they practice. But what is being practiced and passed off as effective alternative medicine?

Number one on my list of deceptions within the massage industry. ‘Ion detoxification‘. This therapy involves having the client place his/her feet in a warm foot bath. An electronic device is placed in the water, along with some sort of minerals and salt. As the electronic mechanism is activated, a myriad of frothy sludge starts to form on top of the water. A color coded chart is then shown to the client to inform them, according to the color of the sludge being formed on the water, as to what internal organs are being drained of toxins. The truth? The electronic device will always have on it, or within the mechanism, a slab of metal, normally copper, that reacts with the salt, an electrical charge, and the mineral combination with water, to instantly form oxides, or to put it simply, rust.

This bogus therapy has been debunked many times, yet I still see it within the massage industry, and is used in many spas to extract as much cash from the client, without any benefit to them. If anything, I can only hope the client will eventually find they have been duped by that particular spa pushing this snake oil and will eventually find a spa that takes a professional western approach to massage therapy.

Number 2 on my list of deceptions within the massage industry. ‘Ear candling‘. Ear candling is promoted as a therapy that involves lighting a hollow bees wax candle and placing it within the ear. This therapy claims that a combination of heat and the dismal vacuum that it creates to once again “pull toxins from the body”. The therapist will, once the candle is burned down sufficiently enough, cut open the candle and reveal all of the “toxins” that were pulled out of the ear. This therapy has also been debunked by the science community, yet it is still practiced in many spas. The residue in the candle that has been cut open will reveal? You guessed it, more wax that has collected at the bottom of the candle, as well as some discoloration due to the smoke vortex that was active while the candle burned.  The truth is that the candles do not produce enough of a vacuum to pull anything out of the ear, nor any other toxin in the body. If anything, you may have wax from the candle embed deep in your ear canal, which will inevitably have you see a doctor to remedy what the candling did in the first place. This is another bogus therapy hitch hiking on the shoulders of the massage industry, and should be avoided.

Number 3 on my list of deceptions within the massage industry, and probably the most damaging of all out of the three I am discussing here. ‘Reiki‘. Ahhh yes, Reiki, the mystical therapy that heals without even touching the client. Seems like magic to me, and as we all know, magic is an illusion. No doubt our brains are more capable of healing the body than we know at this stage of human development and evolution, and we know the placebo effect can sometimes bring on astonishing results in people overcoming illness, but I think perhaps a sugar pill may be just as effective, and definitely less expensive, than a regimen of reiki sessions . A practitioner of reiki will claim to transfer healing energy to the client without touching them  while in meditation. It was developed in Japan by a Buddhist practitioner in 1922, and has since been altered into many different forms of reiki, with the practitioner reaching higher levels of training just as someone who meditates frequently reaches deeper levels of relaxation. I would even suggest the practice of reiki may actually only be beneficial to the practitioner themselves, as they practice this form of meditation frequently. This therapy can be damaging to someone who truly needs medical care from a physician, but choose this alternative therapy in hopes of some mystical medicine that will heal their medical problems. It is an extremely expensive therapy for a practitioner to attain a license for, and as massage therapists are required to receive continued education every 2-4 years, the classes for becoming a reiki practitioner are highly marketed, yet proven to be just another pseudoscience that shows no benefit to a client.

I would suggest anyone that is curious about reiki, to do their own research and find it truly is just another lie hitchhiking on the back of the massage industry. In my opinion, a daily self affirmation and meditation, with focus on being a better person, a more positive person, will have a greater result than a reiki practitioner can provide.

Deceptions within the Massage Industry

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About Michael Champagne

Michael Champagne is a professional massage therapist in Myrtle Beach,SC. Formerly a chef with 15+ years experience in the restaurant industry, now owner of Michaels Massage™, a mobile massage company in Myrtle Beach,SC. Offering mobile massage and spa services to The Grand Strand & surrounding areas.
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