I am at the Charleston SC airport waiting for flights to take me home. I have been at the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education second conference.http://http://www.afmte.org//. My brain is really tired and busy with so many things. I have been supporting the Alliance for this year both with my dollars and volunteer time. I now believe that this may be a good investment. The organization has grown and actually produced valuable contributions to the massage community. Anyone involved in massage therapy education should join. Highlights for me at the conference we getting to know Ryan creator of massagenerd.com a really great website. All should check it out. Myself and many others did a short interview with him and he will be posting to his website.
I got to see and laugh and collaborate with the "ole timers", those massage therapists and educators that just keep showing up. I had the chance to get to know Laura Allen- master blogger and advocate for massage as well as fellow author and a real character. Great lady. One of the most gratifying things for me was seeing one of my graduates who is now in charge of the massage therapy program at a chiropractic college move into a position of leadership at the Alliance. He is young, committed and capable. And---there were other young excited and capable people there also willing to step forward and boy do we need them. Remember the "ole timers" statement. Now I plan on being around a long time and have no intentions of stepping anywhere but forward yet I have been concerned about who the future leaders will be.
There were really great moments and one for me was when Jan Schwartz talked about a group she is with called the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC),http://http://www.accahc.org//. I need to learn more about this organization so won't expand just yet but she did point out that three important organizations that must be in place for a profession to be considered a member are: a school organization which the Alliance is stepping up to the plate, an accrediting body which we have in COMTA and a certifying body which we also have in the NCBTMB. But-- NCBTMB is not a member of this organization and should be and without them massage therapy will not qualify to participate in very important discussions about the future of CAM. I am not happy. In addition representatives were not in the audience at the time that the information was provided about how very important the viability of the certifying body is. I am not happy. I have been a vocal advocate for the certification process especially the advanced certification initiative. I still am and will be. To move forward as a profession we need this organization to be viable and I did speak to that issue. Those who carry baggage about the past and want the NCBTMB to disappear need to take notice. And the NCBTMB needs to be present.
There is also a concern about the Alliance being including in the MTBOK Stewards meeting in Portland at the next AMTA convention. So Stewards come on and invite the Alliance and Alliance ask to be invited and included. We are the new kids on the block for goodness sake. A little humility here. And Stewards why the hesitancy for bringing in the Alliance as one of the Stewards?? I will be in Portland and expect to here great things about the participation of the Alliance at the Stewards meeting.
I am interested in the results of the gathering in St Louis mentioned in my last post. Many are watching carefully for the desired collaboration, cooperation and commitment to the massage profession.
So here I sit at the airport full of hope and expectation. Lets get on with it. It is time!