resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
January, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 01
Massage Therapist Densitites
By John Fred Spack, LMT
Editor's note: The following data is based on the author's nonscientific research methods; caution should be used in generalizing the results.
In 2003, Massage Today published my review of data that suggested that massage therapists are more available to the public in licensing states (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/10/03.html).As of July 2004, the trend continued with some diminishment.
In 2003 and 2004, 26 states and the District of Columbia mandated massage therapy regulation. Three states (Connecticut, Wisconsin and Virginia) offered voluntary certification. Regulation was pending in four states as of July 31, 2004: New Jersey (certification), Illinois, Arizona and Kentucky. Aside from everything else in this article, it will be interesting to follow the numbers as these states build their registration lists.
The July 2004 edition of Massage Today was distributed to 72,245 massage therapists in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to its published circulation data. Using the July 2003 U.S. census data (the 2004 estimates were not available at this writing), the subscribers of Massage Today represent a density of about 25 massage therapists per 100,000 people in the United States. One way of looking at that is to figure that there are 4,000 potential clients per massage therapist, without discounting infants, prisoners and troops abroad.
About half the U.S. population lives in the 26 licensing states and Washington, D.C. The density of massage therapists is approximately 35 therapists per 100,000 in licensing states - above the national average. Nonlicensing states have an average density of only 15 massage therapists. To the extent that these numbers represent availability of massage services, availability is over twice as much in licensing states.
The numbers change a bit when the three certification states, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Virginia, are shifted into the credentialing column, joining the licensing jurisdictions. Credentialing states average 34 therapists per 100,000 people and non-credentialing states average 14 therapists. Measured this way, availability in credentialing states is still more than double other states, but in 2003 it was nearly triple.
This year, the state with the largest number of massage therapists per capita is Utah, with 82 per 100,000 (down from 101 a year ago). The 14 highest state densities occur in credentialing states, and these are the same states as last year. Montana, ranked 15th overall, is the nonlicensing state with the highest density, at 30 massage therapists per 100,000. The trend favoring licensing is mitigated by the three states with the lowest densities, which are all licensing states: North Carolina (7.5), Mississippi (6.4) and at the bottom, Maryland (5.5).
Individual state numbers must be viewed with caution. North Carolina, for example, has far more therapists than the 633 recipients of Massage Today in that state; the number of recipients in Ohio is 3,902, about half of the 7,820 reported by the state medical board in June 2004. Massage Magazine's online listing showed 7,334 Ohio licensees. There is no authoritative count in any nonlicensing state.
Expanding this report, I investigated numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor for the year 2000 of employed massage therapists only, excluding massage therapists who are self-employed, including independent contractors. (The data on average wages is interesting but not my focus.) Numbers are not available from seven states and Washington, D.C. Of the remaining 44 states, 20 were licensing states and 23 were nonlicensing states (Mississippi did not yet license in 2000.) A total of 25,890 massage therapists were reported as employed in the 44 states. According to an AMTA membership survey, 16 percent of therapists are employed. A calculation with that percentage gives a 44 state total of about 155,000 massage therapists where Massage Today lists 66,152, suggesting that the massage densities I have shown might be about 60 percent short of the actual numbers.
Using just the Department of Labor numbers, the average density for employed therapists is 10 per 100,000 people over all states and is also 10 in either the licensing states or nonlicensing states taken as groups. This data shows near equality between licensing and nonlicensing states as to the density of massage therapists working for employers.
Economists conjecture that licensing deters employment, but these figures do not support that. This Department of Labor data would be an excellent source of information for a massage school student researching a well-balanced approach to the theoretical economic effects of licensing.
We may conclude, as we did a year ago, that these data do not document that state licensing depresses the availability of professional touch to the public. One explanation may be that the very negative affects of local regulation are overcome by state licensing. In theory, state licensing imposed on a free market should dampen entry to the profession. When compared to local patchworks of regulation in the nonlicensing states, massage therapy licensing at the state level uniquely liberates the massage market and affords better opportunities for clients and practitioners.
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