The board of directors of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) voted unanimously at its recent meeting to approve the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) to serve on its core council of colleges and schools as the representative of the massage therapy profession.

The ACCAHC consists of accrediting agencies, certification and testing organizations, and councils of colleges and schools that are associated with the five distinctly licensed complementary health care professions that have a federally recognized accrediting agency. These professions are: acupuncture and Oriental medicine, chiropractic, direct-entry midwifery, massage therapy and naturopathic medicine.

As a consortium of 16 national organizations, the members of ACCAHC engage in and support activities in the areas of education, clinical care, research and policy clarification, which will help transform the client/patient experience through strengthening understanding and cooperation.

According to John Weeks, ACCAHC’s executive director, “We have been watching AFMTE with interest since its launch two years ago, since all mature professions have an independent agency representing education. We are pleased that AFMTE is emerging as the designated representative of the massage education community, and is engaged in projects to improve the quality of teaching. We hope the massage field will increasingly see the value in participating with the alliance. We look forward to their participation and to their contributions.”

Weeks added, “The alliance will join the American Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges, Association of Chiropractic Colleges and the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as the newest member of our council of colleges and schools.”

The massage education seat on this ACCAHC council has been occupied by the American Massage Therapy Association, through its Council of Schools. As AMTA discontinued the COS in 2009, it no longer met the criteria and its term will end Dec. 31, 2011. Weeks notes that AMTA has been a founder and core supporter of ACCAHC and that ACCAHC is pleased that AMTA plans to remain involved as an associate member and perhaps in other capacities.

This new relationship with ACCAHC will benefit AFMTE members by bringing massage educators together with those from other complementary health, integrative medicine and other health professions education fields, to increase the level of collaboration as all groups work together to create new and more effective models of health and client care.

About AFMTE

The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education is the voice, advocate and resource for the community of massage therapy schools and educators. It serves the entire education sector–from entry-level training programs through postgraduate studies. The national headquarters of AFMTE is located at 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, Virginia 22102; the website is www.afmte.org; and the general office e-mail address is admin@afmte.org.

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