MLN Vol.20, No.1

Massage Law Newsletter

Vol. 20, No 1                                   ISSN 1073-5461                                      March 2001








Albert Schatz and Mary Brewster

Why is the Coalition promoting state regulation?

Many massage therapists do NOT want to be regulated.

Who wants state regulation in Arizona?

Are massage schools the force behind the Coalition's

drive for state regulation?

Some reasons why regulation is promoted.

Some concerns about state regulation.



Why is the Coalition

promoting state regulation?


State regulation is justified only if there is well-documented evidence that it is needed to protect the public from harm. Sally Hacking informed the Coalition that it need sevidence of harm to justify the need for state regulation. (Minutes of the Coalition's meetings on April 1, 2000, and July 7, 2000). Sally Hackett also told the Coalition that it will be difficult to persuade legislators that state regulation is needed to protect the public from harm because "we generally don't hurt people." In other words, massge is safe. (Minutes of the Coalition's April 1, 2000, meeting)


The Coalition has been in existence for a year. But it still has no well-documented evidence that enough allegedly inadequately trained massage therapists have caused enough serious harm to convince legislators that state regulation is needed to protect the public from that harm.  Since the Coalition has no well-documented evidence of serious harm, why is it promoting state regulation?


 Are massage schools the driving force behind the Coalition's promoting state regulation?


Many massage therapists 

do NOT want state regulation


The results of the AZ AMTA Chapter's survey (reported by Judy Boyer (Chair of the Legislative Committee of the AZ AMTA Chapter)) reveal that a minority of only 16% of AZ AMTA members are in favor of state regulation Therefore, the Coalition does not represent the 84%  majority of AMTA members in Arizona who did  not indicate that they favor state regulation.


Why should all massage therapists in Arizona be regulated because a minority wants state regulation, especially since unregulated massage therapists, regardless of their training, have not harmed anybody?


Are massage schools the

force behind the Coalition's drive 

for state regulation?


Since so few members of AMTA want state regulation, why is  the AZ AMTA Chapter promoting state regulation? Who or what is really behind the drive for regulation?


Unfortunately, there is no adequate research on the role of massage schools in the promotion of state regulation, and the extent to which massage schools have benefitted economically from state regulation.


  Why doesn't the AZ AMTA Chapter contract for  an independent agency to survey of all massage schools in Arizona to find out (a) which schools and what percent of schools want state regulation, and (b) why? By an independent agency, we mean a committee consisting of individuals who have no vested interest in having Arizona regulate massage therapists. Such a survey would reveal the extent to which massage schools may be the engine that is driving the  Coalition? The results of the survey would also be of interest to state legislators


The AZ AMTA should also arrange for an independent agency to do research that estimates how much money accredited massage schools will make if all the allegedly "poorly trained therapists" (that Susan Pomfret is so concerned about) have to pay those  massage schools to get the additional training that state regulation may require?


Keep in mind that there is no well-documented evidence that the public has  benefited in any way in any state where state regulation required allegedly "poorly trained therapists" to take  additional training. But massage schools have made a lot of  money when state regulation required those allegedly "poorly trained therapists" to take additional training.


There is no well-documented evidence that


For more information about the role of massage schools in state regulation see our report "State regulation = $$$$ for massage schools."8


Some reasons why regulation

is promoted


"It seems that proponents of licensing are hopeful that a state license would mean more money, status, and power." Jerry A. Green, Attorney for the California Coalition on Somatic Practices.


"I think the move toward licenser is regrettable. I believe licensing creates state-sanctioned monopolies ... with the explicit goal of "protecting the public, but with the real effect of protecting those who hold the monopolies respective entitlements, reducing information to the public, and restricting competition." Don Schwartz. Director, Trager Institute


"Professional regulation is not about serving society. It is about power, control, and money for a self-selected group of providers trying to be part of a health-care system rife with corruption, greed, and life-damaging and life-ending errors  - all well-documented by the nightly network news."  Don Schwartz. Director, Trager Institute


"Licensing arrangements ...can be characterized less as methods for protecting the public and for providing external social control in the interest of the consumer than as a means for protecting the occupation's market dominance. Indeed, licensing has the unique quality of making a violation of the professional monopoly a punishable crime." Haug


"The great truth is never spoken directly, but anybody in that field with two bourbons in them will tell you that these boards work primarily to protect the practitioners and have little or nothing to do with protecting the public." Former Virginia state official


"The usual arguments for licensing, and in particular the paternalistic arguments for licensing, are satisfied almost completely by certification alone. If the argument is that we are too ignorant to judge good practitioners, all that is needed is to make the relevant information available. If, in full knowledge, we still want to go to someone who is not certified, that is our business." Milton Freedman


Some concerns about

state regulation


"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the ... purposes are beneficial. Men born of freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding. " U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis 


"The passion to regulate the lives of others is deep-seated in many individuals. When this is based on political expedience, it is bad, and when it is inspired by an idealism which wishes to inflict benefits on others, it can become dangerous." Sir Arthur Amies


So many human problems begin with someone saving someone else from something from which he hasn't been asked to be saved. Glen Doman




Our reports on

the Arizona Cotillion

1. Schatz, A. Arizona does not need to regulate massage therapists to protect the public from harm. Massage Law Newsletter. 15(4):1-9. 2000.

2. Schatz, A., and Brewster, M. Arizona does not need to regulate massage to protect the public from harm because the Arizona Coalition admits that massage is safe, and for 2,,000,000 additional reasons. Massage Law Newsletter. 16(3): 1-6. 2000.

3. Schatz, A., and Brewster, M. The Great Arizona Massage Mystery. What harm is Judy Boyer talking about? The Arizona Coalition has been told that Massage is Safe. Massage Law Newsletter. 17(4):1-3.2001.

4. Schatz, A. Sally Hacking and Albert Schatz agree that the Arizona Coalition needs convincing evidence of harm. Massage Law Newsletter. 18(1) 1-2. 2001

Our other recent reports inspired

by the Arizona Coalition

5, Schatz, A., and Brewster, M. There is no legal justification for state regulation of massage therapists. Part 1: Evidence that massage is safe versus evidence that massage is harmful. Massage Law Newsletter. 17(2):1-9. 2001.

6.  Schatz, A., and Brewster, M. Don't be fooled by allegations that state regulation is needed.  Massage Law Newsletter. 17(3):1-3. 2001.

7. Schatz, A., and Brewster, M. The defeat of Georgia's Senate Bill 300 (to regulate massage therapists to allegedly protect the public from harm) provides well-documented evidence that MASSAGE IS SAFE -  THERE IS NO HARMMassage Law Newsletter. 18(2)1-4): 2001.

8. Schatz, A., and Brewster, M. State regulation = $$$$ for massage schools. Massage Law Newsletter. 19(1):1-2.2001.

Massage humor

For our articles on "massage humor," some of which apply to state regulation, go to  our web site <">, and click on "massage humor." 


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