After 20 months of collaboration among academic leaders from eight disciplines, including two massage therapy organizations, the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) has endorsed what it calls Competencies for Optimal Practice in Integrated Environments. Now ACCAHC is focused on aggregating and creating content to develop a rich web portal, the Center for Optimal Integration, ( to assist educators, practitioners and organizations of all types to move toward such competencies, according to an ACCAHC press release.

The eight disciplines involved in the competencies were: acupuncture and Oriental medicine, ayurveda, chiropractic, massage therapy, naturopathy, midwidery, homeopathy and yoga. The American Massage Therapy Association Council of Schools and the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation were among the 15 organizational members involved in the creation of the competencies.

The competencies consist of 28 elements in five fields:

• Health care policy

• Institutional health care

• Culture and practice

• Interprofessional education

• Communication and interprofessional relationships

• Evidence-based health care and evidence-informed practice.

A multidisciplinary group of more than 50 professionals from ACCAHC’s Education Working Group, Clinical Care Working Group, Research Working Group, Council of Advisers, Board of Directors and member organizations participated in the multiple stages of the process that began in September 2009.


Read a press release about the competencies here.


CLARIFICATION: After the ACCAHC released its press release, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) released the following statement:

AMTA would like to clarify the reference to the American Massage Therapy Association Council of Schools (COS) in the ACCAHC press release. Much of the work of the ACCAHC which led to creation of its Competencies for Optimal Practice in Integrated Environments was done when the COS still existed. AMTA appreciates the recognition given its past schools governance structure by ACCAHC in the release. The association is also extremely happy with the enhanced and interactive relationship it has with its more than 330 member schools in some 400 locations.

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