It’s been over two weeks since my last blog post. I’m usually more prolific, but sometimes the rest of my life has to take precedence over my blog. I’ve been on the road a lot the last two weeks, and when I’ve been home, I’ve been trying to catch up…I don’t know that I can ever really catch up. I can be like that Energizer bunny for long periods of time, and then eventually, I’m going to crash. This has been one of those times.
I attended the meeting of the North Carolina Board of Massage & Bodywork Therapy yesterday. I’m a member of that Board, and it was a 10-hour meeting, somewhat emotional for me…and it dragged on until 8 pm last night. This morning at 9, I was back at the Board office bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for a License Standards Committee meeting. Thank goodness, that one only lasted three hours. I walked out into the sunshine, retrieved my car from the parking garage, and headed west on 1-40.
As is usually the case in the Triangle, traffic was crazy. People are either going 90 miles an hour–no joke–and even if you are, somebody will be on your rear-end acting like you should go faster in order to get out of their way–or it’s at a standstill due to some wreck or construction or both. After going about 20 miles, I decided to take the long way home. I hit the Lake Jordan exit and in just a couple of minutes I was on a country road, passing rolling farmland, fruit stands with pumpkins displayed, rolled hay in the fields ready to be put up. I rolled down the window and took a few deep breaths. I crossed the lake, not a boat in sight. When I made it to the Uwharrie National Forest, I pulled over for a few minutes and got out of the car. I wasn’t dressed for hiking, but it was tempting just to disappear into the woods.
This has been a busy month for me personally, and I’ve been remiss in not reporting some of the things that have gone on in the massage world. Here’s a short recap:
For the first time in history, AMTA decided to let candidates for the election have more access to the members than the short statements that have traditionally been the only thing they were allowed to have. Most of them have a Facebook page…one caveat is that they all have a disclaimer that the candidate has the right to remove statements from their wall if they are deemed inappropriate, and apparently a few of them think that means anything negative. I’ve heard some complaints from members who asked a question or made a comment and got deleted. There wasn’t any profanity, racial slurs, or anything else inappropriate, just a question or two that warranted an honest answer that the candidate wasn’t apparently ready to answer. Still, it’s a good thing that they’re interacting with people and having more of a chance to let the membership get to know them before the vote, which starts next month. I have a blog on my picks for the seats.
The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards held their annual meeting in San Juan, PR. I didn’t attend that meeting this year but apparently it was busy and productive. Kevin Snedden (MO), Kathy Jensen (IO), Susan Beam (NC), and Phyliss Salyers (TN) were all reelected to BOD seats. Scott Miller declined to serve another term, and his seat went to Billie Shea of NV. The good news of the meeting was that the start-up loan was paid off in full 27 months early.
I received a lot of emails this month from therapists in NY complaining about new CE requirements; most weren’t complaining about the prospect of learning something new, just the cost. I got a lot of “what can we do about this?” -type questions, and the short answer is, nothing. Action has to be taken before something becomes a law, not after the fact.
I have also heard from some folks in PA, where regulation is brand-new and in fact is still in process. It is expected that the initial rules will be finalized in December. Applications are already available on their website. Apparently the OT board, the PT board, and the insurance commission are objecting to the terminology “therapeutic massage” being used in the Practice Act. I hope that objection doesn’t go anywhere, and I urge PA therapists to contact your legislators and stand up for yourself. We all know that massage is therapeutic and I don’t believe in standing idly by while a turf war goes on. Why wouldn’t they want the word “therapeutic” used in conjunction with massage? Maybe the insurance commission is afraid they might have to pay for a massage if it’s deemed to be therapeutic, God forbid. Do not sit on your hands.
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork elections are open until Nov 1. I have a blog about my picks for the seats. This is a crucial time for the NCBTMB. Alex Zaledonis will be stepping into the Chair on January 1. The N-CAP, the new advanced certification exam, is in progress and will be the beginning of a new era for the NCB. It’s vitally important for certificants to vote.
We should never forget that in any people-driven organization, no matter which one it is, that one or two egomaniacs can manage to get themselves at the top and cause a lot of damage. Whether you are a certificant of the NCBTMB, a member of AMTA, a member of your state board, or any other membership organization, you have a right, and I would go so far as to say a responsibility, to take part in the election process. When detrimental legislation is on the horizon, and you don’t take any action, I think we’ve all seen what happens when complacency and disinterest set in.
I’m sure there’s a lot more going on that I just haven’t caught up with yet. In the past month, in addition to attending the AMTA national convention, meeting my family at the Outer Banks two days later for our annual reunion which this year included a monsoon the whole time, coming home from that and attending another family reunion the very next day, hosting my dear friends from Ireland, going to Atlanta to teach a class one day and Charlotte to teach the next, proofing the galleys for my new book, running my office, running my household, making time for dates with my husband, teaching at my own facility, trying to get next year’s CE schedule set, attending the board meeting and the committee meeting, and trying to squeeze time for playing a little music in between, sometimes it just catches up with me instead of me catching up with it. Sometimes, it’s just time to take the long way home.