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Poll Results for the following Question:

How important is it for you to be a member of a state or national massage organization?


Very important
Somewhat important
Not that important

Total Respondents: 434


Note: These comments are reproduced as written by visitors to this Web site.
They have not been edited for content, grammar, or spelling.

Very important  I feel that all therapists who are committed to being successful with their practice in massage therapy, whether they are fresh from school or a long time therapist need to stay interactive with what is going on around them. I for one can learn far more with the opportunities of sharing with an organization or group of fellow massage therapists in various issues such as new or upcoming methods of healing, business opportunities, experiences with the public to be aware of, etc. More often than not I feel there are far greater Benefits by being involved with others than cutting yourself off from the world.

 It has become abundantly clear that in the overwhelmingly majority of cases in which voters post incendiary and/or trite comments, they do so anonymously, leaving no e-mail address through which to respond. As the comment feature is intended to inspire thoughtful discourse toward the growth of the profession, I encourage you to provide your e-mail address so that others may respond to your comments if so desired.

It is also no coincidence that in the overwhelming majority of cases in which comments are thoughtful and well-intended, the voter includes his or her e-mail address.

One would hope that most, if not all voters who post comments would have the courage and conviction to allow their words to stand the test of rebuttal and response. Again, the comment feature on Massage Poll is intended to provoke communication, not simply one-way diatribes that do little to promote discussion or growth in the profession.

I'd also like to note that I am not referring to those cases in which respondents omit their e-mail addresses for privacy purposes. Just by reading the content of the comments, one can make a fairly clear and immediate distinction between those voters who value their privacy vs. those who are "avoiding" any response to their words.


Peter W. Crownfield
Managing Editor,
Massage Today

Very important  It's very important for me to belong to a national massage organization because doing so has opened countless doors for me during my career - for instance, the AMTA organized the 2002 Winter Sports Massage Team allowing me and 268 other massage therapists to work on the athletes of the Salt Lake Olympic Games - The AMTA was also crucial to formation of the Sports Massage Team for the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, where I was privileged to serve as well. In addition, the AMTA organized the Massage Emergency Response Teams that served victims and rescuers in PA, DC, and NY after the 9/11 attacks.
Those and scores of other opportunities to serve through massage would not be available to me if I did not belong to the AMTA.

Somewhat important I am the founder and current Vice President of a local massage association. When we formed our association 6 years ago, it was the general consensus that the people did not want our organization to be affiliated with any National or State organization. Therefore, we are independent of such organizaitons. I can see the benefits of both sides, but at this time do not see the need to have our local association involved with a State or National organization. And personally, I believe that $235 is a bit much per year for dues!

Very important  i just want people to know that if more of us came together we would be look down on bythe few that don't understand.

Very important  I'm currently a massage therapy student.This web site Looks great

Not that important I am a member of ABMP. I was a member of AMTA.
Frankly, I find that the initiatives that these
organizations concern themselves with- praticularly
AMTA, do not reflect what is in the best interests of
the profession or the working massage professional.
Where their initiatives make any sense at all, they
seem oriented toward increasing the movement of
dollars from members pockets and state and federal
student aid programs into the bank accounts of massage
schools. The massage school business has become
particularly lucrative with the increased interest in
massage and many newer operators are simply
entrepreneurs who might have as gladly opened a dry
cleaning or lawn care franchise. To the extent that
such interests are furthered, the profession is
irreparably harmed.

Michael Brechtel, BS,

Very important  Have you noticed that no courage at all is required to write an anonymous message slamming an entity with one's personal criticism?
Mark W. Dixon

Very important  Not only is it very important to belong to an organization, it is important to learn if the organization you have joined is supportive and/or reflective of your personal beliefs. Your dues may be being used to take you where you have no interest in going.

Very important  I feel that being a member of your State AND National associations is extremely important to the growth of our profession. It is your membership dues that pay for the many varied forms of SUPPORT these organizations offer. That, along with all of the hard working, dedicated member / therapists who often do not receive enough credit for all of their efforts and time spent giving to the causes.

All therapists enjoy the benefits, oftimes unseen, of organizational efforts. Yet too often those who did not support the efforts of the organizations, will be the first ones to complain that things are not working the way they would want it to.

It's true that things are not always perfect, that there are ups and downs and sometimes negativity, and even mistakes or bad judgements can be made as well as personality conflicts. But all in all, that happens in any environment where people are involved and where progress being made, be it family life, employment environment, or organizational structures.
It is the ultimate end results that count, and without yours and my dues, that cannot occur.
vivian mahoney

 Do you mean a state/nation-wide professional organization, such as ABMP, that aims to facilitate (as opposed to provide) direction for the profession and protect the interests of its members? Or do you mean an organization that seeks to control the industry for the benefit of the few, under the guise of "protecting the public," such as the AMTA or NCBTMB? Or do you mean some sort of government-controlled organization?

I cannot effectively answer such a vague question.

Unnecessary Organizations have been, and are, important in educating the public and promoting bodywork.
However, organizations often come to a place where promoting themselves and increasing their power and influence is thier primary mission.
The AMTA and the NCTMB fall into this category.
More specifically, the national test is a joke. What it does not do is test bodywork skills. It's a written test- picking and choosing random facts. What's worse, some questions are irrelevant and answers to other questions are simply incorrect.
(for many years I've taught Human Sciences and Bodywork at a major bodywork school)
One of my former students said her NCTMB test had FIVE questions just on the coracobrachialis!
In addition to being inadequate the test is far too expensive ($225). Oregon gives a practical bodywork test which costs $100.oo and they rent out a large motel for 4 days, and have 3 examiners per person- far more expensive for the tester, yet less expensive for the therapist. NTCMB, where does that money go?
And I am sure the NTCMB will increase the required hours, but will the test be any more valid?
Do schools want to teach students to pass a test or teach students to be good bodyworkers? The two are not mutually exclusive. Nonetheless, class hours will increasingly be devoted to memorizing facts rather than learning skills. Courses will focus on "what do I need to know to pass the test" - a question that is now all to pervasive.
My answer - "Who cares? Now, let's focus on what will make you a better bodyworker, OK."

Very important  We do need a statewide licensure in the worst
way. Most therapists are practicing illegally at
least part time with their work. Most don't even
know the legal or insurance ramifications of this.

Not that important I used to think that it was very important to be with an association. Now, however, I realize that I have not used the benefits that I have been paying for. I am on your web site because I knew you did an article about different associations and liability insurances and listed the prices. Thanks for your newspaper, I am leaving the AMTA because I don't really use it and my money is going to a rediculous law suit againts a newspaper I like better than their magazine. Keep up the great work.
Bristol, NH

Very important  Just as our country was formed out of a need for the representation of its inhabitants, the member-driven professional association provides a means for its membership to hear itself and to be heard by its stakeholders: consumers, legislators, researchers, allied practitioners, educators.

To reach and influence those stakeholders and to positively affect the massage and bodywork profession, it's extremely important to be part of a professional association. The issue is representation and being part of a collective voice.

About insurance, which is always part of discussions like this one: Well-trained practitioners who know and stay within their scope of practice need have little concern about liability; malpractice insurance turns out to be a minor benefit of association membership.

It's about sharing ideas and reaching consensus through respectful dialogue, and that can only be accomplished through the organization provided by membership in a professional association.
Mark W. Dixon
Huntington Beach CA

Very important  Belonging to an organization helps me to feel very connected to the massage community, as well as being a strong support for me. The insurance is important, and all the other benefits, such as keeping informed and the national registry, are quite nice to have.

Very important  I think that the importance for me is that these organizations can and do meet with state legislators
and insurance company representatives to protect our interests as an emerging professional field of health care.

LLOYD ANDERSON.......PH..407 381 2633

Very important  Professional organizations, whatever your field of expertise, enable the sharing of information, as well as providing a forum for networking and comraderie. People with a passion for their work want to associate with others who share their passion!

Unnecessary On the one hand, looking to something outside of you, such a massage organization, for validation and acknowledgement that you are a professional and what you do has value, puts you in bondage to the ideas and standards of others. On the other hand, organizations promote the sharing of ideas, techniques and fellowship unique to the world of "hands on" healing.

Not that important I don't feel that it is that important as there are too many different organizations who supposedly speak for us as MT's but don't ask or listen if we do speak up. AMTA is so busy hustling their legislative agenda in Indiana that they fail to understand that the lobbist that they have paid $60,000 (Of our money) to over the last 2 years can't get the job done. Our bill died in committee 2 years in a row. If they don't produce results fire them and get someone else, or mobilize the membership to go to Indy and overwhelm the legislators with the sheer number of voters who they are not taking care of. $60,000 would have put up the entire Indiana Membership for one night in Indy to get the word to the Senators & Reps. AMTA has also spent a substantial amount of OUR money with this stupid law suit against Massage Today for attempting to improve communication with the membership and non-members all over the country. IN ORDER the things I want from an association are:
Information about our business, Communication with our peers, Affordable Professional Liability Insurance. If I want to be involved in politics I'll buy a legislator or campain for a replacement who holds my views on the business. Scotty Livingston, CMT,CI
VP - Regional College of Massage Therapy at Ft. Wayne

Very important  Organizations are vital in keeping educational and professional standards adequate as well as ensuring quality care. The reputation of massage therapists depends on these standards.
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