Where all men think alike, no man thinks very much. Walter Lippmann
Anyone, anywhere can make a beginning; this is an area where one person can count, as Rosa Parks counted in the civil rights movement. (Staughton Lynd
We believe the massage profession will benefit if those, who disagree, discuss their views openly and provide well-documented evidence which supports their positions. The important issue is not who is right and who is wrong, but what is best for the profession.
It is our hope that the Massage Law News- letter and our website <http://www.tiac.net. users/maryella/> will serve as an open forum for different views on state regulation, harm, contra-indications, national certification, school accreditation, and other controversial issues in massage.
We therefore invite those, with whom we disagree, to (a) submit articles with well-doc-umented evidence for publication in the Massage Law Newsletter, (b) answer our questions, and (c) give us permission to publish their replies in the Massage Law Newsletter.
What's sauce for the goose
is sauce for the gander
We, in turn, have an obligation to (a) provide well-documented evidence which supports our positions, (b) answer questions, and (c) permit our answers to be published.
Reducing theory to practice
The Winter, 1999, issue of the Minnesota Natural Health Coalition Action Network newsletter included a report, (on page 2) entitled Massage Therapy Regulation Discussed. This report reads in part as follows:
"On December 5, 1998, the Ad Hoc Committee for Legislation hosted a panel discussion at St. Catherine's College surrounding the question of regulating the massage industry. The panel was comprised of proponents and opponents of regulation.
"The Minnesota Natural Health Coalition was represented as opposing regulation. The Minnesota Touch Movement Network opposes regulation that is not inclusive, and sees the current proposal as exclusive and elitist.
"The audience of mostly massage practitioners had many questions for the panel. Some thought regulation was inevitable, but many opposed it. The biggest question the coalition is hearing is, "Why?"
"Proponents of regulation stated that it would be to protect the consumer and separate prac-titioners from prostitutes in the eyes of the public and government officials by elevating the profession and giving massage credibility.
"No documentation of what the consumer would be protected from was shared. The claims of harm remain undocumented - not only locally, but nationally as well."
To: Gayle E. Burdick. Government Relations Chair. AMTA. Minnesota Chapter
From: Albert Schatz and Mary Brewster
We would appreciate your providing us with answers to the following questions and give us permission to publish the information, you provide, in the Massage Law Newsletter on our website.
Why does Minnesota need to regulate massage therapists?
1. What well-documented evidence reveals that the public has benefited in states which regulate massage therapists; and, if so, in what ways and to what extent has the public benefited in those states?
2. What well-documented evidence reveals that state regulation of massage therapists in Minnesota will contribute to the health, safety, and welfare of the public; and, if so, in what ways and to what extent will it do so?
3. What well-documented evidence reveals that regulation has elevated the profession and has given massage credibility is states which have regulated massage; and, if so, to what extent has the profession been elevated, and to what extent has massage been given credibility - over and above what existed prior to state regulation?
How much harm has occurred
1. How many allegedly inadequately trained massage therapists have harmed how many people in Minnesota during the past five years?
2. What was the nature of the injuries, and how serious were they?
3. How much training and how many years of experience did the massage therapists, who allegedly caused that harm, have?
4. If no such well-documented harm has actually occurred in Minnesota, why does Minnesota now need to regulate massage therapists to protect the public from harm?
5. What well-documented evidence reveals that there is a higher incidence of harm associated with massage in people with contraindications, than in people without contraindications?
6. What well-documented evidence reveals that state regulation of massage therapists has protected the public from harm in states which regulate massage therapists?
7. How many people have to be harmed by how many massage therapists, and how serious do the injuries have to be to justify the alleged need for state regulation to protect the public from that harm?
8. What well-documented evidence disproves any allegations in the following two statements:
(a) Massage is safe because so many massage therapists with so many kinds of training in so many states (which do not regulate massage) have been massaging so many people, with so many contraindications, so many times for so many years, with so many well-documented reports of so many benefits - but with so few if any well-documented reports of harm.
(b) Because massage is safe, state regulation of massage therapists is not needed to protect the public from being harmed by massage therapists.
Does regulation of massage therapists
What well-documented evidence reveals that state regulation and local ordinances have significantly reduced prostitution anywhere in the United States?
What is an adequate training
for massage therapy?
1. How do you account for the fact that so many massage therapists who are allegedly inadequately trained have had so many satisfied clients for so many years, in Minnesota?
2. What well-documented evidence reveals that massage therapists who have Nebraska's 1,000 hours of training are more competent than massage therapists who have the 250-hour training in Texas?
3. Since state regulation requires trainings ranging from 250 hours in Texas to 1,000 hours in Nebraska, what training do you consider necessary for Minnesota, and what well-documented evidence do you have that that training is indeed necessary?
Which massage therapists
1. How do you define and objectively measure the competence of massage therapists?
2. If there is no way to objectively measure the competence of massage therapists, what well-documented evidence reveals that:
(b) Massage therapists who pass the National Certification examination are more competent than massage therapists who fail.
(c) Massage therapists who have graduated from programs approved or accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) are more competent than those whose trainings have not met COMTA's standards.
3. If there is no way to objectively measure the competence of massage therapists, and if massage therapists (regardless of their training) have not harmed people, how do you distinguish between massage therapists who are allegedly competent and others who are allegedly in-competent?
4. If there is no well-documented evidence that enables you to make the above-mentioned distinction, aren't massage therapists (who are considered competent) only allegedly competent because some state or private agency has alleged that they are?
Are state massage laws illegal?
1. What well-documented evidence is there that state regulatory requirements, which are allegedly designed to assure competence, actually do assure competence?
2. If competence cannot be objectively measured, how can a state prove, in a court of law, that:
(a) Its standards do indeed assure com-petence.
(b) An individual, who has not met the state's regulatory standards, is indeed incompetent?
3. If a state cannot prove, in a court of law, that individuals are incompetent simply because they have not met the states' regulatory requirements, is it lawful for that state to prohibit those individuals from presenting themselves as massage therapists and from earning a living by doing massage? l