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I hope this gets everyone's attention, and I don't give a rip if anyone replies or not. I am posting this separately from the previous discussions on here that have deteriorated into the most vile insulting and mudslinging bunch of crap I have ever seen in my life.

 

It is distressing to me that massage therapists, researchers in the field, and anyone else associated with our profession in any way stoop to this kind of behavior. Not only is it not a productive discussion, it is starting to sound like a bunch of politicians on tv with their insulting of each other's credentials, standards, and abilities.

 

I am not interested in shame and blame, so who started it and who said what is irrelevant. I urge you all to remember that we are ALL in this profession because we have a desire to help people through the awesome power of touch, and that is what it is about.

 

We don't have to agree. We can all agree to disagree. The personal attacks, the character attacks, the arguing over which country does it better, is ridiculous, petty, and childish. This is not the first time this has happened. It is the main reason I avoid this site most of the time.

 

I am no better, or no worse than anyone else, and everybody is entitled to an opinion. That's what forums are meant for, so that people with differing opinions have a place to discuss those, but so much of what has gone on here is not a civil discussion. When I see people that I know to be hard-working, caring people, and people that I know to be brilliant minds and hard-working as well get into these mudslinging insulting arguments on here, I personally find that to be a bad reflection of what we are supposed to be about.

 

I don't have to be bad in order for you to be good. You don't have to be a failure just so someone else can be a success. One country who does things differently is not better or worse, they are just different. People get caught up in national pride, and that's okay, but it does not have to deteriorate into what some of these discussions have deteriorated into. Someone makes a comment, someone takes it the wrong way, or out of context, and it just goes downhill from there.

 

When you're writing like this, you can't hear people's tone of voice, you can't see their body language, and what might be civil if we were all in a room together comes off as a bunch of superior b*******, and one's just as guilty as the other. When anyone has anything intelligent to say, someone else seizes upon that and uses it as an excuse for the next round of arguing.

 

I wish everyone of you peace and prosperity, regardless of where you are from, what you do, or how you do it. We are all equal by virtue of the fact that we are all human and it's too bad that people are fighting like a pack of junkyard dogs instead of having a civil disagreement. I can't participate in it and I won't.

 

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Rev,

That link only part of the feature. The article on alternative therapies is under a different title.

L.

The Rev said:

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2057269,00.html is where you will find the piece on pain... Julie was right awhile ago. The subject line should be changed. My delete key is mostly used on this thread because of it getting so far off track. Welcome aboard Ms Mackay. Good to "see" you.
Hi Rev.  Good to "see" you too.

The Rev said:
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2057269,00.html is where you will find the piece on pain... Julie was right awhile ago. The subject line should be changed. My delete key is mostly used on this thread because of it getting so far off track. Welcome aboard Ms Mackay. Good to "see" you.

Hi Daniel.  I wonder about the harm quotient as well.  When state licensing was being pushed in our state the main organization behind it insisted that massage therapy was harmful to the public thus needed to be regulated.  Yet, after a great deal of research our state found quite the contrary and for many many years refused to create a state board and license.  I read an earlier post of someone who has been part of a massage board (by Laura Allen I think) and she related the common issues they dealt with which appeared centered around sexual misconduct and people operating without licenses.  I don't recall much mention about harm.  Possibly she would be willing to address this issue a bit more?  I believe if our profession was harmful the insurance industry would be hammering us and we would pay a whole lot more for our liability insurance than we do. 

I absolutely agree with you about developing connections with our clients similar to the old GP who knew and understood what their individual patients were dealing with both in their bodies and in their lives.  I see many clients who are disheartened and dissatisfied with their health care providers.  Often they feel overlooked, rushed or completely blown off by the very people who are supposed to help them.  I work very hard to distance my practice from being seen as health care.  When I work on my clients they get my full attention and my full range of knowledge and experience.  When I don't have the answers I do my best to help find them.  Most importantly I do not want that taken away from me because some in our field wish to create a box and force everyone in it with the idea that those who don't fit their paradigm are not valuable assets to our profession. 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

 

 

Daniel Cohen said:

I like your approach.

Do we really need to create boxes for a profession (I readily profess my love of massage/bodywork) which allows both the scientific evidence base with the metaphysical world of little known? How many are harmed by such a wide open system that encourages each to explore where it takes them? If we were to become the same as other healthcare fields and be absorbed within the others, what would become of our boundless ability to  match the Therapist and Client? We make people feel better. We reach people when others can't. We fill the gaps. Our presence improves many lives. For me that is enough proof. To me evidence based massage, will eventually, mean knowing which modality and even which pressure or stroke is most effective in a clinical situation. This would broaden the use of massage in medical and perhaps psychological settings but it wont lessen the effect of touch.To me the connection we develop with our clients is more like the old general practitioner who made home visits and knew our lives than the insurance based specialists today.


Lets keep the diversity and the profession open. Do not fear the chaos as it contains infinite possibilities.

I don't see a broken system but I do see fellow practitioners who are the matrix for people seeking to improve their lives.

Kathy, I also do not see the need for tiers. I do not see how tiers benefit the client. Search engines provide more information on which MT I would be comfortable with at this point in time. If it is simply about politics then let it not restrict those of us that simply want to be. Those of us who are politically inclined can certainly find a place within the matrix flux without creating barriers for others.

Kathy says "My biggest worry are new graduates being released from intense programs which encourage them to think their new found knowledge and skill takes the place of experience in the field." It is a scary thought.

Kathy Mackay said:

I admit it has been a very long time since I've engaged in discussions of this nature.  Even though I missed all the excitement of the other thread this one has been an interesting read.  ...even see a few folks I recognize from long ago engagements and discussions. **waves**

I'm curious what is it about the current state of affairs that prevents the folks who want evidenced based research from doing the research they wish to have done?  Who is stopping you from doing this? Surely MT's aren't preventing research from being done?  Is it that MT's aren't embracing it like some want them to do?

IMHO, I see no reason for a tiered system.  At this point you can do whatever you wish to do without restraint.  And while that may scare a lot of people for fear of practitioners running amok the truth is that the majority of MT's are respectable folks doing really wonderful work regardless of whether they can explain how and why it works. 

As someone already said, I don't claim a whole lot other than "you'll feel a lot better when we're done."  I offer clinical/therapeutic massage and address all types of issues -- ranging from rehabilitation, sports massage, relaxation and yes, even energy work when requested.  What I do is effective which brings clients back to see me.  The one thing I don't offer is spa work but considering my state license requires 24 hours of CEU's to renew I can't state categorically that I wouldn't consider learning hot stones or salt scrubs at some point down the line.

When folks start talking about tiers I wonder where I would fit in at this point?  Are the tiers based solely on education hours?  CEU's?  Years in practice?  Or taking someone's idea of a practical or special certification?  Do I have to choose one tier over the other?  Does being in a tier suddenly make me unable to practice work I had been doing up until the tier became involved?  So many questions...   

For folks talking about whether we are an industry or a profession I see us as a profession overall. I do agree that if there are changes to be made I'd love to see some specifics with regards to standards for teachers and especially for those offering CEU's. 

I've been practicing for 19 years. I take CEU's, read articles and do my best to stay current with new information.  In my experience the folks who don't stay current or who are out there making false claims tend not to stay in business long and no, I don't worry about them.  Truth is there are folks that want the MT with the copper pyramid under her table just as there are folks who don't.  Our professional umbrella is big enough that both types of clients and their needs can be addressed.  My biggest worry are new graduates being released from intense programs which encourage them to think their new found knowledge and skill takes the place of experience in the field.  In terms of harm I see that as the greatest danger to our profession. 

I appreciate the dialogue as well as meeting folks I don't know yet.

http://iscaaty.blogspot.com/2006/02/licensing-two-sides-of-politica...  is where you will find the timeless arguments surrounding licensing put together by Kathy Mackay and others that made up the opposition to licensing in GA.  Once again, I want to point out my own position.  I have never opposed high standards.  It is the unnecessary imposition of those standards by law.  

 

The Rev

Kathy Mackay said:

Hi Daniel.  I wonder about the harm quotient as well.  When state licensing was being pushed in our state the main organization behind it insisted that massage therapy was harmful to the public thus needed to be regulated.  Yet, after a great deal of research our state found quite the contrary and for many many years refused to create a state board and license.  I read an earlier post of someone who has been part of a massage board (by Laura Allen I think) and she related the common issues they dealt with which appeared centered around sexual misconduct and people operating without licenses.  I don't recall much mention about harm.  Possibly she would be willing to address this issue a bit more?  I believe if our profession was harmful the insurance industry would be hammering us and we would pay a whole lot more for our liability insurance than we do. 

I absolutely agree with you about developing connections with our clients similar to the old GP who knew and understood what their individual patients were dealing with both in their bodies and in their lives.  I see many clients who are disheartened and dissatisfied with their health care providers.  Often they feel overlooked, rushed or completely blown off by the very people who are supposed to help them.  I work very hard to distance my practice from being seen as health care.  When I work on my clients they get my full attention and my full range of knowledge and experience.  When I don't have the answers I do my best to help find them.  Most importantly I do not want that taken away from me because some in our field wish to create a box and force everyone in it with the idea that those who don't fit their paradigm are not valuable assets to our profession. 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

 

 

Daniel Cohen said:

I like your approach.

Do we really need to create boxes for a profession (I readily profess my love of massage/bodywork) which allows both the scientific evidence base with the metaphysical world of little known? How many are harmed by such a wide open system that encourages each to explore where it takes them? If we were to become the same as other healthcare fields and be absorbed within the others, what would become of our boundless ability to  match the Therapist and Client? We make people feel better. We reach people when others can't. We fill the gaps. Our presence improves many lives. For me that is enough proof. To me evidence based massage, will eventually, mean knowing which modality and even which pressure or stroke is most effective in a clinical situation. This would broaden the use of massage in medical and perhaps psychological settings but it wont lessen the effect of touch.To me the connection we develop with our clients is more like the old general practitioner who made home visits and knew our lives than the insurance based specialists today.


Lets keep the diversity and the profession open. Do not fear the chaos as it contains infinite possibilities.

I don't see a broken system but I do see fellow practitioners who are the matrix for people seeking to improve their lives.

Kathy, I also do not see the need for tiers. I do not see how tiers benefit the client. Search engines provide more information on which MT I would be comfortable with at this point in time. If it is simply about politics then let it not restrict those of us that simply want to be. Those of us who are politically inclined can certainly find a place within the matrix flux without creating barriers for others.

Kathy says "My biggest worry are new graduates being released from intense programs which encourage them to think their new found knowledge and skill takes the place of experience in the field." It is a scary thought.

Kathy Mackay said:

I admit it has been a very long time since I've engaged in discussions of this nature.  Even though I missed all the excitement of the other thread this one has been an interesting read.  ...even see a few folks I recognize from long ago engagements and discussions. **waves**

I'm curious what is it about the current state of affairs that prevents the folks who want evidenced based research from doing the research they wish to have done?  Who is stopping you from doing this? Surely MT's aren't preventing research from being done?  Is it that MT's aren't embracing it like some want them to do?

IMHO, I see no reason for a tiered system.  At this point you can do whatever you wish to do without restraint.  And while that may scare a lot of people for fear of practitioners running amok the truth is that the majority of MT's are respectable folks doing really wonderful work regardless of whether they can explain how and why it works. 

As someone already said, I don't claim a whole lot other than "you'll feel a lot better when we're done."  I offer clinical/therapeutic massage and address all types of issues -- ranging from rehabilitation, sports massage, relaxation and yes, even energy work when requested.  What I do is effective which brings clients back to see me.  The one thing I don't offer is spa work but considering my state license requires 24 hours of CEU's to renew I can't state categorically that I wouldn't consider learning hot stones or salt scrubs at some point down the line.

When folks start talking about tiers I wonder where I would fit in at this point?  Are the tiers based solely on education hours?  CEU's?  Years in practice?  Or taking someone's idea of a practical or special certification?  Do I have to choose one tier over the other?  Does being in a tier suddenly make me unable to practice work I had been doing up until the tier became involved?  So many questions...   

For folks talking about whether we are an industry or a profession I see us as a profession overall. I do agree that if there are changes to be made I'd love to see some specifics with regards to standards for teachers and especially for those offering CEU's. 

I've been practicing for 19 years. I take CEU's, read articles and do my best to stay current with new information.  In my experience the folks who don't stay current or who are out there making false claims tend not to stay in business long and no, I don't worry about them.  Truth is there are folks that want the MT with the copper pyramid under her table just as there are folks who don't.  Our professional umbrella is big enough that both types of clients and their needs can be addressed.  My biggest worry are new graduates being released from intense programs which encourage them to think their new found knowledge and skill takes the place of experience in the field.  In terms of harm I see that as the greatest danger to our profession. 

I appreciate the dialogue as well as meeting folks I don't know yet.

Howdy folks. I'll be glad to address the "harm" that our board has had to deal with. I will be going off our board in April after 5 years. Dealing with the "harm" has been the worst part of it.

 

Let me just start with the disciplinary hearings. At nearly every meeting, we will have one or more hearings to address massage therapists who have sexually assaulted someone. We have also dealt with therapists who burned people with hot stones, and just a couple of months ago, a therapist who bruised someone so badly that the woman looked like she had been beaten and left for dead--AND her physician affirmed that she did not have any circulatory or blood issues that would cause such a thing. It was very obvious the therapist had done it. And to beat all the MT was very unapologetic. She  kept on saying "I told her I have a heavy hand." This was beyond any heavy-handedness I've ever seen. We've also had people who violated confidentiality....one therapist who work(ed) at a performance venue who named the names of her famous clients in the Sunday newspaper and said things about some of them, including saying that one singer had bad body odor and another one was fat, and yes, she did call their name. We've had therapists guilty of exploiting a client for financial gain. We've had therapists drunk on the job. I'm probably forgetting something, but you get the picture.

 

Then we've got the unsuitable applicants for licensing. I am on the license standards committee that reviews the applications of people with criminal records. Some of them are a mile long and include every crime, including violent and sexual, that you can imagine, and yet these people think they're going to be a massage therapist and if they were in an unregulated state, they could damn well be one. 

 

Having a criminal record does not automatically mean you don't get a license. We take into consideration what the crime was, how long ago it occurred, the circumstances around it, how old the person was when they committed it, and most importantly, have they shown any proof of rehabilitation. My committee usually brings those folks in for an interview. At least one will show up with their preacher who will swear they are saved and living a good life even though they just thumped their grandmother in the head three months ago to get the money to buy crack.

 

Since my own husband is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict with a criminal record, and he has been clean and sober and living on the right side of the law for almost 22 years, I am fully aware that people can and do turn their lives around and do better, and I am willing to give anyone a second chance when I think that's the case. But I am not going to give a rapist, or a chronic drunk, or a chronic thief a license, especially when they're 40 years old and still blaming everything on their bad childhood. That doesn't fly with me at all.

 

There you go.

 

 

 

 

The Rev said:

http://iscaaty.blogspot.com/2006/02/licensing-two-sides-of-politica...  is where you will find the timeless arguments surrounding licensing put together by Kathy Mackay and others that made up the opposition to licensing in GA.  Once again, I want to point out my own position.  I have never opposed high standards.  It is the unnecessary imposition of those standards by law.  

 

The Rev

Kathy Mackay said:

Hi Daniel.  I wonder about the harm quotient as well.  When state licensing was being pushed in our state the main organization behind it insisted that massage therapy was harmful to the public thus needed to be regulated.  Yet, after a great deal of research our state found quite the contrary and for many many years refused to create a state board and license.  I read an earlier post of someone who has been part of a massage board (by Laura Allen I think) and she related the common issues they dealt with which appeared centered around sexual misconduct and people operating without licenses.  I don't recall much mention about harm.  Possibly she would be willing to address this issue a bit more?  I believe if our profession was harmful the insurance industry would be hammering us and we would pay a whole lot more for our liability insurance than we do. 

I absolutely agree with you about developing connections with our clients similar to the old GP who knew and understood what their individual patients were dealing with both in their bodies and in their lives.  I see many clients who are disheartened and dissatisfied with their health care providers.  Often they feel overlooked, rushed or completely blown off by the very people who are supposed to help them.  I work very hard to distance my practice from being seen as health care.  When I work on my clients they get my full attention and my full range of knowledge and experience.  When I don't have the answers I do my best to help find them.  Most importantly I do not want that taken away from me because some in our field wish to create a box and force everyone in it with the idea that those who don't fit their paradigm are not valuable assets to our profession. 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

 

 

Daniel Cohen said:

I like your approach.

Do we really need to create boxes for a profession (I readily profess my love of massage/bodywork) which allows both the scientific evidence base with the metaphysical world of little known? How many are harmed by such a wide open system that encourages each to explore where it takes them? If we were to become the same as other healthcare fields and be absorbed within the others, what would become of our boundless ability to  match the Therapist and Client? We make people feel better. We reach people when others can't. We fill the gaps. Our presence improves many lives. For me that is enough proof. To me evidence based massage, will eventually, mean knowing which modality and even which pressure or stroke is most effective in a clinical situation. This would broaden the use of massage in medical and perhaps psychological settings but it wont lessen the effect of touch.To me the connection we develop with our clients is more like the old general practitioner who made home visits and knew our lives than the insurance based specialists today.


Lets keep the diversity and the profession open. Do not fear the chaos as it contains infinite possibilities.

I don't see a broken system but I do see fellow practitioners who are the matrix for people seeking to improve their lives.

Kathy, I also do not see the need for tiers. I do not see how tiers benefit the client. Search engines provide more information on which MT I would be comfortable with at this point in time. If it is simply about politics then let it not restrict those of us that simply want to be. Those of us who are politically inclined can certainly find a place within the matrix flux without creating barriers for others.

Kathy says "My biggest worry are new graduates being released from intense programs which encourage them to think their new found knowledge and skill takes the place of experience in the field." It is a scary thought.

Kathy Mackay said:

I admit it has been a very long time since I've engaged in discussions of this nature.  Even though I missed all the excitement of the other thread this one has been an interesting read.  ...even see a few folks I recognize from long ago engagements and discussions. **waves**

I'm curious what is it about the current state of affairs that prevents the folks who want evidenced based research from doing the research they wish to have done?  Who is stopping you from doing this? Surely MT's aren't preventing research from being done?  Is it that MT's aren't embracing it like some want them to do?

IMHO, I see no reason for a tiered system.  At this point you can do whatever you wish to do without restraint.  And while that may scare a lot of people for fear of practitioners running amok the truth is that the majority of MT's are respectable folks doing really wonderful work regardless of whether they can explain how and why it works. 

As someone already said, I don't claim a whole lot other than "you'll feel a lot better when we're done."  I offer clinical/therapeutic massage and address all types of issues -- ranging from rehabilitation, sports massage, relaxation and yes, even energy work when requested.  What I do is effective which brings clients back to see me.  The one thing I don't offer is spa work but considering my state license requires 24 hours of CEU's to renew I can't state categorically that I wouldn't consider learning hot stones or salt scrubs at some point down the line.

When folks start talking about tiers I wonder where I would fit in at this point?  Are the tiers based solely on education hours?  CEU's?  Years in practice?  Or taking someone's idea of a practical or special certification?  Do I have to choose one tier over the other?  Does being in a tier suddenly make me unable to practice work I had been doing up until the tier became involved?  So many questions...   

For folks talking about whether we are an industry or a profession I see us as a profession overall. I do agree that if there are changes to be made I'd love to see some specifics with regards to standards for teachers and especially for those offering CEU's. 

I've been practicing for 19 years. I take CEU's, read articles and do my best to stay current with new information.  In my experience the folks who don't stay current or who are out there making false claims tend not to stay in business long and no, I don't worry about them.  Truth is there are folks that want the MT with the copper pyramid under her table just as there are folks who don't.  Our professional umbrella is big enough that both types of clients and their needs can be addressed.  My biggest worry are new graduates being released from intense programs which encourage them to think their new found knowledge and skill takes the place of experience in the field.  In terms of harm I see that as the greatest danger to our profession. 

I appreciate the dialogue as well as meeting folks I don't know yet.

Thank you for your quick response Laura.  The issue of harm is something I am very curious about for our profession. 

I don't wish to infringe on any privacy issues for your state board service so please forgive if I overstep any bounds with my questions.  I understand if you are unable to answer any of them.  Could you tell me how many licensed MT's are in your state?  Also, if you don't mind my asking how many cases of harm have you officiated over in your past five years?  Would you know what the percentage of cases of harm were levied against the number of licensed MT's in your state?  

I would be interested to hear from other forum members on state boards that can offer their experience.

Laura Allen said:

Howdy folks. I'll be glad to address the "harm" that our board has had to deal with. I will be going off our board in April after 5 years. Dealing with the "harm" has been the worst part of it.

 

Let me just start with the disciplinary hearings. At nearly every meeting, we will have one or more hearings to address massage therapists who have sexually assaulted someone. We have also dealt with therapists who burned people with hot stones, and just a couple of months ago, a therapist who bruised someone so badly that the woman looked like she had been beaten and left for dead--AND her physician affirmed that she did not have any circulatory or blood issues that would cause such a thing. It was very obvious the therapist had done it. And to beat all the MT was very unapologetic. She  kept on saying "I told her I have a heavy hand." This was beyond any heavy-handedness I've ever seen. We've also had people who violated confidentiality....one therapist who work(ed) at a performance venue who named the names of her famous clients in the Sunday newspaper and said things about some of them, including saying that one singer had bad body odor and another one was fat, and yes, she did call their name. We've had therapists guilty of exploiting a client for financial gain. We've had therapists drunk on the job. I'm probably forgetting something, but you get the picture.

 

Then we've got the unsuitable applicants for licensing. I am on the license standards committee that reviews the applications of people with criminal records. Some of them are a mile long and include every crime, including violent and sexual, that you can imagine, and yet these people think they're going to be a massage therapist and if they were in an unregulated state, they could damn well be one. 

 

Having a criminal record does not automatically mean you don't get a license. We take into consideration what the crime was, how long ago it occurred, the circumstances around it, how old the person was when they committed it, and most importantly, have they shown any proof of rehabilitation. My committee usually brings those folks in for an interview. At least one will show up with their preacher who will swear they are saved and living a good life even though they just thumped their grandmother in the head three months ago to get the money to buy crack.

 

Since my own husband is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict with a criminal record, and he has been clean and sober and living on the right side of the law for almost 22 years, I am fully aware that people can and do turn their lives around and do better, and I am willing to give anyone a second chance when I think that's the case. But I am not going to give a rapist, or a chronic drunk, or a chronic thief a license, especially when they're 40 years old and still blaming everything on their bad childhood. That doesn't fly with me at all.

 

There you go.

 

 

 

 

The Rev said:

http://iscaaty.blogspot.com/2006/02/licensing-two-sides-of-politica...  is where you will find the timeless arguments surrounding licensing put together by Kathy Mackay and others that made up the opposition to licensing in GA.  Once again, I want to point out my own position.  I have never opposed high standards.  It is the unnecessary imposition of those standards by law.  

 

The Rev

Kathy Mackay said:

Hi Daniel.  I wonder about the harm quotient as well.  When state licensing was being pushed in our state the main organization behind it insisted that massage therapy was harmful to the public thus needed to be regulated.  Yet, after a great deal of research our state found quite the contrary and for many many years refused to create a state board and license.  I read an earlier post of someone who has been part of a massage board (by Laura Allen I think) and she related the common issues they dealt with which appeared centered around sexual misconduct and people operating without licenses.  I don't recall much mention about harm.  Possibly she would be willing to address this issue a bit more?  I believe if our profession was harmful the insurance industry would be hammering us and we would pay a whole lot more for our liability insurance than we do. 

I absolutely agree with you about developing connections with our clients similar to the old GP who knew and understood what their individual patients were dealing with both in their bodies and in their lives.  I see many clients who are disheartened and dissatisfied with their health care providers.  Often they feel overlooked, rushed or completely blown off by the very people who are supposed to help them.  I work very hard to distance my practice from being seen as health care.  When I work on my clients they get my full attention and my full range of knowledge and experience.  When I don't have the answers I do my best to help find them.  Most importantly I do not want that taken away from me because some in our field wish to create a box and force everyone in it with the idea that those who don't fit their paradigm are not valuable assets to our profession. 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

 

 

Daniel Cohen said:

I like your approach.

Do we really need to create boxes for a profession (I readily profess my love of massage/bodywork) which allows both the scientific evidence base with the metaphysical world of little known? How many are harmed by such a wide open system that encourages each to explore where it takes them? If we were to become the same as other healthcare fields and be absorbed within the others, what would become of our boundless ability to  match the Therapist and Client? We make people feel better. We reach people when others can't. We fill the gaps. Our presence improves many lives. For me that is enough proof. To me evidence based massage, will eventually, mean knowing which modality and even which pressure or stroke is most effective in a clinical situation. This would broaden the use of massage in medical and perhaps psychological settings but it wont lessen the effect of touch.To me the connection we develop with our clients is more like the old general practitioner who made home visits and knew our lives than the insurance based specialists today.


Lets keep the diversity and the profession open. Do not fear the chaos as it contains infinite possibilities.

I don't see a broken system but I do see fellow practitioners who are the matrix for people seeking to improve their lives.

Kathy, I also do not see the need for tiers. I do not see how tiers benefit the client. Search engines provide more information on which MT I would be comfortable with at this point in time. If it is simply about politics then let it not restrict those of us that simply want to be. Those of us who are politically inclined can certainly find a place within the matrix flux without creating barriers for others.

Kathy says "My biggest worry are new graduates being released from intense programs which encourage them to think their new found knowledge and skill takes the place of experience in the field." It is a scary thought.

Kathy Mackay said:

I admit it has been a very long time since I've engaged in discussions of this nature.  Even though I missed all the excitement of the other thread this one has been an interesting read.  ...even see a few folks I recognize from long ago engagements and discussions. **waves**

I'm curious what is it about the current state of affairs that prevents the folks who want evidenced based research from doing the research they wish to have done?  Who is stopping you from doing this? Surely MT's aren't preventing research from being done?  Is it that MT's aren't embracing it like some want them to do?

IMHO, I see no reason for a tiered system.  At this point you can do whatever you wish to do without restraint.  And while that may scare a lot of people for fear of practitioners running amok the truth is that the majority of MT's are respectable folks doing really wonderful work regardless of whether they can explain how and why it works. 

As someone already said, I don't claim a whole lot other than "you'll feel a lot better when we're done."  I offer clinical/therapeutic massage and address all types of issues -- ranging from rehabilitation, sports massage, relaxation and yes, even energy work when requested.  What I do is effective which brings clients back to see me.  The one thing I don't offer is spa work but considering my state license requires 24 hours of CEU's to renew I can't state categorically that I wouldn't consider learning hot stones or salt scrubs at some point down the line.

When folks start talking about tiers I wonder where I would fit in at this point?  Are the tiers based solely on education hours?  CEU's?  Years in practice?  Or taking someone's idea of a practical or special certification?  Do I have to choose one tier over the other?  Does being in a tier suddenly make me unable to practice work I had been doing up until the tier became involved?  So many questions...   

For folks talking about whether we are an industry or a profession I see us as a profession overall. I do agree that if there are changes to be made I'd love to see some specifics with regards to standards for teachers and especially for those offering CEU's. 

I've been practicing for 19 years. I take CEU's, read articles and do my best to stay current with new information.  In my experience the folks who don't stay current or who are out there making false claims tend not to stay in business long and no, I don't worry about them.  Truth is there are folks that want the MT with the copper pyramid under her table just as there are folks who don't.  Our professional umbrella is big enough that both types of clients and their needs can be addressed.  My biggest worry are new graduates being released from intense programs which encourage them to think their new found knowledge and skill takes the place of experience in the field.  In terms of harm I see that as the greatest danger to our profession. 

I appreciate the dialogue as well as meeting folks I don't know yet.

Kathy,

This is just an estimate. Without going back through five years of records I couldn't get an exact count. We have licensed over 10,000 people altogether, and we have about 8000 who are currently licensed.

 

Our board meets 6 times per year, and we usually have anywhere from 1-4 disciplinary hearings at each meeting. My committee also meets 6 times per year, and we usually have to review and/or interview anywhere from 3 to 10 applicants with criminal records. I just did a quick glance through our database, and it looks like we have sanctioned about one out of every 50 licensees in one way or another.Not all of those people had their license taken. Some have been fined (our board does not get to keep any of the money when we impose a fine on someone, it goes to the state coffers) and/or ordered to attend extra hours of CE in ethics, for example, or to attend substance abuse counseling or anger management classes. Some receive official letters of reprimand which stay in their file.

 

 

 

Kathy Mackay said:

Thank you for your quick response Laura.  The issue of harm is something I am very curious about for our profession. 

I don't wish to infringe on any privacy issues for your state board service so please forgive if I overstep any bounds with my questions.  I understand if you are unable to answer any of them.  Could you tell me how many licensed MT's are in your state?  Also, if you don't mind my asking how many cases of harm have you officiated over in your past five years?  Would you know what the percentage of cases of harm were levied against the number of licensed MT's in your state?  

I would be interested to hear from other forum members on state boards that can offer their experience.

Laura Allen said:

Howdy folks. I'll be glad to address the "harm" that our board has had to deal with. I will be going off our board in April after 5 years. Dealing with the "harm" has been the worst part of it.

 

Let me just start with the disciplinary hearings. At nearly every meeting, we will have one or more hearings to address massage therapists who have sexually assaulted someone. We have also dealt with therapists who burned people with hot stones, and just a couple of months ago, a therapist who bruised someone so badly that the woman looked like she had been beaten and left for dead--AND her physician affirmed that she did not have any circulatory or blood issues that would cause such a thing. It was very obvious the therapist had done it. And to beat all the MT was very unapologetic. She  kept on saying "I told her I have a heavy hand." This was beyond any heavy-handedness I've ever seen. We've also had people who violated confidentiality....one therapist who work(ed) at a performance venue who named the names of her famous clients in the Sunday newspaper and said things about some of them, including saying that one singer had bad body odor and another one was fat, and yes, she did call their name. We've had therapists guilty of exploiting a client for financial gain. We've had therapists drunk on the job. I'm probably forgetting something, but you get the picture.

 

Then we've got the unsuitable applicants for licensing. I am on the license standards committee that reviews the applications of people with criminal records. Some of them are a mile long and include every crime, including violent and sexual, that you can imagine, and yet these people think they're going to be a massage therapist and if they were in an unregulated state, they could damn well be one. 

 

Having a criminal record does not automatically mean you don't get a license. We take into consideration what the crime was, how long ago it occurred, the circumstances around it, how old the person was when they committed it, and most importantly, have they shown any proof of rehabilitation. My committee usually brings those folks in for an interview. At least one will show up with their preacher who will swear they are saved and living a good life even though they just thumped their grandmother in the head three months ago to get the money to buy crack.

 

Since my own husband is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict with a criminal record, and he has been clean and sober and living on the right side of the law for almost 22 years, I am fully aware that people can and do turn their lives around and do better, and I am willing to give anyone a second chance when I think that's the case. But I am not going to give a rapist, or a chronic drunk, or a chronic thief a license, especially when they're 40 years old and still blaming everything on their bad childhood. That doesn't fly with me at all.

 

There you go.

 

 

 

 

The Rev said:

http://iscaaty.blogspot.com/2006/02/licensing-two-sides-of-politica...  is where you will find the timeless arguments surrounding licensing put together by Kathy Mackay and others that made up the opposition to licensing in GA.  Once again, I want to point out my own position.  I have never opposed high standards.  It is the unnecessary imposition of those standards by law.  

 

The Rev

Kathy Mackay said:

Hi Daniel.  I wonder about the harm quotient as well.  When state licensing was being pushed in our state the main organization behind it insisted that massage therapy was harmful to the public thus needed to be regulated.  Yet, after a great deal of research our state found quite the contrary and for many many years refused to create a state board and license.  I read an earlier post of someone who has been part of a massage board (by Laura Allen I think) and she related the common issues they dealt with which appeared centered around sexual misconduct and people operating without licenses.  I don't recall much mention about harm.  Possibly she would be willing to address this issue a bit more?  I believe if our profession was harmful the insurance industry would be hammering us and we would pay a whole lot more for our liability insurance than we do. 

I absolutely agree with you about developing connections with our clients similar to the old GP who knew and understood what their individual patients were dealing with both in their bodies and in their lives.  I see many clients who are disheartened and dissatisfied with their health care providers.  Often they feel overlooked, rushed or completely blown off by the very people who are supposed to help them.  I work very hard to distance my practice from being seen as health care.  When I work on my clients they get my full attention and my full range of knowledge and experience.  When I don't have the answers I do my best to help find them.  Most importantly I do not want that taken away from me because some in our field wish to create a box and force everyone in it with the idea that those who don't fit their paradigm are not valuable assets to our profession. 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

 

 

Daniel Cohen said:

I like your approach.

Do we really need to create boxes for a profession (I readily profess my love of massage/bodywork) which allows both the scientific evidence base with the metaphysical world of little known? How many are harmed by such a wide open system that encourages each to explore where it takes them? If we were to become the same as other healthcare fields and be absorbed within the others, what would become of our boundless ability to  match the Therapist and Client? We make people feel better. We reach people when others can't. We fill the gaps. Our presence improves many lives. For me that is enough proof. To me evidence based massage, will eventually, mean knowing which modality and even which pressure or stroke is most effective in a clinical situation. This would broaden the use of massage in medical and perhaps psychological settings but it wont lessen the effect of touch.To me the connection we develop with our clients is more like the old general practitioner who made home visits and knew our lives than the insurance based specialists today.


Lets keep the diversity and the profession open. Do not fear the chaos as it contains infinite possibilities.

I don't see a broken system but I do see fellow practitioners who are the matrix for people seeking to improve their lives.

Kathy, I also do not see the need for tiers. I do not see how tiers benefit the client. Search engines provide more information on which MT I would be comfortable with at this point in time. If it is simply about politics then let it not restrict those of us that simply want to be. Those of us who are politically inclined can certainly find a place within the matrix flux without creating barriers for others.

Kathy says "My biggest worry are new graduates being released from intense programs which encourage them to think their new found knowledge and skill takes the place of experience in the field." It is a scary thought.

Kathy Mackay said:

I admit it has been a very long time since I've engaged in discussions of this nature.  Even though I missed all the excitement of the other thread this one has been an interesting read.  ...even see a few folks I recognize from long ago engagements and discussions. **waves**

I'm curious what is it about the current state of affairs that prevents the folks who want evidenced based research from doing the research they wish to have done?  Who is stopping you from doing this? Surely MT's aren't preventing research from being done?  Is it that MT's aren't embracing it like some want them to do?

IMHO, I see no reason for a tiered system.  At this point you can do whatever you wish to do without restraint.  And while that may scare a lot of people for fear of practitioners running amok the truth is that the majority of MT's are respectable folks doing really wonderful work regardless of whether they can explain how and why it works. 

As someone already said, I don't claim a whole lot other than "you'll feel a lot better when we're done."  I offer clinical/therapeutic massage and address all types of issues -- ranging from rehabilitation, sports massage, relaxation and yes, even energy work when requested.  What I do is effective which brings clients back to see me.  The one thing I don't offer is spa work but considering my state license requires 24 hours of CEU's to renew I can't state categorically that I wouldn't consider learning hot stones or salt scrubs at some point down the line.

When folks start talking about tiers I wonder where I would fit in at this point?  Are the tiers based solely on education hours?  CEU's?  Years in practice?  Or taking someone's idea of a practical or special certification?  Do I have to choose one tier over the other?  Does being in a tier suddenly make me unable to practice work I had been doing up until the tier became involved?  So many questions...   

For folks talking about whether we are an industry or a profession I see us as a profession overall. I do agree that if there are changes to be made I'd love to see some specifics with regards to standards for teachers and especially for those offering CEU's. 

I've been practicing for 19 years. I take CEU's, read articles and do my best to stay current with new information.  In my experience the folks who don't stay current or who are out there making false claims tend not to stay in business long and no, I don't worry about them.  Truth is there are folks that want the MT with the copper pyramid under her table just as there are folks who don't.  Our professional umbrella is big enough that both types of clients and their needs can be addressed.  My biggest worry are new graduates being released from intense programs which encourage them to think their new found knowledge and skill takes the place of experience in the field.  In terms of harm I see that as the greatest danger to our profession. 

I appreciate the dialogue as well as meeting folks I don't know yet.

Thank you again for providing the information Laura.  I appreciate your willingness to share and discuss the information.

If I'm reading correctly your board has on average 24 disciplinary hearings a year which when extrapolated for the five years you have been a part of the board suggests there are roughly 250 out of 8000 MT's that have received some type of sanction from the board -- which is roughly 3% of the licensed MT's in your state.  The majority of the sanctions are due to ethics violations with a few due to actual physical harm.  Your board also weeds out unsuitable applicants in an effort to prevent unethical behavior as well as harm from being done.

I'm curious how many licensed MT's have lost their license and does the board do any type of follow up to make sure they are not practicing elsewhere or practicing under the radar?

 

Laura Allen said:

Kathy,

This is just an estimate. Without going back through five years of records I couldn't get an exact count. We have licensed over 10,000 people altogether, and we have about 8000 who are currently licensed.

 

Our board meets 6 times per year, and we usually have anywhere from 1-4 disciplinary hearings at each meeting. My committee also meets 6 times per year, and we usually have to review and/or interview anywhere from 3 to 10 applicants with criminal records. I just did a quick glance through our database, and it looks like we have sanctioned about one out of every 50 licensees in one way or another.Not all of those people had their license taken. Some have been fined (our board does not get to keep any of the money when we impose a fine on someone, it goes to the state coffers) and/or ordered to attend extra hours of CE in ethics, for example, or to attend substance abuse counseling or anger management classes. Some receive official letters of reprimand which stay in their file.

 

 

 

Kathy Mackay said:

Thank you for your quick response Laura.  The issue of harm is something I am very curious about for our profession. 

I don't wish to infringe on any privacy issues for your state board service so please forgive if I overstep any bounds with my questions.  I understand if you are unable to answer any of them.  Could you tell me how many licensed MT's are in your state?  Also, if you don't mind my asking how many cases of harm have you officiated over in your past five years?  Would you know what the percentage of cases of harm were levied against the number of licensed MT's in your state?  

I would be interested to hear from other forum members on state boards that can offer their experience.

Laura Allen said:

Howdy folks. I'll be glad to address the "harm" that our board has had to deal with. I will be going off our board in April after 5 years. Dealing with the "harm" has been the worst part of it.

 

Let me just start with the disciplinary hearings. At nearly every meeting, we will have one or more hearings to address massage therapists who have sexually assaulted someone. We have also dealt with therapists who burned people with hot stones, and just a couple of months ago, a therapist who bruised someone so badly that the woman looked like she had been beaten and left for dead--AND her physician affirmed that she did not have any circulatory or blood issues that would cause such a thing. It was very obvious the therapist had done it. And to beat all the MT was very unapologetic. She  kept on saying "I told her I have a heavy hand." This was beyond any heavy-handedness I've ever seen. We've also had people who violated confidentiality....one therapist who work(ed) at a performance venue who named the names of her famous clients in the Sunday newspaper and said things about some of them, including saying that one singer had bad body odor and another one was fat, and yes, she did call their name. We've had therapists guilty of exploiting a client for financial gain. We've had therapists drunk on the job. I'm probably forgetting something, but you get the picture.

 

Then we've got the unsuitable applicants for licensing. I am on the license standards committee that reviews the applications of people with criminal records. Some of them are a mile long and include every crime, including violent and sexual, that you can imagine, and yet these people think they're going to be a massage therapist and if they were in an unregulated state, they could damn well be one. 

 

Having a criminal record does not automatically mean you don't get a license. We take into consideration what the crime was, how long ago it occurred, the circumstances around it, how old the person was when they committed it, and most importantly, have they shown any proof of rehabilitation. My committee usually brings those folks in for an interview. At least one will show up with their preacher who will swear they are saved and living a good life even though they just thumped their grandmother in the head three months ago to get the money to buy crack.

 

Since my own husband is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict with a criminal record, and he has been clean and sober and living on the right side of the law for almost 22 years, I am fully aware that people can and do turn their lives around and do better, and I am willing to give anyone a second chance when I think that's the case. But I am not going to give a rapist, or a chronic drunk, or a chronic thief a license, especially when they're 40 years old and still blaming everything on their bad childhood. That doesn't fly with me at all.

 

There you go.

 

 

 

 

The Rev said:

http://iscaaty.blogspot.com/2006/02/licensing-two-sides-of-politica...  is where you will find the timeless arguments surrounding licensing put together by Kathy Mackay and others that made up the opposition to licensing in GA.  Once again, I want to point out my own position.  I have never opposed high standards.  It is the unnecessary imposition of those standards by law.  

 

The Rev

Kathy Mackay said:

Hi Daniel.  I wonder about the harm quotient as well.  When state licensing was being pushed in our state the main organization behind it insisted that massage therapy was harmful to the public thus needed to be regulated.  Yet, after a great deal of research our state found quite the contrary and for many many years refused to create a state board and license.  I read an earlier post of someone who has been part of a massage board (by Laura Allen I think) and she related the common issues they dealt with which appeared centered around sexual misconduct and people operating without licenses.  I don't recall much mention about harm.  Possibly she would be willing to address this issue a bit more?  I believe if our profession was harmful the insurance industry would be hammering us and we would pay a whole lot more for our liability insurance than we do. 

I absolutely agree with you about developing connections with our clients similar to the old GP who knew and understood what their individual patients were dealing with both in their bodies and in their lives.  I see many clients who are disheartened and dissatisfied with their health care providers.  Often they feel overlooked, rushed or completely blown off by the very people who are supposed to help them.  I work very hard to distance my practice from being seen as health care.  When I work on my clients they get my full attention and my full range of knowledge and experience.  When I don't have the answers I do my best to help find them.  Most importantly I do not want that taken away from me because some in our field wish to create a box and force everyone in it with the idea that those who don't fit their paradigm are not valuable assets to our profession. 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

 

 

Daniel Cohen said:

I like your approach.

Do we really need to create boxes for a profession (I readily profess my love of massage/bodywork) which allows both the scientific evidence base with the metaphysical world of little known? How many are harmed by such a wide open system that encourages each to explore where it takes them? If we were to become the same as other healthcare fields and be absorbed within the others, what would become of our boundless ability to  match the Therapist and Client? We make people feel better. We reach people when others can't. We fill the gaps. Our presence improves many lives. For me that is enough proof. To me evidence based massage, will eventually, mean knowing which modality and even which pressure or stroke is most effective in a clinical situation. This would broaden the use of massage in medical and perhaps psychological settings but it wont lessen the effect of touch.To me the connection we develop with our clients is more like the old general practitioner who made home visits and knew our lives than the insurance based specialists today.


Lets keep the diversity and the profession open. Do not fear the chaos as it contains infinite possibilities.

I don't see a broken system but I do see fellow practitioners who are the matrix for people seeking to improve their lives.

Kathy, I also do not see the need for tiers. I do not see how tiers benefit the client. Search engines provide more information on which MT I would be comfortable with at this point in time. If it is simply about politics then let it not restrict those of us that simply want to be. Those of us who are politically inclined can certainly find a place within the matrix flux without creating barriers for others.

Kathy says "My biggest worry are new graduates being released from intense programs which encourage them to think their new found knowledge and skill takes the place of experience in the field." It is a scary thought.

Kathy Mackay said:

I admit it has been a very long time since I've engaged in discussions of this nature.  Even though I missed all the excitement of the other thread this one has been an interesting read.  ...even see a few folks I recognize from long ago engagements and discussions. **waves**

I'm curious what is it about the current state of affairs that prevents the folks who want evidenced based research from doing the research they wish to have done?  Who is stopping you from doing this? Surely MT's aren't preventing research from being done?  Is it that MT's aren't embracing it like some want them to do?

IMHO, I see no reason for a tiered system.  At this point you can do whatever you wish to do without restraint.  And while that may scare a lot of people for fear of practitioners running amok the truth is that the majority of MT's are respectable folks doing really wonderful work regardless of whether they can explain how and why it works. 

As someone already said, I don't claim a whole lot other than "you'll feel a lot better when we're done."  I offer clinical/therapeutic massage and address all types of issues -- ranging from rehabilitation, sports massage, relaxation and yes, even energy work when requested.  What I do is effective which brings clients back to see me.  The one thing I don't offer is spa work but considering my state license requires 24 hours of CEU's to renew I can't state categorically that I wouldn't consider learning hot stones or salt scrubs at some point down the line.

When folks start talking about tiers I wonder where I would fit in at this point?  Are the tiers based solely on education hours?  CEU's?  Years in practice?  Or taking someone's idea of a practical or special certification?  Do I have to choose one tier over the other?  Does being in a tier suddenly make me unable to practice work I had been doing up until the tier became involved?  So many questions...   

For folks talking about whether we are an industry or a profession I see us as a profession overall. I do agree that if there are changes to be made I'd love to see some specifics with regards to standards for teachers and especially for those offering CEU's. 

I've been practicing for 19 years. I take CEU's, read articles and do my best to stay current with new information.  In my experience the folks who don't stay current or who are out there making false claims tend not to stay in business long and no, I don't worry about them.  Truth is there are folks that want the MT with the copper pyramid under her table just as there are folks who don't.  Our professional umbrella is big enough that both types of clients and their needs can be addressed.  My biggest worry are new graduates being released from intense programs which encourage them to think their new found knowledge and skill takes the place of experience in the field.  In terms of harm I see that as the greatest danger to our profession. 

I appreciate the dialogue as well as meeting folks I don't know yet.

@Kathy, I would have to ask our board how many licenses we have taken, I have no idea. We have probably turned down more applicants at the outset than we have had to take away after the fact. The FSMTB is organizing a national disciplinary database (currently in progress) so all member states (42 states, currently) can share info on therapists who have been disciplined.

 

Our board's website www.bmbt.org, and most state boards have a "license look-up" function where a potential employer or a member of the public who wants to know about a massage therapist can look them up, and if they have had any discipline problems or had a license taken, it is listed on the website. Our offenders are also listed in our newsletter. While the public doesn't receive those, every licensee does, and people do take note if someone in their town has been busted, so it does have the effect of getting the word out. Any licensee who knows of someone practicing illegally or unethically is obligated to report that to the board.

This TED talk by Kathryn Schultz, on Being Wrong, is worth 18 minutes.

Thanks for that terrific link, Jan.  She is spot on on the three points experienced when holding on to a wrong (or right). I won't be a spoiler by quoting her three points but my writings prove her observations correct .  To prove it, I quote myself.  I wrote in 2007, "It is pretty evil for the Amta, against all the resistance and pleas for compromise to have gone to the government in so many states imposing unnecessary regulations on those who would touch for income. The analogy of Shreks evil brother fits, especially when one considers the innocence and niavete of many that get into this line of work."  It came to pointing out the evil after a very long time of going through the first two items she states.  

http://iscaaty.blogspot.com/2007/06/politics-only-two-individuals-o...

The strife in this trade is insane considering what we are supposed to be about.  The evil and insanity, to me, is the Amta walking away from the table many moons ago.. That was 100% wrong.   I still don't think I am wrong, but. "I err, therefore I am."

I concur, Jan.  It's worth the 18 minutes.  

 

The Rev

 

 

"Evil"? Seriously?

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