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IMA License - World Championship Massage 2021

IMA License

This is a 1st draft of Guidelines and Rules & Regulations for the World Massage Championship, The European Massage Championship and National Championships around the world. These guidelines will change In coming weeks/months and more will be added on.

Contributors: Julien Elis, Kate Tora, Carl Newbury and Jeppe Tengbjerg. Last updated: March 19th, 2020.

The holder of an IMA approved championship License is required to comply with IMA’s values and standards.

Furthermore, the event regarding the license is subject to the judging criterias, rules/regulations and categories of the International Massage Association as far as this is possible.

What makes a good Championship?

The holder of an IMA approved championship license is required to create:

  1. A sense of community
  2. A tight organisation 
  3. A guarantee of fairness in judging (IMA judge/seminar)
  4. An environment where quality massage is recognized based on precise criteria (IMA criteria sheets)
  5. A final with finalists being credible and highly qualified therapists
  6. Categories which make sense and with clear explanations what they encompass Thoughts on Rules & Regulations. (It is possible to make 1-2 extra categories).

Judging criteria

The purpose of judging a massage and therapist is to create an environment in which quality is encouraged, recognized and rewarded, thus contributing over time to the improvement of therapy quality and the massage profession.

The holder of an IMA approved championship license is required to follow the IMA basic rules, for example, but not limited to: 

  1. Client safety. From the Hippocratic oath: ” First do no harm “
  2. That there is Zero tolerance for any sort of sensual/sexual massage or part of a massage. 
  3. A massage has both objective and subjective qualitative elements to it Championship judges should evaluate both, as best they can, based on:

Objective criteria: clear elements such as, but not limited to:

  • Technique. This is variable from one category to another. 
  • Ergonomics
  • Massage Flow
  • Interaction with the receiver (before/during/after)
  • Work Environment, table preparation
  • Used products
  • Proper use of tools
  • Innovation
  • Subjective criteria
  • Client feedback: how she/he feels
  • Was there any pain? (good pain/bad pain)
  • Adaption according to client

The holder of an IMA approved event must encourage its participants to participate in other IMA approved National and International Championships/events, including the European Massage Championship and the World Championship in Massage.

Written by Julien Elis (The New Massage Association), supported by Carl Newbury, Kate Tora (British Masssage Association) and Jeppe Tengbjerg (IMA)