Back to Contents of MT USER GUIDEWould you trust your kids to an unlicensed dentist, your parents to an unlicensed nurse, or even your pet to an unlicensed veterinarian? Of course not! Then why put yourself in the hands of any other questionable, unlicensed "health professional"?
According to the American Medical Association, more than half of all visits to physicians are for stress-related complaints. In an interview in the Massage Therapy Journal, expressing the view that " Examining lifestyles with an eye to prevention is a key focus for good health," internationally known research pharmacologist and professor, Dr Candace Pert, said: "I think we could replace 90% of mainstream medicine with a weekly massage . . ." And, explains Bruria Ginton, LicMT, founder, MT WEB CENTRAL: "With MT already being one of the three most used alternative forms of healthcare, a growing number of serious MTs and consumers have been promoting the meaningful, democratic regulation of an expanding, revitalized ancient healing art which proves to be THE link between conventional Western and traditional Eastern medicine."
If you ask, "Why should I care about a professional license?" it is because a state professional license exists for the protection of the consumer. It demonstrates that a health professional is not merely a self-proclaimed healer, but someone who has passed a test of proficiency and is committed to a set of professional standards and regulations. An MT license is more likely to usher in badly needed insurance reimbursements for legitimate, physician-prescribed MT services and to generate research funding. As Dr Candace Pert puts it: ". . . it is tragic that there is a huge potential for what is considered enlightened or complementary medicine, and yet the research that is being done on it is still so small." Clearly, therefore, when seeking any form of MT or "bodymind healthwork"--Asian, European, American, ancient, recent, deep, light, etc-- in states under an MT law, it is in the consumer's best interest to refrain from patronizing non-licensed individuals. For that matter, all such manipulation of soft-tissue is MT.
In the growing number of states in the USA which require an MT license, it is your right to see--not just to be told about--a valid professional license. A professional license is usually validated with a renewable Registration certificate. Such registration is issued by the state board for MT. In Canada, where MT education is much more extensive than it is in the USA, a country-wide regulation award the professional designation of Registered MTs (RMT, or RegMT) to qualified practitioners. In the USA, don't, however, be confused with an MT business license or all sorts of brand-name certificates, which are different from a professional MT license and registration). Professional licensing is a Public Policy matter. A note to your local government representative urging greater consumer health protection via an MT licensing law is, therefore, also helpful and highly recommended.
The practice of Massage Therapy without a license may actually be a felony. For your convenience, we publish in The Global Directory, MTs NEAR YOU, the phone number for the State Board for Massage Therapy in states under MT professional laws. By calling the Office of Professional Discipline/conduct for a given state, you can verify whether or not an individual is in fact licensed.
@ QWL SPACE
Made Possible by Quality of Work Life Services,
and the members of ASSOCIATED MTs around the globe.
©QWL Services, 1996-97. All rights reserved.