I hope this newsletter will serve as a communication network for people who want to know more about state massage laws. The purpose of the Massage Law Newsletter is EDUCATION, not legal advice. The newsletter will try to provide information about state massage laws that is not readily available from other sources
Information about our five reports is outlined in the following pages:
Report 1, Report 2, Report 3, Report 4, and Report 5.
Although these reports are copyrighted, you may make and distribute copies to other massage therapists and to your clients.
This issue answers one of the questions people most frequently ask: "How do I evaluate a proposed state massage law?"
1. Begin by asking promoters of state massage laws:
Why does your state need a massage law which 31 other states don't have, which seven out of nine Canadian provinces don't have, which European countries don't have, and which Australia doesn't have?
What evidence is there that massage laws in other states have resulted in more competent massage therapists and have protected the public from incompetent massage therapists?
Will massage therapists who have had satisfied clients for several years be required to pay money to take additional training and pass a written certification examination to satisfy the state that they are able to do what they have been competently doing for several years? Does this make sense to you?
If you don't want to be state-certified, why should a state massage law require you to be certified to continue doing massage?
How much money will you have to pay to be state-certified? Get a breakdown of the total cost?
Will you have to be recertified by the state? If so, how frequently, and how much will you have to pay each time??
Do special interest groups get the money you pay to be certified? If so, what are those special interest groups, and how much money do they make because of state massage laws?
2. Also ask about the state law's certification requirements.
How do state certification requirements differentiate between competent and incompetent massage therapists in term of on-the-jobperformance?
How will a state massage law objectively measure your competence, which has satisfied your clients every time they scheduled another appointment with you?
How are massage therapists who graduate from state-accredited schools more competent than those who graduate from schools that are not state-accredited and those who are self-taught?
How does a 500-hour training produce more competent massage therapists than, for example, a 300-hour training?
How does a training with 500 supervised (classroom) hours produce more competent massage therapists than a 500-hour training with, for example, only 300 supervised (classroom) hours?
How are massage therapists who pass a written certification examination more competent than those who do not?
If the certification requirements of a proposed law cannot be justified, how can the law itself be justified?
3. Find out what specific benefits YOU will have with a state massage law that YOU don't have without it?
Insist on getting specific answers to specific questions.
Insist on knowing what research provides convincing evidence that benefits you are told about are real benefits, and not unsubstantiated allegations and claims for which there is no justification.
If you decide you don't want a state massage law, ACT NOW! Don't wait until it's too late! Call or, better yet, write your state representatives and senators NOW. Tell them that state massage laws are very controversial and that you don't want them. Also have your clients CALL OR WRITE NOW! Educate your legislators!
Here are some reasons why state massage laws are controversial:
Many massage therapists don't want state certification because they don't need it.
They object to the state's requiring them to pay for something they don't need.
State massage law requirements don't objectively measure anyone's competence in giving a massage.
If you don't want a state massage law, there's something else you should do. Make copies of our reports and distribute them to other massage therapists. Ask them to also make and distribute copies of our reports. GET THIS INFORMATION OUT! Educate others!
Report #1: IS STATE REGULATION OF MASSAGE ILLEGAL?
Part 1: What this is all about
Why massage practitioners need a unique education
Is state regulation of massage really needed?
The 500-hour training myth
The certification myth
Now let's be serious.
There is no research that justifies state regulation of massage.
What does research on credentialing in other professions tell us?
Part 2: What concerns us
Certification has produced litigation based on antitrust law, discrimination,
restraint of trade, etc.
What does certification cost, and who pays?
Certification tells nothing about the competence of massage professionals in
terms of performance.
Certification is of no benefit to clients and of no benefit to the public.
There is no rational basis for certification to require 500 hours of training for
What do massage professionals, their clients and the public really want?
Does state regulation of massage discriminate against women?
Does state regulation of massage discriminate against massage practitioners?
State laws regulating massage are anachronistic.
Part 3: We have our rights!
"We hold these truths to be self-evident."
Certification violates people's "inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of"
the health care they choose.
Part 4: Advice to legislators and state attorney generals
State regulation of massage raises many questions but provides no answers
"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Do your homework.
A certification that really works
Dedication to Tom Paine
Report #2: THE PUBLIC DOES NOT NEED STATE REGULATION OF
MASSAGE. SO, WHO DOES WANT IT AND WHY?
Most countries do not have massage laws.
Why the Province of Quebec does not regulate massage
Why massage laws are not needed
The medical literature does not tell us massage is harmful.
We don't need state laws to minimize the likelihood of injury. Insurance is more useful than state regulation of massage.
Why does the Province of Ontario regulate massage?
Hawaii should repeal its massage law.
All other states should repeal their massage laws.
Epilogue: Who benefits from state regulation of massage?
Report #3: RESEARCH ON STATE REGULATION OF MASSAGE IS NEEDED.
"All men are created equal." But all laws are not.
Why research is needed
Everybody can do research.
Now let's do research.
Epistemology and research
Epistemology asks questions.
What sense does it make?
WHAT SENSE DOES IT MAKE?
What sense does it make for a state law to require massage therapists to be certified if certification does not distinguish competent from incompetent massage therapists?
What sense does it make for a state law to claim that it prohibits supposedly incompetent massage professionals from doing massage if that law cannot distinguish competent from incompetent individuals?
And how can a state law protect the public if that law cannot distinguish between competent and incompetent massage professionals?
Report #4: STATE REGULATION OF MASSAGE IS ILLEGAL AND SHOULD BE REPEALED
Why state regulation of massage is illegal
Why state laws that regulate massage should be repealed
Report #5: IS MASSAGE MORE DANGEROUS THAN DRIVING A CAR?
Is massage more dangerous than driving a car? If not, why do some states require everybody to have a training of 500 hours or more before taking a test to do massage, but allow everybody to decide for himself how much practice he needs before taking a test to drive a car?
No one has ever been killed or crippled by a massage therapist. But thousands of people are killed and crippled every year by people who drive cars. Driving a car is therefore much more dangerous to the public than giving a massage. The public is involuntarily exposed to millions of people who drive cars. But each person, who wants a massage, has contact with only a few massage therapists to whom she goes voluntarily.
A state legislator would be considered crazy if he proposed a law requiring everybody to take a 500-hour training, in a state-accredited driving school, in order to be licensed to drive a car. It is just as irrational for a state to require everybody to take a 500-hour training in a state-accredited massage school in order to be licensed to do massage -- but for a different reason.
There is a valid performance test for objectively evaluating an individual's competence to drive a car. But the quality of a massage cannot be objectively evaluated because there is no valid performance test to measure the competence of a massage therapist.
Information about Albert Schatz, Ph.D.
Albert Schatz, publisher of the MASSGE LAW NEWSLETTER, is a retired professor and a world-famous scientist. At the age of 23, he discovered the antibiotic Streptomycin which was the first cure for tuberculosis. This disease, also known as The Great White Plague, is the most deadly infection man has ever encountered. It has killed a billion people throughout history. (One-third of the world's population is presently infected with tuberculosis.)
For the discovery of streptomycin and other research, he received honorary degrees and medals, and was named an honorary member of scientific, medical and dental societies in Europe, Latin America and the United States.
He has done over half a century of applied research in education, agriculture (soil formation, soil fertility and the mineral nutrition of plants, environmental pollution, nutrition (the soil-food-health chain), dental caries, fluoridation, cancer, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
He is the author of three books and over 600 articles published in scientific journals, newspapers and magazines; and co-author of the five reports listed in this newsletter.
His experience and background in massage and bodywork in general include:
Thirteen years' experience with Scientific Swedish Massage R as Scientific Advisor and Associate Instructor in the International Academy of Massage Science.
Twelve years' research on massage. Five years' research on state massage laws.
Five years' experience giving workshops in Therapeutic Touch.
Hands-on, working experience with Reflexology, Touch for Health, Feldenkrais, Tragerwork, and CranioSacral Therapy.
Member, American Massage Therapy Association.
Scientific Advisor and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Association of Cancer Victims and Friends.
Scientific Advisor to the Foundation for Alternative Cancer Therapy.
Recipient of the Gold Medal Award (Thorlet Prize) from the Societe Academique d'Education et d'Encouragement. France.
Consultant to UNESCO, the University of Chile and the Ministry of Education of Chile committees concerned with thereorganization of primary, secondary and posteducation in Chile.