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It’s election time, and we’re being subjected to the usual rounds of propaganda, false accusations, half-truth mudslinging, and other shenanigans that accompany campaigns. It’s also election time at the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, and I’ve been watching their shenanigans with the same sense of “did they really say/do that?” I’ve felt about the politicians.

Just to remind you: FSMTB is a non-profit that exists to serve its “Member Boards” – the various state boards that regulate the practice of massage therapy. This organization has a lot of clout in the field, because its member agencies are the ones that regulate massage at the state level, and in some cases, massage schools and massage establishments as well.

Non-profits have a governing Board of Directors (BOD) that sets policy and controls the hiring of key professional staff. In the case of FSMTB, there is another body within the organization that has the power to set policy and shape the strategic direction FSMTB should take: it’s called the Delegate Assembly. This group, comprised of one representative from each state board, typically gathers each year at the FSMTB Annual Meeting—which is coming up on September 27-29 in New Orleans.

You might be thinking, “What’s her problem here? Sounds like regular stuff to me!” Well, I’m clanging the alarm bell because the control of FSMTB has been shifting into fewer, and tighter hands. I’m talking about the FSMTB Board of Directors (who are elected), and the Executive Director (who is hired by the Board). It’s hard to believe that this shift has happened in plain view, and with the consent of the Delegate Assembly.

What has happened is that the Member Boards have given up their power, seemingly without a fight. Over the past couple of years, there have been changes made to the Federation Bylaws that I find unacceptable, personally. I’m a former delegate to the Federation myself, and I would never have rolled over for such a thing.  READ MORE...

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