Hello to all Massage Therapists.

I am writing this personal letter in support of Professional Standards for all Massage Therapists in this country, MNZ members or not. As you may or may not be aware, Massage New Zealand is on the brink of extinction.

The primary reason for this, is the lack of support from it’s members and lack of membership by Massage Therapists, who don’t understand the monumental and vital benefit MNZ has for the future Massage Profession in this country.

Like myself most of the MNZ Therapists I have talked to didn’t really realise the desperate situation and lack of support MNZ has been experiencing and others do not realise the potential serious risk to our profession if the work of MNZ does not continue.

It is the tireless hard work of the few, involved now and historically and a great many years spanning the evolution of 2 different organizations that have gained massage therapists some headway into having some professional recognition.

In this country we un-like other professionals (Physio’s, Lawyers, Doctors, Nurses), are not required legally to join a professional regulatory organisation so that we can practice.

The benefit to those other Professions and the general public is that people with no training or effort are not able to just set up and start delivering damaging services, to people who are paying them good money, not realizing there is a difference between who is qualified and who is not.

These other professionals do not have to compete with people who are charging equal amounts for there lesser services but do not have to service large student loans, membership fee’s and on going training costs (because they did there training at night in 6 weeks, in a local high school). Also they do not have to fight against the lesser standards and experiences that are being delivered by un-qualified people who are tainting the effectiveness of their profession.

For this, these professions pay a practicing fee and get nothing more out of it other than the ability to do there job and have their professional standard protected.

I hear many non members use the excuse “we don’t see any benefit we pay the money and don’t get anything out of it’. I can understand that members want to see some sort of tangible benefit but the reality is MNZ is still in it’s infancy and needs more than just dollars chucked at it, what it needs is energy. What I ask in return is “what have you put into it’, like me for what ever reason, the answer of many is not much.

In recent times there has been much talk of regulating alternative practices in this country. With no legal legislation this puts the Massage Profession at risk of being closed down all together. This seems such a shame after all these years finally we are making some head way into being professionally recognised.

Southern Cross has just introduced Massage as part of their Wellness plans, as long as the therapist is MNZ registered and I know that ACC is now using MNZ Massage Therapists on a case-by-case basis. These may seem very small achievements but is has taken years to get to this point and if we lose MNZ we stand to lose years of groundwork and potentially risk our profession.

MNZ has many great intentions to provide it’s members with much more than what other professional organisations provide there members but as yet MNZ does not even have the strength to provide the basic professional recognition that we deserve and it is not until that grass root goal has been achieved can we move on to thriving and deliver the tangible benefits that everyone wants to see. Membership is voluntary, one day we may not have the option of joining at all.

I urge all Massage Therapists who are passionate about their profession to start talking to each other about this issue, ring or e-mail our executive and find out what you can do to help, encourage non-members to join (the reduced cost of insurance that has been secured by MNZ for it’s members, plus the MNZ membership fee together is less than what most therapist pay for insurance only), join the committee, attend the AGM and or conference, send this e-mail to every massage therapist you know. We currently only have 1 nominee for positions on the executive for the up coming year. Unless we get involve this will mean the end of a great deal of hard work. Maybe some of the old executive can be persuaded to stay for another year, if we can give them the support they need, maybe you have the ability to lead us to the next level. This needs our attention now!!!!

Please do not hesitate to contact me.

nikki DOT sean AT slingshot DOT co DOT nz

Ph; 07 873 8482

Kind Regards

Nicola Lewis Dip.Th.Mass.RMT MNZ