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Massage Today
April, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 04

We Get Letters and E-Mail

By Editorial Staff

Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be edited for space and clarity, and published in a future issue or online.

Please send all correspondence by e-mail to or regular mail to:

Massage Today
P.O. Box 4139
Huntington Beach, CA 92605

"I agree with the AMTA's position on accreditation"

Dear Editor:

I would like to add to the discussion on accreditation for massage programs ("Massage Therapy Education Accreditation: Industry Professionals Voice Their Opinions," Dec. 2004. I agree with the AMTA's position on accreditation. As long as all of the agencies use the same educational standards in their process, the overall goal of consistency of education in the profession will be achieved.

The problem with having different standards for education is that the potential students don't know who provides the best education, and the public is confused about the qualifications of the practitioners. The comments about accreditation not affecting curriculum or course content are true if the accrediting agency does not dictate the curriculum standards through the use of competencies. I have been involved in the accreditation process for the NATA and have seen how the implementation of competencies has boosted the level of education in the profession.

As far as higher educational costs, I would think that the administrative cost of hiring an experienced teacher would be well worth the student's investment. The only way we will elevate the profession is to have similar standards of education no matter what agency does the accrediting and have it mandatory that schools obtain accreditation.

Steve Jurch MA, ATC, LMT
via e-mail

"...50 percent plus tips won't look bad"

Dear Editor:

In response to Krystal Stone, LMT, (Jan. 2005, "We Get Letters & E-Mail," and others like her that don't like working for 50 percent plus tips. I suggest she open her own business then hire massage therapists to work at 70 percent or more -- plus they keep their tips! As new owner, Krystal will now be entitled to the percentage she only dreamed of before, along with the realities of having employees (who love her sense of fairness).

Krystal will now have to pay unemployment insurance state and federal, workmen's compensation, match social security and medicare payments, incur payroll expenses, which includes all the proper filing of government paperwork and yearly W-2 forms, and, of course, retaining these records. Did I mention malpractice insurance, public liability insurance, supplies, equipment for the therapists rooms, reception furniture, office supplies, etc.?

To keep her staff happy, Krystal will need a receptionist to schedule appointments and take care of the front desk duties -- and pay this person fairly, too. Fixed overhead expenses must be met, such as business lease of space, utilities and telephone. Variable expenses must be met, such as Mastercard machine and fees, client herbal teas, other refreshments, laundry and facility cleaning costs. (You can't expect the professionals to clean toilets and floors -- that is not what they went to school for.)

Advertising is a must in order to keep the staff working. Brochures should be printed, gift certificates and business cards. Is there room to negotiate health insurance or incentive packages for her staff? There are miscellaneous expenses, too: office supplies, appointment books, computer software, etc. I'm sure there are things I am forgetting, but I'll stop here and see if Krystal is now working at a 10 percent profit of her own service income, or worse, if she has provided a great business opportunity for other massage therapists, while she herself has spent all her money and long hours just to end up broke.

If Krystal has an attitude now, just wait until when she becomes the employer. I wonder what her idea of fairness will be then -- 50 percent plus tips won't look bad.

Dianne Marshall, LCA, MT
via e-mail

On Continuing Education

Dear Editor:

I agree with many of the points Alice Paprocki set forth in her letter complaining about the CEU requirements (Jan. 2005, "We Get Letters & E-Mail, The sticker shock from the price of workshops alone gives one pause.

However, as a massage practitioner, I must take issue with her on the matter of the need for all of us to have exposure to modalities that are not our own. As a former social worker in the public sector, I have seen what happens when professionals are not required to lift the lid from the jar on occasion. The air becomes stale, and innovation, improvement and flexibility are the casualties. We owe it to our clients and the profession to keep our minds open to new ideas; were we not required to do so, our busy lives might distract many of us from taking a look around.

Al Watkins, BSW, CMT
Lexington, Virginia

Dear Editor:

I am a massage therapist in Houston and have been doing massage therapy for over 30 years; the last few years I have done neuromuscular therapy exclusively. I have perfected a system that is effective for any muscular condition, particularly severe conditions that most doctors and other therapists cannot treat. I have worked extensively with chiropractors medical doctors who refer me patients when they don't know what to do with them anymore. In most cases, I can improve the conditions dramatically. I have taught seminars, trained massage therapists, worked in hospitals, and given lectures. I have contributed articles to medical and therapy journals. I have extensive knowledge of muscular anatomy.

When I first arrived in the U.S., I got my local massage therapy certificate and attended a comprehensive series of seminars, including kinesiology, sports massage, CranioSacral Therapy, neuromuscular therapy and many others. Some time ago the Texas board started a continuing education program that requires every massage therapist to attend each year in order to keep his/her license. I have taken a few six-hour classes that I found useless and elementary for the type of work I do.

I have reached the stage where I do not know what courses to take any more. Why must I spend my money for things that I already know and/or used to teach? I do not perform general massage. My patients need specific medical therapy. Can you suggest what I must do to avoid the boredom and the expense of taking continuing education classes that I do not need? Is there any provision that considers cases like mine?

Rick Pallavicini
Spring, Texas


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