Weigh in- Should Asian Bodywork really fall under MT Regs?

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Weigh in- Should Asian Bodywork really fall under MT Regs?

Postby tribute on Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:15 pm

I am thinking of the clothed varieties like Shiastu and Thai Massage (those are the ones I am most familiar with). Feel free to tell about others.

So what do you think?
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Postby JasonE on Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:44 pm

Are the practitioners working as massage therapists?

If so, yes.
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Postby softy515 on Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:08 am

If they have the training (not some weekend course) and ONLY do ABT, then no it shouldn't fall under massage license.
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Postby NC_kneader on Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:57 am

yes, because it's manipulation of soft tissues, it's taught in massage programs and it's accepted as CEU's for re-certification and renewing a license.

I would rather it be regulated by the massage board than have to get seperate licensure for it.
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Postby moogie on Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:13 am

It would depend on that State's definition of what massage is.

For instance in Florida massage is the "manipulation of the superficial tissues of the body with the hand, foot........" so under that definition then most Eastern bodywork modalities would be considered massage.

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Postby BJB-LMP on Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:46 am

There is a whole separate organization (AOBTA) that sets standards for Asian bodywork, which are comparable to massage-therapy training standards in scope and time spent. I think that people who meet those standards separately, and only practice the covered modalities, should not have to meet what are basically the standards of another organization (the AMTA) in order to practice their trade.

Particularly when the AMTA is setting up new legislation regulating massage therapy, AOBTA members need to be right on top of the situation to get their exemption written into the legislation. Partly this is because legislators presented with a draft law may not know there is a difference btw Western and Asian forms (nor that there are separate governing bodies); partly because the MTs drafting the proposal may not even be aware of the AOBTA themselves; and partly because some laws on the books are just arrogant in their scope and include practitioners whose training and scope of practice would never require massage school, unless those practitioners work very hard to assure their exemption from massage law. (Animal MTs, energy workers, reflexologists, and/or Rolfers, for example.)

Moogie's example of Florida is a cautionary tale (I'm thinking of the reiki-only practitioners who have been unable to get an exemption). The definition of "massage therapy" can be broad in MT regulatory law, so any bodywork form that includes some aspects of the legal definition yet wants to set itself apart from massage, needs to ensure its exemption within the language of the law itself.
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Postby moogie on Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:39 am

BJB-LMP wrote:Moogie's example of Florida is a cautionary tale (I'm thinking of the reiki-only practitioners who have been unable to get an exemption).


Just for clarification, reiki-only practiioners are not required to have a massage license in Florida. Since by western standards energy-only work doesn't physically manipulate the body.

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Postby BJB-LMP on Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:00 am

moogie wrote:
BJB-LMP wrote:Moogie's example of Florida is a cautionary tale (I'm thinking of the reiki-only practitioners who have been unable to get an exemption).


Just for clarification, reiki-only practiioners are not required to have a massage license in Florida. Since by western standards energy-only work doesn't physically manipulate the body.

Angie
I must have gotten terrible information. I could have sworn that I read in Massage Today that the reiki folks had applied (repeatedly) to the Florida Massage Board to be exempted from massage regulation, and been repeatedly denied...but you would know much more about this than I!
/derail
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Postby tribute on Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:09 am

NC_kneader wrote:yes, because it's manipulation of soft tissues, it's taught in massage programs and it's accepted as CEU's for re-certification and renewing a license.

I would rather it be regulated by the massage board than have to get seperate licensure for it.


I think it is this thinking that has many MTs and MT associations putting Asian Bodywork into MT licensing regulation.

People studying yoga or martial arts or Asian medicine would have a natural tendency to want to include Asian Bodywork methods to compliment their areas of study and service. To require them to complete Swedish and other western forms of massage training in order to continue their Eastern seems.....not fair to them.

From the AOBTA:

AOBTA wrote:Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) is the treatment of the human body/mind/spirit, including the electromagnetic or energetic field which surrounds, infuses and brings that body to life, by using pressure and/or manipulation. Asian Bodywork is based upon Chinese Medical principles for assessing and evaluating the body's energetic system. It uses traditional Asian techniques and treatment strategies to primarily affect and balance the energetic system for the purpose of treating the human body, emotions, mind, energy field and spirit for the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health.


This doesn't indicate to me that Asian Bodyworks are really about manipulation of soft tissues.
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Postby joshuatenpenny on Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:15 am

I do not think Asian Bodywork should be regulated under Massage Licensing, because the training is substantially different. If states want to restrict the practice of Asian Bodywork to trained and licensed individuals, they should look to the AOBTA for advice on appropriate educational standards, not the NCBTMB or AMTA.

If they want to keep the educational guidelines very general, I don't have a problem with including some forms of Asian Bodywork in Massage Licensing. The educational requirements in Massachusetts that will come into effect in 2010 require 650 hours of training, including "100 hours in the Anatomy and Physiology of the Body; 45 hours in Pathology; 45 hours in Kinesiology; 300 hours in supervised in classroom Massage Theory and Technique; and 60 hours in Ethics, Professionalism and Business Practices." This sounds reasonable to me, but I don't want students of Asian Bodywork to be required to do 100 hours of Western A&P, 45 hours of Western Pathology, etc. A student in a Shiatsu program is going to be learning acupoint location in Anatomy, not the origin, attachment, and innervation of muscles. In pathology, they are going to be learning to differentiate Wind-Cold invading the Lungs from Deficient Lung Qi, not to differentiate tendonitis from bursitis.

Massachusetts has a very good non-exclusive exemption clause for "non-massage" bodyworkers. So long as they don't call what they do "massage", they are fine. (So it is "Thai Bodywork" or "Nuat Boran", not "Thai Massage", unless you are also a licensed MT.)

Massachusetts Exemptions:
Local boards of health may regulate fields not licensed as Massage Therapy.

The rules and regulations regarding Massage Therapy do not prevent or restrict the practice of a person who uses touch, words, or directed movement to deepen awareness of patterns of movement in the body, or the affectation of the human energy system or acupoints or Qi meridians of the human body. Such practices shall include, but not be limited to:

* Feldenkrais Method
* Reflexology
* Trager Approach
* Ayurvedic Therapies
* Rolf Structural Integration
* Polarity; Polarity Therapy, or Polarity Therapy Bodywork
* Asian Bodywork Therapy that does not constitute massage
* Acupressure
* Jin Shin Do
* Qi Gong
* Tui Na
* Shiatsu
* Body-Mind Centering
* Reiki.

These exempt practitioners may use the terms "bodywork", "bodyworker" and "bodywork therapist" in their promotional literature. They may not claim to practice massage or massage therapy. Individuals desiring to practice these professions should contact their local community.


-- Joshua
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Postby Zoe on Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:56 pm

I believe only massage therapy should be regulated by massage licensing and their respective state boards.

Several states have incorporated modalities that aren't massage under their control but do not offer these modalities any representation on the board or in the wording of their legislation. Florida is one of the most obvious examples of how a massage board has extended their control over things that are not massage but all practitioners must complete massage training in order to practice.

GA has a rather large and well written exemptions clause that helped to prevent this from happening in GA. You can find it in the recent "Grandfather Clause" thread.
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Postby moogie on Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:33 pm

BJB-LMP wrote:I must have gotten terrible information. I could have sworn that I read in Massage Today that the reiki folks had applied (repeatedly) to the Florida Massage Board to be exempted from massage regulation, and been repeatedly denied...but you would know much more about this than I!
/derail


After reading your reply, I did some research and I now stand corrected.

When I learned massage law (back in 1991) we were taught that energy only work was not regulated. Sometime between then and now the Board of Massage reversed itself and decided to regulate energy work. I don't do Reiki so I wouldn't have been effected and didn't notice this change in the law.

I think it's wrong as Reiki is not massage as defined by Florida law.

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Postby joshuatenpenny on Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:07 pm

Zoe wrote:Several states have incorporated modalities that aren't massage under their control but do not offer these modalities any representation on the board or in the wording of their legislation.


I'll clarify my post by adding that while in theory I think it could be appropriate to include some forms of Asian Bodywork, I wouldn't support any initiative to implement that. I don't trust the licensing boards to do it fairly, for the reason Zoe has brought up.

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Postby tribute on Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:47 am

joshuatenpenny wrote:I'll clarify my post by adding that while in theory I think it could be appropriate to include some forms of Asian Bodywork


Which ones?

Also I'd love to hear all of your opinions and insights in this spin-off thread in the school section Should Massage Schools Teach Non-Massage Therapies?

Also, New York is another state which seems to suck in these non-massage forms...from their Q&A page:

What techniques fall within the practice of massage therapists?
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Postby softy515 on Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:53 am

To clarify, when I studied Shiatsu it DID include origins and insertion of muscles. The short anatomy class I took was more in depth then the ones I took in Massage school.

I am in PA and they are battling of course for massage licensing. However, there is an inclusion for Asian Bodywork, Reiki and some others. Since I currently do both massage and ABT, I will have to get licensed. When my clientele become all ABT (which is my goal) I will not hold a license.
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Postby joshuatenpenny on Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:26 am

tribute wrote:
joshuatenpenny wrote:I'll clarify my post by adding that while in theory I think it could be appropriate to include some forms of Asian Bodywork


Which ones?


While it would be unfortunate, I don't think it would be entirely inappropriate to include Tui Na, Anma, and Thai Massage under Massage licensing. These are substantially massage-like in my experience and as far as I know are seen as "massage" in their culture of origin. I'd classify them similarly to Lomi Lomi. (I would support exempting traditional Lomi Lomi practitioners from massage licensing, but that is unlikely to happen.)

Therapeutic Qi Gung, Reiki, Jin Shin Do acupressure and Chi Nei Tsang are not remotely massage-like. Shiatsu can go either way, depending on the style. Sometimes shiatsu involves a good amount of working the body, sometimes just pressure on energetic point combinations like Jin Shin Do.

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Postby BJB-LMP on Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:01 am

OK tribute, you keep running all these threads but what are your own opinions?
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Postby BJB-LMP on Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:03 am

For me a good rule of thumb is, if a practitioner is a certified member of the AOBTA OR has X hours' training in specific named modalities AND holds herself out only as practicing Asian Bodywork (or the named modalities), then they can be exempted from massage law. (AOBTA has a 500-hour training breakdown requirement for certified membership -- good enough for me.)
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Postby tribute on Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:49 pm

BJB-LMP wrote:OK tribute, you keep running all these threads but what are your own opinions?


I do not agree with Eastern Bodywork falling under MT regulation.
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Postby joshuatenpenny on Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:12 pm

tribute wrote:Also, New York is another state which seems to suck in these non-massage forms...from their Q&A page:
What techniques fall within the practice of massage therapists?

There are many techniques that fall within the practice of massage therapy. These include, but are not limited to techniques and modalities used in practices described as, "Swedish massage," "medical massage," "Thai massage," "shiatsu," "connective tissue massage," "amma," "neuromuscular massage," "tui na," "reflexology," "acupressure," "polarity therapy," "craniosacral massage," "manual lymphatic drainage," and other types of bodywork or massage provided that they are within the scope of practice of massage therapy as defined in Section 7805 of the Education Law. Such techniques may be listed on letterhead and business cards, but the term "licensed" should not precede them, e.g., "licensed shiatsu practitioner." In advertising, a massage therapist may say "licensed massage therapist" and then list areas or techniques of practice.


I don't know how this actually works in NY, but I wouldn't think this is saying that one needs a massage license to do these techniques. It is saying that if one has a massage license, these activities are all considered within your scope of practice. So for instance it is legally okay for LMTs to do manual lymphatic drainage. Compare that to Question 28 which specifies that ultrasound and electric stimulation are not within an LMT's scope of practice.

It gives exemptions in Q37, but doesn't indicate if this is an exclusive list.

37. Do persons who practice Reiki, the Alexander Technique, or the Feldenkrais Method require a license as a massage therapist?

No. But if persons practicing these techniques claim that they are diagnosing or treating any human pain, disease, disorder or physical condition, they must be licensed in a profession that is authorized to diagnose or to provide treatment.


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Postby tribute on Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:22 pm

Thank you for pointing that out Joshua! I think I was reading it with my dooms-day glasses pressed firmly against my nose!
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Re: Weigh in- Should Asian Bodywork really fall under MT Regs?

Postby JLWmassage on Fri May 29, 2009 11:13 am

I think it is going to need to be regulated. And I say this bc they have been a lot of new Asian Spa's that have been opening here in MA. and RI that have no one to be regulated them bc they fall under the gray area of "BodyWorker"
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Re: Weigh in- Should Asian Bodywork really fall under MT Regs?

Postby joshuatenpenny on Sun May 31, 2009 2:15 am

Something I heard talk of recently that I sincerely hope does not happen is using the NCCAOM Asian Bodywork test as the requirement for practicing Asian Bodywork. Someone mentioned that New Hampshire looks like it might be going that way. Blegh. Thankfully, my massage license is almost sure to cover all of what I do, but I really don't approve of this.

First off, the test is $700. (NCCAOM exam handbook, pg 20) Absolutely ridiculous. For massage therapists, the NCBTMB is $225.

Secondly, it claims to be for all practitioners of Asian bodywork, but the NCCAOM is primarily an acupuncture group and the exam is focused specifically on TCM-style assessment and treatment methods. If you don't practice TCM-style acupressure, the bulk of the test is irrelevant. I *did* study TCM-style acupressure, and I was warned by my school that is I wanted to take the NCCAOM exam, I would have to also study a fair amount of Zen Shiatsu and a great deal of Five Elements treatment principles. For someone who practices Tui-Na, Amma, Thai bodywork, Jin Shin Do acupressure, or anything besides TCM-style acupressure, the NCCAOM test is almost as inappropriate as the NCBTMB.

-- Joshua
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Re: Weigh in- Should Asian Bodywork really fall under MT Regs?

Postby Dragonflies on Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:34 am

joshuatenpenny wrote:Something I heard talk of recently that I sincerely hope does not happen is using the NCCAOM Asian Bodywork test as the requirement for practicing Asian Bodywork. Someone mentioned that New Hampshire looks like it might be going that way. Blegh. Thankfully, my massage license is almost sure to cover all of what I do, but I really don't approve of this.

First off, the test is $700. (NCCAOM exam handbook, pg 20) Absolutely ridiculous. For massage therapists, the NCBTMB is $225.

Secondly, it claims to be for all practitioners of Asian bodywork, but the NCCAOM is primarily an acupuncture group and the exam is focused specifically on TCM-style assessment and treatment methods. If you don't practice TCM-style acupressure, the bulk of the test is irrelevant. I *did* study TCM-style acupressure, and I was warned by my school that is I wanted to take the NCCAOM exam, I would have to also study a fair amount of Zen Shiatsu and a great deal of Five Elements treatment principles. For someone who practices Tui-Na, Amma, Thai bodywork, Jin Shin Do acupressure, or anything besides TCM-style acupressure, the NCCAOM test is almost as inappropriate as the NCBTMB.

-- Joshua

VII. “Practitioner” means a person who practices touch therapies for compensation. These practitioners include:

(a) Reflexologists who hold current certification from the American Reflexology Certification Board; or

(b) Structural integrators who hold current certification from the International Association of Structural Integrators or the Rolf Institute; or

(c) Asian bodywork therapists who hold current certification as a diplomate in Asian bodywork therapy from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM); or

(d) Any of the above practitioners who hold current certification from an entity approved by the commissioner.

You can read the language of the NH bill here: http://www.nhliberty.org/bills/view?bill=HB84&year=2009

It did pass so yes, if you aren't an MT and want to practice Asian bodywork modalities in NH you'll have to get the NCCAOM exam. That "d" section leaves a little gray area...
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Re: Weigh in- Should Asian Bodywork really fall under MT Regs?

Postby JLWmassage on Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:29 am

Well this is very interesting. Once the state of MA. gets their act together with the Board of Massage Therapy, they will probaly do the same.
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