An Interview with Steve Kirin, New CEO of NCBTMB

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Steve Kirin, the new CEO of the NCBTMB. This is the interview I did with him. 

1. You were just appointed CEO in May, but you’ve been on board for a year and a half. What do you see as the major challenges facing the NCBTMB at this time?

·        I believe there are several key challenges.

o   I feel the primary challenge that we continue to face at NCBTMB is defining and communicating the importance of certification.  I have had the pleasure of speaking with hundreds of dedicated therapists during the past year and a half, and believe the profession deserves and needs a credential that symbolizes a commitment to the highest standard of education and practice within the profession of massage therapy.

o   We have rolled out an entirely new suite of products and services over the past 18 months; ensuring that our constituents understand those products and find them valuable in advancing their own professional credentials is essential as well.

o   NCBTMB means different things—good and bad—to different people.  I am committed to defining NCBTMB in a singular way—as the organization committed to providing a pathway for those who value excellence.  Our new programs—which were rolled out and not just promised—are designed to do just that.

·        We are fortunate to not have significant directional challenges as are sometimes evident in CEO transitions.  Fortunately, Mike and I worked closely together in crafting our direction and our programs.  Our customers and those with whom we do business should expect a consistent direction from NCBTMB.

2. What kind of progress have you seen since coming into the organization?

·        “Listening to the Profession” is without question the one progressive change in philosophy that I am most proud of since joining NCBTMB.  Through the development of our social media platform, Quarterly CEO Webinar (coming soon) just to mention a few of the new initiatives, we will continue to demonstrate our desire to listen to the profession.

·        There was a great deal of market confusion between licensing and certification.  By separating our certification product, we have put real value behind the certification credential.  Further, we have had the opportunity to totally recraft every point of interaction between the profession and NCBTMB.  Now our programs not only raise the standard across the profession but give our certificants a means to differentiate themselves to their customers.  I am thrilled with this change in programs and look forward to rolling out further enhancements over the next year.

3. What do you have to say about the mass protest that happened over the revised CE/AP rules?

·        I personally would never refer to it as a mass protest.  I call it feedback. When you make a commitment to listen to the profession and ask for honest feedback, you need to embrace the feedback you receive.  AP/CE was a great example of how we listened and adjusted the program based on the feedback.

4. I notice that the AP/CE page has not had an update since February. Has any progress been made towards another revision of that program?

·        The board approved the final draft of the program at our June Board meeting and we will begin to rollout the program shortly.  The applications are being finalized and as soon as that process is complete we will add all of the information to the website. Before we launch the new program, November 1, 2013, NCB will send eBlast to all of the CE Providers across the country explaining the changes and guidelines of the new process.

5. I’d like to state that the NCB’s policy of approving classes as long as they can show “lineage” is a huge cause of distress to science-based and evidence-informed practitioners. When the classes that are being approved directly contradict the laws of physics and are based on claims that are totally false, why are those classes still being approved?   

·        We are not approving classes as long as they can show lineage but rather we are asking for a historical perspective as to the origin of the modality.  Courses that can be found within the lineage of massage refer to information that has been passed forward through history.  We are here to do a detailed review but we have no right to say that something is or is not “real” in the holistic profession. Regulations and information gathering in this profession is in its infancy and as anyone who has done research about different modalities within the holistic profession has found, there is much room for research in the future. This is where getting public feedback will play an integral part as to whether a class is successful and useful to a practitioner and their clients.

·         Philosophy and Medicine are very similar in that there are theories and practices that work and it is not known why but they are still part of the practice of medicine.  Trying to get all of massage CE around evidence based studies would do no justice to the profession.

6.  How is the new Board Certification going? How many people have earned it so far? How many have actually had to take the exam and how many have been “grandfathered”?

·        I am very pleased with the progress of our board certification. Since the initial rollout of the new credential, our current Nationally Certified Therapists have been affected the most.  I am proud to say that, through the relentless effort of our Customer Service team, every conversion to Board Certification was successfully handled on a case by case basis.  The overall success of the program cannot be measured over months but rather over the next few years.  A major part of the success will come from the continued effort to communicate the importance of certification.

7. What would you say to convince massage therapists that they should seek the new Certification?

·        NCBTMB is committed to developing a platform and a series of programs for those who strive to differentiate themselves in this profession.  From our school programs to our continuing education and exam programs and our ethics and standards reviews, NCBTMB is committed to excellence at every point of interaction with the profession. The profession needs a higher credential comparable to other professions and industries.  The foundation of any certification comes from self-pride.  Wanting to be the best.   And we intend to roll out further enhancements to our offerings that will further allow our certificants the opportunity to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.  I look forward to our certificants realizing the value of their credential that our direction will allow.

8. Why did the NCBTMB drop the Ethics requirement from renewals?

·        There were several factors involved in the decision to drop the Ethics requirement.

o   First there was the reduction from a 4 year recertification (48 CE Hours) to a 2 year recertification (24 CE Hours).   If 3 of the 24 hours are required for ethics and an additional 3 were now required for research, it would only allow 18 hours for professional development.

o   Additionally, since the States currently uphold an ethics requirement, we did not want to duplicate efforts.  Based on these reason and others, it was decided to drop the Ethics requirement.

·        Based on feedback from the profession,  I am happy to say that our Board has decided to add two topics to the agenda for discussion and eventual vote at the Board meeting this Monday, July 22nd:

o   Reinstatement of the Ethics requirements (Note from Laura: it was reported by Sue Toscano, NCBTMB President, at the AFMTE meeting that it has been reinstanted.)

o   The elimination of the recertification restriction on courses that contain less than 2 CE hours

9. Have you studied the past history of the NCB and familiarized yourself with some of the previous mistakes that have happened there—in the interest of not repeating any of them?

·        It is always easy to judge people’s success from the outside; each of our CEOs has had unique challenges to address during their tenure.  I will say that I am committed to continuing to develop programs that raise the standards of the profession and give interested therapists, instructors and schools ways to differentiate themselves from those not seeking higher credentials.

10. What do you want to say to people who have experienced long wait times for a response, conflicting information from staff members, lack of returning phone calls etc? Is it a priority of yours to improve the customer service at the NCB?

·        This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.  My background has always placed a high importance on Customer Service.  In regards to the challenges that surrounded the announcement of all the changes to NCB, no one was happy with the long wait times and confusing information that followed.  We reacted quickly to the high volumes and instructed the staff that every single caller must receive the highest level of customer service possible.  I was very proud of our customer service team.  The volumes have since subsided and Customer Service will continue to be a top priority for me moving forward.

11. Are you personally a consumer of massage?

·        I am very proud to say that “Yes” I am a consumer of massage.  Throughout my life, I have grown to appreciate the medicinal benefits of massage through my many years of participation in high level competitive sports.

Anything else you’d like to say?

·        I am thrilled to be in this position and to have the opportunity to continue the path of excellence that we have blazed over the past eighteen months.  I had significant involvement in developing our current direction and intend to continue on that path as we move forward.

·        At NCBTMB we are striving to improve our credential and provide a more meaningful career path for all therapists.  It is important to us to make it known to the public that there is a higher credential and what it stands for within the massage therapy profession.  I know that, currently, therapists do not always feel the credential is necessary, after all it is voluntary.   I look at it in a completely different way.  The Board Certification credential is truly how you can set yourself apart from others who choose not to hold the certification.  As I mentioned earlier, the foundation of any certification is built on self-pride.  Challenging yourself to achieve the highest credential available within your profession, gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you hold yourself up to the highest standards possible.   I look forward to continuing to grow NCB, WITH the profession and I look forward to our new offerings that will further allow our certificants to differentiate themselves.

21 thoughts on “An Interview with Steve Kirin, New CEO of NCBTMB

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  3. Ravensara Travillian

    Thank you very much, Laura, for raising this topic directly with the CEO. It’s crucial to how we go forward–or how we don’t–as a healthcare profession.

    “We are not approving classes as long as they can show lineage but rather we are asking for a historical perspective as to the origin of the modality.”

    Their position, as of 17 November 2012, was this, from their FAQ:

    “Q: Will NCBTMB continue to accept alternative courses like energy work, aromatherapy, animal massage, etc?

    A: Yes. Massage therapy is part of the holistic profession as are several other modalities and techniques. NCB will continue to accept modalities and techniques that can be legally practiced by a massage therapist without another healthcare provider, (i.e., DC, MD, PT) present. As long as the technique or modality can be shown to be embedded in the lineage of massage, it will be accepted. This means that if the core information of the technique or modality can be referenced as a derivative of another technique or modality that is within the massage therapy scope of practice it will be accepted.

    –NCBTMB Approved Providers FAQ accessed 17 November 2012”

    http://www.ncbtmb.org/continuing-education-providers/approved-providers-faq#alt_courses

    This page is no longer accessible unless you’re a member and logged in; I would be very interested to know whether that wording–“As long as the technique or modality can be shown to be embedded in the lineage of massage, it will be accepted.”–still stands, or whether they have changed it.

    “We are here to do a detailed review but we have no right to say that something is or is not “real” in the holistic profession.”

    What, then, is the purpose of the detailed review? Either they are evaluating the course content, or they are not.

    Their job, in my opinion, is to protect clients and students from misinformation being packaged and sold as CE.

    If they are ultimately unwilling to call out misinformation, and steer the profession toward validated, reliable, high-quality information, then I really don’t see the point in the entire exercise.

    The way this is done in established professions is that curriculum content is reviewed regularly to make sure that it is factual and up-to-date. Failing to teach correct and up-to-date information results in loss of accreditation–a nursing or medical school that teaches creationism instead of evolutionary biology can gave its accreditation yanked for doing so.

    What, then, is the point of their evaluation of course content, if not to look out for, and protect clients and students from, factually wrong misinformation?

    “Regulations and information gathering in this profession is in its infancy and as anyone who has done research about different modalities within the holistic profession has found, there is much room for research in the future.”

    Research is very important, but if we are not willing to accept the results of that research, then I don’t see the point of investing a great deal of time, money, and other resources in it.

    If we’ve already made up our minds that we believe that we can reliably manipulate human energy fields, that the citric acid in lemon juice makes our blood more alkaline, that CST moves cranial bones and cerebrospinal fluid, that body cells carry emotional memory, that women have more ribs than men do, that there are “bars” in our head that control our health by resonating harmonically, and any number of other counterfactual claims–all of which are in classes that the NCBTMB currently certifies–then we don’t have to bother with actually doing the research, and risking that the evidence doesn’t actually show that.

    We can skip right ahead to our pre-determined conclusion, and save a lot of time and effort that way.

    “Philosophy and Medicine are very similar in that there are theories and practices that work and it is not known why but they are still part of the practice of medicine. Trying to get all of massage CE around evidence based studies would do no justice to the profession.”

    No one is arguing that all of massage CE should center around evidence-based studies. But he is mistaken that we don’t know why things work. We certainly don’t it perfectly, in every detail, but we do know a lot.

    And while there are many non-realist philosophies, the practice of medicine has to be based in realism. Otherwise, without the need to connect the claims to actual material physical natural reality, anyone can claim anything–coherent or not, consistent with the evidence or not–and it’s back to caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”).

    That’s a perfectly good basis for a market in high-end consumer electronics–for a healthcare profession, on the other hand, not so much.

    We are saying that, by not insisting at a minimum, that the claims taught in CE courses *as* *facts* should not directly contradict centuries of evidence about how the material physical world actually operates.

    And I’m really not in the least bit interested in hearing personal attacks on me. I get that we’re at a difficult and painful time in history, and that there is a lot of distress as a result. But it is not my fault, and attacking the messenger ultimately changes nothing.

    If anyone wants to engage with my arguments and information, on the other hand, I am very happy to engage with you about that.

  4. Bernadette Murray

    Right on Ravensara! I agree : if an organization is *approving* continuing education courses but then wants to say “we have no right to say that something is real or not real in the holistic health field”– stop right there.
    This looks like an oxymoron to me.

    And undermines the claim of Steven Kirin that Nationally Certified =higher standard of professionalism in the field of massage therapy.

  5. Mark Kuhn

    Between this interview and the “press conference video,” it seems quite clear that this is an attempt to replace the income stream lost as more and more MTs drop their “national certification” that won’t get them a license across state lines.

    What does your certification offer MTs? The video answer was “bragging rights” and (Heavy stress on a real world _maybe_ here) higher pay.

    The apparently broad certification you start with is nonsense. Someone may have 250 hours of massages but what kind of massages? They may have 200 of those hours doing Swedish. Or they may have specialized in Shiatsu and have 219 hours of that. In either case, a broad certification as an MT doesn’t tell anyone anything except that they sent you a large check.

    If you want your certifications to have actual value, you’re going to have to start over. Offer real certifications individually for each modality. Not only will that give a chance to really see what someone knows about a subject but it will increase you opportunity to line corporate pockets as the number of potential tests expand dramatically.

    Energy work, aromatherapy? Will you also offer NLP certification? How about sticking to the subject – “manipulation of tissues (as by rubbing, kneading, or tapping) with the hand or an instrument for therapeutic purposes” Merriam Webster

  6. Sara Garvin, LMT

    I abandoned my national certification years ago when it became clear to me that ALL it gave me was bragging rights, and not to anyone who mattered. My clients don’t know about the NCB, and frankly, they don’t care.

    Then I moved states and had to submit sixty pages of documentation in order to obtain a new license, and almost didn’t get approved for one due to a technicality. It was an ordeal that “National Certification” would NOT have affected, and at that point my indifference to the NCB turned to outright anger. If they can’t provide the most basic of benefits implied by being “national” – portability – then as far as I’m concerned, I am throwing my money away. Let them do the business of CEU accreditation (not that I am convinced they’re going to handle that correctly) and stop fleecing people who’s every dollar comes from wear and tear on their bodies.

    Needless to say, this interview does nothing to restore my confidence.

  7. Laura Allen

    Sara,
    Just a clarification…the NCBTMB is not a regulatory body. They are a certification board. We can’t blame a lack of portability on them, because they are lacking any legal authority to guarantee portability. That is the domain of the state massage boards. The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards is working on a Model Practice Act in the interest of helping portability, but the issue is the hodge-podge of legislation in the individual states. In order for true, across-the-board portability to occur, even if the MPA meets with the approval of every state, in many places, that may require changes in the statutes. I hope it eventually happens, but frankly I’ll be surprised if it happens in the next decade or so.

  8. Sara Garvin, LMT

    Laura, thank you for the clarification. That is an important point. I am glad to hear someone is working on portability, even if it’s a long way off.

    If the NCB wants me to even consider certification again, they’ll have to come up with selling points more substantial than “pride.” (or “peer pressure.”) When it comes to career advancement, I would rather spend my money on CEUs and books.

  9. Gayla Coughlin

    Ravensara, glad you said it before I did. Wholeheartedly agree with your statements.
    “we have no right to say that something is or is not “real” in the holistic profession”
    You are right that you cannot say what’s real or not real in the ~holistic~ profession, but you DO have a right to create standards within the Massage Profession; require those courses that lack at least enough evidence to support the content eliminate or alter/update to reflect current research findings; or at bare minimum to include the doubts.
    No one should ever complain about being strict on the truth. It’s okay to say “we are not sure” just don’t close your eyes and say “well, since we accepted it in the past we are going to keep them.”
    And here is why:

    MTs who take these CE courses will repeat this information to their clients en mass. More public opinion is formed via the MT disseminating what they learned during sessions than any efforts of the NCBTMB could ever hope to reach. One Hundred MTs who are taught massage releases toxins equals 1,000,000 public perceptions reached within months that are wrong. How does it reflect on your agency when the public discovers your “certified” therapists were just plain full of it? How’s that reputation looking then? Shouldn’t you be concerned about this, too?

    “Philosophy and Medicine are very similar in that there are theories and practices that work and it is not known why but they are still part of the practice of medicine” What?!?!

    Is this an attempt to say “well they allow it, so we should, too”? Honestly, unless you have already served as CEO for these organizations or done extensive research into their processes, correct me if you have, you couldn’t possibly know the processes they use to decide education and credentialing,and they might just argue that statement.

    None of these examples makes sense and seems a fairly politician-like way to avoid and misdirect our attention.

    If a credentialing agency won’t take responsibility for ensuring public safety through accurate and up to date information then why on earth would anyone consider them reliable or respectable?

  10. Jon Tallerico

    I am currently Nationally Certified, and will remain so until 2016, at which point I’m not sure what I’ll do. I work independently, as an owner and massage therapist of my own clinic. It is an expense that I justified previously as lending credibility to a guy in a field where men are eyed suspiciously, especially in private practice. That said, as far as I can tell, not one client of mine cares.

    So what is the selling point for someone in my current situation?

    There is no portability of license, there is no standard for CEU education, there is no customer base looking for NC therapists. Then there are employers who don’t care, and why would they? NCBTM is not a standard above and beyond what the state demands.

    Please, first and foremost, consider cleaning up your CEU approvals beyond a toothless “review” and make being Board Certified mean something specific: namely, a therapist who is dedicated to understanding massage therapy and its real world effects, indications, contraindications, and applications.

    Put some programs together that bundle quality distance education programs with testing and vetting to make sure that we really can take pride in going the extra mile for national board certification.

    You have until 2016 to impress me and everyone like me. Good luck.

  11. Dianna Linden

    Dianna Linden There are psoas courses currently approved by NCBTMB ( I can never keep those letters straight, too many of em) for 5-30 CE hours based on this belief:

    “Psoas is the primal messenger of the central nervous system. Your Psoas is much more than simply a muscle, it can be perceived as the guardian or spokesperson of Dan Tien, Hara, or what is commonly referred to as your gut intuition. In some spiritual philosophies, the Psoas is referred to as the muscle of the soul.”

    One workshop is called Stalking the Wild Psoas. Not much history supporting the premises regarding the psoas that these women teach, yet they fly in the face of good anatomy and physiology. No one should be approved for teaching such silliness as real fact.

    “Our bio-intelligent, primordial Psoas in today’s society is domesticated, locked down and like a plant in a container… pot bound. Just as a tree, grown in a restricted container never reaches its full potential, so too a domesticated Psoas never fully expresses itself when bound within social limits, decorum, and repetitive movement.”

    Liz has and does state in books, blogs, interviews and posts that the psoas is “An essential aspect of the fight-flight-freeze response, also known as the fear response, the psoas expresses our innate sense of safety.” http://www.coreawareness.com:

    is bio-intelligent, (whatever that means. When questioned she offers no specific answer.)

    is like a pendulum (again no answer for exactly what that means to her and how, exactly it behaves like a pendulum, she must mean the pendulum’s rod, but even that ain’t a good metaphor for its actual action)

    “it grows out of the midline as thus is intelligent tissue. An organ of perception like the tongue.” Ahem, tongue is actually 8 muscles with differing functions.

    it’s a survival muscle that contracts like a catepillar when touched

    it’s not a hip flexor

    as a source of whole body orgasm it has a healing role in the body that no other muscle has.

    There’s more, but I think the wacky of these ideas is obvious enough to anyone with an ounce of A&P in their educational history, yet she’s certifying therapists in this work and approved by this ‘certification board’ to do so.

    At the risk of adding one more voice to what is quickly resembling a dog pile, sorry, Steve, I’m sure you’re a nice guy with good profit making intentions, but
    you really deserve to have an uphill battle arguing for the actual value in such certification when that is the case. How many hundreds of dollars per year should hardworking therapists be asked to pay to enhance their sense of false pride and nothing more.

    IMO this board, without actual licensing power, and without actual oversight of the quality of the courses it accepts as valid CEU worthy deserves to die a quick and pain free death and not prolong the agony of its less than fully functioning existence.

  12. Ravensara Travillian

    I have additional questions about the review process.

    You state that:

    “the profession deserves and needs a credential that symbolizes a commitment to the highest standard of education and practice within the profession of massage therapy”,

    and also, that:

    “Our new programs—which were rolled out and not just promised—are designed to do just that [providing a pathway for those who value excellence].”.

    However, you also state that:

    “We are here to do a detailed review but we have no right to say that something is or is not “real” in the holistic profession.”.

    If the purpose of the detailed review is not, after all, to determine whether the information in the course under review is correct, factual, and up-to-date, then what, exactly is the purpose of the detailed review, and what criteria are you reviewing for?

    What steps are you taking to protect clients and students from misinformation (whether or not it is deliberate) being packaged and sold as healthcare professional education?

    What steps will you take when a proposed course demonstrably contradicts the established body of knowledge in natural science, to the degree that an accredited college or university would jeopardize its accreditation by teaching that course as factual education?

    Current examples accredited by the NCBTMB include

    1) “Stalking the Wild Psoas”, mentioned previously, whose claims demonstrably contradict mainstream anatomical science;

    2) “Science of the Human Body, a Biblical Perspective”, which teaches intelligent design, whose claims demonstrably contradict mainstream evolutionary biology and translational medicine; and

    3) “Quantum-Touch”, which teaches the existence and detectability of a human energy biofield, whose claims demonstrably contradict mainstream physics;

    among many other similar examples.

    How does setting ourselves in direct opposition to the body of scientific evidence shared by the entire biomedical healthcare team commit us to excellence and to the highest standard of education and practice?

    And if the reviewers are unwilling or unable to flag proposed course content as factually incorrect, out-of-date, or as directly contradictory to mainstream science, then what exactly is the review process looking for in the review?

    If you do not feel that you have the right to say what is real and what is not, then is it possible for any proposed class at all to fail the review process? On what basis could a class fail the process?

    And is the review process intended to protect clients and students from misinformation? If not, then what is the intent? And if so, how can it do that job when it cannot identify misinformation?

    Thank you for taking the time to read and consider these questions; these are very important topics, especially at this stage of professional development.

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  14. Garry Hammontree

    Most of my adult life I have heard the phrase “follow the money”. IMO the NCBTMB is just another way for a group if people to make money. What is the VALUE of their certification other than self realized. It costs money to take the tests. Money to recertify. Money to be approved as a provider of ceu’s. How did this group obtain the power to make these determinations for the massage and bodywork profession. What value based product do they really provide.

  15. Personal Training Nedlands

    I agree to Steve Kirin on his statement “It is always easy to judge people’s success from the outside”. We always wanted to succeed but not all of us are on top. However, we are on the place that where we should be. Be thankful instead of comparing others to oneself. Steve Kirin is just being realistic.

  16. matthew pardini

    Diana Linden- I would be laughing hysterically if I weren’t crying out of agony.

    Regarding the MUCH NEEDED credentialing process for massage therapists, perhaps its time to start state by state organizations. Obviously NCBTMB isn’t interested in elevating professional standards by insisting on the validity of science as a method of gathering information.

    They are almost already irrelevant anyway. I think they’re only interesting element at this point is that so many people want them to be great despite the fact that its been let down after let down. Time to move on, people. Nothing here to look at but a bunch of old dinosaur bones…

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  18. AJ Hiney

    I am with you Mathew and many here – in fact I even decided to withhold becoming an Approved Provider due to NCB’s inability to get their act together. To me the issue is clear as glass: this CEO is left with the unenviable challenge of trying to put lip gloss on a pig. To rally anyone who will listen around the flimsy assertions that NCB has a shiny new certification program along with another “coming soon” AP program dujour. From all appearances, the piggy and its programs are all on shaky legs.

    The leadership put NCB perilously off course a few years ago in a number of reactionary, poorly-executed moves attempting to redo the same certification that therapists didn’t see benefit in to begin with. Apparently, this new national certification (oops, sorry, it’s called “board certified” now) is just as vapid but with the added feature of being more expensive and confusing. I can’t even figure out how many exams NCB has any more, TMB’s and ATM’s and national cert conversions to board cert which are apparently no different – and which one is for licensing or for certification or both or whatever. Omg – I tell my colleagues just take the MBLEX like everyone else and be done with it.

    But now we find that during this most recent exam shuffle, NCB also forgot to pay attention to some pesky little details like deplorable customer service, ethics (in or out), CONTINUING ED and APPROVED PROVIDERS, to name a few. In fact after several years they are still trying to figure out their own CE program! Any other company would be out of business by now. I just heard that November 1st we will once again be anointed by their next plan-dujour. It’s like a recurring bad dream. And now they are talking out of both sides of their mouth on how courses will be evaluated. Someone else needs to be in charge of this. Anyone.

    ON the topic of true advanced competency, sadly NCB disemboweled the ONLY visionary, exciting thing to come along in years a few years ago, a real advanced certification. A colleague worked on one of their committees and said it was aimed at demonstrating a clinical level of working knowledge, experience, and even possibly by specialty, mirroring the medical profession. You could specialize in oncology massage, cardiac, prenatal, etc. How wonderful! That truly could have garnered some attention in the clinical/healthcare world and REALLY distinguished a higher level of competency (aka the Promised Land for all us evidence-based fans). And it would boost earning power and insurance clout. But that is all gone with the wind.

    I just wish massage had a true champion of our potential in the upper levels of healthcare. For those of us who have eclipsed Massage Envy. Creating a worthwhile, high level awareness and a credential that once earned, would command everyone’s respect and attention, not just the company who makes money from the test. Is it so hard? I guess it was too hard for NCB. And subsequently too bad for us. And as for CE and the approval of providers, if NCB screws this one up again in November, someone else needs to take over. Each time they do this, they make our entire profession appear buffoonish. A group often reflects the nature of its leadership. What does this tell us about our following of NCB over the years?

  19. Janis Payton

    To work in the legitimate field of massage therapy and body work in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is mandatory to become State licensed and submit CEs yearly to maintain licensing. The Nevada State Board of Massage only accepts courses approved by the NCBTMB.

    Trying to find an approved provider is becoming challenging the more years one spends working as I have exhausted the courses offered from approved providers in this city. It’s getting to the point I have to travel to other States to find one. Many Internet courses are approved by the NCBTMB but I prefer hands-on so am limited to academic pathology or business related studies.

    Although I have to stay an NCBTMB member, I also choose to because classes taken that were not approved were not on par. For instance, the unapproved provider taught class at his home; his teachings were more focused on ancient fallacies and his dogs barked incessantly! Now that was a waste of time and money.

    The new bias in the MT community is the fallacy that spa MTs are less skilled and knowledgable than other “therapeutic” or ” medical” massage practitioners. There is no school for spa therapists. My education foundation, hours, CE required hours are basically the same as ALL MTs contingent on State requirements. These elitists are wanting a two-tiered system to differentiate themselves as more skilled. What’s next–a doctorate in massage therapy?

    What we need is portability, a wage standard, nationwide marketing to the public promoting our field & the benefits of massage, more competent APs. Omit or lessen test questions on energy work and focus on anatomy, physiology, neurology, pathology types of questions.

    And last but not least, Thank You, Laura Allen:-)

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