Last year I attended a few Christmas Parties that were held in honour of some of our Senior Citizens. At one in particular, we played Bingo, Dominos and a few card games. The table where I sat had eight person…three being residents of the home…the others were relatives and/or friend. Similar games were played at other tables and prizes were given to winners. We were all winners, eventually.
I spoke with some of the relatives of the residents. Conversations ranged from simply enjoying the moment, to costly health routines that gave assurance that we all aren’t gonna end up folded up in a Geriatric home (any time soon).
One person spoke of the usefulness of Health Insurance. She did not intimate details of her illness, but I gathered that it has something to do with her spine. In attempts to deal with her problem, she has seen Doctors, Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, etc. No Massage Therapist.
Even with my little sharing on some of the advantages of Massage Therapy she gave no indication that she was enthused about trying it. There is the impression that Massage Therapy is Beauty Therapy. However, the main reason for not trying it seemed to be that she cannot get reimbursed by any Insurance Company after she would have spent her money taking massage treatments.
There is much hope and scope for Massage Therapy in Trinidad and Tobago. As yet, Massage Therapists are still in the infant stage of making an adequate impression on the Medical arena. Many Therapists are well trained/qualified and should be able to find employment in the Health Industry, but instead find their services limited to the Hospitality Industry.
Not that such is not rewarding, but having access to the Health Industry (even on a part-time basis) says that someone is taking us seriously. A few Therapists have worked overtime to gain the respect of a few Doctors, and it has paid off. Hats off to them. Maybe the rest of us are lazy. Or maybe there should be some criteria set by the Medical Board that those of us who are so interested, can work towards achieving.
The business of Massage Therapy is ever evolving (while remaining the same) and at some point continued education comes into focus. A diploma in Medical Massage sounds impressive enough. But, less we put the cart before the horse; we need to first know whether such qualification is on the list of criteria, as well as the recommended institutions of learning.