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Massage Today
August, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 08

Update: NCBTMBs New Association "Prematurely Disclosed"

By Editorial Staff

Last week, Massage Today covered news of plans for a new National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) association called the USA Massage Resource Alliance (USAMRA), along with response from the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

(Please read Massage Today article, "NCBTMB to Launch New Association Offering Insurance: ABMP Welcomes the Competition".) In a recent statement sent to Massage Today, the NCBTMB asserts that the news of this association was "prematurely disclosed."

The NCBTMB association, USAMRA, is tasked with providing benefits including a comprehensive liability insurance product that will be available to nationally certified massage therapists and bodyworkers as well as offered to NCBTMB assigned schools.

As reported in the Massage Today article, the NCBTMB states in a letter to their board members that the new association "will automatically be the largest massage association in the country by some 91,000 members." Also reported in the article, while the ABMP said they welcomed the competition, they also alleged that the "NCBTMB can secure some sort of insurance, but lacks experience in administering such a program. Their experience in providing practice development and educational content communications is highly limited." They added, "As to basic service responsiveness, NCBTMB's record is widely considered by the massage profession to be deplorable."

Massage Today contacted the NCBTMB for more information about the program as well as a comment regarding ABMP's statements. The NCBTMB chose not to comment on ABMP's statements regarding the new association, however released the following public statement (in part) late Thursday, July 2:

"This week an important NCBTMB initiative was prematurely disclosed - an affiliate relationship that will result in extensive new benefits for our certificants and all practitioners.

"Acutely aware of the financial pressures generated by the current economic climate, NCBTMB has long been concerned that no effort on a national scale exists to address the high costs incurred by massage therapists in their personal and professional lives.

"As a result, the USA Massage Resource Alliance (usaMRA), a nonprofit organization, will soon debut across the country in support of massage therapists everywhere. It will provide low-cost products and services meant to ease the effects of a tough economy, featuring free enrollment for all NCBTMB certificants in good standing. There will also be an affordable option for non-certificants.

"usaMRA benefits will include a comprehensive liability insurance product that will be available to all 91,000 certificants and offered to all NCBTMB assigned schools across the United States. The malpractice insurance will be administered by an experienced, longstanding leader in the industry."

Editor's note: Since the release of the NCBTMB's letter to its board members, the new association's name has been changed from the USA Massage Resource Association to USA Massage Resource Alliance.


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