Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How can I as an individual massage therapist influence the development of government policy & laws that are supportive of the profession?

There are currently nine Laws and Policies in place to protect the New Zealand Health industry that our Government has developed for the public and practitioners to create a safe environment; however there is no set law or policy specific to Therapeutic Massage.

· Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995

· Consumer Guarantees Act 1993

· Medicines Act 1981

· Privacy Act 1993

· Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994

· Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act 2003

· Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2001

· Local Body Requirements

· Occupational Health and Safety requirements

These nine policies and laws are only a guide for Massage Therapy and I feel are too broad, allowing anyone no matter their experience or training level to start up a business thus putting all Therapists in a collective box. This could negatively influence our industry and have a long lasting effect on our profession, with any future progress from professionally trained Therapists harshly criticised and not taken seriously.

As an individual I would be interested in actively supporting the development of any government law or policy that would protect the reputation of Massage Therapy.

I feel I can do this by:

  • · Displaying Certification of my relevant training so the public can read my credentials.
  • · Referring to others who are both educated and professional within their chosen fields of expertise, and informing our clients why we have chosen that particular healthcare provider to ensure they too see the importance of checking credentials before committing to treatment.
  • · Educate clients of the different types of massage therapies out there and how they differentiate from each other, (e.g. Thermal Stone therapy does not only involve sitting hot stones on the body and leaving the client for an hour) and the levels of skill needed to carry out the session, for example beauty trained therapist should not administer rehabilitation therapy without relevant training.
  • · By joining Massage New Zealand and encouraging other therapists too as well so we can improve numbers to have a stronger voice in society.
  • · Become involved and encourage others to join local practitioners who feel the same to gain support from local counsels.
  • · Enhance my own understanding of law/policy change by educating myself so I have a better perception.

I conclude that there justified concern for the need to have a system in place to regulate or rate therapists to assist the public when choosing a therapist of the quality they should expect to receive. Massage Therapists in modern society can influence the progression of obtaining Laws and Policies if they work as a unit to improve the safety of the public and provide protection to ourselves and the “Massage Therapy” name within our industry.

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