I have been a licensed massage therapist now for four and a half years, going on five, and to help build my business, I have been making contacts with many in the business community of my lovely city. Getting to know these new friends and associates has been quite the adventure. I get so excited when talking to someone and they say, “I need a _____ I can trust.” (fill in the blank with X profession) It’s gives me such pleasure and satisfaction to say, “I know someone who would be able to help you! Here’s their card (or contact information).”
Of course, these new friends and associates are getting to know me, too. And when I get to be introduced to one of their circle of people as a “masseuse,” I silently cringe.
Merriam-Webster defines “masseuse” as “a woman who practices massage and physiotherapy.”
The term “masseuse” is a nice concise European word to say what I do.
So why do I cringe, albeit silently usually?
While this is technically correct of what I do, the connotation of this word presents a conundrum.
I studied anatomy and physiology, pathology, several modalities, learned CPR and first aid as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine, and logged 70 hours in student clinic while in massage school for a year, while working 40 hours a week.
I passed a pretty rigorous national certification exam, as well as a state level jurisprudence exam to be able to say that I am a Licensed Massage Therapist in the State of Maryland.
People can come to see me, a Licensed Massage Therapist, in my OFFICE, where I practice massage.
The connotation, however innocent, of the term “masseuse” can create a picture in the listener’s mind of a “massage parlor,” or a place where services are performed that I can assure you, I do not do.
I have heard of places where these particular services can be provided, but I do not do them, nor will I recommend them for legitimate massage. If that’s your thing, contact me and I’ll tell you where to go. And I’ll try my best not to judge you for asking the question.
If you want a nice relaxing massage with therapeutic benefits, I am a Licensed Massage Therapist, and I can help you.