When looking at the big picture of Massage Therapy, things have changed dramatically over the past 10 years which is not a bad thing but it is presenting new challenges as we all try to get on the same page.
We are seeing states, associations and organizations along with schools trying to find the magic number that can be attached to what is the appropriate number of hours for a base massage therapy education.
Currently throughout most of the US, the base core standard is 500 hours with some states like NY setting the bar at 1000 hours. Many of us feel that increasing the hours would help move the industry forward and become more respected as an alternative healing modality, but at what cost? Can smaller privately owned schools compete and make the adjustments to increase hours and not price themselves out of business? Will the pay scale be adjusted by employers with students taking on more debt to pay off their loans? The list could goes on and on; all industries trying to change and advance in hopes of finding their new place come up against similar challenges.
As we struggle with education, we are seeing consolidations of mom and pop businesses such as manufacturers of massage tables, topical massage and spa products and distributors which have been the backbone of our small but passionate community of Massage Therapists and body-workers.
During this evolution, we have seen the introduction of venture capital seeing a substantial growth opportunity in a now proven industry with a strong following. Whether you think this is good or bad; it is a significant progression and advancement component. I am finding it hard to have my cake and eat it too but we are a strong group of passionate individuals and we will find a way to adapt. One thing is for sure, anything good will never stay the same therefore change is inevitable.