Mel Cash is the founder & principle tutor at the London School of Sports Massage.
This is the college that I attended and gained my qualifcation.
Here, he speaks about about his feelings and the shift from ‘Sports Massage’ to ‘Soft Tissue Therapy‘….
“Perhaps the worst mistake I have ever made was calling my first book “Sports Massage”. It should have been called Remedial Massage for Sport, but my publishers thought that Sports Massage sounded more contemporary (it had never been seen in print before). I hoped at the time that sports massage would become synonymous with remedial massage and mean the same thing, but how wrong I was!
Sports and remedial massage therapy
Five years ago when the London School of Sports Massage upgraded its training course to a BTEC level 5 qualification, we decided to continue to call it Sports and Remedial Massage and hope that our emphasis on remedial (which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as “giving or intended as a remedy or cure”) would be understood. But there are 2 problems with this:
- “Sports massage” is getting a reputation for being quite crude and brutal as there are still some organisations and schools providing poor quality training.
- Using the word massage in the qualification title implies that that’s all we do, which is not true. Our scope of training means it is possible to provide highly effective treatment without applying any ‘conventional’ massage techniques. Massage is just one of the tools that we draw on.
Remedial soft tissue therapy
Every 5 years, our qualification has to be renewed with BTEC. There was very little change to the course content this time round, but I feel that it is becoming increasingly important to have a title that truthfully and accurately reflects the range of skills that our graduates possess by the end of their training. Remedial Soft Tissue Therapy is a more accurate description of what we do now.
When I started as a therapist, nobody had heard of the term sports massage, but in just a few years it became a recognised term. If you used the term ‘soft tissue’, people used to think that it had something to do with toilet paper, but now we often hear about deep tissue massage and people seem to know what it means.
Nowadays I don’t think people will be scared off by the term soft tissue therapy, but instead are more likely to be enthusiastic because they want something different and better than the ‘average’ sports massage they may have experienced.
I believe now is the right time to start calling ourselves ‘Remedial Soft Tissue Therapists,’ and I’m sure that this will become a commonly recognised term if more of us use it.”
In a further interview he goes on to say….
“We have also seen changes in the training of physiotherapists over recent decades, which has made musculoskeletal physiotherapy become predominantly exercise-based,with limited, if any, hands-on treatment techniques that we use to such a great effect in Soft Tissue Therapy.
Soft Tissue Therapy has evolved to fill the vacuum that has developed in the treatment of minor and chronic injuries in mainstream healthcare today. It has risen to a much higher clinical level than the ‘sports massage‘ we started off with in the 1980ies.”