AMTA – Advancing the Massage Therapy Profession in 2016

Partnerships, Research & Education

In 2016, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) continued to make significant progress in advancing the art, science and practice of massage therapy.

As the non-profit organization representing the profession, the association’s efforts included building partnerships to advance massage therapy education and standards; expanding relations with a variety of health care associations, state government agencies and organizations to build respect for the profession and increase opportunities for integration of massage therapy into health care; and supporting clinical research on the benefits of massage therapy.

AMTA continued to promote the efficacy of massage therapy to consumers and stepped up to help build the future of the profession by providing free Student memberships to all students in AMTA member massage therapy schools. And, we held the largest National Convention in AMTA history!

Here are some of AMTA’s efforts in 2016 to advance the massage therapy profession.

Groundbreaking Meta-analysis of Massage Research

AMTA maintained its support for the Massage Therapy Foundation’s work with the Samueli Institute which led to publication of a 3-part series of articles in Pain Medicine magazine of Samueli’s meta-analysis of the impact of massage therapy on pain. In addition to funding the research, AMTA took the lead in promoting the research to the public, reaching an audience of some 270 million.

Share the Research With Your Massage Clients:

American Medical Association

AMTA maintained its representation to the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Health Care Professional’s Advisory Committee. AMTA’s representatives provided input into decisions related to CPT code use by massage therapists. This is of direct benefit to massage therapists who seek insurance reimbursement.

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and Academy of Integrative Pain Management (AIPM) – AMTA was an active participant in the AAFP national conference, providing information on research supporting the value and effectiveness of massage therapy, and educating physicians on how to find AMTA members for referrals. And, an AAFP representative spoke at the AMTA National Convention in Milwaukee, WI about collaboration and communication between family physicians and massage therapists.

AMTA was also an active participant in the AIPM national conference and set up further direct collaboration for 2017.

New Sports Massage Specialty Certificate Program

In July, AMTA announced collaboration with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) for a new sports massage certificate program for massage therapists. The new education program culminates in the opportunity for massage therapists to earn the AMTA/NCBTMB Sports Massage Specialty Certificate. The content was developed through a rigorous process in collaboration with some of the top sports massage educators, medical doctors and sports science experts in the U.S.

Explore the AMTA/NCBTMB Sports Massage Specialty Certificate program »

Massage Therapy Instead of Opioids

AMTA worked closely with the Office of the Attorney General of West Virginia to promote massage therapy as an alternative to opioids for pain. The state was determined to take the lead in overcoming its severe problem with opioid addiction and asked AMTA for support for alternative methods of patient care. In response, the Attorney General stated that, “…the massage therapists of West Virginia will be counted on to play a leadership role in ensuring patients have access to adequate pain management.”

Massage Therapy Foundation

AMTA continued to be the primary benefactor of the Massage Therapy Foundation with financial support exceeding $475,000. The association directly supported the MTF’s fundraising and awareness-building efforts for the profession, including support for Boston Marathon runner and AMTA member Marcy Cook. And, AMTA was the Premier Sponsor of the foundation’s International Massage Therapy Research Conference (IMTRC).

Support Team MTF - Running for Research in the Boston Marathon »

Team Roger C Peace Research & Paralympic Medalist

AMTA continued its co-sponsorship of Team Roger C. Peace (one of the premier para-cycling teams in the U.S.) and funded the gathering of data on the impact of massage therapy on the conditioning and performance of these professional athletes as they sought to be part of the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team. Team member Alicia Dana won a silver medal in Rio and joined a panel of previous Olympians at the AMTA 2016 National Convention to discuss how massage therapy helped her in her training.

AMTA’s name and logo continues to be prominently displayed by the athletes as they compete and massage therapy is closely associated with their training and conditioning in this first of a kind study.

Largest AMTA National Convention Ever!

The AMTA 2016 National Convention was the largest and most successful convention in AMTA history. Opening Session keynote speaker Robin Roberts inspired the massage therapy community with her grace, humor and candor in the face of life’s challenges. The Closing Session brought home the gold with Olympic athletes Bonnie Blair, Alicia Dana, Kerri Strug and Abby Wambach. Their stories touched hearts and focused attention on how sports massage enabled them to achieve their goals and face life challenges.

And, participants attended a record number of continuing education sessions, advancing their learning and making connections with other massage therapists.

AMTA 2016 National Convention Photos & Video »

AMTA Agrees to Safeguard Board Certification

AMTA has long supported certification as a vital part of the massage therapy profession and continues to support its value. When approached by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB), the AMTA Board of Directors agreed to provide operational and logistical support to the organization to safeguard Board Certification.

NCBTMB will continue as an independent body, as AMTA ensures its long term sustainability through operational and logistical support. As this new collaboration evolves, AMTA and NCBTMB will keep everyone in the profession informed about the process.

Free AMTA Membership for Students

This fall, the AMTA Board of Directors took a bold step to support the future of the profession by extending free Student membership to all students in AMTA member schools. The board recognizes that it is a challenge for massage school students to pay the costs of their education and look forward to their careers. This move gives students the opportunity to use AMTA resources, including the ability to connect with Professional members at chapter meetings, to increase their knowledge of the realities of the profession.

“AMTA continues to be the only massage therapy organization to collaborate with so many different partners to advance our profession,” says AMTA President Nathan Nordstrom. “These relationships and our support for the future of massage therapy are important ways AMTA serves our members and moves our profession forward.”

AMTA Member Benefits You Will Love

Optional insurance for health, disability, home & more »

AMTA Member Discounts »

Discounts on Continuing Education »

"I chose AMTA because they are committed to advancing the profession."

Jackie R., AMTA member since 2011