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Massage Today
March, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 03

We Get Letters & E-Mail

By Editorial Staff

Readers can respond to letters at .

Editor's Note: Some letters have been edited for space and clarity.

In Defense of CranioSacral Therapy

Dear Editors:

Regarding "CranioSacral Therapy Outlawed in Mississippi" (Nov.

2003,, I took care of a doctor five years ago for simple plantar fascitis. He was attending a seminar that addressed the fact that they (the doctors) are losing a great deal of business to alternative providers. By the way, one treatment took his foot pain away, and lengthened the fascia in his calves, which was causing the pain.

So, this all is about money. Doctors stand to make huge amounts by having massage therapists work only for them or severely limiting their capabilities. In my practice, I am so busy that I have frequently referred clients to doctors; it is not the other way around. I know a prominent doctor that tells patients when they need a good massage. He is good; he is busy. This doctor is not intimidated by a massage therapist's capabilities. I am sure that the real noise is coming from those who are seriously lacking in their capabilities, have a lot of time on their hands, and think the grass is greener on our side and they want a chunk.

CranioSacral Therapy allows bones to return to their homeostasis. We work with the connective tissues that surround them, and not like a division of chiropractic that "jolts" bones into place without doing anything about the surrounding tissues. Each time a client mentions a chiropractor, I ask if the chiropractor referred them to a massage therapist. Most of the cases are not. We really need to collaborate as medical professionals for the benefit of our patients. Turf wars need to cease, and selfish practitioners need to be ousted or re-educated.

Wallace Spears

Dear Editor:

I begin by saying I can in no way comment on the "Cell Talk" dispute (, but I would like to share my daughter's experience. She was born in July 1990, through a hasty and rushed delivery wherein the doctor demanded forceps after only a few moments of my pushing, and his obvious hurry to be somewhere else. The outcome was Erb's Palsy, a very serious birth injury.

After being told by members of this particular doctor's practice and our pediatrician that Erb's is "very minor and only requires pinning up her sleeve," I knew I was being seriously and intentionally misled by the various medical doctors. My daughter received immediate and intense four-day-a-week physical therapy for many years, as well as fantastic CranioSacral Therapy at the Upledger Institute. In short, her pediatric neurologist says it is only because of this care that she has been able to go from the worst 10 percent of those he has seen with Erb's to the best 10 percent.

To Dr. Turchaninov: I agree you must not knock what you haven't experienced. May you never mislead innocent patients, as I have experienced. While you have your favorite Japanese saying, I like my husband's in this case - "Every dog has his day." (The doctor who delivered my daughter succeeded in committing suicide a few years ago after repeated attempts.)

To Dr. Upledger and your colleagues who, day in and day out, tolerate the attacks of arrogant and rude medical doctors with tunnel vision: Thank you for being the bigger people. Please don't ever lose sight of the bigger picture. My beautiful 12-year-old with two strong arms would be walking around with a dwarfed, atrophied arm if the four "prestigious" medical doctors involved with her care had it their way.

Suzie Peterson
Palm Harbor, Florida

"How exciting to see an article that addresses components of a quality massage education"

Dear Editor:

I have often thought about responding to articles I've seen in your publication, but now I am finally "picking up the pen." Thank you for the comprehensive article in your January issue by Gail Frei regarding quality education programs in the massage field! ( Having recently been an instructor at a local technical school that was just starting a massage therapy program, I can attest that there are schools getting into this area whose programs appear to be great on paper, but the reality in the classroom is far different.

I was shown a very detailed outline as to what this start-up program was to include when I interviewed for this position - it looked great! The director had taken course outlines from other schools, including in a neighboring state with strict statewide guidelines, and copied them in creating their program. Hey, if it's good, it's good, right? Why not copy it?

The problem is, they never took the next step and created the program! When I asked to see a copy of the training manual at the interview, I was told that that information is only shared after you're hired. After I was hired, I found out there was no training manual, and that I was expected to create one as I went along. When I expressed that the outline material didn't make for the best order in teaching, I was told the outline had been turned in to the state, and no changes could be made, but that I could do whatever worked for me in class. After all, who would know?

So, I am grateful for the abovementioned article. The specific questions suggested would help potential students (as well as potential instructors) realize what they're really getting into before signing on. I only wish that Massage Today would service these up-and-coming students with your magazine, as well as those already working in the field, so that they may benefit now from great information like this!

Sonya Bykofsky, LMT
Lenox, Massachusetts

Editor's note: Massage Today is provided to massage schools throughout the country for the benefit of students; additionally, subscriptions are free to schools and licensed and/or practicing massage therapists. Therapists wishing to subscribe may contact our reader services department at or 800-324-7758.)

Dear Editor:

How exciting to finally see an article that specifically addresses components of a quality massage education. We have heard much complaining about the state of massage education and now we have Gail Frei offering sound, sensible answers to the question of what comprises quality. Expecting a student to participate fully in the educational process, while offering the student all of the support needed to succeed makes such good sense. Perhaps our new mantra for massage training should become "more sense," not "more hours." I will definitely keep this article and share it with those who ask me how to choose a massage training program.

Kathy Kyar, LMT

The following letters were not published in this month's print version of Massage Today.

More Praise for Gail Frei

Dear Editor:

Thank you for the article by Gail Frei,"Quality Education Programs Benefit More Than Students" in the January issue Ms. Frei obviously has a world of experience, and she expresses the need for high standards quite succinctly.

As an anatomy and physiology instructor, I try to provide my students witht he information they will need to afford their clients the best treatment, and to avoid doing harm. It is indeed difficult when students arrive late, do not arrive at all, or when they have a cavalier attitude toward instruction.

Ms. Frei clearly explains the accountability of both student and massage school in the education process. I sincerely hope that many readers of Massage Today take her message to heart.

Jo-Ann Crawley, RN, BSN, LMT
Cleveland, Georgia

One More Comment Concerning the Massage Poll

Dear Editor:

Regarding the letter to the editor about the October 2003 online massage poll on the usefulness of the NCBTMB test as an indicator of one's abilities as a massage therapist ( A written, multiple-choice exam only tests the ability to retain information and to regurgitate it in the test format. A written test with no practical exam component cannot possibly assess the ability of an aspirant to deliver competent treatment.

The NCBTMB's rebuttal of [Massage Today's] admittedly nonscientific poll only drew from practitioners who shelled out the not inconsiderable to take the test and therefore have an interest in it's acceptance as a measure of competence.

Until there is reciprocity among regulating bodies who accept is as a requirement to practice, it is nothing more than another certificate on the wall. Perhaps less indicative of competence than a certificate from a continuing-education seminar or class.

Monte L. Isaacs, LMT
Goldendale, Washington

Editor's note: To view the original poll referenced by this letter, visit


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