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Readers Respond: Will Utah's proposed lower tier of massage licensure make consumers less safe?

Readers Respond: Will Utah's proposed lower tier of massage licensure make consumers less safe?

Sue Murphy

This is a horrible idea! There is too much room for hurting someone! Keep the 600 hours!

Camille P Matuszewski

I have been a massage therapist since 1982. When students could test into the AMTA, I was a tester. People could take a written and practical exam to join. I have also taught massage.

There should not be lower tiers because everyone should be well qualified. A practical exam is more important than a written one. Knowing something and actually being able to perform it could be miles apart.

Coralee Scheeringa Parrish, LMT, PTA

Terrible idea. There is so much to learn about anatomy, physiology, indications/contraindications, endangerment areas, to name a few, that untrained people can do harm, damage, and injury. We fought very hard to be recognized as a skilled licensed practitioner. It would be a shame to lose that now. The lower standard of 150 hours would probably allow sex traffickers to set up even more places to look legitimate.

Paul Moraca

Not sure if that would be unsafe, but for sure the client would get a lesser massage until the therapist gets much more experience.

Kate Jimenez

This legislation doesn’t send a good message. As we learn more about the benefits of massage therapy, and as we continue to invest in more education to expand the safety, efficacy, and proficiency of our practice of massage therapy—for both our clients and ourselves—I oppose minimizing required education for our profession. What other respectable, knowledgeable professions are dropping education and licensing requirements for the advancement and valuation of their profession?

Ellen Preston

I have been a certified and licensed massage therapist in the state of NH since 1986. I had to fight all the ancient “red light” conjectures upon my profession way back in those days, so what exactly is inferred and supported in this local legislation described in this article? I have studied and professionally applied all my studies for well over 30 years to provide my clients with exclusively professional results. I don’t understand how others can infringe upon the professionalism I have created and believe in.

Carol Stuhmer, LMT

Unfortunately, the consumer is not likely to know or understand what the lower requirements would mean to them. I believe one standard is best. I fail to understand why there is not one standard for all states. But certainly one standard within each state is beneficial to everyone.

Deb Baerwaldt, LMT

This is a bad idea all the way around— for consumers, existing therapists, and upcoming therapists. Coming from a 750 clock-hour state (Ohio), I can tell you that as a 10-year veteran that graduated on the dean’s list with incredible mentors and 10 years prior spent on the tables of amazing therapists, I still had a lot to learn. Do not shortchange your residents.

Jack Brown, LMT

I was appalled when I read the article on the justification for the pending Utah law that would create these lower tiers. “Certified Practitioners” and “Massage Assistants in Training” are meaningless titles that are insults to those of us who have met the rigors of state licensure and continuing education. Certification has been, and should remain, solely the province of fully-educated, state-licensed massage therapists.

All those involved—state-licensed massage therapists and their clientele— would be irreparably harmed if these lower tiers were allowed to become law in Utah. It would set an unfortunate precedent that other states may also imitate. Clients would risk having their physical impairments further harmed or not effectively addressed by lower tier massage tradesmen who may attain minimal knowledge of soft tissue manipulation techniques without the intellectual comprehension of why one technique is beneficial to a client over another. There would also be a reduced interest in research to enhance the body of knowledge on which massage therapy is based.

Lastly, a flood of lower-tiered tradesmen into the massage profession would cause economic havoc. There would be little incentive for spas and other providers to offer compensation commensurate with a therapist’s investment of time and money in attaining and maintaining conventional state licensure if a willing “assistant in training” is to be had for minimum wage.

Glenn Brooks

The level of professional massage should not be lowered as it would not be helpful to the industry at all, nor would it create any better access to massage therapy— just access to a lower grade of massage with less educated “semi-professionals.” Also, it would create more vulnerabilities against any potential clients’ well-being, which is the last thing America needs right now.

Patricia Mangone, LMT

Yes, absolutely it will make it unsafe for the public to get massage! It’s bad enough that some schools’ training are below standard as far as I’m concerned. I had my own business and worked in many other facilities and in different environments. I was the lead therapist for one of the chain businesses. I got massage from many therapists seeking employment and some were good while others were terrible. These were therapists that took the required minimum education requirements. I can’t imagine how their massages would be from someone with even less minimum schooling. We have come so far in the profession, let’s not go backwards.

James Ligons

Yes, I think it’s unsafe.