Judy Blumenfeld
Licensed Massage Therapist

Allied Healthcare

Massage therapists are one of many allied health professionals making a difference. You may be asking, are Massage Therapists Medical Professionals?

As part of the allied healthcare field, Massage Therapists are Medical Professionals.

What Is an Allied Healthcare Worker?

Up to 60 percent of healthcare workers in the United States are classified as allied health professionals.

 Allied health workers include:

  • Physical, occupational and speech therapists
  • Massage therapists
  • Paramedics
  • Audiologists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Nurse midwives
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Pharmacists
  • Psychologists
  • Behavioral counselors 

What Does a Massage Therapist Do?

The body has 700 muscles that work in tandem to keep us in motion, it’s a delicate balance that’s prone to injury. Massage therapists work with clients to alleviate pain, heal injuries and reduce tension by manipulating soft tissue. Bodywork is proven to improve both physical and mental well-being. Types of massage include:

  • Swedish
  • Shiatsu
  • Trigger point
  • Deep tissue
  • Hot stone
  • Aromatherapy
  • Sports
  • Reflexology
  • Thai
  • Neuromuscular
  • Prenatal

Each offers unique health benefits such as:

  • Less stress
  • Improved peripheral circulation
  • A stronger immune system
  • Pain relief
  • Flexibility
  • Better mobility
  • Enhanced athletic performance
  • Deeper sleep
  • A brighter mood

Research suggests that massage helps patients better manage chronic conditions like depression, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

Practice Autonomously

Massage therapists govern their own practice and make their own treatment decisions. When working with doctors and physical therapists, they collaborate but make their own treatment decisions.

Create Plans of Care

Massage therapists evaluate their clients and create customized treatment plans to meet their needs. Like doctors, they listen to patients and consider a wide range of factors including conditions for which patients may have been referred. The goal is to approach each patient holistically, as an individual, to provide the best quality care.

Explain Treatment Options

Many aspects of a patient’s life are touched by illness or injury. A persistent sprain is not only painful, but it also impacts mobility and mood and makes simple tasks more difficult. There are usually options for treatment depending on the patient’s preferences. Like doctors, massage therapists review options but let the patients make the decisions.

Do No Harm

As independent professionals, massage therapists are obliged to do no harm. If an exam reveals contraindications to massage or practitioners believe bodywork won’t be beneficial, they put the brakes on treatment.

Collaborate with Other Medical Professionals

No medical professional is an island. Patients benefit most when they have a team of experts contributing to their care. Of the massage therapists who work in medical offices, most collaborate with a broad range of healthcare providers to optimize interventions.