resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
MUIH Launches Doctoral Degree Programs
Maryland University of Integrative Health recently announce it will now offer doctoral degrees.
Body and Skin Rejuvenation Through Inner Balance, Equals Outer Beauty
First of all, I will draw a line in the sand. You know how there is often a big divide between the methods of Western medicine and holistic or energy medicine?
Giving Chiropractic Some Much-Needed PR
Public relations has not always been the chiropractic profession's strong suit, a shortcoming that has subjected the profession to countless attacks on its legitimacy and seemingly perpetual confusion among the public and the health care world as to the skills and services doctors of chiropractic provide.
The Bottom Line ... From a Surgeon Who Knows
Regardless of individual relationships between providers, there continues to be a type of Hatfield-McCoy feud between the philosophies of medicine and chiropractic, particularly when it comes to musculoskeletal ailments.
Drug War Rages in Wisconsin
Based on its actions over the past 15 years (review the sidebar in the app version of this article), controversy and the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association seem to go hand in hand.
Yo San University Celebrates, Supports Community Clinic
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine recently celebrated 25 years of teaching excellence and serving its community by awarding actor Pierce Brosnan the Robert Graham Visionary Award and raising money for its popular community clinic.
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!
Eight Ways to Help Manage Your Content
You have just completed your last session for the day, checked your voice mail and emailed a new patient about their appointment, but something it gnawing at you, something you just can't quite put your finger it on.
Ancient Chinese Medicine Meets Modern Anatomy Dissection
Have you ever thought it would be beneficial to explore under the skin and examine qi deficiencies in every system of the body? Would you like to see traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis patterns as they relate to western biomedical symptoms and conditions?
The McGill Approach to the Lower Back (Part 1)
Stuart McGill, PhD, brings a unique combination of tools to the table. He is a scientist who also functions as a clinician. He describes himself as a medical consultant who is referred challenging patients. He is both evidence based and practical.
"Turn, Turn, Turn"
Many people are credited with saying, "If you remember the '60s, you really weren't there." Given the fact I didn't become a teenager until 1970, I actually do remember the '60s (or at least part of it). And as a child of the '60s, I was, of course, influenced by the music.
What TCM Never Had to Deal With
You probably started getting a sense of it when you were in school. The professors would talk about diabetes as "wasting-and-thirsting disease" and you had a thought that you didn't know anyone who was wasting away in any way, shape or form.
Treating Our Veterans with PTSD
As July 4th, Memorial Day and Veterans Day continue to pass year in and year out, we honor our veterans from past wars with parades, BBQs and a day off from work, but our veterans live daily with the spiritual scars of war.
Hon Lee: Scholar, Warrior, Spy, Teacher and Healer
It was fun. Growing up in New York's Chinatown was like living in a Chinese village that had been transplanted to a five square block area in southern Manhattan. The thing I liked most about the city, and still do, is it's rich cultural diversity.
Correcting Dysfunctional Movement Patterns – Is Local Treatment Enough?
It is widely believed that mechanical, non-traumatic back pain is largely related to dysfunctional or compensatory movement patterns the body has adopted over time.
The Power of Vitamin K
You may have heard rumblings in recent years that vitamin K helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, and is administered intravenously by some integrative medical doctors who combine it with high-dose vitamin C in cancer treatment.
Behavior as Symptoms of Energetic Imbalance
Karen and Josh said they wanted me to help them fix their marriage. That is why they were sitting on the couch in front of me, complaining about each other. She was too domineering, he said, overly controlling and bossy.
The Power of Positioning
During the evening, I like to relax while either reading a book or watching television. One of my shows, NCIS, has the main character always drinking coffee. Everyone knows it is a Venti from Starbucks because of its distinctive color and style.
Cultivating Our National Strength
The time has come to seriously look at the state of this profession and its influence in the U.S. Where are we? What has happened? Where do we go from here?
Alcohol Consumption Strongly Linked to Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Alcohol intake is one of the primary risk factors for many human cancers, and is strongly associated with cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, breast, and notably, the colon and rectum.
News in Brief
Foundation for Chiropractic Progress Enrolls Second Group Member; Focus on Chiropractic Education at WFC-ACC Conference in Miami; Are You Ready for Another "Have-a-Heart" Campaign?
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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