By Reginald M. Pflugg, Jr., L.M.T.
Massage Worldwide News Service (MWNS)
Washington, D. C. - Today's U.S. Supreme Court decision declared that massage therapists, regardless of whatever training they do or do not have, pose no threat to the safety, health, welfare, and morals of society. The Court:
1. disregarded the potential harm of contra- indications because no well-documented harm has actually occurred.
2. found no well-documented evidence that state regulation has reduced prostitution.
The Court concluded that state regulation of massage violates constitutional law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions which:
1. protect freedom of speech and freedom of the press. All practitioners, regardless of their training, may now use the generic term massage, and call themselves massage therapists.
2. prohibit inappropriate governmental inter- ference in the lawful business of massage therapy; restraint of trade, unfair trade practices and monopoly control.
The Court's decision also concluded that the written national certification examination is inappropriate and inapplicable because test scores do not correlate with the competence of massage therapists in terms of their on-the-job performance.
The Court noted that, in 1991, three years after the National Examination was launched, the growing opposition to that examination motivated the Public Information Committee of the Council for the National Certification Program for Massage Therapists to respond to a major controversial issue, which it defined, in question form, as follows:
"How can a written examination be valid as a basis for National Certification since it cannot test for essential things like hands-on work and the more intuitive aspects of massage therapy?"
Thus, in 1991, that Council admitted that the written national certification exam was unable "to test for essential things like ... hands-on work.."
The Court's decision applies to all other bodyworkers. It also overturns all local ordinances that regulate massage therapists.