I just joined this group a few days ago, and I'm enjoying reading peoples' posts. I don' t know if you do introductions, but I thought I'd do that.
I'm Scott Schumacher, and I've been a Massage Practitioner since about 2000, so 6 years now. I've gone to two schools, the Minneapolis School of Massage and Bodywork, and the Saint Croix Center for the Healing Arts. I'm a Reiki Master and a classically trained vocalist.
I currently practice in Minneapolis in a small and growing independent practice. I share an office with two other bodyworkers, and I work from home and go to client homes on occasion.
In Minnesota, since 2001, we've had a Freedom of Access law for complimentary and alternative healthcare providers, and Massage Therapy falls underneath that law. Basically, while there are no standard educational requirements, you are required by law to disclose your education and training, follow a code of ethics, and give your clients a Client Bill of Rights conscent form. This tells them where they can file a complaint with the state should they face harrassment, have a bad experience, etc. The code of ethics prohibits practitioners from doing things they have no training in as well. Massage folks have the freedom to practice, clients have the freedom to see who they want to see, there's a code of ethics practitioners have to follow, the public gets adequate disclosure, as well as public protection with a place to report bad practices.
I'm sure I'll start the debate with this posting about how folks feel about licensure, state control of our industry, the NCBTMB handing down arbitrary educational requirements, and having a monopoly on certifying massage therapists nationally, etc.
I'll just say that I have some very strong opinions about that, and when I hear the pain that folks go through studying for an exam that their career is dependent on, I repeat to myself continually, "I'm happy I live in Minnesota." I like the law, and I think it's very fair to everyone involved (except maybe to massage schools or NCBTMB's pocketbooks - heh.) in my opinion. I have about 480 hours of training, and have been imbittered with the NCBTMB folks about how they handle hours for Anatomy. Apparently, my 3 credit course from a university is not good enough for them for a portfolio review. None of the schools around me have reasonably priced anatomy courses, and I'm not paying for another 120 hour class, let alone will many allow someone to "just take anatomy". Plus, I can learn all of the information on my own to ace any exam of arbitrary facts about the human body. Grrrr... sorry..hot button, and I'm glad I live in Minnesota. That's my rant..heh.
My approach is most like Esalen Massage (we were trained in Eselen Massage back in 1997 until the Eselen Institute trademarked the name and techniques I'm told). I treat the whole person. Body, Mind, Spirit, Emotions, Energy field, etc. I integrate Acupressure and Reiki into a session, with the long and integrative strokes that connect the body that are very characteristic of Eselen Massage.
It makes it tough for me to find another massage therapist with the technique I like, and sometimes it makes me unpopular with my peers who do massage, as we debate "Massage: is it a SCIENCE - or is it an ART?" I'm in the ART camp.
I guess that's a lot for my first post. I'd love to hear how others feel about these issues, and if there are folks from other states who operate under Freedom of Access Laws.
Thanks for listening!