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There are many different massage therapist organizations with many different purposes. Many separate techniques have their own professional association to support their work. = In Canada = In Canada, since health care is regulated provincially, not nationally,1 most massage therapist organizations are provincial in nature. There are three types of massage therapist organizations in Canada, all not-for-profit and all for different purposes: Colleges, Associations and the Alliance.
Colleges Regulatory bodies for professions are called “Colleges” (not to be confused with schools). The purpose of the Colleges are to protect the interests of the public with the profession in mind.2, 3, 4 They establish the minimum education standards for massage therapists, encourage continuing education, regulate the profession and provides the public with a forum to report any complaints to hold the massage therapist accountable should there be any issues.
Currently there are only three provinces in which massage therapy is regulated: British Columbia, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Ontario. In these provinces, in order to be a massage therapist (and call yourself a massage therapist or any variation of that title)5 it is mandatory to be registered with the regulatory body for that province.
The CMTBC - The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia regulates the profession of massage therapy in the province of British Columbia.
The CMTNL - The College of Massage Therapists of Newfoundland and Labrador regulates the profession of massage therapy in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The CMTO - The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario regulates the profession of massage therapy in the province of Ontario..
Associations The purpose of the associations is to protect the interests of the profession with the public in mind. As health professions are regulated provincially, the associations are provincially-based (with a couple of exceptions). While membership in the associations is voluntary, the provincial associations work on behalf of all massage therapists within its province.
NWTMTA - Northwest Territories Massage Therapists Association
MTABC - Massage Therapy Association of British Columbia
MTAA - Massage Therapist Association Of Alberta
MTAS - Massage Therapist Association Of Saskatchewan Inc.
MTAM - Massage Therapy Association Of Manitoba Inc.
OMTA - Ontario Massage Therapist Association
FQM - Federation Quebecoise Des Massotherapeutes
NLMTA - Newfoundland & Labrador Massage Therapy Association
NBMA - New Brunswick Massotherapy Association
PEIMTA - Prince Edward Island Massage Therapy Association
MTANS - Massage Therapy Association Of Nova Scotia
AMTWP- The Association of Massage Therapists and Wholistic Practitioners. AMTWP is a national association for people who provide massage therapy treatment in Canada. Its members are massage therapists and other touch therapists throughout Canada, but are primarily in Alberta.
Alliance - The CMTA The Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance is the national alliance for the provincial massage therapy associations in Canada. Its membership consists of the provincial associations as a whole, not individual members.
= In the USA =
ABMPAssociated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP) is the largest membership organization of Professional Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers in the United States.
The AMTAThe American Massage Therapy Association was founded in 1943. Now the American Massage Therapy Association® represents more than 55,000 massage therapists in 27 countries. It is the largest non-profit professional organization of massage therapists in the United States. AMTA works to establish massage therapy as integral to the maintenance of good health and complementary to other therapeutic processes; to advance the profession through ethics and standards, certification, school accreditation, continuing education, professional publications, legislative efforts, public education, and fostering the development of members.
Massage Therapy FoundationThe Massage Therapy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt (non-profit), public charity that promotes research, community service and education in the field of therapeutic massage and bodywork. It was founded in 1993 by the American Massage Therapy Association. Beginning in 1993, the Massage Therapy Foundation began awarding grants to community service organizations such as hospices, shelters, and outreach programs. The purpose of the program has been to provide massage therapy services for members of society who are unlikely to have access to such services.They support clinical research related to massage therapy, and make independent research articles and data available through their website.In 2005 the Massage Therapy Foundation embarked on several new initiatives including the Student Case Report Contest and the Highlighting Massage Therapy in CAM Research Conference, the first of its kind to be held in the United States. The Foundation received a $30,000 grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to help support this event. =External links=
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