Monday, April 9, 2012

A Body of Knowledge

"If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."
- Benjamin Franklin     

One Accord

Nowadays there are a confusing number of discipline and modalities that fall under the category of Massage, Bodywork, Somatic and Manual Therapy, and every now and then new ones are created and marketed under a different name, which simply are a reductive version of, or a combination of either one or two or more of the existing techniques. Disciplines and modalities are patented, CEUs offered under them and classes done in another state, that are sometimes not recognized or even legal in another jurisdiction. And today, there exist many professional organizations with the same or differing by-laws which supports or upholds a myriad of mission-statements and platforms pertaining to these.

Would it be nice to have a unifying umbrella organization or body to accede on one established accord or body of knowledge? Well, there is! It's "MTBOK"! The following are excerpts from their site, I believe that it is imperative that everyone in our profession should be aware of such BOK. Thank you AMTA for the initiative! Below is a link to a copy of the first version.

- Leo Feraer-Oporto     

Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge

In January 2007, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) began hosting a series of four meetings to explore the possibility of the massage therapy profession’s leadership organizations working together to develop consensus around definitional and scope issues –what is typically called the Body of Knowledge (BOK) for a profession. This group, initially started by AMTA, was comprised of over a dozen entities that included bodies from the accreditation, certification, education, regulatory, advocacy and research arenas. In July of 2008, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) joined the group along with several organizations representing accreditation and other bodywork, movement and somatic disciplines. Today, key stakeholder organizations have chosen to move forward. The others elected to not participate in subsequent meetings. The groups that elected to discontinue participation have been kept apprised of the group’s progress and will have further opportunity for input at a later time.

The continuing participant organizations transitioned into an autonomous Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge Stewardship group comprised of representatives from each of the following six organizations: American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), AMTA-Council of Schools, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB), Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).

Most acknowledged professions have well-articulated foundational understanding of who they are and what they do. To date, the massage therapy profession has yet to establish this in a cohesive manner. A well-articulated body of knowledge will help to drive the recognition and growth of massage therapy. The long-term goal of the participating organizations is to advance the profession through collaborative action around a common definition of the BOK for the massage therapy profession. Many attendant elements of a profession, including education standards, teaching qualifications, and regulatory requirements, stem from a profession’s common body of knowledge.

The profession is at a key stage in its development. Work done now on the MTBOK will shape the future of massage therapy. The following vision for an initiative to articulate the profession’s BOK has emerged from these ongoing discussions: To develop and adopt across the massage therapy profession a living resource of competencies, standards and values that inform and guide the domains of practice, licensure, certification, education, accreditation and research.

To learn more about MTBOK, to get the latest update: Click here.

- Leo Feraer-Oporto    

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