Spring 1997 Collection

March '97, Vol 2, No 4
April '97, Vol 2, No 5
Coming Soon . . .
May '97, Vol 2, No 6

April 1997, Vol 2, No 5


A short time after the last issue of MT MATTERS! (Vol 2, No 4) in which we expressed the urgency of dealing with insurance coverage for MT, we E-Mailed a public invitation to ask New York State Senators and Assembly members to vote YES on a bill which will amend a deficient NYS insurance law and specify licensed massage therapists as THE health professionals who are most qualified to administer MT services. We urge each of you to drop a few lines to politicians in NY State (and elsewhere) and use your voter's democratic influence to help the passage of this meaningful NY State bill, one which will protect the consumer and massage therapists from the health insurance industry.

One of our co-founding members, Steve Clidas, from CT, USA, immediately let us know...: "Nothing like the opportunity for a little political action to quicken the pulse of the this slightly graying 60's activist! I will be sending e-mail to each senator. I have also forwarded your message to the mailing list to which I belong. Hopefully that will add a few more voices."

And here's a positive response which ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) has already received from Assembly member Stringer. Quick and to the point it reported: "I received your e-mail concerning [Senate bill] #3250 or [Assembly bill] #5421. I will be supporting this bill if it comes up for a vote. Thank you for your message."

Is this E-Mail magic or what?

To be sure, every voice helps. Your voice too! Please get the name and address of your Senator and Assembly member [] and [] respectively. Don't delay your action. Yes, you and your friends CAN make all the difference. A short hand-written postcard is great too.

In a delightful message from one of MT WEB CENTRAL's frequent guests, we learned that support comes from unexpected sources in unpredictable ways... Marla Senter, Intranet Webmaster for SABRE Decision Technologies (Texas, USA), happens to have an avid interest in health and in MT in particular. She told us that she was placing a whole bunch of our URLs on her company's webpage. As you may know, Intranet is that fast-growing part of Internet technology which big corporations use for internal communications among thousands of their [often, stressed-out] employees. You know, those who could use reliable info on MT, info that's so readily available on the various pages of MT WEB CENTRAL. How's that for clicking?

For those who still think that the Net is not as global as we've been trying to insist that it is, Donna is a web-designer and an E-acqaintance from Oregon, USA. In her little free time, she runs an Online Birth Center with its own weekly newsletter, MATERNITY TODAY. In her messages to us she always begins with: "At 1:36 AM -0400 4/28/97 you wrote these words of wisdom:...." And we must return the compliment, now that Donna has informed us that this went into *her* newsletter: "Quality of Work Life Services has several web pages that might be of interest:

MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL...... QWL Bodymind Healthweb...... BUTT KICKING, ANYONE?......... (This last is a SmoQuit campaign. She encourages all women's sites to pick up the campaign motto-banner "Smoking: A Woman's Thing? NO WAY. SmoQuitting: That's a Woman's Thing.")"

Words of great wisdom, Donna, indeed. Those who work with pregnant and post-pregnancy mothers can visit Donna's site, The Online Birth Center (pregnancy, birth, midwifery, breastfeeding).

Affectionately known among its members as "the Society," the very first MT organization in the USA has been living happily on our website with its own logo and info. More info will probably be uploaded as the Society members become more comfortable with the online world and learn how to benefit from its operational alliance with ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm). We can't wait for the next innovative MT organizations that will come on board MT WEB CENTRAL. Are they going to represent MTs from Canada, Switzerland, right here from the USA, or from a surprise location? Till we find out, you can visit the Organizations for MTs" section and tell us what you think.

In response to an urgent [all in caps, you know] request from an orthopaedic physician in Canada, MT WEB CENTRAL has published Dr Michael Weintraub's interesing study of a medically-supervised program of Shiatsu, Swedish muscle massage, and trigger point suppression (SSMMTPS) as a cost-effective alternative to conventional pain management (with permission from the American Journal of Pain Management). A must read for readers of MT MATTERS!

It's a whole new section dedicated to a *burning* health issue in a cool way with a whole new feel. Are you ready for the F.A.C.T.S.? Trust us, you don't want to miss this one. And we invite you to contribute your story or good advice.

Alive and kicking and selling books through our association with Amazon--the world's largest book retailer, HANDSON BOOKSTORE is one of your favorite places. Our secret is: Reliablility. We continue to handpick and review professional-level books for busy fellow colleagues. Please tell if there's any other category of books you'd like to see.

[from Bruria Ginton, LicMT, Founder, ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm)]
I have "gone web" so intensely, so completely, that I don't know what I would do without the regular help from co-founding members like Rosalyn Cherry, et al, who keep helping us with our important "Media Watch" project, which is getting closer and closer to being uploaded. Since--unlike most other popular MT publications--both MT-WEB-CENTRAL and MT MATTERS! are free, to maintain the level and integrity of editorial content, we may take a little longer to publish than you and I hope to. Still, we lead the MT pack with our early, innovative, and long-due initiative, at first offline and, now, on the web. I thank and applaud each visitor--active member or just a fan--who chips in.

Health insurance coverage for MT has always been an important professional issue on my agenda. It has now become a hot issue. What I predicted about MT and health insurance coverage in the first edition of MT QUICK USER GUIDE is happening. Faster than you think! Unfortunately, things are happening before many MTs have been well-informed (through other MT publications which they may read) about the ramifications of the various developments. From your messages, it is apparent that confusion and concern are prevalent. Especially here--and especially because most MTs dislike the subject--we need to make a special effort to connect and become informed before the powerful insurance industry dictates our economic reality to its advantage only. Lots of things to talk about. Keep your messages coming. Now let me step aside, and let's get going...


March 1997, Vol 2, No 4


During the same week that we were all shocked by the bizarre, sickening use of the Net by the now infamous "HeavenGate" cult, a fine expression of affirmative energy was cooking on the sponsoring website of MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL--@ QWL SPACE. Totally unrelated to that chilling story, SmoQuit(tm) is a life-affirming, health-promoting support-group style campaign and a definitive denial of the notorious tobacco companies' advertising which is now trying to turn smoking into "a woman's thing." In SmoQuit, Helene Weinberg, a corporate entertainer and cyber-friend, is joing hands with QWL to bring you the F.A.C.T.S., that is, the First Annual Cyber Time Smokeout, which will happen this Mother's Day. Irrisistibly, the motto of SmoQuit(tm) is:

Of course, SmoQuit" is not for women only. Take a look and see for yourself (and for your clients and patients,family and afflicted friends) when you visit.

In response to many inquiries about books for MTs, another exciting development @ MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL is the association of our HANDSON BOOKSTORE(tm) with Amazon--the Net's most prominent book seller. We select, organize and describe and they sell and ship books world-wide. Our always practical book selection list is growing, with more books and more short reviews that will help you save time and money when looking for that special book. In addition to our "General Booklist," "Recent Book Selections" and "All-Time Favorites," we have moved the relevant books to the "BizWise Book Selections" to help you with books about practice building. We are also virtual-stocking and actual-reviewing books for "FoodWise Book Selections" and even for "Computer and WebWise Book Selections." The latter category is for fellow MTs who discover that high-tech can be our good friend. Please visit HANDSON BOOKSTORE(tm) soon and tell us what you think.

As promised, we've begun to publish a few banner ads, ads marked with "Sponsor's Content," "Commercial Message," or simply "Banner Ad." They are posted on various pages. Let us know whether you find them appropriate and useful, and don't hesitate to suggest your favorite company's banner--we may just agree with you and try to get 'em on board.

Finally, we have begun to upload classified ads with some interesting items--check 'em out and feel free to mail in your ads.

[from Bruria Ginton, LicMT, Founder, ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm)]
When looking for Massage Therapy in the Net's top Search Engines, it's hard for me not to be amazed by the number of existing MT-related websites. I check other health professions too. None of them have so many mostly personal and commercial websites. It would be nice to assume that the sheer number of these sites is an indication of the great success MTs are enjoying. But when from personal stories and from the literature I also know that most fellow MTs are very far from being as financially successful as we all deserve to be, I begin to suspect that it must be something else expressing itself--an underlying desire, a need among MTs to be heard, to be understood and to be recognized...

The good news is that there have never been greater opportunities for the MT profession than today. The question is whether internauts surfing the Net really "hear" so many messages all at once? With so many MT trees across the Net, is the MT forest becoming less visible? An unavoidable question which I invite you to stop and think about... namely, the MT profession--in a realistic way. Are you "with me" in recognizing realistically that as MTs we each need to learn how to balance our individual need toward "doing my thing" with what it actually takes to build a solid professional infrastructure? In other words, will the opportunities be seized by those who want to make a living as MT professionals, or will they just fade away with the current massage assembly-lines of America?

MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL, a modest success in overall Internet terms, is already a huge success within the world of Alternative and Complementary healthcare because it actually takes advantage of the Net by showcasing a non-fragmented, non-ambiguous professional image and substance that many fellow MTs have been eager to develop--professional image and substance that the consumer and other health professionals can understand and relate to. And in terms of providing content, our website is committed to supporting--first in the United States, then elsewhere--the recognition and integration of licensed massage therapists into health insurance coverage. Our patients who benefit from professional MT shouldn't have to struggle alone for well-justified coverage when MT is delivered by an MT professional--one of us, just because until recently the MT profession has done so shamefully little to promote its state-licensed members.

ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) is proud to be the voice that sets the boundaries between professional-quality, client-centered MT and the commercial massage variety. We focus on the consumer's health needs and with how Massage Therapy can meet these needs. Our steady rate of growth is a sweet confirmation that our diverse but unified voices are much more than just a whistling in the dark. After more than 18 years of (continuous) practice, I'm more optimistic than ever before about the future of the MT profession. You already know...that we need to help one another. The job is far from done. And I am very excited about all of you who help me spread the word--and very grateful!


One of the "nice problems" that we are experiencing is the complexity and the growing amount of hardware, software and people-related expenses of managing a large, dynamic website. We've had to raise the annual joining fee for Active Members a little to $85.00. Representing an expense of only $7.00/month, this fee, which among other benefits, entitles you to a FREE webpage and practice listing @ MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL is still extremely low! Renewal, Supportive and Student Membership fees remain unchanged. As you can see, the earlier you join, the more rewarding it is--for you, for us, and for the MT profession! For more details.


[From Ithaca, NY, USA]
"Please send me some information on massage therapy in sports as an ergogenic aid. I am doing a presentation in my Wellness for Life class at Ithaca College on ergogenic aids for the athlete. If you have any information or know of where I can receive some information,[please let me know]."

We couldn't have answered this better than one of our frequent visitors [from Texas, USA] who suggests...: "While you're at it, if you've never been to [], check it out as well. Excellent article for us "keyboard & mousers."

Marla G. Senter, Intranet Webmaster
SABRE Decision Technologies

[From Chicago, IL, USA]
"... I am currently working at the University of Illinois College of Medicine...I like to work with my hands and so I have given massages to several of my friends. My girlfriends have told me to pursue Massage Therapy. Personally, I don't know anyone that I can go to for direction. That is why I was glad to see your web page... "

"I envision working on my own. Is that realistic? Even though in Illinois a license is not required, I would like to become licensed. Is there a specific process to accomplishing this goal?..."

"If it's not too much trouble, I wonder if you have any suggestions or advice, or general 'be aware of..' stuff for someone thinking about taking the plunge and getting MT certification?"

"I'm looking into the School over in Ithaca, and one down in Miami.. but I don't really have any information to go on right now. Are there better/worse programs? Stuff that I might not think to ask?"

Future MTs are a major reason for Bruria's endless work. She takes your growing Qs and comments very seriously and uses this valuable input as a guideline when establishing priorities about the content to be uploaded to MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL. To save bandwith, to avoid repetition and to win the war of never-enough-time, which is an ever-awesome challenge on the Net, one of our "automatic responses" will help her direct you to the URL for more info.

But Bruria wants you to know that: "It's very simple. ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) was founded because ever since I've been practicing MT (1979,) promotion of licensed massage therapists, advocacy, and mentoring have been acutely missing from the profession. This, in my opinion, is why so many MTs burn-out... They don't ask the right Qs early enough and, until recently, nobody was there to give them reliable As!. When the 'in' people in MT discover how difficult it is to make a living 'as' MTs, they all too often switch into how to make money 'off' other MTs. However understandable, right now, the situation of more MT industry than MT profession exceeds all healthy proportions."

"As for the obove Qs," says Bruria, "I too would love to know what's taking Illinois so long to pass its MT licensing law and why so many present and future MTs are under the false impression that "certification" will somehow give them legal status, a status which, in fact, comes only with a *professional license.* I'm encouraged, however, that someone in Illinois who is considering a professional MT career is smart enough to want be licensed, and that someone else plans to study in a state which has an MT professional licensing law [like NY or Florida]."

[From the above grad student]
"(btw- that whole site is quite spiffy. Tell whomever that it's been a great help. I'm pondering getting MT training/licensing, and this website has been very useful in finding the relevant resources.)"

Now you're talking the talk that keeps us going! :)

In the last issue of MT MATTERS! we said that "we invite the public and MT schools to submit information about MT educational facilities, which we then publish and make available for people like you. Our service is free to the public, and we intend to keep it that way."

Early books and articles about the Net boasted that the Internet was free. To all of us who pay the various tolls and dues to get there, the Net, of course, is not exactly free. In fact, not all websites or even search engines are free. What we meant by keeping "our service free to the public" is that we intend to keep *access* to MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL free.

As the following MT [from Roseburg, OR, USA] understands, there may be non-access charges for using our services. She wrote:
"I'm interested in creating a website and renting space for it. Please send me your info on this aspect of my business. Thank you."

We are in the same business. Your success *is* our priority. That's why--for MTs who qualify and join ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm)--the charges of creating and maintaining (that is, renting space for) a webpage linked to their practice listing are included in the annual membership! And those charges go down for renewal! Please, please, please read carefully what we offer. If you appreciate value, you'll be pleasantly surprised! :)

"My wife is going to be studying Massage Therapy. We are going to be moving to Sweden. Do you know of, or could you recommend any massage schools in Sweden?"

When in the great 80's Olympic runner, Grete Waitz of Norway, actually had to be informed about Massage Therapy (in the United States) we were mildly surprised. But when we asked a Swedish Net friend specifically about Swedish Massage--you're not going to believe this--she actually said: "Swedish Massage? Sorry, I've never heard of such a thing." Ha, ha, just like that. Most people don't realize that there is really nothing "Swedish" in Swedish Massage, except that the physical therapist who was greatly interested in the soft-tissue rehab methods of Asia and had adopted them to Western principles of anatomy and physiology happened to have been born in Sweden...And we are still waiting to hear about this from a few (real) Swedish educational institutions that we have contacted...So stay tuned and certainly let us know if you find out first.

[From Omaha, NE, USA]
A long, cheerful message came from a fellow MT, who shared with us: "...One of the things I was really gratified to see is how clear your information is about the difference between professional massage therapy and "assembly line" massage and prostitution. I'm afraid there are still a lot of people in the Midwest who are suspicious of massage because of the old "Massage Parlor" stereotypes, and we work hard to combat these by doing a lot of community service so that people can meet us in person and ask us all those questions they've been wondering about."

Nebraska or are not as far away as you may think. Not any longer. With small variations, we're all in the same boat together. Our co-founding Active Member, Laurence Litzow from Australia, has put it this way: "Surely, the way to make this profession be seen as a profession in its own right is for those who support professionalism to band together world-wide and become an international force. This is the best way to gain world-wide recognition at the level we deserve. It is a much bigger task for each individual to be a force which will be recognised by the community at large."

Can you give us one good reason *not* to join ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm)?

If we could have a dollar for each request about MT from Canada, we'd really be doing all right...! We know that there are many good MT schools in Canada, and we know that there are many Canadians who are interested in the profession, like this one, who wrote: "I'm looking for information on massage therapy liscensure in British Columbia. Info would be greatly appreciated." Canada? Is anybody home? Can we please hear from you up there?


ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) believes that open discussion is always more conducive to growth and progress than the stifling of ideas, speech, and info! Even when we disagree, so long as we respect one another as well as our right to disagree, everything's cool. Keep your (brief) valuable comments coming!

# # #

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.

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