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Poll Results for the following Question:

What is the most important issue facing the massage therapy profession in 2004?

Results:

Unity among organizations, associations, professionals, etc.
6.0%
Massage therapy licensing laws/legislation
14.3%
Improved educational standards
16.0%
Acceptance by medical community
17.1%
Published research validating the effectiveness of massage
22.0%
Other
24.7%

Total Respondents: 733

Comments:

Note: These comments are reproduced as written by visitors to this Web site.
They have not been edited for content, grammar, or spelling.



Massage therapy licensing laws/legislation I know that there are no licensing laws in the state of Michigan. I believe that if there were -- massage would be taken more seriously. And the public would view us as more than a masseuse or masseuser.

As a student,I get tired of correcting others to the proper term of "therapist" or "practioners"; as well as the sometimes surprised looks as if I just said that I was a prostitute.

I believe laws would break the bearer which inturn will open the doors for more acceptance in the medical community, and improved educational standards.
~Angelecia


Published research validating the effectiveness of massage While anyone who has ever had a massage can attest to some of its benefits, people need to know that it is so much more than a way to pamper oneself. I work in the Complementary Medicine dept. of a hospital which operates on a fee for service basis and contracts with a few other departments for workers' comp. and pain mgmt. (they do the paperwork). We still encounter resistance from a portion of the medical staff despite our education and successes. As the main therapist, I am trying to build a resource library of journal articles with research conducted in a manner irrefutable by these naysaying "experts."

Anonymous
Published research validating the effectiveness of massage Over the last two weeks I have been working on a competition analysis and Ive found that a very large portion of advertising for Massage Therapists is just a front for prostitution. While I dont want to get on a soap box about prostitution I feel that it is important to separate therapists which service medical/spa needs and prostitutes which service sexual ones. I think if there was more documented evidence to support the positive effects of medical/spa massage there would be a legislative difference as well as a change in the mindset of the medical community and the community at large as to what a massage therapist really is. If the general public started looking for a legitimate massage therapist and found prostitute after prostitute, an act of legislation would have to follow shortly, and thus solve the problem of the stigma that I and Im sure others have felt while trying to grow there own business.
Anonymous
Published research validating the effectiveness of massage Over the last two weeks I have been working on a competition analysis and Ive found that a very large portion of advertising for Legitimate Massage Therapists is just a front for prostitution. While I dont want to get on a soap box about prostitution I feel that it is important to separate therapists which service medical needs and prostitutes which service sexual ones. I think if there was more documented evidence to support the positive effects of medical massage therapy there would be a legislative difference as well as a change in the mindset of the medical community and the community at large as to what a massage therapist really is. If the general public started looking for a legitimate massage therapist and found prostitute after prostitute, an act of legislation would have to follow shortly, and thus solve the problem of the stigma that I and Im sure others have felt while trying to grow there own business.


Improved educational standards It is very easy to stubble across a school that offers massage therapy and can not deliver the proper education needed to really be knowledgeable and confident in the "real world"

I had just moved to PA and decided I wanted to be a MT. I was so excited! It took me a little while but I finally realized what time of school I was in. No matter if you failed or not, you were passed. I did extremely well in school but do not feel I received the level of education that I need or paid for.

For people wanting to join this profession, I strongly encourage them to really research the school and try and talk with students that are attending or who have attened to get the real "scoop" on the school that they are inquiring about.


Improved educational standards It is very easy to stubble across a school that offers massage therapy and can not deliver the proper education needed to really be knowledgeable and confident in the "real world"

I had just moved to PA and decided I wanted to me a MT. I was so excited! It took me a little while but I finally realized what time of school I was in. No matter if you failed or not, you were passed. I did extremely well in school but do not feel I received the level of education that I need or paid for.

For people wanting to join this profession, I strongly encourage them to really research the school and try and talk with students that are attending or who have attened to get the real "scoop" on the school that they are inquiring about.

Anonymous
 When the medical community accepts and recognizes the value of quality massage, THEN there will be more published research validating the effectiveness of massae, better laws and legislation, and a greater awareness of a need for quality education. Until then, we are struggling upstream against a swarm of greedy, ignorant, biased "fish" who can't see the aid to their profession/work as they blindly push past us.

Anonymous
Published research validating the effectiveness of massage While I advocate published research validating the effectiveness of massage I reject acceptance by medical community when that implies embracing low wage standards dictated by corporate mismanaged health care and the insurance mafia.

Unity among organizations, associations, professionals, etc. I think more importantly we need to educate people of the important benefits of massage, as well as educate the medical community of the importance in maintaining the health of our musculosketetal system.


Improved educational standards I'm transitioning from one career to another and currently considering massage therapy. There are a lot of positives about this field that I really like. Also, I like people and have always received good comments for the amateur massages that I provided to family and co-workers. Well, let me cut to the chase. After spending hours on the internet and completing my 1st visit to a prospective MT school, I must tell you that I feel like I am in a whirlwind. The school I visited wants $7,400 for their program and couldn't even produce a course outline with a description of course content, schedules and biography information on their instructors. To top it off, COMPTA steered me to this school on their website as a fully accredited MT school. This totally wiped me out as in my previous line of work, any school that I or the Gov't paid for was top rate and issues like this were unheard of for the most part. From what I can see, if I can get 2200 hours of MT training in Canada for $5000, from instructors I have a little more faith in based on their training and level of experience, then I'll just have to suck up the cost for food and housing. At least I feel like I'll be get training equal to the money I am handing over. Your article made me realize that my instincts about what is going on in the field of massage training were dead on. Very Respectfully, Dwayne P.S. I saw a lot of kids half my age in the school and almost felt sorry for them. I sure hope they get a little bang for their big bucks....

Anonymous
Massage therapy licensing laws/legislation If the Massage Therapy community could push for Licensing laws and legislation within our entire country the medical community would accept us as medical professionals.

Anonymous
Other Most important for 2004 and all the years to come, I feel that massage should be kept on a forward momentum - applying its benefits in new ways and in new areas.


Improved educational standards No more schools that teach to the national cert test. This method of education does not produce quality massage therapists. It just makes lawmakers and agenda pushers feel better. If we push for higher education standards we will be more accepted by the medical community, massage therapy licensing laws and legislation will become less rediculous and frantic, and our organizations and associations will have less to bicker about. Lets not forget the consumer in all of this. Without the consumer we cease to exist. The better our education, initial and continuing, the better service we can provide, the more mainstream we become, the more regular we are used. It is a trickle down effect.

Anonymous
Published research validating the effectiveness of massage With the quickly increasing popularity of massage, along with our increasing visibility, it is no longer acceptable to make unsubstantiated claims. People are watching now. The common claims may or may not be true, but without research, they have no substance in medicine or psychology, or any of the other learned sciences.

In addition, as our clients appear with complaints that we think we can help, it would be very useful to have a database of studies that provided supportive evidence and protocols.

Toni Roberts, BA, LMT
Marietta, Georgia

Other How about the sales tax of massage in Ohio? This bill has literally RUINED my chance at building my clientel. So now I must choose between leaving the state or going back to my old job as a security guard.


 Published research has the potential to reach a larger public audience. Educated consumers will ask questions of their PCPs, which in turn may create a rippling effect that might encompass the other issues, e.g. acceptance by the medical community, better educational standards, consistent licensing legislation, etc. The final result - winners all around.


 Should be regulated by an international Counceach, students learn different techniques of massage and the anatomy, but to require one to take an approved test that they wrote and conned the states legislature to enact upon in the name of standardization is wrong. Every person whom practices massage therapy should know the basics of human anatomy and diseases to keep themselves and their clients safe. The one area that is most troublesome is lumping every person into a certain group, to get them to join their organization, to be controlled by the the said organization, and then to give that organization their money to do their own will is sinful. It is time to say NO to totalitarism in the MT ranks. Big Brother in massage therapy at its worst.


Other Actually I believe all of the above are the most important issues for 2004. Each feeds on the other of course when it comes to becoming accepted by the medical profession. Basically, if there isn't unity among massage orgs/assoc,etc - then there will be difficulty agreeing upon much less passing legislation. In some areas improved educational standards are necessary prior to legislation passing. And western medicine requires that philosophies and modalities that have been around for centuries be scientifically proven - so I say it is not a "the" most important it is an "all are important" for 2004


Other Eliminating the ignorance of people nationwide that massage therapy is not, in general, a sleazy or shady practice and should be respected.


Massage therapy licensing laws/legislation We practice in Massachusetts where there is no state licensing. We are regulated by each individual city or town. I will never be able to describe the harassment and abuse we've sustained under this regulatory format. Our profession needs to be regulated by an educated and unbiased party.

Anonymous
Other The explosive growth in the # of therapists is outpacing the growth in demand, consigning our profession to be of limited earning potential. More therapists means lower prices and few appointments.


Other IMHO, I think the primary issue is to separate the field of massage from that of prostitution.

We will never gain the respectability we deserve as long as people can continue to provide sexual services under the guise of massage.

Massage therapy licensing laws/legislation NCTMB is the worst thing that ever happened to massage.


Improved educational standards Some mss institions focus on the inner body more than the outer body,and yet others don't focus on it enough.While in school we focused equally on both
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