Rave- .give high praise: to give praise in a very enthusiastic way
Rant- speak in loud exaggerated manner: to speak or say something in a very loud, aggressive, or bombastic way, usually at length and repetitively
Hope- want or expect something: to have a wish to get or do something or for something to happen or be true, especially something that seems possible or likely
This blog series has the intention to identify great things going on that affect the massage profession, speak candidly my opinions about issues that impede and complicate these great things from happening and express my hopes (and suggestions) for the future of this needed and important profession.
I am going to use the word profession in a hopeful way. A profession is : Occupation, practice, or vocation requiring mastery of a complex set of knowledge and skills through formal education and/or practical experience.
We are close. We could do this so I begin this blog series with HOPE.
I do not believe that entry level massage practice needs to be a degree level program and support vocational training (certificate/diploma) for initial training . I also think that the Board Certification process now offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork http://www.ncbtmb.org/ is an important step in differentiating entry level (licensing-novice) practitioner from those who have committed to the next level ,not because they have to (licensing) but because they want to strive for excellence. I think that the educational requirement post-graduation is too low but we have to begin someplace and it is only one part of the qualifications for BOARD CERTIFICATION. So NCBTMB gets a qualified RAVE from me and the board certification process and future specialty certification that can be a pathway to higher degrees such as bachelor’s degrees for those who want to achieve a high degree of excellent in that manner.
RANT: WE NEED AN AGREED UPON DEFINITION OF MASSAGE.
RAVE: I propose the MTBOK definition with a couple of suggested edits. Mtbok.org
Section 120 Massage Therapy Definition
Massage therapy is a healthcare and wellness profession involving manipulation of soft tissue. The practice of massage therapy includes assessment, treatment planning and treatment through the manipulation of soft tissue ( I suggest deleting :, circulatory fluids and energy fields ), affecting and benefiting all of the body systems, for therapeutic purposes including, but not limited to, enhancing health and wellbeing, providing emotional and physical relaxation, reducing stress, improving posture (add and movement ), facilitating circulation of blood, lymph and interstitial fluids (, balancing energy –suggest alternate wording : -enlivening physiological balance ), remediating, relieving pain, repairing and preventing injury and rehabilitating. Massage therapy treatment includes a hands-on component, as well as providing information, ( delete-education and non-strenuous activity)s for the purposes of self care and health maintenance. The hands-on component of massage therapy is accomplished by use of digits, hands, forearms, elbows, knees and feet with or without the use of emollients, liniments, heat and cold, hand-held tools or other external apparatus. It is performed in a variety of employment and practice settings.
I also propose the use of the COMTA competencies. http://www.comta.org/
I modified these just a bit for use in my curriculum at my school.
•PLAN AND ORGANIZE AN EFFECTIVE OUTCOME BASED THERAPETUIC MASSAGE SESSION
•PERFORM MASSAGE FOR THE THERAPEUTIC BENEFIT OF THE CLIENT
•DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT SOUND BODY MECHANICS DURING MASSAGE APPLICATION
•PERFORM MASSAGE IN AN ERGONOMICALLY SUPPORTIVE ENVIROMENT
•INPLEMENT SELF-CARE STRATEGIES TO SUPPORT CAREER LONGEVITY
•DEVELOP SUCCESSFUL AND ETHICAL THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIPS WITH CLIENTS, PEERS AND OTHERS IN THE HEALTH AND WELLNESS PROFESSIONS
•DEVELOP STRATEGIES FOR A SUCCESSFUL PRACTICE IN BOTH A SELF-EMPLOYED OR EMPLOYEE CAREER PATHWAY
•IDENTIFY STRATEGIES FOR LIFE LONG LEARNING AND ONGOING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
COMTA gets a RAVE from me even though at this time my school is not accredited due to current economical struggles. I hope COMTA can find a way for small school like mine not wanting to participate in financial aid can achieve affordable programmatic accreditation. . I know they are trying to do this but have to be accountable to their own compliance issues. Until then I run my school in a COMTA ready process and encourage others to do this as well.
I have a qualified RAVE for the MTBOK and believe that if the scope of practice statement were eliminated and a few changes were made to the entry level knowledge, skill and abilities (KSA) section following the review done by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (http://www.afmte.org/education/mtbok/ ) that is an important document in a statement of professionalism and unification of the massage profession. I have a big RANT as well. There is no reason for that document to be sitting on the webpage shelf and ignored. It is not perfect but it is a great source of information. It should not be minimalized and ignored but actively improved and integrated into the unifying statement of the massage profession.
Finally ,for this blog the ELAP-Entry Level Analysis Project needs to be revised based on the comments being collected right now and the feedback from the many experts in the field who have expressed concern over both the process and the content in the project. The work group needs to be more transparent and when the final report is published please provide the original survey, raw data and the procedure used to analyze the data for the first draft. I would also like to see the revisions made from the comment process and the raw data from the comments.
I give the work group a RAVE for being open to discussion and support them in the work they are doing but also encourage then to continue to reach out the research experts and subject matter experts in massage that want to help this initiative be successful. They need support and input and I believe they will listen and respond. So comment- elapmassage.org
A finial RANT for this blog: All organization serving the massage profession-STOP WORKING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. PROVIDE REGULAR UPDATES ON WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND REALIZE THAT YOUR INDIVIDUAL PROJECTS ARE ONLY PART OF THE WHOLE.
A finial RAVE for these same organizations working together and please keep in up with even more inter-cooperation.
And a closing HOPE. Please all of you who are reading this blog, I hope you use it as a launch pad to becoming informed. We do not have to always agree but we need to stay informed and work together. I hope you will share this information and encourage others a to be informed. I also hope that we all remember that the people involved in doing all this work are good, caring committed people. Support the people please as you share your comments and concerns. I hope we will be productive and offer suggestions, be willing to compromise and not complain and bitch just for the sake of it. I hope we get this done.
Additional Link list for gathering information.