Evanston, Illinois (March 15, 2012):  The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) encourages all massage therapists, students and educators to review the recent proposal by the Federation of Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) regarding a program for renewal of massage therapy licenses and certifications. AMTA believes it is vital for all stakeholders in the profession to read the proposal carefully and express their views to the FSMTB. If implemented, it could have significant effects on massage therapy practice, the nature of continuing education and regulation of massage therapy.

AMTA has specific areas of concern regarding the proposal. These include:

• Overall, the impact of this proposal is to lower standards for massage therapy practice. It would shift the focus of professional development from building on the entry level education massage therapists receive to that of maintaining very minimal requirements of public protection.

• The proposal contradicts its stated intent, previous FSMTB statements on the need for continuing professional education and the mission of FSMTB.

• The proposal would take away the freedom of choice of massage therapists to determine their own practice focus and to choose the continuing education providers they prefer to meet their own professional needs by creating a “one-size fits all” approach for license renewal.

• The proposal provides no empirical data to support the efficacy, efficiency or necessity for a transition to this model.

AMTA’s comments on the FSMTB proposal are available on the AMTA website (https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/1/News/detail/2565) for the consideration of all massage therapy stakeholders. AMTA recognizes there are many diverse views within the massage therapy community and hopes those perspectives are expressed to the FSMTB.

The American Massage Therapy Association is the largest non-profit, professional association serving massage therapists, massage students and massage schools. The association is directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters. AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage.