MLN Vol.18, No.1

Massage Law Newsletter

Vol. 18, No 1                          ISSN 1073-5461                               January 2001




Albert Schatz, Ph.D. 

Where all men think alike, no one thinks very much. Walter Lippmann

Who is Sally Hacking?

Sally Hacking is the AMTA representative to the Arizona Coalition for Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers.

Who am I?

I have been involved with massage for about 20 years. I have been a professor for many years, and have been doing scientific research for more than half a century. For detailed  information about me, click on "Bios" on  <>.

Bios provides information about my background and experience in massage therapy and other kinds of bodywork. Click on "Massage Law" and "Massage Humor" to keep up to date on what my colleagues and I are publishing on state regulation.

For information about how I got into massage, see my article "What is a Research Scientist Doing with Massage?" in the Massage Therapy Journal My other publications in the Massage Therapy Journal and other AMTA periodicals are listed in the bibliography at the end  of this report.

State regulation is a research problem

As a research scientist, I view the issue of state regulation as a research problem. The fact that state regulation has been and continues to be so controversial is evidence that it is a problem which requires research.

Much of my research on state regulation is motivated by the  allegation that state regulation is needed to protect the "public from harm." I then ask two questions: "What and how much harm has actually occurred?" And, "How serious has that harm been?"  

If people don't have the information these two questions request, they don't know what harm they are talking about, and  how serious it is. If people don't know what harm they are talking about and how serious it is, it makes no sense for them to discuss the alleged need for state regulation to protect the public from that harm.

People who allege that regulation is needed to protect the public from harm have an obligation to answer the two above-mentioned questions. I also have an obligation to answer questions, about my positionwith respect to state regulation.

Sally Hacking and I both agree on need for evidence of harm

Sally Hacking told people (at meetings of the Arizona Coalition) that they need evidence of harm, and why. My reports about the Arizona Coalition point out the need for well-documented evidence of serious harm.  Both of us are therefore saying the same thing. If the Coalition ignores my advice, it will be ignoring Sally Hacking's advice. If the Coalition ignores Sally Hacking's advice, it will be ignoring my advice.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

George Santayana

Without well-documented evidence of harm that has  actually occurred, the same thing will happen in Arizona that happened in Georgia and Minnesota. The legislators in those states saw no need to regulate massage therapists to protect the public from harm that has not occurred.

 Horse sense

My reports on the  Arizona Coalition reveal how research scientists think and  communicate. A massage therapist, who was in favor of state regulation, advised me that I should not speak to massage therapists as I do to my fellow scientists. He said massage therapists are not scientists and don't think the way scientists think.

I replied that my questions about the alleged need for state regulation to protect the pubic from harm are based on common sense. When I was a boy on a  farm in Connecticut, we called it horse sense.

No harm. No money.

Will the AMTA Law and Legislative Assistance Program give the Arizona Coalition a grant to pursue state regulation if the Arizona Coalition has no well-documented evidence that serious harm has actually occurred?


My colleague, Mary Brewster, and I are aware of our responsibility to publish information that is accurate. If we have inadvertently published erroneous information, we want to publicly correct it.  For this reason, we have (in many of our publications)  invited readers to inform us of what they consider  misinformation, explain why they believe that  information is inaccurate, and give us permission to publish their comments in the Massage Law Newsletter.   


1. Schatz, A. What is a research scientist doing with massage? Massage Therapy Journal. 33;32-33. Spring. 1994.

2. Schatz, A. Tuberculosis. The Great White Plague. How you can protect yourself and others. Massage Therapy Journal. 33:30-32. Spring. 1994.

3. Schatz, A. Should essential oils be used in massage? (Notes & Aides). Massage Therapy Journal. Vol. 33. page 14. Spring. 1994.

4. Schatz. A. Letter to the Editor. Regarding state regulation. Massage Therapy Journal. 38(3):15. 1999.

5. Schatz, A. Potential risk (about tuberculosis). Massage Therapy Journal. 39(1):16-17. 2000.

6. Schatz, A. The Licensing Debate. Letter to the Editor. The Balanced Body.  Newsletter of the Pennsylvania AMTA Chapter. December. 1999.

7. Schatz. Letter to the Editor regarding COMTA.

Readers' Forum. COMTA News. (Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation) Summer. 1999.     

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