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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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Hey, more education never hurts. However, for the extra 100 hours, my question is what is that going to cover? Massage for special populations? More energy work? Just slapping an extra 100 hours means nothing, just like Maryland makes anyone who has a college degree a Licensed Massage Therapist, regardless of what that degree was in.

I wouldn't have a problem if Maryland went as high as NY or even some of the Canadian provinces, if it raises our profession in the public's eye. From my understanding (someone please correct me if I'm wrong), in Canada you can't discount your prices because the government wants to keep massage in the realm of healthcare. So discounting massage would not be admissible since other medical providers don't discount their services.

Practicing in Maryland, in some cases, is like practicing in the Dark Ages. It will take a long time before they take our profession seriously, I fear.

From what I understand, Canada requires pretty much a Masters level of education to become a massage therapist.  I can understand not discounting prices after that much education!

I respectfully disagree that more education never hurts - more of what I was taught in massage school would have made it even more difficult to become as good as I am now.  I had to unlearn 90% of what I learned in school in order to do well.

I got a massage a couple years ago from a licensed Canadian therapist. She told me that she went to school for two years. But her massage wasn't any better then the lowly educated Americans I get massage from. 

Therese Schwartz said:

From what I understand, Canada requires pretty much a Masters level of education to become a massage therapist.  I can understand not discounting prices after that much education!

I respectfully disagree that more education never hurts - more of what I was taught in massage school would have made it even more difficult to become as good as I am now.  I had to unlearn 90% of what I learned in school in order to do well.

It's so disappointing to me that more people are not good at what they do, regardless of what it is.  Specifically to massage, it seems like a person will be a good therapist or not independent of education.  It depends on the person themselves - what they are willing to do, learn, grow personally, etc. 

I took Advanced 1 CranioSacral Therapy a year ago.  It's the fifth core CST class and not many people go that far through the curriculum.  We had 10 people in the class with probably half being really good therapists; the rest ranged in skill all the way down to one person who literally had no clue how to do CranioSacral therapy.  How on earth he made it that far I don't know.  To me, it was hugely disappointing.  I guess I had this unrealistic idea that if people go through a system they will automatically be good.  Not true!

"I respectfully disagree that more education never hurts - more of what I was taught in massage school would have made it even more difficult to become as good as I am now.  I had to unlearn 90% of what I learned in school in order to do well."

I would image that it all depends on the school you went to, I have found the complete opposite for me. You are correct there are a lot of schools out there that suck and pump out substandard students or worse don't take the time with those that are extremely passionate.

The reason I came to my position is that too many schools play on the "learn to be a MT in 9 months" and it can easily be seen in the eyes of John Q Public that "hey, it can't be that difficult if they can be done in a few months". And to the public if you say "I graduated from a 1000 hour program" vs "I graduated from a 650 hour program", you're are seen to be more on your game with the 1000 hour tag. Now as I said before more hours does NOT make you good, but maybe those high hours would scare away those who get shuffled into those auto tech/it/massage therapy schools who think they can easily get their diploma by sliding by.

I had a great school and they had some fantastic teachers, but there are some things I wish they taught me (like massaging special populations) more pathology, etc. I definitely felt my school helped me a lot, but if I had even 200 more hours in quality courses I could have been even better when I graduated.

In regards to the original post regarding Maryland, the massage board needs to get it's act together. I personally feel that the board is just taking my money for their hideously expensive license and not doing a darn thing to help elevate my profession. If they want to increase hours in quality courses then I'm all for it. But adding an extra 100 hours just to have more teaser courses is not enough.

Hope I didn't muddy the waters with my post here! :)

Some areas of Canada such as British Columbia and a few other provinces require 3000 plus hours, other areas require nothing. Canada is however working on having a National Standard. As I think we should here in the U.S. as well. 

I've read some comments that say more hours doesn't make a better therapist and while I do agree with this, more hours whether it be a 1000 or 2000 would make our profession more credible and would also weed out a lot of therapists that aren't actually serious about the profession.

Look at our health care field. Doctors go to school for 6 years or longer. Yet there are still crappy ones out there that could care less about patients. Imagine if they only had to go to school for 6-9months how many there would be.


 
Therese Schwartz said:

From what I understand, Canada requires pretty much a Masters level of education to become a massage therapist.  I can understand not discounting prices after that much education!

I respectfully disagree that more education never hurts - more of what I was taught in massage school would have made it even more difficult to become as good as I am now.  I had to unlearn 90% of what I learned in school in order to do well.

Leave the art in massage. Hours beyond the basics without skill and experience do not make a better MT. But it will make a better exam taker. Touch is not about exams, at least not yet.

I practice in Maryland, and they have decided to take most of the changes off the table (so to speak) for now. Keeping the hours at 500, but also not making changes to recordkeeping and CE requirements. There is a meeting on June 20th which will be open to the public, but there will be a chance after that for the members to respond, so keep looking at the website for details. 

As far as education hours, most of the programs in MD have increased to at least 720. Much of this was driven by the schools' ability to qualify students for the maximum student governnment loan programs, rather than creating qualified massage therapists, evidenced in the requirements admissions departments use for accepting appropriate students. I graduated with a 500 hour program, and I feel like I was well prepared for my field, and continue to take classes to improve my skills. So I don't see a real need to regulate the increased hours, but I agree with previous posters that many with "good massage skills" get that way not from a set number of hours, but a high quality of instruction and a desire for learning, passion, and problem solving on the part of the student. 

I'm 'old school', I had to look really hard to find a massage school when I started...and some of the best, most skilled and true trail blazers in this industry had little or no formal training at all...many of them blew away some of the grads I've worked with since.

Yes, some training is needed, and I think cont. ed is a must; the school I went to encourged us to get a job after 100 hours, and back then you could, and I did, so by the time I graduated I had a year of on the job experience, and that was invaluable.  You learn by doing and you do on the job, no amount of school will change that.  So I disagree.

Increasing Education hrs won’t help, actually the quality and the content of education is important. What they can provide in terms of becoming a fully confident massage therapist is time, devotion and personal attention to detail.

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