resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
January, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 01
Recent History of California State Massage Regulation
By Beverly May
In late 1991, the California chapter of American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA-CA) organized the California Coalition on Somatic Practices. This informal group, representing massage and somatic associations, individuals and school owners, developed a 40-page informational packet and survey on questions of professional identity and regulation. In 1995, almost 20,000 surveys were sent throughout the state. At that time, just over a majority of massage therapists supported state regulation. Non-massage somatic practitioners, who are not subject to local vice laws, mostly did not want to be regulated.
Six years later, AMTA-CA surveyed our members specifically regarding massage regulation. All the massage and somatic organizations that might be affected were offered copies of the survey. Only the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP) did a concurrent survey.
With fairly strong support from our members for a state law to pre-empt local vice regulations, AMTA-CA began to explore feasibility. ABMP, with a large California membership, was told that we would not proceed if they were in opposition, and we encouraged their participation. Our intent was that non-massage, somatic specialties be exempt, as is fairly standard in the newer state licensing laws now in existence.
We began with a fairly broad principle - if there is going to be regulation, one state regulation is preferable to multiple and vastly differing vice ordinances. It has been our experience after at least three decades of working on repeal or reform of local ordinances, that very little progress is possible at that level. Both AMTA-CA and ABMP were in agreement regarding provisions such as full grandfathering and pre-emption of these local ordinances.
Only AMTA-CA committed to hiring a lobbyist. We prepared to introduce a bill in the 2003-2004 legislative session. Although it was extremely optimistic, we expected to mobilize supporters and work with opponents and other stakeholders.
Then, San Diego assemblywoman Christine Kehoe agreed to author the bill. Under the pressure of meeting the bill-filing deadline, communication broke down and caused some initial chaos.
We expected a "spot bill," worded as "an intent to study the need for regulation," allowing us time to work on the actual wording. Instead, the assemblywoman's staff cut and pasted sections from AMTA and ABMP Model State Codes that we had sent, along with sections of bills pending in other states. The result was a bill that no one liked pieced together in order to keep the bill active.
Many states, including California, require submission of a Sunrise survey documenting the need for state regulation. Typically, it's based on potential harm to the public by the unregulated profession. There is little proof that massage practitioners actually do much physical harm.
The Sunrise survey introduced in 2003 took the position that massage is not causing any significant physical injury, but that the public would be better served by state regulation rather than the patchwork of local regulations. We believe the public is harmed emotionally and financially by the current situation - as individuals, as well as in the costs borne by communities in their mostly futile efforts to prevent the use of massage as a front by the sex industry. The costs of state regulation would be borne by the pooled fees of all licensees. The 30,000 or so California massage therapists also are harmed by being subject to varied and expensive local requirements, paying for criminal investigations and permit fees in multiple cities.
At the same time, a committee representing AMTA-CA, ABMP and massage schools formed to discuss revisions to the bill, producing a version that we felt could begin the process of negotiation with other stakeholders including local officials, employers, other schools and other professions.
In November 2003, AMTA-CA agreed to pull the bill from consideration as there was still too much work to do to prepare for upcoming Sunrise hearings. Fast-forward to the 2005-2006 session when finding an author was not easy. Gov. Schwarzenegger had just come to power with plans to do away with over half the boards regulating professions, and a serious budget crisis was taking attention from legislators. Our best option was a promise from then Senator Figueroa, Chair of the Senate Business and Professions Committee (as well as the joint committee, which would hear our Sunrise application) to come up with something if we passed the hearing. Her option was to author a bill with no sponsoring organization, but with AMTA and ABMP both providing the type of support that sponsors generally do. However, rather than a license law, Figueroa insisted on the odd California model of a private agency created by the legislature to issue certifications and regulate certificants - unlike the previous licensing bill, this would be a title act, allowing those not certifying to work under other titles.
With lobbyists for both AMTA-CA and ABMP working together, S.B.421 died in the very final hours of the session due to opposition mostly by the California Chiropractic Association (CCA), and to a lesser degree, the Physical Therapy Association, over scope of practice issues.
During the most recent session, Senator Oropeza authored S.B.731, using the language from S.B.421, with AMTA-CA as the sponsoring organization. ABMP was in support and both groups worked very hard to address the concerns that defeated the prior bill. The CCA formally supported it after the massage associations agreed to remove the definition (scope of practice) of massage. Typically, title acts don't need definitions, unlike practice (license) acts, which regulate both the practice as defined and the titles used. S.B.731 also died in the final hours. Despite having the votes to pass, it got caught up in strange politics which caused numerous bills to be bundled and held back.
For the second year of this session, it looks like we can take a "gutted bill" - one that still is active, and insert our language. We have a powerful author and likely will co-sponsor with ABMP. If all goes well, it would be a bill that has passed the first house and is in the second committee of the second house (where S.B.731 stalled). It will have a new number this next year.
California is a very large and diverse state. With more than 200 schools teaching massage at all levels of training and vastly differing requirements throughout the state, the profession itself has unique regional needs and perspectives. The state is not very supportive of new state regulations. We feel this optional title act is a reasonable solution. Those who prefer to work under their local massage ordinances, or in areas having none, can continue to do so. The bill has tiers of 250 and 500 hours, with the lower tier phasing out after five years. Those certified by the board will be exempt from the need for local massage permits and cities must recognize them in zoning and fees as they do other professions. By doing so, massage therapists in California finally can avoid regulations prepared for vice control.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.