You must be a member to view the AMTA Policy Manual.
Mission of the American Massage Therapy Association
To serve AMTA members while advancing the art, science and practice of massage therapy.
- We are a diverse and nurturing community working with integrity, respect and dignity.
- We are a nonprofit member-driven organization of ethical professionals.
- We embrace consistency in education.
- We endorse professional standards.
- We affirm and promote the benefits of massage therapy as validated by research.
As the most trusted professionals in massage therapy, American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) members are integral to health care and wellness.
AMTA’s vision is a future where:
- AMTA members are devoted to professionalism and excellence in massage therapy practice.
- Quality research is the foundation for evidence-informed massage therapy education and practice.
- AMTA supports its members in expanding their knowledge through quality education.
- AMTA embodies the spirit of community in support of its members.
- AMTA promotes its members as the highest quality professionals in massage therapy.
- Massage therapy is easily accessible.
- Massage therapy is a vital component of health care and wellness.
Goal: AMTA members receive and potential members discover the rewards of AMTA membership.
Objective: To increase awareness among members and potential members of the value of AMTA membership.
Goal: Support high standards in massage therapy education.
Objective: Expand massage therapy education that elevates the professional competency of our members.
Advocacy and Influence
Goal: The health care and wellness industry accepts the value of massage therapy
Objective: Increase understanding of the benefits of massage therapy through education of the health care and wellness industry.
Image and Awareness
Goal: Consumers prefer massage therapy from AMTA members.
Objective: Increase consumer preference for massage therapy provided by an AMTA member.
Goal: AMTA is a respected leader within the health care and wellness industry.
Objective: Increase collaboration between AMTA, its members and other health care and wellness industry leaders.
Goal: AMTA members are aware of the importance of scientific research to the massage therapy industry.
Objective: Increase the opportunities for members to access massage therapy scientific research through AMTA sources.
Goal: AMTA works for effective licensing both to ensure the right to practice of massage therapists and to protect the public.
Objective: To establish portability of massage practice throughout the United States and its territories.
Goal: AMTA members experience a sense of community.
Objective: Increase opportunities for members to feel connected to AMTA nationally and locally.
Note: AMTA’s Future Directions was first developed in May 2003; submitted to the membership and other stakeholders in a call for comment in summer 2003; revised and approved by the AMTA board in October 2003. This edition of the strategic plan was developed in June 2010 with input from chapter leaders and the membership.
You must be a member to view the AMTA Bylaws.
These American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Standards of Practice were developed to assist the professional massage therapist to:
provide safe, consistent care
determine the quality of care provided
provide a common base to develop a practice
support/preserve the basic rights of the client and professional massage therapist
assist the public to understand what to expect from a professional massage therapist
This document allows the professional massage therapist to evaluate and adapt performance in his/her massage/bodywork practice. The professional massage therapist can evaluate the quality of his/her practice by utilizing the Standards of Practice in conjunction with the Code of Ethics, the Bylaws and Policies of AMTA, and precedents set by the AMTA Grievance, Standards and Bylaws Committees.
1. Conduct of the Professional Massage Therapist or Practitioner, hereinafter referred to as "Practitioner"
1.1 AMTA members must meet and maintain appropriate membership requirements.
1.2 Individual AMTA members who engage in the practice of professional massage/bodywork, shall adhere to standards of professional conduct, including the AMTA Code of Ethics.
1.3 The Practitioner follows consistent standards in all settings.
1.4 The Practitioner seeks professional supervision/consultation consistent with promoting and maintaining appropriate application of skills and knowledge.
2. Sanitation, Hygiene and Safety
2.1 Practitioner provides an environment consistent with accepted standards of sanitation, hygiene, safety and universal precautions.
2.2 Pathophysiology (Contraindications)
2.2.1 The Practitioner maintains current knowledge and skills of pathophysiology and the appropriate application of massage/bodywork.
2.2.2 The Practitioner monitors feedback from the client throughout a session.
2.2.3 The Practitioner makes appropriate referrals to other reputable healthcare providers.
3. Professional Relationships with Clients
3.1 The Practitioner relates to the client in a manner consistent with accepted standards and ethics.
3.2 The Practitioner maintains appropriate professional standards of confidentiality.
3.3 The Practitioner relates to the client in a manner which respects the integrity of the client and practitioner.
3.4 The Practitioner ensures that representations of his/her professional services, policies, and procedures are accurately communicated to the client prior to the initial application of massage/bodywork.
3.5 The Practitioner elicits participation and feedback from the client.
4. Professional Relationships with Other Professionals
4.1 The Practitioner relates to other reputable professionals with appropriate respect and within the parameters of accepted ethical standards.
4.2 The Practitioner's referrals to other professionals are only made in the interest of the client.
4.3 The Practitioner's communication with other professionals regarding clients is in compliance with accepted standards and ethics.
4.4 A Practitioner possessing knowledge that another practitioner:
(1) committed a criminal act that reflects adversely on the Practitioner's competence in massage therapy, trustworthiness or fitness to practice massage therapy in other respects;
(2) engaged in an act or practice that significantly undermines the massage therapy profession; or
(3) engaged in conduct that creates a risk of serious harm for the physical or emotional well being of a recipient of massage therapy; shall report such knowledge to the appropriate AMTA committee if such information is not protected or restricted by a confidentiality law.
5.1 Client Records
5.1.1 The Practitioner establishes and maintains appropriate client records.
5.2 Financial Records
5.2.1 The Practitioner establishes and maintains client financial accounts that follow accepted accounting practices.
6.1 Marketing consists of, but is not limited to, advertising, public relations, promotion and publicity.
6.2 The Practitioner markets his/her practice in an accurate, truthful and ethical manner.
7. Legal Practice
7.1 American Massage Therapy Association members practice or collaborate with all others practicing professional massage/bodywork in a manner that is in compliance with national, state or local municipal law(s) pertaining to the practice of professional massage/bodywork.
8.1 The Practitioner engaged in study and/or research is guided by the conventions and ethics of scholarly inquiry.
8.2 The Practitioner doing research avoids financial or political relationships that may limit objectivity or create conflict of interest.
This Code of Ethics is a summary statement of the standards of conduct that define ethical behavior for the massage therapist. Adherence to the Code is a prerequisite for admission to and continued membership in the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).
Principles of Ethics
The Principles of Ethics form the first part of the Code of Ethics. They are aspirational and inspirational model standards of exemplary professional conduct for all members of the association. These Principles should not be regarded as limitations or restrictions, but as goals for which members should constantly strive.
Massage therapists/practitioners shall:
- Demonstrate commitment to provide the highest quality massage therapy/bodywork to those who seek their professional service.
- Acknowledge the inherent worth and individuality of each person by not discriminating or behaving in any prejudicial manner with clients and/or colleagues.
- Demonstrate professional excellence through regular self-assessment of strengths, limitations and effectiveness by continued education and training.
- Acknowledge the confidential nature of the professional relationship with clients and respect each client’s right to privacy within the constraints of the law.
- Project a professional image and uphold the highest standards of professionalism.
- Accept responsibility to do no harm to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of self, clients and associates.
Rules of Ethics
The Rules of Ethics are mandatory and direct specific standards of minimally acceptable professional conduct for all members of the association. The Rules of Ethics are enforceable for all association members, and any members who violate this Code shall be subject to disciplinary action.
Massage therapists/practitioners shall:
Conduct all business and professional activities within their scope of practice and all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
Refrain from engaging in any sexual conduct or sexual activities involving their clients in the course of a massage therapy session.
Be truthful in advertising and marketing, and refrain from misrepresenting his or her services, charges for services, credentials, training, experience, ability or results.
Refrain from using AMTA membership, including the AMTA name, logo or other intellectual property, or the member’s position, in any way that is unauthorized, improper or misleading.
Refrain from engaging in any activity which would violate confidentiality commitments and/or proprietary rights of AMTA or any other person or organization.
Effective Date May 1, 2010
This code of ethics for school members is a summary statement by which a massage education institution agrees to conduct itself and is a declaration of the general principles of acceptable, ethical, professional behavior.
School members shall:
Behave with integrity, honesty, and competence in all professional relationships with other schools, faculty, staff, students, society and the massage therapy profession.
Honestly represent the school and programs in all forms of communication.
Educate students to represent themselves honestly and to provide only those services for which they are qualified to provide.
Provide a positive focused learning environment that addresses a variety of learning styles and includes a physical space conducive to learning, including but not limited to appropriate lighting, heat/air, cleanliness, and equipment.
Conduct the program/school in a manner which respects and teaches the students boundaries and privacy on all levels, including appropriate draping, physical privacy and matters of confidentiality. Any sexual misconduct will be considered a violation of this code of ethics.
Uphold principles and standards which value the dignity and worth of all persons regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender, general disability and/or health status.
You must be a member to view the Policy on Member Discipline.
If you have a complaint against an AMTA member, you may submit a signed complaint in writing to Executive Director, AMTA, 500 Davis Street, Suite 900, Evanston, Illinois 60201. Include a description of the alleged violation as well as specific references to the activities or conduct supporting the complaint. Complaints may not be based on hearsay evidence.