MT WEB CENTRAL recognizes that schools of massage therapy have a central role in shaping the future of the profession. For the last twenty years or so, slowly but surely a wider variety of people has been attracted to this re-discovered healing art. Typically, many of them have a liberal arts academic background, but more recently, professional people from all walks of life who are looking for a meaningful, socially redeeming change are seeking MT education. Consequently, much to our delight, MT education in the US--especailly in states with licensing laws and with enough schools to choose from--has been growing in scope and in its positive reputation. That, unfortunately, has not always been the case . . .
There are two areas where Massage Therapy is susceptible to and has been repeatedly mis-used. The first and most disturbing mis-use of massage is for illicit sex. The other mis-use--though often perfectly legal--has to do with what we call commercial, "assembly-line" massage.
However uncomfortable or unpopular, MT WEB CENTRAL believes that confronting all the issues around Massage Therapy in a responsible way will only enhance the profession and its serious practitioners. And it has, therefore, published a section on "Massage Therapy and Sex," in the section devoted to the MT QUICK USER GUIDE.
One of the first text books to openly discuss the sexual abuse by MT schools quotes massage historian, Richard Van Way: "The worst, involved young women from poor neighborhoods who were approached by recruiters claiming that extraordinary career opportunities awaited . . . upon graduation from schools of professional training." Tuition was deferred but demanded after graduation. When, typically, these women did not find the promised employment, "soon the recruiters returned, demanding payment...to work off their debt." [Thus, to avoid prison] "they would have to work at a clinic attached to the school or for a friend or a colleague of a school administrator. The best of these "clinics" offered incompetently performed classical massage. The worst . . . were pretexts for houses of prostitution" (Mosby's Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage, by Sandy Fritz, Mosby Lifeline 1995). From England to the United States at the end of the 19th century, that was the beginning of the "massage parlor" which, still very much today, victimizes many women and creates a serious obstacle and nuisance in the professional careers of professional massage therapists--men and women alike.
To be sure, an unrelenting effort by many massage therapists as individuals and within their various MT organizations around the USA and elsewhere has helped to change a good deal of the negative image which the "massage parlor"--with shameless support from many Yellow Pages type publications--has cast on all massage. And while, to our knowledge, Massage Therapy schools are no longer involved in any such horrendous, planned sexual abuse of their students, another growing type of mis-use of massage therapy--although much less disturbing--is nevertheless of great concern.
With the recent re-discovery of Massage Therapy as a vialble therapeutic modality, there has been a tremendous growth, a mini "invasion" by commercial operators of the "assembly-line" massage variety. Typically, these business people--with no MT or any other professional health training--run facilities where a professional-quality work setting conducive to individual attention to the massage client/patient is not available. Here, it is typically the inexperienced, just out-of-school MTs who are (mis)led to believe that "doing the assembly-lines" is "paying their dues" toward the establishment of a professional practice. Based on regular confidential conversations and letters from massage therapists around the world, we have strong reason to believe that most people who want to become professional-quality MTs resent the locker-room, beauty parlor, shopping mall, schlepp-a-table, collect-a-tip "assembly-line" massage circuit. One such therapist has recently put it: "I don't even recognize my clients when I see them dressed up . . . Frankly, they all look the same . . ." A disappointed client said minutes later: "I tried an MT session. This club is so Beutiful, I thought they would have a serious MT service." Based on extensive experience and public surveys, MT WEB CENTRAL does not see how "you can have it both ways." We have every reason to believe that non-professional settings breed non-professional-quality work. For more info on the subject, read A VIABLE PRACTICE: Reality Or Illusion?
Here too, we are happy to report that more and more MT schools have begun to inform their students about the workplace situation in a realistic, useful way. Unfortuantely, a few still present a hyped-up picture of what lies in the working future, and some schools keep students longer in so-called intern programs which are not required by law and are not necessarily useful. To help all legitimate MT schools deal effectively and openly with the multitude of issues, including non-professional trends and influences, MT WEB CENTRAL welcomes on-going communications with the schools and volunteers its valuable feedback on the growing educational, social, and business-related needs of present and future LicMTs from the point of view of massage therapists who practice in professional settings. We publish the MT Schools Directory as a service to future LicMTs and to these schools.
Linked "Profiles of MT Schools " pages are based on material furnished by the schools. Neither MT WEB CENTRAL nor QWL Services guarantees the accuracy of the information. We therefore encourage the consumer who's interested in a professional future as a LicMT to talk to alumni, graduating students, and school personnel in deciding on the school of their choice. Don't forget to tell them that MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL sent you!
MT students and recent graduates:Back to the Global Directory of MT Schools
Please come back to this area frequently to share with us your, aspirations and urgent needs. We want to add useful info on a regular basis. And, who knows, perhaps you'll tell us about an MT school which we are not aware of or one that has just opened. To help us maintain the quality of the MT Global School Directory--for you and for others--we invite your group and personal experience by E-Mail.
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