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Massage Today
June, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 06

Who Owns Your Name? U.S. District Court to Decide

A Word from the Publisher of Massage Today

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h)

Massage Today was created with three goals in mind:

  • provide the latest, most important news every month to the entire massage therapy profession;
  • foster understanding, cooperation and unity within the massage therapy profession by establishing an open forum where every member of the profession has a voice;
  • promote the benefits and importance of massage therapy to the consumer public through information and education, with the aim to encourage more people to seek care from a massage therapist.

Every issue of Massage Today reflects our efforts to fulfill the first two goals. In this issue, you will note the establishment of the MassageLocator referral directory on (please see "Your Practice on the Web - Free!" at, and an article about a television program that is featuring our website (please see " Featured on National Television Series" at These are just the beginning of our efforts to fulfill our third goal.

Unfortunately, not every one in the profession wants unity. This was made apparent by a recent action by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). The AMTA seems to believe that it can control whether its members are included in our MassageLocator referral directory, and even if its members can receive Massage Today. And to prove it, the AMTA has filed a lawsuit to enforce its belief. (Please see "AMTA Sues to Prevent Members from Receiving Free Benefits" on the front page of this issue.)

Massage Today doesn't agree. We believe that you are the only one who should decide what you receive and which referral directories you are listed on. If, for some reason, you don't want to receive Massage Today or be listed on the MassageLocator, that is your choice and no one else's. You can simply tell us, and your request will be respected.

The importance of receiving Massage Today is that it is an open forum solely for the profession. (Massage Today is not sold or offered to the public on magazine racks.) This open forum allows everyone in the massage therapy profession to have a voice in discussing important issue privately, away from public scrutiny. Open discussion helps create better understanding and better relationships. These in turn foster cooperation and potentially unity.

The massage therapy profession is badly splintered. By most estimates, the AMTA includes less than one-quarter of the profession in its membership. There needs to be at least one place where everyone can come together without the barriers inherent in membership. By being inclusive, Massage Today hopes to provide the pages and environment that will foster open discussion, understanding and cooperation.

The AMTA's lawsuit is without merit and will eventually be dismissed. In the mean time, there are several things you can do:

  • Let Massage Today know your thoughts on receiving the publication and being listed on the MassageLocator referral directory. Let us know what other services we can provide that would be benefit you. (You can reach us by e-mail: ; fax: 714-899-4273; or phone: 714-230-3150.)
  • If you are an AMTA member, let them know how you feel about them spending your dues on a lawsuit designed to keep you from receiving Massage Today and keeping you off of the MassageLocator referral directory. Perhaps you can suggest some membership benefits that they could provide using the hundreds of thousands of dollars they intend to give to their attorneys. (The AMTA can be reached by e-mail: ; fax: 847-864-1178; or phone: 847-864-0123).
  • Get involved in the issues. Our publication goes to every massage therapist that we've been able to locate in the U.S. This is your publication, and it's free. It is here that you can voice your opinions, discuss issues, and expand the horizon of the profession.

For more information, please see "AMTA Sues to Prevent Members from Receiving Free Benefits" at


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