The Michigan Massage Licensing Law is finally coming into reality, with a meeting set to discuss details that will be set into stone soon. I complained for three years while waiting with no information given while it sat in limbo, and I cheer it now as it is being birthed. The license requirements once a Massage Therapist has been approved is wonderful, however, there is a major flaw that I would like to see corrected before it’s too late.
The so called “Grandfather” allowances should, in my opinion, be stricter. Everyone who wishes to practice Massage Therapy in the state of MI should be required to pass a National Certification Exam. There is a reason for these exams, they qualify, via an unbiased bone fide third party, a candidate for professional standards and knowledge.
I witnessed way too much unethical practices as an instructor at a national chain school, forced to participate, otherwise my job would be eliminated. After three years of saying “it can’t get any worse than this”, I was forced to call the “supposed” anonymous hot line to report several hideous situations that should have never happened. Of course, I was let go soon after that, thank the heavens for enormous favors!
Far too many “graduates” couldn’t name a muscle, let alone a system of the body, had no clue what a contraindication is or what to do about it, didn’t bother to come to school on lab days so they have no palpation or manual skills, came to class drunk or stoned, cheated on tests- and several couldn’t even read! Every one passed because they complained to the Chair of the Department or the Head of Education, whose only job was to see that they finished so they could GET PAYED! I even saw where they changed my students grades, and signed my name to the form, like I had made a mistake! These schools reprimand instructors for attrition, up to the point of firing. They fail to tell the truth to incoming students, and then sue them for full tuition when the student fails, so of course, the student will do and say anything to stay.
There are two students who are burned in my memory, and the reason why I say that all MT’s should take the National exam to be qualified to work in MI. The first, a young female student, failed 4 of the 7 modules I had with her yet miraculously was graduating soon, somehow ended up in my class on her last days to do make-up work. She sat in a chair, looked up at me with a smirk and declared, “Mrs. G., I’m outta here and I don’t know any muscles! I guess they don’t really matter now do they?” The second, and far worse than merely being ignorant, was dangerous. This male student peeked behind the curtains as the female students were dressing/undressing for lab! He touched his partners inappropriately and was verbally sexually offensive. He could not read past a third grade level, and when I orally tested him after he’d been in school for 6 months, could not name a bone. Not a bone. Not one. Yet, he graduated. How is this possible? Because there could get away with it, and they still do.
In my opinion, these so called “graduates” are diluting the Massage Therapy profession, which we have strived to legitimize for decades. MT’s should by rights be working along side other health professionals, in hospitals, and Physical Therapy clinics, as well as spas and for general well-being. This is what the MI Massage License should avail us to, to raise the standards. The “Diploma Mill”‘s are running scared, as well they should be, because a large percentage of their students could not pass an exam from any other school, let alone a national certification exam. It is truly a shame that there are no real life consequences for MT’s who got by on their charm or their complaints. At best these posers are “professional rubbers” and at worst, doing real physical, mental and emotional damage due to lack of proper knowledge and practices.
Where does education count? Integrity, ability, accountability, self- respect, liability, honor, do-no-harm.
And, by the way, how many MT’s will lie on the affidavit stating they worked x amount of hours in y number of years to be eligible to receive the license? All of them who didn’t do the work. Guaranteed.
Having a passing grade on the National Exam should be a requirement for Grandfathering. There is no other standard that could qualify. Saying it is a hardship for money is ludicrous- there is a buffer of two years once the law is passed to save money, study and pass, and it is not required to keep up the certification once you receive a MI license. This is a serious flaw that needs to be corrected prior to passing licensing.
Please take the time to email Mr. Mitchell, or show up at the meeting to voice your opinion. Our opinions are the only ones that count!
To read the proposal, click here
Michigan Licensing Update – Public Hearing Scheduled for March 5th
A public hearing will be held to receive comments on the proposed rules that will implement the Massage Therapy Licensing Act which was signed into law on January 9, 2009. The law requires the licensure of massage therapists and the proposed rules will establish the requirements for this licensure of massage therapists. In addition, the proposed rules will establish requirements for a supervised curriculum; adopt examinations for massage therapists; clarify what constitutes prohibited conduct for massage therapists; clarify what constitutes false or misleading advertising, and establish requirements for client records.
Please take a moment to read the proposed rules as they will affect your practice. Of significant consequence to practitioners are the following sections: grandfathering requirements (highlighted on page 3, Rule 11), prohibited conduct (highlighted on page 7, Rule 23), and client records (highlighted on page 9, Rule 27). It is also important to note that rules regarding continuing education requirements for renewal will be drafted at a later date.
You are not required to comment, however, if so inclined, comments on the proposed rules may be presented in person at the public hearing on Monday, March 5, 2012, starting at 9:00 a.m. at the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Ottawa Building, 611 West Ottawa, Conference Room 3, Upper Level, Lansing, Recognizing that many Individuals will not be able to attend the meeting, written comments may also be submitted until 5:00 p.m. on March 7, 2012, at the following address or e-mail address:
Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Bureau of Health Professions – Massage Therapy Rules Public Hearing
P.O. Box 30670
Lansing, MI 48909-8170
Attention: Desmond Mitchell, Policy Analyst
E-mail address: email@example.com