We a had call the other day. It was not the first one. The prospective student on the phone said, "I would love to go to The Healing Arts Center, but I was told that HAC is not accredited." Told by whom? We have been hearing this a lot lately. As it turns out, apparently one of the few remaining vocational schools with a massage therapy program in town, in its desperation to capture enrollments, has been telling students that we are not accredited. Hmmm. News to us. Our program has been fully accredited by one of the leading accrediting bodies for years. In June, we just completed our five-year audit fore re-accreditation. And because of this accreditation we are able to provide Title IV federal financial aid to students just like Yale or Washington University.
Ordinarily, we would not acknowledge commercial slander like this. It is petty. As the oldest and largest massage therapy training program in the region, it is quite frankly beneath our dignity to participate in such a seedy debate. Our accreditation certification is noted , after all, in the footer on every page of our website. But it is clear to us that a certain school is deliberately misleading students and that's just not right. It is a kind of fraud and we are not the victims - innocent and unsuspecting prospective students are.
We understand times are tough for massage therapy schools, but quite frankly, schools should be coming together to help their collective student bodies, graduates, employers and the entire profession given the confusion out there. With every employer of massage therapists feeling the pain of the shortage of LMT's across the country, there is a genuine need for this education. We have too few schools left as it is. We do not need ruthless cannibalization between schools. We need a concerted effort by the schools working together to inform prospective students that there are tens of thousands of unfilled LMT jobs out there that are not being filled because students either do not know about them or do not understand how rewarding a career in massage therapy can be. We need all the schools taking a stand, together, for massage therapy as a genuine healing art and not just a service to the pamper industry. Even the hospitals in this region cannot get enough massage therapists and yet for the average person looking for a career whereby they can make a huge difference for people, they are simply unaware of the opportunities in this profession.
We owe it to our students, our graduates and the people who employ them to work together to elevate the profession to the true status of healing arts - where it belongs. The shabby struggle to con unsuspecting prospective students into one school or another simply degrades all educators and tarnishes the profession. Greed has been destroying massage therapy as a profession as wage rates have diminished and the profession has been peasantized. Somewhere in the mindless quest for money, many of us associated with the hand-healing profession have forgotten what where are here for. It is supposed to be about teaching people how to expel pain and anxiety out of the beings of others. It is supposed to be about teaching people how change life itself by compassionate, healing touch. What we teach people to do is sacred and it should not be bought and sold like a rug in a Moroccan flea market.
We are not recruiting "butts in seats". We are educating the future of the profession and this is a serious and sacred cause. (Yeah, the "s" word again.) The world desperately needs more healers, well-educated women and men who have the compassion to expel suffering from the beings of others with their hands. Such a healers can come from any school that can temper its quest for cash with a commitment to teaching honor, compassion and the art of well-being. Business ethics are just plain ethics. You have them or you don't. In time you will be known for how you behave in business because it is one in the same with how you behave in life generally. Integrity is obvious to all over time. It is our job as educators, to act with integrity when we are talking to a prospective student, when we are educating her and when we send him out into the world. It is the impressions that we make on being that have the most lasting impact and if your are an educator, honesty and integrity are the foundation of our sacred trust. Our students open their minds to our influence and is our obligation to make sure that the influence, as well as the information we put into that open mind is honest, true and given to them for their benefit, not ours. Education is not a game. We are not selling a better burger here. We are training people how to behave in the healer-client relationship and we must set a standard with our own behavior.
President, The Healing Arts Center
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