MLN Vol.6.N0.1

Massage Law Newsletter

Vol. 6, No.1                                      ISSN 1073-5461                                       November 1998   




Albert Schatz, Ph.D.

I would appreciate your help in connection with research which I have been doing on regulation of massage. Specifically, I would be grateful if you would please give me information about the following two aspects of massage therapy in Ontario.

Do unregulated massage

 practitioners cause harm?

Ms. Elizabeth Leach, Executive Director of the Ontraio Massage Therapists Association concluded her Letter to the Editor in Massage Magazine with the following comment, "Massage therapy performed by unregulated individuals is not" safe.1

 Her Letter concerned my Guest Editorial, Massage therapists do not harm people.2

However, Ms. Leach has not replied to my request for evidence that massage by unregulated individuals is unsafe.

If massage is unsafe, it's harmful. If it's harmful, how many people have been harmed? What injuries did they sustain, and how serious were their injuries? How many unregulated massage practitioners caused that harm?

Why does Ontario have

 a 2,200-hour training?

What justifies Ontario's  2,200-hour training for massage therapy? Is there any research which provides evidence that the 2,200-hour training produces more competent massage therapists than a 1,000-hour training or a 500-hour training?  By competence, I mean on-the-job performance.

Enclosed are copies of my Open Letter to Ms. Leach3 and my report4 which expands on my Open Letter to her.

Setting the record straight

 In her Letter, Ms. Leach wrote," Using the Ontario criteria for risk of harm, Mr. Schatz provides a compelling argument for the regulation of massage therapy"

I did not provide any argument at all, for the regulation of massage therapy by "using the Ontario criterion for risk of harm" or in any other way.4

On the contrary, I believe massage should not be regulated to protect the public from harm in Ontario, or anywhere else, because there is no well-documented evidence that unregulated practitioners have caused significant harm in Ontario or anywhere else.4

My enclosed report 4 clearly reveals my position on these issues.

Sonia Turanski, who also replied to my Guest Editorial,5 also misrepresented my position in two respects.6


1. Leach, E. Letter to the Editor. Massage Magazine. Issue # 75. Sept/Oct 1998.  

2. Schatz, A. Guest Editorial. Massage Therapists do not harm people. Massage Magazine. Issue #72. March/April 1998.

3. Schatz, A. An open letter to Elizabeth Leach, Executive Director, Ontario Massage Therapist Association. Toronto, Canada. Massage Law Newsletter. 5(1):1-2. 1998.

4. Schatz, A. Massage should be deregulated because it does not cause harm. Massage Law Newsletter. 5(2):1-18. 1998.

5. Turanski, S. Letter to the Editor. Massage therapists can do harm. Massage Magazine. p. 8. July/August. 1998.

6.  Schatz, A. Letter to the Editor. (My reply to Sonia Turanski's Letter to the Editor). Massage Magazine. Nov/Dec. 1998.

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