If someone does regulate us, will we some be all but powerless, unless we pay major due$$ to the powers at be?
In regards to increasing licensing requirements and red tape, professional organizations and control of the profession:
I think that state licensing is what is unecessary. If the professional organizations are voluntary, which they are now, then fine. NCBMT is becoming more prevelant now, and some states do consider it mandatory. Clearly things are moving in the direction of more control.
However, compared to how doctors, psychologists, and chiropractors have it, we're pretty lucky right now. Licensing and red tape and expense is minimal compared to what they have to go through, and we have more flexiblity with our clients! We can talk to them (doctors won't), we can touch them (psychologists can't), we can make suggestions and reccommendations. I think that as a massage therapist, if I want to and if I go the distance, I can potentially help the average person more than any Dr. or PhD. No offense meant to anyone. Clearly doctors have their place and I believe that is when either the person has an acute injury (broken leg, ruptured appendix), long term disease (cancer), or psychological disorder which prevents them from functioning in society (schizophrenia) a doctor is the place to go.
The organizations are out to make money, and they can make more money the more control they have. They are not interested in the client, although they claim to be. If anything they are interested in helping schools make money because the higher they make the standards, the more hours students have to take, and the more money schools make.
Rarely, if ever, do massage therapists hurt anyone. More training might make therapists more likely to help someone, but usually the therapists who actually WANT to help people (treat conditions, work with emotions, etc) will seek out more training on their own. Some therapists only want to give good relaxation massage and you don't need more than a hundred hours for that.
We're not opening people up or prescribing drugs here. We're only doing what mom might have done after we fell and bumped our knee: rub the owie and be present while the child cries, wipe the tears away. I don't see any organization out there certifying women to be mothers.
New Law: to have a child you must be trained, certified and licensed in your state. I wish that were true.
See this article for more about licensing issues.