The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has weighed in the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork’s (NCBTMB) decision to create a membership organization.

On July 5 MASSAGE Magazine reported the NCBTMB was creating a membership organization, the USA Massage Resource Alliance; on June 30 the magazine posted a statement from the nation’s largest massage association, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals,  in response to preliminary news about the new organization.

A statement provided to the press on July 10 by the AMTA reads:

AMTA Views NCBTMB Decision Not in Best Interest of the Profession
Evanston,  IL – The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) is focused on its mission of serving its members, the future of the profession and the ability of massage therapists to be successful.  There are many elements needed to support and advance a profession, including national certification.  AMTA is disappointed that the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) has announced plans to create an organization to sell insurance, when its mission is to define and advance the highest standards in the profession “through a recognized credentialing program”.
AMTA believes the announced plan for NCBTMB to create the USA Massage Resource Alliance (usaMRA) will further erode the value of NCBTMB certification in the profession and the ability of certificants to set themselves apart in the marketplace through higher credentials.  We believe NCBTMB’S recent action is not in the best interest of the profession or of massage therapists.  “Certification is a core part or cornerstone of a profession,” says AMTA President Judy Stahl.  “That is why AMTA, responding to the view of our members, originally created the NCBTMB, has supported its mission and used its certification as a membership criterion to join AMTA. For NCBTMB to shift focus to attempt to compete as a type of membership association selling liability insurance is counterproductive for the profession’s advancement.”
AMTA and its chapters provide the most complete services available to massage therapists, students and schools.  It will continue to pursue its mission as the largest national non-profit association created to serve and advance the profession.  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.  The association is vibrant, strives to operate in a forthright manner, is directed by volunteer massage therapists, provides chapter and local involvement and offers a variety of continuing education opportunities for its members, unmatched by any other organization.