So...I decided to read PA’s MT law a bit more carefully & see what it had to say about scope of practice:
§ 20.41. Scope of practice.
(a) Massage therapists apply a system of structured touch, pressure, movement, holding and treatment of the soft tissue manifestations of the human body in which the primary intent is to enhance the health and well-being of the client. Massage therapy includes:
(1) The external application of water, heat, cold, lubricants and other topical preparations.
(2) Lymphatic techniques.
(3) Myofascial release techniques.
(4) The use of electro-mechanical devices which mimic or enhance the action of the massage techniques.
(b) Massage therapy practice does not include:
(1) The diagnosis or treatment of impairment, illness, disease or disability.
(2) Medical procedures.
(3) Chiropractic manipulation—adjustment.
(4) Physical therapy mobilization—manual therapy.
(5) Therapeutic exercise.
(6) Ordering or prescribing drugs or treatments for which a license to practice medicine, osteopathic medicine, nursing, podiatry, optometry, chiropractic, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other healing art is required.
(7) The application of high velocity/low amplitude force further defined as thrust techniques directed toward joint surfaces.
(8) The use of equipment or devices that require a prescription (for example, ultrasound, diathermy or electrical neuromuscular stimulation).
(c) Licensure under the act may not be construed as requiring new or additional third-party reimbursement or otherwise mandating coverage under 75 Pa.C.S. Chapter 17 (relating to financial responsibility) or the Workers’ Compensation Act (77 P. S. § § 1—1041.4 and 2501—2506).
So, I’m guessing §20.41(b)(5) is what my employer is referring to, right? Seems pretty vague to me. Anybody have any feedback on this?
I really like to think that educating clients on how to be taking better care of themselves is part of what I do—I understand I should refer to more qualified professionals when appropriate...but when somebody’s getting tension headaches every night because they work at a desk from 9 to 5 & it hasn’t occurred to them that getting up & moving periodically might help prevent those headaches in the future?
It just feels like I’m running a racket if I’m not allowed to point out how they might take some simple preventative steps in the future, so they’re not completely dependent on me/MT to manage their chronic pain or discomfort. (Some clients actually ask me for advice on what they could be doing differently & it really takes a lot out of me to be limited to biting my tongue & saying, “Regular massage…”—as though that’s the only answer.)
I could live with not being able to say anything if I were allowed to give them xeroxes from books or articles or something…anything…to give them some sort of guidance regarding what direction to look into, if they really DO want to become more actively involved in taking greater responsibility for their own health/quality of life. All of my teachers at school, & all the bodywork books I love reinforced this philosophy during my training. & I’m just sort of at a loss for how to do that without being able to tell my clients anything.
Some guidance from more experienced practitioners in Pennsylvania would be greatly appreciated...