OK here’re two things that woke me up at 5:00 this a.m. with anger, sadness, and fear –

1. URGENT CONCERN RE THE MODEL PRACTICE ACT (and other recent legal developments)

The originally circulated version of the Model Practice Act (MPA) contained the requirement that all massage schools be accredited. Massage schools are already regulated by the state they are in. Now schools are free to become accredited but are in almost no states required to do so. Accreditation (especially if the school is in place to get students guaranteed loans) involves a tremendous amount of work and expense to get accredited, to be in compliance with sometimes burdensome and/or nonsensical government requirements, requires hiring new staff to oversee financial aid department and many other government compliance issues – which means students’ tuition must dramatically increase to cover those additional, non-educational administrative expenses.

Thus, many good schools such as my own have chosen to go simply for the highest quality of education, keeping their tuition quite low and affordable, rather than spend a tremendous amount of energy satisfying government agencies, and not siphoning the quality and quantity of energy for students’ education into the energy it takes to comply with the government and national accreditation agencies.

We have heard that a modification may be proposed to exempt schools with under 40 student per year. The proposal that massage schools be accredited unless they graduate under 40 students per year is a cover-up. Soon the accredited schools offering guaranteed student loans will drive the smaller schools out of business – just like the big box stores drive out the local small stores.

This act would be a windfall for accrediting agencies and, to some extent, government. It would be a radical withering away of the diversity and freedom in our field.

2. Some of the push (Georgia is the latest) to restricting of CE credits to massage only and not bodywork. The characterization of anything that uses the term energy to disqualify it from CEU’s – could effectively divorce the realm of bodywork from massage. And also, if it’s not soft tissue manipulation in a strict sense, the implication is those also would not be acceptable for CE’s. So shiatsu, polarity, structural integration, Aston-patterning, Feldenkrais, Trager, reflexology, cranio-sacral therapy, manual lymph drainage, Zero Balancing, Thai massage, etc. would all not be acceptable for CE’s? HELLO????

Massage therapists should be free to study bodywork methods as continuing education – period. And practitioners of these methods should not be threatened that they therefore must also be massage practitioners. They have chosen a bodywork specialty which does involve touch but is not massage therapy.

Never has the freedom in our field been so threatened by its organizations.