What's in a name?

I received a call today letting me know that I was a finalist in the 2014 Scottish Hair & Beauty Awards, under the category of Masseuse of the Year.
When I first heard about these awards I cringed a little, because it isn’t one of my favourite terms for our industry, but it is one that is used an awful lot and mostly by those who don’t know any better.

According to the dictionary, a masseuse is:

  1. a woman who provides massage professionally.

In the same vain, a masseur is:

1. a person who provides massage professionally.

So technically, it’s not wrong it’s just that these terms have become synonymous with the more inappropriate services that use Massage as a cover.
Until there is legislature to define and regulate these clandestine operations they will use any profession and title they can to cloak their true operations, it’s just unfortunate for us that we have deal with it most often.

When I first attended Massage School these two terms, Masseuse and Masseur, used to really irritate me and I would often go into a tirade both in person and online when we were labelled incorrectly.
“The correct term is Massage Therapist, thank you very much!” Followed by lots of exclamation points to make my point.
What makes it even more difficult is when legitimate therapists refer to themselves as these terms.

It’s taken me a long time to accept that it will be a long time before we are addressed accordingly, and until that time the best that we can do is educate our clients, our fellow therapists and health care professionals and anyone who may be confused by what we do.
So let them call us what they want, as long as they understand our profession and if they don’t, then have a chat with them and let them know why it’s an unfortunate term to use and why “Massage Therapist” is more appropriate.

Whoever is lucky enough to win this years award, I hope that they accept it on behalf of all the Massage Therapists who are changing lives one massage at a time.
What do you prefer to be addressed as?

How do you define your profession?

What do you think would be the best way to separate legitimate Massage from “other” services?