resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
September, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 09
Associations Aren't for All Massage Therapists, but All Massage Therapists Benefit from Them
By Ron Stephens, LMT
Editor's note: This article is the first of a series on massage associations. Following a brief introduction emphasizing the benefits of association membership, Mr. Stephens focuses on the Texas Association of Massage Therapists (TAMT).Articles featuring other state massage associations will appear in subsequent issues of Massage Today.
"I don't do politics." "What is the association going to do for me?" "I can buy insurance cheaper from someone else." "I am too busy to be bothered." On and on go the reasons for not getting involved or supporting massage associations, be they local, state or national.
Yes, you are busy; yes, politics play a role; and yes, insurance can be purchased from different sources and at varying prices. There are many reasons to refrain from joining an association, or anything else, for that matter, but there are even more reasons substantiating the positive role associations play in the massage profession.
Our profession is very strong when it comes to learning how to be better at what we do and how we do it - but there is something more basic and more critical to our ability to treat than even the highest skill level, best equipment, or strongest referral system. This fundamental strength is our legislated right to work as touch therapists, and even the slightest change in the legislation can drastically alter how and if we continue to practice.
For example, in Florida, being a licensed massage therapist allows you to touch, make home visits on your own (vs. through an agency), or choose to work in a medical or spa setting (or both). With what is considered to be a fairly minimal amount of classroom training, Florida massage therapists have tremendous flexibility in how we conduct business. This freedom to operate a health care business must be protected, and the only entities available to accomplish this are our state and national associations.
Legislators regard massage associations as speaking representatives of the profession. Associations are the only legislative entities representing massage therapists, so those who don't get involved are subject to the decisions made by those who do.
The reality is, all massage therapists belong to one of the associations representing professional massage. There are two categories of members: those who pay dues, and those who do not. Which one are you? I hope you consider becoming involved with an association. Think of it as a cost of doing business, much like continuing education, supplies and equipment are costs. Becoming a member is the first step, but active involvement is also an important option.
I had the privilege of working with the Texas Association of Massage Therapists (TAMT) to establish an association-sponsored insurance program (FSMTA and TAMT). This program has proven successful for both associations.
The TAMT is in a reorganization mode, but it has made some major strides toward pulling themselves together. The hard work by the leaders of this association, past and present, is indicative of what it takes to bring an association together and keep it growing.
I recently spoke with the newly elected president of the TAMT, Vanessa Carpenter, RMT, and legislative chairperson Sharon Stumpf, RMT. They provided me with insight regarding the history, growth and present status of the TAMT.
The Texas Association of Massage Therapists (TAMT) was established in 1994 -- young by association standards. It was the vision of a group of therapists that saw a need to protect the profession of massage therapy in the state of Texas. These visionaries brought the new association into full swing with the election of officers and the establishment of bylaws. Their legislative board format of choice was president; 1st and 2nd vice presidents; secretary; treasurer; and regional representatives from throughout the state.
Business continued to be conducted in this fashion as member benefits were added. Initially, a newsletter and a website were created, with the intention of including a job and client referral system. These were the first established communication tools in a state that presented unique challenges due to its very large size. When the ability to accept credit cards was established, it was considered a milestone, in that it allowed the TAMT to do business on a much larger scale.
As mentioned above, another of the TAMT's significant business ventures was to work with the FSMTA, which sponsored its professional liability insurance program. This was a true enhancement, as it allowed for membership development and revenue generation on a larger scale than would otherwise have been possible. Both of these areas remain a challenge, as they are with every association, but the foundation for growth is in place.
In 1999, the TAMT took a major step with the establishment of an executive director position. The president resigned and accepted the position of executive director, with board approval. The TAMT was young and inexperienced as an association, and although there was an income stream, revenues were not sufficient to pay an ED salary. In essence, the ED position was that of a dedicated volunteer.
Under the direction of the ED, two major occurrences took place. The TAMT held its first annual convention and trade show in August of 2000. It was profitable, and more importantly, it brought the TAMT live and in person to members and potential members throughout the state. Representatives from agencies such as the Department of Health, Massage Therapy Division attended and interacted with attendees. The convention was a success from all perspectives.
With limited resources, membership and legislation became the primary focus of the TAMT. A major legislative issue was that of newly established continuing education requirements. The TAMT was able to provide its members with input into the rule development process on this issue. This likely would not have occurred without the organizational structure that existed at that time.
The demands of non-paid volunteering took their toll, and the executive director eventually stepped away. In a sense, this left the TAMT stronger and with a better organizational structure, but also with a staggering amount of work and effort necessary to maintain a totally volunteer organization.
In many associations, a handful of members believe in the need to have strong representation. They work hard, eventually burn out, and the process starts over. The sad part is that so much history, hard work, and resources are often forgotten or lost as the building process regenerates. Extended volunteerism at any level is demanding. It extracts its toll in energy, effort and emotion. Eventually, those who have given so much are scorned when pausing to catch their breath or do things differently.
The "angry active" is the death knell to any organization. They spend just enough time being involved to monitor everything going on, and they eagerly share their "expert" opinions, which are often that of ornery "shade-tree mechanics." This attitude often keeps an association from growing and moving forward.
Holding it all together while exploring all of the alternatives, from association management companies to total self-rule, has been the order of the day for those who have stepped forward to guide the TAMT to the next level of growth. There are already plans for a TAMT Convention in January 2002, coinciding with the new continuing education requirements for Texas massage therapists.
The TAMT is dedicated to the profession and will grow as more RMTs in Texas recognize that it is one of the only professional organizations in Texas representing their specific massage interests.
For more information on the TAMT, contact Vanessa Carpenter, TAMT president, at 830-529-3757.
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