- Fall 1996 Collection
THE SEARCH ENGINES, THEY HAVE FOUND US...
Yahoo!, Alta Vista, HotBot, Apollo, Infoseek, Excite, LinkStar...Whew, you name it, we're there! Just type ASSOCIATED MTs or MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL and take a look! (And if--by any chance--we're not there, please let us know.) Yahoo! BTW, in response to our request, Yahoo! has told us it was changing its "massage" category to the more professional..."massage therapy". Bravo Yahoo!
NO NEWS UNDER THE SUN...
A Quick Note From Bruria Ginton, LicMT, Founder
A colleague and E-pal recently mentioned his past career as a chaplain. This reminded me that as a kid, I wanted to be--well, only on occasion--a prophet. "Sure, a prophet. Why not?" my Mom used to say with a big smile. When Oxford Health Plans announced recently its intention to cover MT, I felt that I had actually scored a big one on an important prediction of mine... (no kidding, see MT USER GUIDE, p3). But, come to think of it, being a prophet is not so much about predicting the future. While the future has often been the theater of many a false prophet, the down-to-earth prophet is someone who "tells it like it is," this in the face of so many who would prefer to hear the painless, sweeter version of things... So, Mom, am I not a prophet after all...sort of?
CROSS-LINKERS, HERE'S THE THING...
We are forever looking for consumer-friendly professional organizations in all areas of Health & Fitness to connect and cross-link with. We continue to take listings for DCs NEAR YOU(sm), and we are now taking FREE listings for other global directories @ The Integrative Healthweb. However, we are not looking for sheer numbers. Likewise, we cannot get into cross-linking with all the personal MT pages on the Net. We are building an infrastructure with an unambiguous focus, and that focus is the welfare and urgent professional needs of present and future LicMTs--all of which we believe will benefit the consumer as well.
In response to some new MT faces on the Net who have publicized their addresses, we have invited them to visit @ our--@ your--MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL. One of them has written:
"Thank you for the invitation. I am always on the prowl for any info relative to bodywork. You already know that California does not have a state licensing program, so I am unclear about the benefits from belonging to your association. Do you think that your site will be visited by potential clients? Do you propose to enhance the credibility of legitimate MT's? Are you just another 'Chamber of Commerce?' Are you 'political'?
I am a graduate of a nationally recognized school, a member of ABMP, and a city business licensed practioner... My questions are not intended to offend but to provoke from you a clearer picture of your goals and offerings."
Thank you for your communication and especially for your questions. You come across as a serious and intelligent professional. And your Qs are good, legitimate ones. Qs like yours show that you--like a growing number of massage therapists--are tired of...the Hype. Indeed, you have every right to be surprised, pleasantly so, that MT WEB CENTRAL is dedicated to a straight-forward, hype-free mode of operation. You can get more info about the mission and goals of ASSOCIATED MTs,its supporting professional MTs' network. But--thank you, thank you--you have brought up some important issues which need to be addressed without delay:
FEEDBACK WHICH ALMOST NEEDS NO COUNTER-FEEDBACK:
- Strangely enough, a wide-spread impression has been erroneously created that a professional state license is in the interest (even under the control) of a particular MT organization. Even if it were the unfortunate case, a professional license is a public policy matter. It's a professional matter that all MTs can--and should--be involved in regardless of their favorite MT organization. And such involvement must be on-going. You know, almost by definition, public policy is an ongoing thing. You and I must remember that although a professional license is only the beginning of the professional highway, without one, we only have a dirt road full of bumps and ruts before us, with the MT industry leading the MT profession, not the other way around.
- Equally unfortunate,is that in a place not yet under a state MT license like California, many massage therapists who deserve to benefit from the professional legal status--which comes onlywith a state license--are under the false impression that such a license is not in their interest! Not in their interest? Huh! Can you imagine anyone in chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, clinical psychology--any established health profession--suggesting such nonsense to their colleagues? Sure, the status quo will continue to benefit all those who are making money off MTs, but how can anyone in good consciense tell all of us who are struggling to make a decent living as MTs that a professional state license is not in our interest? Seriously, don't we need to be more cooperative, open-minded, and much more realistic....:)
- Another disturbing misconception is that an MT business license bares any resemblance to a professional state license. "What's the difference?" they'll insist. What's the difference? Big difference! Unlike the professional MT license, the business MT license (where it exists) was primarily created to control illicit sex. In the absence of a professional MT license, such business regulation, while generating income for the locality, actually goes after...the wrong people--you and me! Yes, even though, I'm in the "licensed" state of New York, I feel for every fellow MT, woman or man, who becomes a victim of this unfortunate regulation. Not to mention that we are all diminished by such false impression of regulation, and the negative reputation of "why every body knows: massage=illicit sex," which a local business MT license often reinforces. There must be a better way to deal with illicit sex, but that's another story...
- While on the subject, less distrubing but in an urgent need of clarification, any credential issued from within the profession is not likely to have the same duration, legal status and relative freedom which a professional state license is capable of giving us. Another good reason to participate in public policy towards a more valid and reliable procedure and towards full inter-state reciprocity...
- Finally--and obviously--we are in the midst of a revolution in the technology of communication. In this respect, the world is already a global village. The more connected we are, the more we can take care of our professional (and other) interests--and speak up. The notion that what happens in New York is not related to what happens in California, or in Canada, Europe, or Australia is ancient thinking. We, as professionally inclined MTs, need to be connected and help one another--everywhere--regardless of our differences! And you know what? If nothing else, MT WEB CENTRAL will continue to do just that. It's a promise.
"What an informative, enjoyable website you have! I enjoyed it so much that I bookmarked it. I am a student of massage therapy at [name witheld for privacy] in Texas, and I'm half way through my first semester... A number of therapists I've talked to lately seem to be suffering either from job burn-out or disillusionment regarding massage therapy as a full-time profession. Everyone keeps saying, "Don't quit your day job." Well, I'm not one to panic, and I have plenty of ambition and confidence in my calling to help others.
I guess I've said all [there is] to say... It's nice to see/hear/read about a therapist who's been around a while and is still motivated and committed to the profession as a healing art form. It's really inspiring. I hope/think/know I can make a contribution to the health and well-being of others as well."
Yeah! If you're talking about its founder, Bruria Ginton, LicMT, she is definitely flattered and delighted to inspire like-minded and like-hearted people! Especially those who have many years of MT practice ahead of them. But inspiration alone is not enough. That's why MT WEB CENTRAL combines the inspirational engine, the tools and the tech to host other MT organizations who contribute to these professional goals. That's why our website is already being visited and used by many who plan to practice MT as professionals for a living in the 21st century.
Back to Select an MT MATTERS! Collection
IN A WORD... A BLAST!
Nothing short of a blast was the October 22 Webgrrls Expo. As promissed, ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) showcased its website, @ MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL, alongside some 25 leading players of the new media scene... Lycos Inc, Cybergrrl, Ralph Lauren Fragrance, LinkAmerica Communications, AWED, and Java Users Group, just to name a few.
In addition to free copies of our MT QUICK USER GUIDE and WEBMARKS(tm), we've found many more entries than we had noticed dropping into our "Lucky Hand" Sweepstakes Box while we were busy showing our website or selling our compliment-winning T-shirts.We've added one more MT session, the book Bodywork by Thomas Claire and some of our popular T-shirts to the pool of prizes.
And the winners are:
THE MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY...
- MT Sessions: Rosalie Tanaka, Hilary Liftin, Jodie Kahn, Judith Bernstein,
- Bodywork (the book): Katherine Cavanaugh
- T-Shirts: Pamela Johnson, Anya Feinberg, Joy Zigo, Julia Pluss, Kate Robinson, Eadie Adamson, Holly Akin, Felicia Palmer, Lori Stahl-Van Brackle and Bonnie Lurie.
Even Mayor Giuliani showed up. At the end of an exciting day, just before the evening's cocktail party, hizonor handed Aliza Sherman--Cybergrrl and chief architect of the event (of course an MT User)--a proclamation identifying the event as NYC Webgrrls' Day. Not bad for all Silicon Alley cats, huh?
An MSNBC correspondent has asked me for the names of Executive users of Online firms of our MTs NEAR YOU Global Directory. Since this is a free, unmonitored service, would the satisfied beneficiaries (or their LicMTs) come forward and drop a quick E-Mail? Thanks.
FROM CALIFORNIA, USA...
An old online friend and representative of the growing open-minded section of the medical community, Dr Stacey Kurr, reports: "In February ['97] I am speaking at the annual Scientific Assembly for the California Academy of Family Physicians - topic: Alternative Medicine - Your patients ARE using it! Of course, massage therapy will be included!"
[and no less important, Dr Kurr goes on to say:]
Still getting my massage every other week - it keeps me going. I feel so lucky to have found a therapist that fits my needs. :-)"
Dear Dr Kurr,
'Tis physicians like you that we delight in touching, cuz you're the guardian of that deeper true meaning of healthCARE. Your message keeps me wanting to make sure that--now with the click of the mouse--people like you, everywhere, will always have an MT who fits their needs! :)
FROM SOMEWHERE IN CYBERSPACE...Back to Select an MT MATTERS! Collection
"Thank you for responding to my e-mail, but when it comes to web pages, I'm a little slow on the pick-up. Please explain to me like I'm a kindegardner how do I become an active participant in your organization?"
No trouble at all. At first almost anybody is ovewhelmed by the magnitude of the Net. Assuming you have enough memory to run your E-mail application and your brouser at the same time, just copy our internet address or, URL: [http://www.qwl.com/join.html] (without the brackets). Next, paste it into the "location" area in your browser (replacing the existing URL). Try to ask a friend. Spend some time in an Internet Cafe, etc. Or ask us again. Remember, we're here to help one another!
Shortly thereafter, we got this:
"Never mind my last E-mail I found your application pages....you'll be hearing from me soon. In good health!"
Now you're talking!
OTHER TYPICAL MESSAGES FROM CYBERWHERE...
- "MTs near me ...zip19074?"
- "I would like information on Licensed massage therapist in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I suffer from psoriatic arthritis and I am constantly in pain"
- "I am located in Murray, far west Kentucky. Who do you know in this area you would recommend."
Did you try: our global, referral Directory ? Is it possible that demand is greater than supply? Please rest assured that nobody more than MT WEB CENTRAL wants to see every possible zipcode represented with professional-quality MTs, so that demand = supply. We want to be able to facilitate more pain relief without side-effects.
FROM BROOKLYN, NY, USA...
"I am a LMT. Please let me know how I may be listed on your Web Site."
AT the present, all Active Members of ASSOCIATE MTs can be listed and have a webpage with their professional-bio (and photo) published and linked to their listing @ MT WEB CENTRAL at no additional cost.
FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, USA...
"I am a new message therapist... but I am not licensed. I plan to continue my education by attending specialized workshops, and an established school when the opportunity presents itself. .. Because of my acquired education and practice I will be be grandfathered into the license law and allowed the opportunity to take the NCTMB exam... "
You're one lucky MT! The luck of perfect timing. But surely you can understand that those who intend to practice in a state which is already under a professional licensing law cannot be grandfathered... In other words, gradfathering is a practical exception made in order to get the licensing process going. After all, the whole point of a license is to give the consumer some sort of an objective qualifying credential. The same process gives MTs--you included--a legal professional status. Once licensed, although it's nice to collect 'em, you don't really need any other credentials. For a broader perspective, see: Is Your MT License More Than "Just a Piece of Paper?"
In your message, you went on to compliment @ MT WEB CENTRAL. But it appears that you are not sure why unlicensed MTs should wait before they practice for a living... Thanks for the compliment and for giving us the opportunity to explain that if, as a profession, we intend to increase our visibility and status in the 21st century, we must do what it takes to deserve professional success--we must avoid corner-cutting. We cannot have it both ways! For if we don't respect our professional license--even as we constantly improve and change the nature of its regulation through democractic public policy--why should others respect it? Can you imagine a chiropractor (or any other licensed professional) in their last year of school saying: "Oh, I already know so much...I'm almost licensed... Who cares if I don't have a license? I don't have time/patience for that, I'll just practice quietly 'a little here and a little there'... "? Come on!
What you now need is professional committment, professional workspace, and a client/patient load enough to make a decent living. To accomplish this, it sure helps to join a professional network which assists you with your needs.
Specifically created for present and future licensed massage therapists, ASSOCIATED MTs has been helping MTs offline (since 1992) and online (since early 1996) through its ethical promotion programs, mentoring and advocacy. Other MT organizations surely have some valuable things to offer; conventions, publications, "political" action, etc, etc. And your voice and input are of course valuable as well. Question is, is your voice gonna be a commercial or a professional one? You can imagine what we recommend...:)
# # #
We're getting ready to upload a new MT Board listing. Congrats to the first MT board in Washington, DC and to all who worked on the project! To us, your MT license (and ours) is much more than "just a piece of paper!"
Apropos which, also coming up, another informative article:Is Your MT License More Than "Just a Piece of Paper?"
MT WEB CENTRAL is certainly growing. Most of the questions we're getting these days are about free webpages, and about books. Yes, we do provide free listings and a bio-profile page with Active Membership in ASSOCIATED MTs. In the future, we plan to create web-presence for any qualified MT. But no, although we list them, selling books is not our primary business priority nor do we have, at present, the administrative capacity to connect between sellers and buyers other than through our extremely reasonably priced sponsorship pages. Mainly, we're just looking for a bunch of professional-quality LicMTs. See details on qualifications and on joining.
BUT CAN YOU FEEL THE EXPO EXCITEMENT?
Hi-Tech Meets Hi-Touch--at the Webgrrls Expo.What Excitement?
NY--MT WEB CENTRAL will be showcasing its comprehensive resource center and referral directory for massage therapy along with ASSOCIATED MTs, a network of independent licensed massage therapists committed to professional-quality work and to ethical promotion.
Wrist and hand massage for prevention of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome--a leading, costly health hazard in today╝s stress-filled workplace--will be demonstrated periodically during the day. Free Back, Neck, and Foot MT sessions will be among the prizes won through the professional network's Booth Sweepstakes.
- When: Tuesday, October 22, 1996; 10am-7pm
- Where: Webgrrls Expo, NY Technology Center, 55 Broad Street (#2, 3, 4, or 5 train to Wall Street or N/R to Rector Street)
- Why: To Educate the High-Tech Consumer about the Difference between Professional- Quality MT and the Commercial "Assembly-Line" Variety.
Also available will be print copies of the MT QUICK USER GUIDE; the MTs NEAR YOU Global Directory; entry forms for other online Directories @MT WEB CENTRAL; the ASSOCIATED MTs compliment-winning T-Shirts and printed bookmarks.
According to Harvard Medical School, MT is one of the three most often used alternative healthcare modalities. Yet, "With a few refreshing exceptions, massage therapy has been covered by the conventional media only as a kind of cosmetic gimmick or fitness hype--not as the valid, reliable and reasonably priced healthcare modality that MT is," observes publisher of @MT WEB CENTRAL, Bruria Ginton, LicMT. "Creating the first interactive center for professional-quality MT on the web was therefore irresistible. And with support and positive energy of so many wired women, an urgent professional need became a dynamic virtual reality. What a story. I can still hardly get over it!" she adds.
Clearly, Ginton╝s prediction of MT being re-discovered is happening:
"That╝s why," says Ginton, "I was delighted--but not surprised--to hear that Oxford Health Plans is beginning to cover massage therapy."
- According to the American Medical Association, more than half of all visits to physicians are for stress-related complaints
- Distinguished pharmacologist and professor, Dr Candace Pert, says: "I think we could replace 90% of mainstream medicine with a weekly massage . . . "
- Touchpoints, the newsletter published by the University of Miami School of Medicine, reports on-going research being done at its Touch Research Institute
- In an effort to add a specialty to their profession, many nurses are now training to be MTs.
Responding to a message about the Expo on their Womenlist, a fellow Webgrrl, Loraine of Uptown Gift Baskets, NYC, said: "Yeah, I feel my Carpal Tunnel...I think many other women sufffer from the same. A natural remedy would be very welcome. I am very excited. I'll see you there."
@MT WEB CENTRAL offers a first-of-its-kind global interaction for the little understood health profession of MT. ASSOCIATED MTs╝ E-Mail box is filled daily with messages from American visitors and from faraway locations. From Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, for instance, Lawrence had this to say: "Been [to your website] and I think it is super--I like what you are doing, and, for what it is worth, you have my support . . . In Australia, we have 7 states, each of which has its own regulations relating to natural therapies [such as MT]. One of the difficulties we have, and I am sure it is not confined to Australia, is trying to tell what is legit . . . "
When you write with Qs or feedback, remember, we don't need hype. To help one another, we simply need straight info! Don't, however, hesitate to tell us how you feel about the issues! Try to be brief and, in your message, include the part of the message that you're responding to--don't assume that we remember everything--we probably don't . . . :). Thanks.Back to Select an MT MATTERS! Collection
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