Will Green, President of The IMA Group, provides information about the safely of massage in the following letter. The Minnesota Touch Movement Network, which was opposing a bill to regulate massage therapists,had asked him for information about the safety of massage.
This information, about the safety of massage, applies to all states. We appreciateWill Green's permitting us to publish his letter.
The IMA Group
92 Main Street.
P.O. Drawer 421.
Warrenton, VA 20188-0421
(540)351-0800 FAX (540)351-0816
February 7, 2000
Dear Minnesota Touch Movement Network,
In response to your request about massage insurance claims over the past five years, with 30,040 members to date, we average about one claim per month. Most claims are covered by general liability as they are claims caused by poor housekeeping, like tripping or falling.
We have no record of any claim filed for injuries caused by improper use of techniques on varicose veins, carotid arteries or pregnant women. As a matter of fact, the UnwindTM Wellness Centers, affiliated with the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine are in the process of collecting data on pregnancy massage research for a study teaching husbands to massage their expectant wives.
I spoke with the presidents of the Clinical Massage Therapy Association, a non-profit for college-educated massage professionals, and the president of the American Medical Massage Association, an organization for allied health professionals, and neither has knowledge of any such claims.
It is only logical that there be some validation of these claims of physical harm, or frankly, they are probably fiction. Our insurance agent insured the AMTA in 1984, the ABMP in l987, the NAMT in 1993 and now the IMA since 1994. We would be very interested in these claims as they would affect our insurance premium rates. Please let us know if, in fact, these claims can be validated. The cost of our malpractice coverage has been reduced by 50% over the past five years due to the lack of claims. We cover over 5000 members with 100 hours of training in California, the largest massage state in America.
The purpose of most trade regulation legislation is to exclude others from practice and control a market unless there is a real need to protect the public. In this case we know of no real need to protect the public at this time unless you can send us validation of such claims. There is always potential for harm even as one sits in a meeting hall. How do we know the ceiling will not fall? We do not, therefore we all protect our interests with insurance. To protect the public we suggest that every responsible business person carry liability insurance as our members do.
Will Green, President