This probably seems like a pretty weird blog topic but hey this is something that comes up a lot in clinic and in conversation with people about what we do.
Have you ever called a massage therapist a Masseuse? This may seem perfectly normal and you may also think this is what we are supposed to be called. Well…. think again.
If you haven’t noticed we are not female at Muscle Therapy Australia. Few people seem to realise that the word Masseuse is actually French for Female massage therapist. So the short of it is that Richie and I aren’t female. It is the equivalent of calling us waitresses if we were working in a restaurant. The correct term is Masseur but even that word just sounds creepy and no remedial practitioner wants to be called a masseur either (images of a sandal come to mind). You can call us Muscle therapists or Remedial practitioners and we are happy with that.
The term masseuse, even when applied to a female, doesn't really touch on what we do. We call ourselves Muscle Therapists to differentiate from the other “Massage therapists” out there. Those others include Thai massage, Chinese massage, aromatherapy massage, Swedish massage and many other alternative therapists. You have probably noticed that what we do is different and if you haven’t then you should go and have a treatment at one of those aforementioned styles of massage and then you will see just how different we are. Even when compared to remedial massage what we do is vastly different. We are looking to fix your pain and dysfunction and not just give you a nice relaxing rub down. We are highly trained in anatomy, physiology, injury identification, rehab advice as well as treatment techniques that most people have never even heard of such as Active release techniques, dry needling and fascia work - let alone practice. Very few practitioners are as qualified as we are.
Credibility. The term masseuse or even massage can have connotations. If you told someone at work you were going for a massage with us they would probably respond with something like “la di da, lucky you, going for a massage, what a luxury”. If you told someone you were going to the dentist or the physio they would never have that response, unless they were a masochist. Next time tell someone you are going to see your muscle therapist to work on your injury and see what they say.
So there you have it. Next time you go to call us a masseuse think again, otherwise we will have to start wearing wigs and dresses and nobody wants that……