January 1997, Vol 2, No 2
WHAT ELSE IS NEW? . . .
Actually, a lot.:) Don't forget, we don't use "new" signs all over our site. Cuz we always have new stuff. In fact, we have more stuff than we have time to upload . . .(and we report to you every month). By checking the "Updated" date on the main page @ MT WEB CENTRAL, you can tell if new stuff has been added, and how recently.
AN OPEN NOTE . . .
[from Bruria Ginton, LicMT, Founder, ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm)]
As much as it hurts, this issue of MT MATTERS! is the last to be printed and snail-mailed. A step forward which I hope we'll soon bring all our members online, interacting and helping one another @ MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL. Mild fruSTRESSion Syndrome is actually a better word to describe my yet unmet deep wish to see many more fellow (and future) LicMTs use and have fun already on the web...yesterday! Haven't those of us who are interested in professional-quality work settings waited long enough to see struggling MT arrive into a professional status? And I know, I literally see it happening at such a faster pace, thanks to our prominent website and E-letter. At last, we are in the driver's seat of our own professional destiny.
I'm amazed and delighted that so many good Qs and comments are coming into our mailboxes every day, many from the US and Canada, but a growing number from Australia and from Europe (Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Switzerland, even from the Ukraine and Russia!). It's getting difficult to address them all, though. To serve you, the reader, better, please E-mail me and tell me if you'd like us to keep MT MATTERS!:
1. As is (three/four printed letter-size pages)
2. Longer (specify how many pages, max)
3. Other (briefly, explain).
TIA for your feedback. Bruria.
THE "SOCIETY" GOES WEB . . .
The New York State Society of Medical Massage Therapists (NYSSMMT), affectionately known among its members as "The Society," is the first MT organization to be hosted @ MT WEB CENTRAL. Representing an operational alliance between the first professional state association for the advancement of MT in the USA, NYSSMMT, and the first professional network to connect present and future licensed massage therapists world-wide, ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm), this is a natural leap forward for the MT profession as a whole. Members of NYSSMMT can begin to contact us by E-Mail for details.
Fortunately, more and more offline LicMTs are beginning to realize that "something big and worth joining is happening on the web." ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) has been networking with some valuable massage therapy organizations that have expressed an interest in having us build their webpages linked to our Global Directory of "Organizations for MTs" and serve their LicMT members as well. We'll definitely keep you posted on important developments in this direction. We continue to invite *all* MT organizations who are committed to and driven by the MT profession--not the related industry--to look at what we've accomplished and use our online expertise and connections. And we continue to develop and offer commercial opportunities to the MT industry in the Resources, the commercial-carrying portion of our website.
When a board of MT is named, this valuable info will be uploaded to our global directory of MTs. We also hope you'll send us a phone #, E-mail and, if applicable, URL. Is it possible that only the NY State Board of MT has a website? ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) will be delighted to help build and host webpages for other boards...
WAITING FOR CONNECTION . . .
Upon routine check of what we thought would be a useful link, we discovered it didn't work. We wrote to the linked party, and here's what they want us to know: " The Office of Alternative Medicine is working on their Home Page. You can reach them by phone at 301-402-2466."
Right on! We all know how you feel. We know the pain and the outrage. To read our pro-active, non-evasive approach to this most disconcerting obstacle in professional MT, quickly read about MT & Sex. Also, a few Active Members of ASSCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) have been sending us material for the still-under-construction Media Watch webpage [http://www.qwl.com/media.html]. And we encourage anybody who's concerned about the status and image of MT to get in touch with newspapers, bookstores, Yellow-Pages type pubs, companies which use any negative image of MTs in their ads, as well as politicians. Yesss, let 'em know how you feel about this! Politely...but firmly. All of the above pay close attention to numbers...Remember, when one of us speaks up (politely...but firmly), decision-makers know that many, many more of their customers or constituents feel the same way. The worst you can do is "let's wait and see..." or when communicating...lose your temper. For if MTs don't take care of themselves in an effective way, who will?
As for: "Please put me on an E-mail list for watch dogs,". Ha, ha, we don't have to put you on that list. Anybody who takes the initiative automatically belongs! Just keep writing to the "watched" and to us about what you find along the way. And we'll continue to record and magnify your voice with our proud & friendly, little global horn named...MT MATTERS!.
AN EDUCATED CONSUMER . . .
"I am unable to find information on the top 10 massage schools in America. Could you please E-mail or send this information to me. Thank you."
You're right to want to know the top MT schools. Unlike other licensed health professionals, however, for a variety of reasons, LicMTs have only started building a long overdue professional infrastructure. A great deal of it you can find right @ MT WEB CENTRAL. At present, we're still reaching out and inviting more schools to be listed in our global directory of MT schools. At the top of the same page, you can find an introductory article about MT education--a "must" read for people like you. A review of schools which would make your search a lot easier will inevitably develop as our infrastructure grows stronger. Also, ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) is hoping that in the future, any regulatory agency of MT schools will not be selected by those schools, but by a more objective qualified body!
"I am a student, graduating from the American Institute of Massage Therapy in Richmond, Virginia, in March 1997. Can you please add me to the list of LicMT now? "
One of our goals is to give all MT students a headstart. Not only by maintaining the first professional-quality Massage Therapy online center. Not only by connecting present and future LicMTs. Not only by publishing useful info, etc, etc... but also, by creating a greater public awareness of the difference between professional MT and the commercial massage variety. Thus, when you are qualified to practice professionally, it will be easier for you than it's been for us, old timers...:)
Surely, however, you must understand that if ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) wants to keep its professional-quality reputation, we can't publish names of MT students, anymore than, let's say, a chiropractic professional network would publish names of students who are not fully qualified to practice as if they were fully qualified professionals... We certainly wouldn't want to do something short-sighted like that, especially not in a state which has only recently passed an MT licensing law. For if we don't respect our professional license, who else will, and, frankly, why should they?
If you've come so far, be just a little more patient--for your own future, and for all other LicMTs, please...
THE COMMERCIAL MASSAGE VARIETY . . . "We live near Chicago and on the local news this week they were introducing a new franchise that was opening in a Chicago mall... According to the report, there are only 8 or 9 in the US so far. It sounded like an intriguing idea and we would like to learn more about it. Do you have any information on this franchise? If so, please e-mail us an address or phone number that we might contact. Your help in locating this information would be most appreciated."
We're flattered that you consider us the reliable resource that we are comitted to being. Well... hmm...ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) is a membership organization for professional-quality, client-centered massage therapists. @ MASSAGE THERAPY(MT) WEB CENTRAL we publish free info about the MT profession. We have been educating the public about the difference between professional MT and the commercial massage variety. To us, the proliferation of assembly-line massage merely serves as a way of demonstrating and making clear that difference. We're relieved to discover that commercial massage, by its very nature, actually promotes LicMTs who are well established in their professional practices. Alas, they do make it more difficult for those who enter the profession with professional aspirations to realize their goals. Certainly, we are not a general info center for commercial MT businesses.
What we're doing is no small job. And we understand the value of mutually beneficial business ties. To support our professional goals (among others) we, therefore, have sponsorship and cross-promotion programs for Health & Fitness-related businessess. However, our sponsors are neither businesses that provide commercial massage nor businesses that operate as multi-level marketing (MLMs). Also, we do not automatically represent our commercial sponsors. And we will only endorse products and services which we are actually familiar with. If for some reason, you can't reach one of our sponsors via our website, then, we would certainly help you reach them in a more conventional way. In fact, we routinely speak with technical support expert in companies before we answer our readers' questions about their products and services. In other words, to us, Massage Therapy is much more than "just a business." And our professional license is much more than "just a piece of paper." We thought you might want to know...:)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS . . .
A Quick Note From Bruria Ginton, LicMT, Founder, ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm)
With mixed feelings, I must announce the downsizing of our offline, print operation. ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) is about to celebrate a year online @ MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL, during which we have reached many, many more folks who are interested in the MT profession than in all our previous years combined! True to the idea of "if it works, don't knock it!" we must now focus all our energy and resources in this awesome New Media, our dynamic website which was created for and will serve many LicMTs for a long long time.
As much as I hate to discontinue the snail-mailing of the printed copy of MT MATTERS!, it is a necessary step forward. A step which I hope we'll soon bring all of members online, interacting and helping one another @ MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL.
Sharon, Thanks to enlightened visitors like you and the freedom of speech we enjoy on the Net, ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) is able to "just do it"! It really is our shameless, overdue pleasure! :) Don't forget to mention to your chiropractor that our global directory, DCs NEAR YOU(sm) is growing as well.
FROM AN AOL SUBSCRIBER . . .
"It's nice to see MTs that are using computers too. I'm an MT student at this point, but I have already subscribed to two magazines and have located many MT-related web pages. Today, I am looking for graphics of MT to use in flyers, letterhead, business cards, brochures etc. Do you know of where I could find some? Stores, other businesses, a graphic CD I could purchase, a web site that has some, etc etc."
If you're already thinking about promotion, you must be close to graduating. Good thinking! Describing our professional network, this webpage will link you to some of the [copyrighted] promotional material which we make available to members of ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm). We have lots of other printed material (not yet online) which will present you in a highly professional way. Hey, why re-invent the wheel when you can easily have us behind you with cool professional graphics and so much more?
FROM FLORIDA, USA . . .
"I recently attended the [name withheld] School of... with a grant from NY state and I took the NY boards over a year ago and I passed the Boards but as a result of the inability of the former employees of the school to fill out the papaer work correctly I was not granted a license by NY state - I do hold a Florida license I was wondering if there was any aspect of your web site that allows for consumer protection or information regarding areas that schools fall short - In this case the school totally overlooked the welfare of six of its graduates - and countless others... "
Thanks for sharing. If you read "About MT Education" in our Global Directory of MT Schools, you will know just how much we feel for you. Hopefully, more and more schools will be run by MT professionals who will feel for MTs as well. ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) believes that schools have a special responsibility to do all they can toward greater professional opportunities for MTs. Fortunately, some schools already do. After all, MT shcools are the places where all of us have invested our energy, time, money and dreams.
Being more responsive to their graduates' needs, we also believe, happens to be good business! After all, our success will reflect positively on MT shcools. Their neglect can no longer continue to be "a dirty little secret". Our intention in publishing your note is to air the problem and hope for an immediate correction. ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) has created its online community to in fact meet the needs of present and future LicMTs first--not last. Please print this out and tell us what the school administration said in response to MT MATTERS! We hope it's a win-win situation.
FROM LONG ISLAND, NY, USA . . .
"I received your E-Mails. Keep them coming! I am a licensed Massage Therapist... and I loved reading the comments of others around the world. I've been working in the field for 7 years now and love it. I just opened my own office finally. I've been working in a day spa and doing house calls for a long time now and it's nice to feel that I'm totally on my own. In this field a lot of us work for people who know very little about what we do, and do not realize how hard it is physically. My experience with trying to work with some doctors is that they want you to bill the way they do and they don't realize that you have to physically be there for specified amounts of time, and a lot of them just see you as another product to sell. Not all of them, of course, but definitely quite a few..."
Thank you for your long letter. [Next time, try to make it shorter, though...:)] It's so nice to reach people like you. And, since you are in the state of Silicon Alley--NY, that is--you may have seen our little ad in the NY Times, Computer Section, every Tuesday. Now that we're getting lots of hits @ MASSAGE THERAPY WEB CENTRAL, we're gearing up the construction @ BODYMIND HEALTHWEB In fact, we are offering free practice listings (with a small set-up fee) to other health professionals because we believe it's time for client-centered open-minded health professionals to develop cross-disciplinary familiarity in general. But in particular, we want other health professionals who can offer, prescribe, or recommend MT to know what it is that the professional-quality LicMTs offer, how they work, and how to reach one with a click of their mouse. As you develop your private MT practice, wouldn't it be great to have a more positive experience with physicians--for a mutual benefit?
TO LAUGH OR TO CRY? . . .
"I realize the value of professional organizations and the support and professional community they engender. I am concerned though about [your] regional effectiveness. I am located in Seattle....how many people see the directory? Is it worth my while to get my professional bio in an organization list out of New York? What's other people's experience with this?"
When a national regulatory MT organization from Virginia, USA, launched its PR campaign, where did it go? Where else but Manhattan! Even before NYC became the center of creative Internet content-providers, it has long been the global center of communications. But since the Net, by being part of the Silicon Alley community, ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm) has been able to showcase our website at the October Webgrrls Expo--without financial support from other MT organizations! Clearly, having its administrative center in NY is a small but real advantage for all members of ASSOCIATED MTs NEAR YOU(sm).
As for being located in Seattle--what a great city too. Here's a suggestion: take a surf to our Bio-Profiles page: and from there, E-Mail our co-founding Active Member, Lawrence Litzow. Hopefully--all the way from Brisbane, Australia--he will be able to alleviate your regional concern.:). Yeah, the Net is truly global! And, oh, last month, we registered more than ten thousands hits...Not bad, huh?
AN IMPORTANT REMINDER . . .
"I would like to know what your fees are for helping to create my Webpage. "
Hmmm...you can call it affirmative action, helping one another, good vibes, work of love, or all of the above...whatever. We publish your practice listing, build and maintain your professional-bio webpage and photo--linked to your Directory listing--AT NO COST. This is a free service for qualified Active Members only. We are serious about promoting the professional side of MT ASAP. OK, call it...Santa Claus gone Web...:)
PS: . . .
It's time to renew (or perhaps, begin) your participation in an unfolding leading professional adventure online--is there a better cause?
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