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I was browsing  different massage therapy related web sites when I came across this:

http://www.abmp.com/news/md-bill-to-increase-entry-level-education-...

In a nutshell it says the ABMP is against Maryland increasing the education requirement from 500 hrs to 600 hrs.

How do you guys feel about this?  Are you for or against raising the entry level bar to become licensed or certified?

Personally, I think that as long as the entry level requirements stay as low as they currently are, then ME and other franchises can justify the low pay rates they offer.  I am for upping the educational requirements, however I am new to the industry to maybe their are negatives to increasing the education requirements that Im just not aware of.

Your thoughts? 

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This is one of the things I love about this forum. All sorts of good information, discussions, and new knowledge ... and then out of nowhere, I also learned about the best make of clarinet. :)

Gordon J. Wallis said:

Hmm, well cutting that nerve, will not eliminate that muscle pain.  I hope it does work for her... Follow up on it for us.   PS- tell your clarinet client that the best clarinet ever made was a Leblanc Dynamic H.

I'm with ABMP on this one. Schools will just start charging more and the extra 100 hours may or may not even be helpful. I think it's similar to K-12 schools going to a longer school day because "it increases learning time". Maybe it does and maybe it doesn't. It ALL depends on how the teacher is using the extra 2 or 3 hours.

I oppose more than 500 hours being required for entry level. I do agree with annual CEU requirements. The only benefit I have seen is to the schools. Usually the higher hours go with not requiring continuing education. A whole range of modalities are given one week lessons. Students don't get to focus on and develop their style. Oh one other group benefits from this curriculum. The Spas get broadly certified Therapists to satisfy their menu. Since schools and chain spas are usually dominating State Boards, they guide regulation to meet their needs not the need of an entry level massage therapists entering a broad profession.

Looks like Illinois is upping their educational requirement from what they are now.  As of Jan. 1st 2014, the state of Illinois will require Massage Therapy training programs to include 600 hrs of education instead of the current requirement which is 500hrs.

http://www.idfpr.com/profs/Rules/Propsd/042013ProposedMassageAmendm...

I for one, think they are headed in the right direction, and I'm happy to see it.  Just my opinion.

600 hours is required to practice in Maryland already.  We received 608 hours at our school (a community college) so that we could practice in the region (DC, MD and VA).  I know A LOT of therapist that live in MD but commute to VA to practice, this may be part of the reason.

Also, the licensing in MD is under the chiropractic board while VA is under the nursing board.  Not sure what DC does. I'm only licensed in VA at this time as that is keeping me pretty busy. 

I used to be totally against more hours of education since I started with 250 hours and many of my friends even have less.  I do think the education was much better back in 1987 when I went to school. I went when I was 32.  I had already had a career that involved customer service. I learned injury treatments etc.  Also the thing is that many people coming out of high school are now entering the field and I just don't think the quality of education is the same.  There have been so many massage schools that popped up just for the sake of starting a school.

Now I actually think it should be at least a 2 year program.

There is talk in WA state of a tiered system with 800 hours for a spa therapist and 1000 hours for a medical massage therapist.  I am not sure if that is the answer. Spa therapists still need to know how to work on people with injuries and pathologies. 

The other part of the problem is that there are so many different groups trying to create standards - the Alliance for Massage Education,the ELAP,  and then there is the big CE mess going on.  What if CE's were required but it is about being informed of the latest research like massage does not spread cancer.  There are still MT who think it does - that makes us look silly as a profession.

A few years ago I was asked to give a short talk at a local massage school.  After the talk, the head instructor asked if I would be interested in teaching.  She showed me the materials, courses, and lessons that I would be teaching.  I looked over everything and told her that I cant teach this stuff.  She asked me how come?  I told her that I dont know any of this stuff.  She said.  But you are a professional massage therapist? I told her.. Uhm, I guess you dont have to know any of this stuff to be a professional massage therapist.  Many times I have worked on clients that had or have been seeing other types of highly educated professionals for weeks and sometimes months and even years, only to solve their problem in one or two massages.  More hours is only that. More hours.

Wow, you are truly gifted Gordon.....you seem to be great at so many different things.  I guess not all of us can have so many natural talents...

No, not really.  Here is an example.  I was working on a client not too long ago.. He had schedualled a two hour relaxation massage... well three quarters into the massage I found out he was seeing a physical therapist for a shoulder problem.  He had been seeing the guy for five weeks, twice a week, and was not getting any better... As a matter of fact he was in even more pain and it was getting worse.  The guy could not lift his arm up very high before feeling a lot of pain.. For whatever reason the physical therapist had him doing strengthening exercises for that shoulder.. But I palpated a very big sore trigger point in the infraspinatus muscle.  I eliminated that in one minute, and the guy could lift his arm without pain.. The PT never even palpated his shoulder?  Give me a break? The infraspinatus was injured..cellular damage, it had a trigger point. The worst thing to do is exercise a wounded muscle.. So four years of college, and from my perspective he didnt even know what he was doing.. The muscle was weak.. so he was trying to strengthen it...Big mistake...and he kept making his patient do the same thing over and over with no improvement in the guys condition?.. So Im gifted?  Hardly... The point Im making is that increasing hours is not the answer...Our schooling just needs to teach us how to think.  Instead of memorizing all this stuff for ever more tests..Im not gifted. 

Stacey Freitag said:

Wow, you are truly gifted Gordon.....you seem to be great at so many different things.  I guess not all of us can have so many natural talents...

No one is forcing anyone to work at ME or any other franchise. I have heard ups and downs from people working for a franchise. Have been told by several people, that yes they do receive less pay, but at the same time, they are compensated with things like, Health Insurance, Workmans Comp, Paid CEU's etc. They have no expenses for advertising, buying supplies, linens, lotions. No over head costs at all.  They also have receptionists that are working very hard to make sure they do get clients. The only thing they have to do is show up. To some, this is worth less pay!

 

I don't think that increasing ed requirements is going to force ME or anyone else to pay higher wages. Look at place like NY, ND that require 750-1000 hours. ME still operates there!

 

I personally wouldn't work for any of those places, but I can not fault the people that chose to do so.

Chris, you're right.  

Chris Reynolds said:

No one is forcing anyone to work at ME or any other franchise. I have heard ups and downs from people working for a franchise. Have been told by several people, that yes they do receive less pay, but at the same time, they are compensated with things like, Health Insurance, Workmans Comp, Paid CEU's etc. They have no expenses for advertising, buying supplies, linens, lotions. No over head costs at all.  They also have receptionists that are working very hard to make sure they do get clients. The only thing they have to do is show up. To some, this is worth less pay!

 

I don't think that increasing ed requirements is going to force ME or anyone else to pay higher wages. Look at place like NY, ND that require 750-1000 hours. ME still operates there!

 

I personally wouldn't work for any of those places, but I can not fault the people that chose to do so.

What I just discribed is typical.  Read the attachment.  Im not gifted, just experienced. And right now, I see our education certification system leading our profession towards incompetnce. After 30 years of doing this kind of work.  Its a big obvious. 

Gordon J. Wallis said:

No, not really.  Here is an example.  I was working on a client not too long ago.. He had schedualled a two hour relaxation massage... well three quarters into the massage I found out he was seeing a physical therapist for a shoulder problem.  He had been seeing the guy for five weeks, twice a week, and was not getting any better... As a matter of fact he was in even more pain and it was getting worse.  The guy could not lift his arm up very high before feeling a lot of pain.. For whatever reason the physical therapist had him doing strengthening exercises for that shoulder.. But I palpated a very big sore trigger point in the infraspinatus muscle.  I eliminated that in one minute, and the guy could lift his arm without pain.. The PT never even palpated his shoulder?  Give me a break? The infraspinatus was injured..cellular damage, it had a trigger point. The worst thing to do is exercise a wounded muscle.. So four years of college, and from my perspective he didnt even know what he was doing.. The muscle was weak.. so he was trying to strengthen it...Big mistake...and he kept making his patient do the same thing over and over with no improvement in the guys condition?.. So Im gifted?  Hardly... The point Im making is that increasing hours is not the answer...Our schooling just needs to teach us how to think.  Instead of memorizing all this stuff for ever more tests..Im not gifted. 

Stacey Freitag said:

Wow, you are truly gifted Gordon.....you seem to be great at so many different things.  I guess not all of us can have so many natural talents...

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