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The comment period for the second draft of the Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge ended a week ago. I’ve made comments on both drafts, and I hope you have too.

A number of my own comments were in regard to the amount of energy work-related statements that were included. I don’t think most of it belongs there. Before anyone gets their chakras in a twist at me, let
me state that Healing Touch was the very first class I ever took, back
in 1993. I went on to follow that up with classes in Reiki, polarity,
and a few other energy modalities. I’ve also studied and used Shiatsu
for years. I have in fact in the past taught a lot of Reiki classes
myself, but I’ve decided not to teach it anymore. I blogged that
decision on my FB page a few months ago. Some of these scientific minds
around here are rubbing off on me.

I honor anyone who lays their hands on another, or directs energy at another, with the intent for the highest good to take place, whether that’s to heal, to comfort, or to ease someone’s passing. I don’t have
any objections to energy work, either giving or receiving. I just think
it’s a separate body of knowledge.

Yes, I know that plenty of massage therapists use energy work, not only from my own past experience, but also from spending a few hours surfing through the approved provider pages on the NCB’s website
recently. It appears that there’s more energy-related classes than
hardcore bodywork and/or evidence-based classes. Obviously there’s a
demand, or that wouldn’t be the case. READ MORE.....

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Comment by Monica Dubay on January 29, 2013 at 5:53pm

Energy work and massage to me aren't that different. Once you have been trained in Reiki, this energy connects you with the client it simply does the work.  I feel it greatly enhances my practice and opens up the communication between us.  I know it does more than we can sometimes feel because there have been some amazing releases. My clients are usually very happy and deeply relaxed, especially when I give time for energy work at the end of the massage.  Monica

Comment by Damian Matthews on March 29, 2010 at 4:17pm
My name is Damian O. Matthews LMT. I am the assistant director and teacher at "The Sedona School of Massage" and I teach Polarity Therapy. I have spent the last few years trying to find out how touch therapies actually work. My conclusion is as a practioner we do nothing but offer a little heat, a little pressure, stimulation of the peizoelectric current and stimulate the weak electromagnetic field. With this in mind all techniques are branches of the same tree. This is the domain of all body work and now everyone is right.
In Peace,
The Sedona School of Massage
Comment by Linda Lowry on March 26, 2010 at 9:57am
I recently asked Laura and readers, what is up with the "Massage apartheid?" Why the NEED to be separate?

Let us not forget (in an oversimplified explanation knowingly filled with generalizations) how we came to be the profession we currently are in the United States. It was not all that long ago that medical doctors separated themselves from osteopathic doctors and attempted to discredit osteopathic doctors in a very public way. After all (according to the medical doctor propaganda), osteopaths were nothing more than 'bone doctors' and were interested in details about a persons health that had 'nothing' to do with their disease (propaganda) like diet, nutrition, exercise, mental attitude, etc. It seems as though the tough road that many osteopaths had in trying to regain their prestige and acceptance in the medical world (after the propaganda bashing) required them to kneel down and seek the approval of what parallelled a disapproving parent. In so doing many osteopaths put on a mask in order to be accepted. Who could blame them really? They spent just as many hours in study and education as medical doctors (if not more) and they had to survive. The void left by the osteopaths that chose to adopt more of a medical model was soon filled by chiropractors.

Enter: Chiropractic. Chiropractors were an easy target (of medical science) since a major battle had sort of been won by medical doctors in bashing the reputations and expertise of osteopaths. In the end, many chiropractors chose to put on a mask in order to be accepted by the "disapproving parent." Chiropractors adopted the traditional medical model of scientific research as it is now known; study after study to prove their worth. With plenty of positive outcomes and a storehouse of data to back them up, chiropractors entered the world of western medicine and insurance and became beholdent to the same. While talking a good speech of spinal health and nutrition being so important to human health and well being, it was no longer feasible (financially so) to spend quality time with patients in pursuit of health and well being. It was more important to meet bottom lines and fill appointment books with no less than 10 patients an hour. After all, that was the medical model and the way to make money within the medical model. (again, this is a gross generalization for argument purposes; there are plenty of conscientous chiropractors and osteopaths in our world).

Meanwhile, the nursing and physical therapy professions for years included massage therapy as part of their healing modalities was finding themselves beholdent to the strong lobby of the AMA (american medical association) and the strong lobby of the insurance industry. Time was money and there was no time and no money to include massage therapy in treatments - it was time consuming and simply a 'feel good' modality, not really of medical benefit. Physical Therapists continued to distinguish themselves as separate (not bodyworkers per say) and gain greater worth within the medical model by increasing their educational requirements and their scientific studies. Nursing, pretty much abandoned the practice of massage with exceptions.

Enter: Massage Therapy as a profession. So, in this gross generalization and warp speed timeline of examples, here we are - at the threshhold of endless possibilities for creating and defining our profession....OR, are we at the precipice of the professions before us? Will we choose to shun and disseminate propaganda about offshoots of our hands on work (energy work, reflexology, shiatsu, reiki, polarity, zero balancing (osteopathic based by the way), cranio sacral (osteopathic based by the way), Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch, Chapman's reflex work (osteopathic based by the way), Ortho-Bionomy (osteopathic based by the way), etc.) and tout ourselves as special and bona fide and separate and better than? Will we choose to throw the proverbial babies out with the bathwater? Weren't we a "baby" that was thrown out many times from other professions? Will we throw our creative and intuitive hands up and say, "We can't possibly use medical models to prove energy work, so let's just stay in a nice protective shell that is accepted by the overseers of the current medical model?"

Will we use our own creative, intuitive hands and minds to come up with our own methods of collecting credible data? Will we use our own collective group power and create our own funding for our own work and our own study? I think we are well on our way. Sometimes funding studies that seem ridiculous help us to define and better clarify what isn't so ridiculous. Why can't we be a profession of Massage and Bodywork? Would we not be a more powerful group? Just because a group of people decided that it was time to put the cart before the horse long after the horse was pulling the cart and create something called a MTBOK do we have to throw out anything that does not fit under the heading of MTBOK? Why not take a look at where the horse and cart were going? Others have said it here; can we not have many BOK's? Anyway, just some thoughts from a broader perspective. Thank you for the opportunity to share these thoughts. These forums are a great way to connect and to be inspired from others.
Comment by Emma Torsey on March 26, 2010 at 4:11am
I was just thinking to myself,for every action there is a reaction.
Example-When I am driving in my car,the driver of a fed X truck pulls out in front of me causing me to slam on my breaks and narrowly avoid an accident,I think to myself,"What a jerk,those guys think they own the road"
On the same trip, another driver slows up and waves to me to go ahead in front of him,the thought I have then is"wow, thanks buddy,that's cool"
Now when I get home I say to my family,I just almost had an accident with the bleeping fed x truck,blah, blah ...,Why don't I mention to them that some nice guy waved me on ahead of him....The squeaky wheel always seems to get the grease?
This thread is an example of what happens when two opposite opinions go against each other,is some negative reaction created ?
And has testing been done on the reaction that a person with a more positive out look on life verses a person with a more negative out look on life .
My guess would be that the negative person may have perhaps negative results on the effect of over all health
mental,as well as physical.
Now, that is something I feel we can all say to be true , you can see it on a persons face ,the wrinkled forehead,fast paced walk, with tight clinched hands,the shallow breathing...
where as someone with a more positive attitude looks more relaxed,hands swing lose side to side as they walk,breath slower,more deeply.
Is the answer to study negative energy rather then positive energy.Perhaps negative energy sends out more of a measurable vibe....
Something for you to consider maybe ?
Comment by Darcy Neibaur on March 25, 2010 at 6:40pm
Laura, No Harm done as far as I am concerned. If I would have known I would have allowed it. She did me a great service for free that day and broke up the blockage in my hip area that was prventing me from feeling in my back. So I am truly grateful. I feel like she was the beginning of healing my my back from a rear end injury from a drunk I might add. Slammed me at full speed while I was sitting at a red light. Back is much better today thank you to a lot of things, massage, Essential oils, Reiki and time.
Comment by Laura Allen on March 25, 2010 at 5:15pm
Don't bother starting another thread. These things always go off topic. Then they meander back around, as someone said, like a drunken relative.
Comment by Mike Hinkle on March 25, 2010 at 4:35pm

I am looking for massage research to help therapists promote massage not create a new scientific law. Let's help therapists. That's what I want.
Comment by Christopher A. Moyer on March 25, 2010 at 3:56pm
I'm pretty sure the law of gravity is still in effect.

But fair enough, you took a swing at it. I'd prefer if you'd acknowledge that hardly a single scientific law has been overturned in hundreds of year, in direct contrast to what you said, but I won't belabor it.
Comment by Mike Hinkle on March 25, 2010 at 3:46pm
Hi Erica,

Thank you for your interests in my presentations of discussions. I simply give my point of view based on what I hear from the therapists that write, the articles I read and opinions I form from them.

When I wrote the letter I did. I think any one reading it would see I was trying to smooth over the rhectoric as well.

Things had calmed down until you jumped yesterday. Chris jumped in agreeing on your comment and then came Emma. And here we go again. So I can't really control what everyone else is doing. Just like your last comment.

More research is going to take place. The rest of this will be washed away to time.
Comment by Mike Hinkle on March 25, 2010 at 3:18pm
Christopher I am not going to spend days here going through thousands of words. I will give you an example of one and hope it to prove my point.

Sir Issac Newton published his universal gravitation and the three laws of motion. Until then, the law was geocentrism introduced in the 3rd century BC. It was the law until the 16th century brought Copernicus, who presented a heliocentric system we acknowledge today.

And we have learned from further research, Newton's law of universal gravitation only applies in weak gravitational fields.

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