Better Together… An Evolved Vision for Healthcare

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Better Together… An Evolved Vision for Healthcare

Margaret Wallis-Duffy, RMT

As RMT’s we are fortunate to be a part of an amazing profession that can have a positive impact on the mental, physical and even spiritual well-being of the people that we have the honour of treating.

Why is it then, that so many of us struggle to link arms with other healthcare professionals and truly work together to improve the health and well-being of those that we have the honour of treating?

How do we begin to shift the way we view our profession and find ways to inject us right into the middle of this integrative model of healthcare?

Well, it beings with challenging our perspectives and uncovering our own limiting beliefs. Are we listening to the stories that lie within our subconscious minds that tells us on a daily basis that we are not worthy of playing a vital role in our healthcare system? Perhaps you haven’t truly examined why you are holding yourself back from reaching out to other healthcare professionals and finding ways to work with them.

This is a crucial exercise that all of us must do if we are going to elevate our profession and become a vital part of a more integrative healthcare system.

Here is the good news! We, as a profession have the opportunity or more importantly the responsibility of changing this limited paradigm of thinking!

In our 24/7 society, at a time when many people suffer with stress and perhaps live in fear (losing their job, getting sick etc), we as Massage Therapists have a unique value proposition.

It’s not JUST about the physical benefits of massage! We are changing and transforming lives through the laying on of hands and the connection we make of the mind and body through our powerful work!

Over the past couple of decades, we have not only discouraged but have become afraid of touch in our society. Schools and workplaces often frown upon connecting through touch, leaving us craving this fundamental mode of human interaction.

As researcher, Ken Wilbur wrote in The Spectrum of Consciousness, “For every mental ‘problem’ or ‘knot’, there is a corresponding bodily ‘knot’, and vice versa since, in fact, the body and the mind are not two. That is, psychic conflict, guilt, shame, unresolved grief all can be lodged in the body as body memories and when the site of the psychic difficulty is deeply touched through massage or other manipulation, it can not only release the physical pain but may make the psychic pain accessible.

It is time to think outside the box or our treatment room walls and explore the vital role that massage therapists can play in the overall integrative healthcare model.

For the past 25 years, I have boldly stated on countless occasions that I do NOT believe in the philosophy that we as Massage Therapists offer alternative care!

No one benefits from an US vs THEM approach to wellness. A conventional medicine vs complimentary medicine approach to healthcare is limiting and quite frankly detrimental to both the health of our society as well as the fiscal health of our system.

Professionals from both the conventional and complimentary healthcare systems have invaluable skills and experiences to share. Empowering patients and healthcare professionals alike to break down the silos and work together with a patient centred approach is the only way to promote optimal health for Canadians of all ages!

I truly believe that we are BETTER TOGETHER and I am on a BIG MISSION to play an instrumental role (alongside some other amazing healthcare professionals who also see the value in my vision) in changing the way we approach healthcare in our country!

I am not looking for perfection but rather progression with a working model that will help to educate and empower people to invest in their health, take a more ACTIVE role in it and to create a template that all of us can begin to follow on our path to wellness.

I am very excited to share that I am about to launch an amazing project of collaboration of a guidebook with a team of healthcare professionals from all disciplines; massage therapists, physicians, naturopathic doctor, pharmacist, optometrist, dietitian, counsellor, and midwife to name a few, to work together with the patient at the centre, to illustrate to both the general public as well as other healthcare professionals that working together nets superior results.

The hope is that this book will serve as a catalyst for conversations with policy makers about the future of our healthcare system. In fact, this is already starting to happen! I am humbled and honoured to accept an award at the Canadian International Women’s Day Gala appointed by the UN for my leadership in integrative health.

I have never been more proud to be an RMT and I will continue to work passionately to elevate our profession.