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AMTA News update

Oct. 9, Evanston, IL — Featuring a special video review of its new, ongoing consumer awareness program and a panel of leaders in integrative care, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) national convention brought together 1,400 participants from October 3 to 6 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The association also announced the creation of a new Lifetime Achievement Award honoring educator Dianne Polseno, and presented a ceremonial check for $450,000 to the Massage Therapy Foundation.


October 16, 2012
By Massage Therapy Canada

Topics

Attendees
were able to earn more than 20 hours of continuing education credit and enjoy
the products and services of a wealth of exhibitors in the AMTA Exhibit
Marketplace.  They also could follow convention events through Twitter and
Facebook posts, while many praised a new iPhone and Android app designed to
help them find their way around the convention.

North
Carolina Governor Beverly Eaves Perdue declared it Massage Therapy Week in the
state and in a letter to AMTA said, “It is a privilege to join you in
acknowledging the impact massage therapy has on the quality of life of
countless citizens.”

The
opening session of the convention began with a video presentation on the
association’s commitment to increasing consumer awareness of the health
benefits of massage therapy.  Since it began its media relations program
in May, the association has reached millions with its information.  Since
the launch of the AMTA Massage Therapy Tour in July, the association has
engaged 13 cities, reached hundreds of thousands of potential clients, and
worked with nearly 100 member volunteers.

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AMTA
President Cynthia Ribeiro further energized attendees and reminded them the
program “is about educating the public in a direct way and increasing the
potential to bring new business to our members.”  She explained that AMTA
members are reporting more new clients as a direct result of the consumer
program. 

In her
presentation of the ceremonial check to the Massage Therapy Foundation, Ribeiro
reinforced AMTA’s commitment to be the primary benefactor of the foundation,
reflecting AMTA’s own research goals. 

Representatives
of all of the profession’s organizations were welcomed at the opening session,
and keynote speaker Molly Barker
touched the audience as she shared her inspirational story of self-empowerment
and hope as an agent of change.  Barker is the founder of Girls on the Run
International, and an author who has received awards from Runner’s World
, Redbook and Woman’s Day magazines and has been featured
in Forbes
and
on national TV shows. 

AMTA
continued its very successful Student Day program, with 200 area students
attending information sessions on planning for their careers and learning good
business practices.  Students also attended the exhibit hall and
interacted with experienced massage therapists throughout the day.

The
association’s House of Delegates approved three position statements to express
AMTA’s views on how a growing body of research indicates the value of massage
for specific health issues. The approved statements
are on massage therapy for low back pain, improved sleep and fibromyalgia

A
special convention closing session panel of Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic;
Dr. Steven Blair of the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of
South Carolina; Dr. Dale Healey, dean of the School of Massage Therapy at
Northwestern Health Sciences University; Dr. Adam Perlman of the Duke
University Integrative Medicine Center for Living; and AMTA President Cynthia
Ribeiro, Honorary Clinical Professor at the University of California-Irvine
Medical School, discussed elevating the massage therapy profession through
collaboration. The speakers told the audience that research on the benefits of
massage therapy is growing rapidly and the medical community is starting to
recognize the value of massage therapy in programs of integrative care. 
All speakers reminded attendees that learning the language of the medical
community and how to collaborate is vital to the process of ensuring that the
client is at the center of care.

AMTA
Recognizes Volunteers

The
Awards Ceremony for AMTA volunteers is an important part of the opening session
of the annual convention, as individuals and chapters are recognized for their
outstanding contributions to the association and the profession.  The
Distinguished Service Award was given posthumously to Dianne Polseno, for her
profound impact on the profession and for having served AMTA and its members so
extensively, especially in her writing for MTJ
.  She touched the lives of
hundreds of students through her teaching, and in 2006 was awarded the AMTA
Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year Award.  Her sister Gail accepted the
award on her behalf.

Chris
Voltarel of California was recognized with the President’s Award.  She has
served on the AMTA National Chapter Relations Committee since 2001 and as its
chair since 2003.  Voltarel joined AMTA in 1993 and served as California
Chapter President from 1998 to 2003.  Since that time, she has served on
at least 10 AMTA committees.

AMTA
President Cynthia Ribeiro announced a new award to honor excellence for a
person’s body of massage therapy work focused specifically on the area of
teaching and education.  Because she was such an inspiration to educators,
students and practitioners for such a long time, the award is established in
the name of Dianne Polseno as the Dianne Polseno Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other
individual award recipients include:

  • David
    Lauterstein (TX) – Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year
  • Riva
    Naimark (NY) – Mentor of the Year Award
  • Bruce
    Spicer (NJ) – Sports Massage Achiever Award
  • Ed
    Connor (MA) – Humanitarian Award
  • Maj-Lis
    Nash (TN) – Government Relations Activist Award
  • Elaine
    Calenda (CO) – National Meritorious Award (posthumously)

A
complete list of individual and chapter award recipients will be available soon
on the AMTA website at www.amtamassage.org.

AMTA
members convene for their convention each fall for educational workshops,
information about current research on the efficacy of massage, association
business meetings and a tradeshow.  All massage therapist, massage therapy
educators and students are welcome.  The AMTA 2013 national convention
will be held in Ft. Worth, Texas September 25-28.


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