resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
November, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 11
COMTA Hit With Lawsuit, AMTA Faces New Allegations
By Rebecca J. Razo
In November 2002, Massage Today reported that The Galen Institute in Wethersfield, Conn., had filed a lawsuit against the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) for misconduct during the institute's pursuit of COMTA accreditation (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/11/05.html).In a recent development, the institute announced its expansion of the lawsuit to include the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and an unnamed Connecticut massage school as co-defendants, claiming the school conspired with the AMTA and COMTA to form a monopoly in violation of antitrust laws.1
Galen Institute is owned and operated by Jim Lattanzio, who, earlier this year, formed the National Organization for the Advancement of Massage, Schools and Educators (NOAMSE), an organization comprised of massage school owners and educators who do not agree with the accreditation standards set forth by COMTA.
Now, one of NOAMSE's affiliates has come forward and filed a lawsuit against COMTA, naming the AMTA, COMTA and COMTA Executive Director Carole Ostendorf as co-defendants, and alleging the organizations have engaged in illegal business practices. The Council Overseeing Medical and Massage Therapy (COM &MTA) in Olathe, Kan., is a massage school accrediting agency formed earlier this year by Chris Folkers. In the nine-count brief obtained by Massage Today, COM&MTA's allegations include fraud, coercion in an attempt to convert, defamation, violation of antitrust and trade acts, false advertising, interference and conspiracy.2
COM&MTA filed its lawsuit after being contacted by COMTA and AMTA. According to the lawsuit, COM&MTA was informed it had "illegally infringed on the certification marks 'COMTA' and 'Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.' " COMTA and AMTA then attempted to force COM&MTA to cease using the name and acronym.
COM&MTA challenged the accusation, demanding proof that COMTA held certification and trademark ownership. According to the brief, however, COMTA "attempted to fraudulently mislead the [COM&MTA] as to a U.S. trademark ownership of certification mark."2
"In June, COM&MTA was legally formed," Folkers said. "A search of the United States Trademark and Patent Office was done, and at that point, there was no application from the AMTA [for COMTA] on file."3
The AMTA and COMTA disagree. "The AMTA name is trademarked and we have also received and/or applied for other trademarks, service marks and certification marks associated with AMTA," stated a letter from the AMTA national board of directors to AMTA chapter presidents. "One of the names we protect is the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation."4
According to Lattanzio, the COM&MTA and NOAMSE have been unfairly attacked because of their joint desire to accredit schools that have been excluded by COMTA. "An accrediting agency should be able to evaluate any school [that is] legitimate and has an outcome-based education," Lattanzio said. "COMTA says it assures quality and excellent education, and quality of massage therapists, [but] a quality student cannot be guaranteed by COMTA."1
Folkers agrees. "The establishment of [COM&MTA] was due to a growing need for a more logical and common-sense approach to accreditation. The current assumption that a national standard exists is a fallacy," he said. "One of the primary objectives [of COM&MTA] is to give schools a choice. [Having] only one primary accrediting agency choice could lead to bias, corruption, and destruction of businesses and other overt acts," he added.3
COM&MTA's evaluation of massage schools for accreditation are based on local standards, which allow schools to be evaluated on their own merits, and is logical, as far as Lattanzio is concerned. "There are no industry standards. Everything from 'A to Z' exists as far as massage therapy is concerned; if there are no standards, how can an organization declare a standard? COMTA's standards seek to exclude rather than include," he remarked.1
In a letter mailed to massage school owners and directors, COM&MTA clearly stated its position related to accreditation: "We believe that all legitimate schools, through a reasonable process, should have an opportunity to participate and achieve validation and accreditation. As state, local laws and regulations vary so much and usually establish what schools teach, school owners, directors and educators should not be forced to adopt, in the name of being 'legitimate' any set of artificial standards."5
Lattanzio and Folkers also believe that COMTA is not living up to certain obligations under its U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) recognition agreement. "They do not effectively monitor their member schools, which is one of the requirements under their USDOE recognition," said Folkers. "The COMTA application [to the USDOE] misrepresents their intention," added Lattanzio.1,3
One of the USDOE standards for recognition requires that "the [accrediting] agency must demonstrate that its standards, policies, procedures, and decisions to grant or deny accreditation are widely accepted in the United States by (a) Educators and educational institutions; and (b) Licensing bodies, practitioners, and employers in the professional or vocational fields for which the education institutions or programs within the agency's jurisdiction prepare their students."6
But Lattanzio disputes that AMTA and COMTA standards are widely accepted. "It makes me question how they represented themselves to the U.S. government," he said.1
Lattanzio also noted that two other organizations use the name "COMTA" - the Canadian Orthopractic Manual Therapy Association and a computer furniture manufacturer - neither of which has, to his knowledge, been singled out by the AMTA or COMTA. "Why hasn't Canada been targeted?" he asked.1
Massage Today contacted the AMTA and COMTA Executive Director Carole Ostendorf. "I've been advised by counsel not to respond," Ostendorf said.7
However, AMTA President Brenda L. Griffith issued the following statement:
Folkers sums up his feelings this way: "Presently, many schools out there will never meet and live up to the criteria for accreditation, either due to course hours or financial restraints. This puts these schools at a disadvantage when prospective students read from other agency Web sites that accredited schools are better than nonaccredited schools. The real questions are: Does the school accomplish its objective in training a competent therapist? Is this newly trained individual able to meet the standard for practicing in his or her local jurisdiction? Accreditation is a validation process. The COM&MTA offers schools a more realistic approach to this validation process. It's available to all schools. [COM&MTA] has stated it before: If we cannot accredit your school or program, your funds will be refunded. Tell me, who else offers that?"
If nothing else, this situation proves one thing: The massage profession remains divided on crucial issues relating to education, licensure and the overall direction in which the profession is headed. Look for updates on this situation in future issues of Massage Today.
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