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Massage Today
July, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 07

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

"Let me cite some words of wisdom..."

Dear Editor:

The onslaught of mail on the expressions of Betty Jacobs and Rich Hasdam has arrived from those with a vested interest in increased massage school hours for anatomy and physiology (;

Let me cite some words of wisdom by Milton Trager, MD, about the matter of anatomy and physiology education being necessary in order to practice effectively. From a 1987 interview with Dr. Trager by Carol Cavanaugh from The Yoga Journal (

"Carol Cavanaugh: How much do you use your formal knowledge of anatomy in your work and how much do you impart to your trainees?

Milton Trager, MD: I impart very little to my students. You don't think, 'I am now doing the quadriceps.' You just do it. Physiology the same thing.

Carol Cavanaugh: But when you were in these classes and got the picture of how the human body fits together, did you get any information which was valuable in consolidating your intuitive understanding?

Milton Trager, MD: I would say no. I was doing this with a lot of success long before I cracked a book. This is what prompted me to go to school. And now I see my students getting results without all the anatomy, physiology, pathology, or anything else."

Let me also cite some words from the very fine article by Brian Coughlan in the Massage Therapy Journal, Millennium 2000 issue:

"Esalen, where it all began in the mid-20th century, looks to the 21st; Esalen had an important role in popularizing massage for health maintenance and stress reduction," in which Brita Ostrom, one of 40 members of the world-renowned Esalen Massage Crew, "mentioned a recent mailing she received that had been sent to massage school directors to solicit input on a proposal to increase the required number of hours of study in anatomy. She said her response was that if she could be satisfied that students are learning adequately how to touch, then and only then, could she support an increase in the hours of anatomy. 'I'm sure they just said, Esalen thinking and threw it aside.' "

Carl W. Nelson
via e-mail

"Are you doing the work you feel you were put here to do?"

Dear Editor:

In reference to all those who are concerned that they will lose control in their scope of practice ("What Scope of Practice?" March 2005, and "We Get Letters and E-Mail," June 2005,

I am a massage therapist [male] licensed by the Ohio State Medical Board, who has been in private practice for nearly 12 years. I have had to overcome many obstacles. The allopaths want control of the medical field, the PTs are concerned that they are losing ground to the massage therapists, etc. What about the patient/client? Are we not supposed to be here for them? If your answer is, "I am in control and am here for me," you are in the wrong business. We are all here to help each other.

If that is not your intention, I feel sorry for you and your clients.

Everyone feels they are losing control, but we are here to help one another, not control one another. I will continue to help my patients/clients - whether it be a "fluff and buff" or medical situation. I care more about my people than I do about being in control of their treatment. Search your conscience and your soul. Are you doing the work you feel you were put here to do? Love thy neighbor as thyself - think about it.

Ronald E. Bowersock, LMT
Dayton, Ohio

Applause for Elaine Stillerman

Dear Editor:

I want to applaud Elaine for the article "'V-Back' to the Dark Ages' ( I was so pleased to see such an informative article on this topic grace the pages of MassageToday. In addition to the entire article, I especially appreciated the last paragraph, which named the root of the problem in a very straight-forward, no-holds-barred way. Bravo!

Lisa Gillispie, LMT
via e-mail


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