Alliance to Represent Massage Therapy Education as Core Member of ACCAHC

The Board of Directors of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) voted unanimously at its recent meeting to approve the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education to serve on their on their core council of colleges and schools as the representative of the massage therapy profession.

ACCAHC consists of accrediting agencies, certification and testing organizations, and councils of colleges and schools that are associated with the five distinctly licensed complementary healthcare professions which have a federally recognized accrediting agency. These professions are: Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Chiropractic, Direct-entry Midwifery, Massage Therapy, and Naturopathic Medicine.

As a consortium of 16 national organizations, the members of ACCAHC engage in and support activities in the areas of education, clinical care, research and policy clarification which will help transform the client/patient experience through strengthening understanding and cooperation. Alliance Board member Stan Dawson, DC, LMT, currently serves on the ACCAHC Education Working Group.

According to John Weeks, ACCAHC Executive Director, “We have been watching the Alliance with interest since its launch two years ago, since all mature professions have an independent agency representing education. We are pleased that the Alliance is emerging as the designated representative of the massage education community, and is engaged in projects to improve the quality of teaching. We hope the massage field will increasingly see the value in participating with the Alliance. We look forward to their participation and to their contributions.”

The Alliance will join the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, Association of Chiropractic Colleges, and the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as the newest member of ACCAHC’s council of colleges and schools group.

The massage education seat on this ACCAHC council has been occupied by the American Massage Therapy Association, through its Council of Schools. As AMTA discontinued the COS in 2009, it no longer met the criteria and its term will end as of December 31, 2011. Weeks notes that AMTA has been a founder and core supporter of ACCAHC and that ACCAHC is pleased that AMTA plans to remain involved as an Associate Member and perhaps in other capacities.

This new relationship with ACCAHC will benefit Alliance members by bringing massage educators together with those from other complementary health, integrative medicine and other health professions education fields, to increase the level of collaboration as all groups work together to create new and more effective models of health and client care.