Saturday, October 17, 2009

Massage Industry and Government Policy in NZ

Massage Industry and Government Policy in NZ
Victoria Walden
Due 16th Oct (with week extention).

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

Within New Zealand our Government has certain policies and laws that are put in place to ensure the protection and safety of both parties involved. Massage therapy does not have laws specific to the profession and therefore there are massage therapists that are not qualified under NZQA or other education outlet. Through this anyone can massage and set up a business.
The laws that relate to massage therapy are as follows:

Privacy Act 1993
Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995
Consumer Guarantees Act 1993
Medicines Act 1981
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

From these laws they are a base outline as to what a massage therapist should abide by. These laws are unfortunately not specific to a massage therapist allowing a lot of variation to each therapist. Within New Zealand anyone can set up a business and apply massage to any customer that walks through their door. I believe that this approach to massage has to be rectified as there are different levels of experience and variation as to the extent of the education to some therapists.

I feel that the massage industry should be regulated. Yes there are therapists out there who have made their living as a professional massage therapist, without any educational certificates and have the same knowledge. I believe that there should be an allowance for people such as them, even a test that is national wide. From my perspective I see that some therapists can diminish the massage industry by their professionalism and through their practice, therefore regulation should be put into practice.

However as a new massage therapist to the industry I believe that there should be a one year integration into the business where I have read that you only really start learning when you being to apply your massage to the public.

With the dispute “massage regulation” I believe as a massage therapist myself there needs to be more information provided and also giving the opportunity to educate massage therapists without the correct knowledge if they agree.

There will always be public who dispute the regulation of therapists: Massage therapists without education, massage therapists who, not only supply massage, and also the public. From this the massage industry will always be split until there is more information provided to the public and also to other massage therapists, as in this industry the practice is evolving and improving in its techniques and application to the potential cliental.

I believe that the ways in which I could influence the minds of the public and try and convince, is that the education to a massage therapist is beneficial and essential to your help and safety of each client.

I could:

- Have my qualifications displayed on the wall where the clients will see it.
- Be registered under Massage New Zealand
- Provide clients with information that I have qualifications
- Provide clients with the information that some therapists do not have to qualifications as a massage therapist
- Communicate with Polytechnic where I studied, including teachers, students etc...
- Communicate with town district
- Get as many people behind the bill, this also involves the potential clients that will need massage for example: high advanced sporting athletes, doctors, hospitals, high profile businesses etc...

In conclusion I feel that the regulation of therapists should come into play and that everyone should back it. Myself as a therapist, I feel that each therapist should be allowed a year in the industry to learn and to get the experience of how the business is run and how to polish of techniques to provide the highest quality of service to each client. I feel that I need to understand and read more about how this industry is evolving and how we as a nation can improve the status at this present point where there are a lot of questions still unanswered.


Class notes. (2008).

McQuillan, D. Elluminate. Understanding Legal Process .September the 23rd 2009. Professional Practice. Polytechnic Massage Therapy Diploma Course.

My own thoughts

New Zealand Legislation. (2009). Retrieved October, 17th, 2009 from

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