I keep hearing about the challenges of massage as a career for males. I don't agree with the idea that being male or female hold any advantages over the hard work it takes to maintain any service business.
While I hold no gender specific qualifications, I've had a leaning toward male MT's since my training at NHI in Emeryville, CA back in 1992, but I wouldn't say I have a preference.
My reasoning is personal and specific in that as an athletic and large female with excess weight I have benefitted from the strength ratio and leverage male muscle's provide, and have found many male therapist with a talent for very focused and thorough work.
I've found some females that can present that same level of intensity and have enjoyed them as well.
That I've worked with so many male MT's, it would seem more likely that I would have experienced some of the boundary issues, challenges or professional issues that some female MT's or clients express . . . but I haven't. Not even once.
Conversely, I have received some of the most nurturing and relaxing, if not subtle and energetic massages from males as well, so neither is it fair to say female MT's are more nurturing.
Truth be told I had to grow a little around body work on so many different levels, that these experiences both comforting and uncomfortable have helped me heal and blossom beyond my imagined potential. It's why I am so passionate about massage in the first place. The possibilities are endless when you particiate from a willing perspective for growth.
I'm always fascinated when groups of people become polarized on a belief about something as ambiguous as "male massage therapists". It is neither likely, nor possible that every male MT will have the exact same professional challenges as every other male MT. So why is the "male" massage therapist an issue with so many?
As a massage therapist, I see my role as a participant in the body-care of my client, and success is dependent upon my ability to facillitate the directives of my client within the scope of massage.
Over the years I discovered a place for both deep, intensive work as well as gentle, even to the degree of subtle, body work. Often one client can require differing needs within the span of their treatment.
Isn't it more fair to expect that "male" or "female", continuous growth both personal and professional is neccessary by ALL massage therapists to produce a well rounded experience for therapist and client alike, rather than focus on the worst fears of working with one gender or the other?
Kudos to all who are willing to re-evaluate the "male" therapist persective. I personally encourage each and every male MT to challenge themselves and the industry by producing their best work, and moving beyond the fear of isolation or difficulty.
Best of success to all of you!