Saturday, September 26, 2009

MTBOK Stakeholder Input Session was a huge success!

You may know that on Thursday, September 24th we held an MTBOK Stakeholder Input Session open to the public in Orlando, FL. We filled a double room, and senior representatives from all of the MTBOK Steward organizations (AMTA, ABMP, AMTA COS, FSMTB, MTF, and NCBTMB) were present.

The idea of holding ad open to the public meeting at the AMTA convention site gave a lot of massage therapists the opportunity to participate just as we had hoped. I did see a number of name tags with the "Public" identifier on them and I talked to one attendee who had come a long way to attend - so I'm happy that we got outside attendance.. We also were told that more than 40 attendees had returned their registrations for CE classes to attend, so we know we had interest!

I wish I had exact attendance, but I don't. ... I do know we had more than 100 since all the chairs were occupied, and we had some standing, but I don't have an exact count. Its not bad that we could get a number nearly 10% of the total convention attendees! I think the work is very important, and I'm glad that we have so many people willing to tell us what they think.

All of our Task Force members (see "Who we are" at were present, and after a brief introduction, we broke into 4 large groups with 2 Task Force members recording and facilitating the stakeholder input at each group.

We came away from the session enthused and energized, and from my perspective moving around the room, I suspect that a lot of the attendees felt the same.  The positive energy and interest was palpable, and the interaction was great.

What we got out of the session far exceeded our expectations, and we couldn't be more delighted. We spent the next morning (and some of that night) organizing and going over the notes from the sessions. The Task Force facilitators presented each of the notes they took, we discussed each, and talked about how of the comments would impact the MTBOK itself.

In the end, we have a list of updates we are making, and several items that need to be further researched and/or discussed before we take final action.

We also shared a number of less specific thoughts from the meeting - how the participants seemed to feel about the job thus far, and what "themes" we saw as a result of the discussion. 

If any of you reading this were in attendance, Id love to hear what you thought.  Everybody keep in mind that although this was our only scheduled in-person input session, we have a simple and easy way to comment on the MTBOK itself via an online form.  Both the MTBOK itself, and access to the comment form are available at our website:

Im working now on organizing and tracking the comments and changes we receive.  Over the next week or so Im hoping to catch up on responding to comments we have already received.  Our intention is to respond to all comments... at least as long as the volume of input can be managed. So if you have provided input and haven't heard back in the next couple of weeks - let me know.


  1. Regarding naming "polarity" in your body of knowledge....

    Professional scope of practice is a serious issue, as are good boundaries and ethical treatment of other healing arts. As a family nurse practitioner, advanced holistic nurse, and registered polarity educator, I register my strong objection to you including "polarity" in your body of knowledge in massage therapist. A massage therapist may only make that claim to polarity as part of his/her body of knowledge authentically if they have APP or RPP designation granted by the American Polarity Therapy Association. Years ago, I wrote against a unified professional body work association forcefully including polarity therapists in the ranks of massage therapists making our right to touch and practice only valid with massage education and license. I will continue to object publicly to such inappropriate unilateral proposals.

    Such proposals suggest chauvinism, and imperialism--surprising from other body workers and unworthy of the fine discipline of massage therapy, and shows major confusion in goals and values in leadership. Massage therapy and Polarity Therapy are distinct disciplines, professions, approaches to health, career tracks, body of knowledge, education, and fundamental concerns. The contributions of our two healing arts are unique. Respect and maintain good professional boundaries. I have no doubt that some massage professionals are understanding the relevance of education and proficiency in energetics--but it is unethical and inappropriate to try to do this type of "takeover." Get relevant education on energetics in a legitimate way. Your inclusion of polarity in your body of knowledge will be resisted at every point.

    Clarity on massage therapy practice is essential for your profession and discipline. The suggestion to include polarity in massage body of knowledge speaks loudly of your lack of discipline clarity, willingness to be oblivious to your relationships with other established healing arts, lacking of concern for public welfare and safety, and stunted ethical development to consider such intrusion. You all should know better! Polarity therapists will not tolerate this, and the discipline of massage therapy deserves better.

    Most sincerely,
    Angela Whitney RN
    Family Nurse Practitioner--BC
    Advanced Holistic Nurse--BC
    Registered Polarity Educator

    Spirit Ventures
    17A Zillicoa Street
    Asheville, North Carolina 28801

  2. On behalf of the American Polarity Therapy Association Board of Directors and its members, I would like to communicate as President and Regulatory Director, that we are unanimously opposed to the inclusion of "polarity" within the massage BOK and scope of practice.

    Polarity Therapy is a unique, complete discipline of energy medicine. It in no way belongs included within a physical modality.

    Further, the massage BOK appears to be pulling the field of energy medicine within its pervue. This is not only over stepping others boundaries, it will put the public in harms way as the education required to practice the energy professions is not based in the education requirements for the actual practice, but rather the education requirements for yet another profession, massage.

    We are hereby requesting that all references to "energy" and "polarity" be eliminated from the massage BOK.

    LaRose S. Daniels, MS, RPP, RPE

  3. Our intention is to respond to all comments. Therapy is a unique, complete discipline of energy medicine.