resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
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.
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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