Throughout the world there are very different models of health care. From primarily private healthcare in the US to the State provision of primary and secondary health care in much of Western Europe to the socialised medical systems in places such as Canada and Australia. Many of the latter group are very happy with the government looking after their health care needs and want to extend this model of health care in to the preventative medicine field.
I would like to argue that this is not such a good thing, even though it may look innocuous at first glance.
Socialised medicine may be a good thing for things like unexpected events such as car accidents and medical emergencies. It takes some of the stress out of life by making people feel that if there is such an emergency that they will be looked after regardless of their ability to pay. This is reassuring when modern medicine can be so expensive, as we see in the United States where medical procedures can bankrupt people just as they are struggling with health problems. This doesn’t usually happen in Canada or Australia or the UK, where medicine is, at least in part, socialized.
However, when bureaucrats get involved in an industry there is always a cost. Bureaucrats like standardization, they like things to fit into nice boxes. As I mentioned in my article about Massage as an Art, getting bureaucracy involved in the massage industry, goes against attempts to develop the qualities of a good massage therapist because a good practitioner is an artist who really answers only to their own spirit and or to whatever they believe God to be. Regulation of a healing art goes against everything a fee society stands for, in the same way that State regulation of religion goes against the freedoms that the religion itself stands for. Bringing bureaucracy into this artistic freedom is very messy and stifling for the therapist involved and for the industry as a whole. It again forces everyone fit into these nice contained boxes of mediocrity.
There is very limited benefit to be had from making massage a form of socialised medicine in specific cases of rehabilitation from accidents or in recovery from brain injury.
One of the key strengths that the massage provides is in the field of preventative medicine. Getting a massage a week keeps the doctor away just as eating health foods is a food form of preventative medicine, in the same way that exercise or yoga is. None of these activities are, or need to be, socialised, incurring a lot of extra costs to society for what should be a simple economic transaction. Instead of person A paying money to person B we have Person A getting reimbursed by Insurance Company C for their treatment with person B while therapist B had to get licensed through government body D to get Company C to give money back to Person A. That’s a lot of extra people’s time wasted that all has to be paid for, for what should have be a simple transaction
So if a person receives one massage a week for 40 or 50 weeks a year, say at $80 or 50 pounds a treatment this is a cost of 2000 to 4000 local currency units a year . Many people spend way more than this on their car or on gym memberships let alone the people that spend this amount on cigarette consumption or alcohol or other drugs. Getting a weekly massage is a good investment just like a person may make a choose to spend more money by buying health food rather than junk food makes a decision to spend more money on the food now in order to save health costs and the other side effects of poor health later on in life. The long term investment in their health is worth it. Health after all is one, if not the most important things in this life.
If a person receives this regular massage, they will not have stress build up, their circulation will be better and emotionally they will be calm and happy usually, particularly if this type of massage is Raynor massage or another powerful type of massage.
The socialization of the massage industry means that a small group of bureaucrats usually with no great experience as healing artists decide who is “qualified” and who isn’t. What does being qualified mean when it comes to being a healing artist? What does being qualified mean when it comes to being a musician, a chef, a shaman or a painter?
It’s a hard to define term that really doesn’t need to be “defined” by one group of bureaucrats in a free market and which cannot be defined outside of cultural limitations.
In the field of martial arts, music or painting we actually have a free market. People will only pay to listen to music, to buy a painting if they think that what they are buying is worth the money they are paying. In a free society we can and should be able to choose which type of art form we want to decorate our house. We should be free to choose to consult a Mayan shaman if we want or a Hawaiian Kahuna, a Christian faith healer, an Ayurvedic astrologer, a gem therapist or a Reiki master or Chinese acupuncturist if that is where we feel our money is best spent.
Freedom is important
The same is true of massage. Massage is an art form and there are always artists improving and being creative with massage, especially at this unique point in the Earth’s history where we are able to draw upon the ancient knowledge of so many cultures and their massage techniques, philosophies and ways of looking at people, life and health.
The great thing about the free market system is that the consumer decides for themselves what is best. If a consumer like a particular healer then supply and demand laws of economics will mean his or her business is successful. Happy clients will return and refer more clients and so soon they will be booked out in which case they may choose to charge more for their services. It is up to them. Therefore, being good at your art form will be rewarded. This is a good thing which encourages people to care for their clients and work hard to do the best massage they are capable of. Practitioners who are ineffective or who have bad bedside manner will not have repeat clients and will go out of business as it often costs more money to get that first client in the door by advertising than they earn from that initial first treatment
Any massage therapist, who has been in business for a while will tell you that a good massage therapy business is based on repeat clients and referrals. So, in this way, practitioners who are not good will be weeded out until they either improve their skills or bedside manner and personal relating skills or they find another job.
This, I believe, is a much better system that will serve our countries well, rather than bureaucratising the massage industry and involving the insurance industry. They are the only ones who gain from this because generally insurance is only for an unexpected event that is very expensive. Massage is best used for prevention of stress build up and energy blockages and this is just part of life. It is not unexpected nor is it prohibitively expensive. Even to get a massage once a month would still be enormously beneficial, especially if the massage is from a massage artist rather than a bureaucratically minded, assembly line style massage therapist following set routines and moves in treatments, regardless of the person’s needs that they are massaging.
Keep the freedom in the industry and keep bureaucrats out. Just pay the therapist $80 when you get a massage or whatever they charge and keep it simple. Just like paying when you buy food, gas or go to the gym. Socialism does not always work and the cost of socializing the massage industry far out weight the benefits.