Thursday, April 21, 2011

What is It Coming To?????

Many of you readers have probably received the following notice from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. For those who haven't, I'm reprinting it below my comments. I read it with a combination of horror and resignation. I have been watching the changes in the massage education field with the same, I must say. I understand that change has to occur. It's inevitable of course. Back in the day, people learned to be massage therapists through books and apprenticeships. Then educators and state boards decided the process should be more formal and more appropriate for the profession. What I have noticed of late is the loss of many of the education providers who were in it for the love of massage therapy. I've witnessed the birth of massage education based on profit and not passion. That seems to be what we're witnessing all around us here in the United States. I do my best to support local businesses and avoid generic or mass produced items, but it's not always easy. I'd love to hear from all of y'all about the trend in products and services being driven by economies of scale. Or is it even a trend or just the way things are now?

I know it's not large, ethical corporations that are driving the incredibly unethical practices NCBTMB is addressing.  But I'm wondering if there's any correlation.  Haven't all MTs been taught about the massage school scandals that brought about the ill repute of massage therapy in the first place?  I guess I'm thinking what MT would allow anything like this to happen???  I know I'm rambling, but I'd like to get some discussion started here!'s the press release from NCTBMB:

As you are undoubtedly aware, there are ever-increasing issues of illegitimate massage schools, organized prostitution and alarming occurrences of human trafficking affecting the reputation of the massage profession. In order to do our part to restrict the ability of these illicit institution’s students to become nationally certified, NCBTMB has spent the past 18 months developing and implementing a national School Compliance Program.

The School Compliance Department at NCB works to identify and investigate institutions that give the appearance of operating in an illegitimate or fraudulent manner. The department conducts in-depth research when it finds inconsistencies and abnormalities in information submitted by schools, such as transcripts and attendance records or falsification of certificates and diplomas.

The outcome of these investigations has resulted in NCB imposing sanctions which, in some cases, have prohibited a school’s graduates from sitting for the National Certification Exams. NCBTMB then shares this information with state regulatory boards and local law enforcement agencies on a monthly basis, and it is posted on our website. This ultimately helps legitimate schools by protecting their reputations and underscoring the standard of excellence they uphold.

In order to help draw attention to the disgrace of human trafficking and its effect on our profession, we have created this brochure: Human Trafficking – What You Need to Know, which is being distributed to massage schools and other stakeholders nationwide. The brochure was produced in partnership with Polaris Project, a nonprofit organization that operates the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. You can order copies of the brochure online at We hope you will share them with your faculty, students and peers.

Together, let’s all work to raise awareness and help eliminate human trafficking in the massage therapy profession. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our School Outreach Department at or call us toll-free at 1-800-296-0664.

With kindest regards,

Paul R. Lindamood
Chief Executive Officer

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