Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Integrative Health Care Focus, Donation to Foundation Highlight AMTA Convention in Portland

Featuring a special education track for massage as part of integrated health, the American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®) national convention brought together more than 1,400 participants from October 19 to 22 in Portland, Oregon, for one of AMTA’s largest conventions. The association also released results of its 15th annual consumer survey, presented a ceremonial check for $420,000 to the Massage Therapy Foundation, announced preliminary findings from research on massage in a hospital environment, and announced mobile access to AMTA’s Find a Massage Therapist® national locator service. The expanded Exhibit Marketplace included more companies than in 2010, offering attendees nearly 80 exhibits of massage therapy products and services. Meanwhile, attendees were able to earn more than 20 hours of continuing education credit. And, people could follow the events through Twitter and Facebook posts throughout the convention.

AMTA President Glenath Moyle announced that the Governor of Oregon had proclaimed it American Massage Therapy Association Week in Oregon.

Keynote speaker Kevin Carroll, founder of The Katalyst Consultancy and author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, captivated the audience during the opening session on Thursday, describing his life experience, engaging attendees with his approach to life and relating it to choices massage therapists make that can help them be successful. Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) President Ruth Werner spoke about the relationship between AMTA and the MTF, highlighted the recent and upcoming work of the foundation, announced winners of their Case Report Contest and research grants, and thanked AMTA for its sponsorship of the MTF’s first golf outing.

AMTA continued its very successful Student Day program, with 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.

AMTA welcomed representatives of all of the profession’s organizations, as well as Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic who taught a class and served on a panel about the importance of evidence-informed practice.  Bauer’s class was part of the research track for continuing education developed with the Massage Therapy Foundation and was an indicator of the emphasis the association gave to research at the convention.  In her opening remarks, AMTA President Glenath Moyle stated, “Research-informed practice is the future. And, the future is here.” 

Moyle and Executive Director Shelly Johnson shared the podium as they announced that the association‘s annual consumer survey, recent research from the American Hospital Association and other research studies showed a growing acceptance of the value of massage therapy for health and use of massage therapy within health care. This included preliminary information from AMTA’s partnership with the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minnesota. The early findings for 2010, involving nearly 2,200 inpatients who received massage, showed decreases of pain and anxiety levels after massage of nearly 50 percent. They pointed out the importance of the study for involving so many participants.

In her presentation of the ceremonial check to the Massage Therapy Foundation, Moyle reinforced AMTA’s commitment to be the primary benefactor of the foundation, ensuring that it is able to carry out its work, which reflects AMTA’s own research goals.

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 to Dr. Glenn M. Hymel, Executive Editor of the International Journal of the Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, massage therapist and Professor of Psychological Sciences at Loyola University New Orleans. Adela Basayne of Oregon was recognized with the President’s Award. She is a past AMTA President and was a Charter Commissioner for the Commission on Massage Training Accreditation, which evolved into the current Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA). She was also recognized for her contributions to AMTA’s strategic planning process.

Other award recipients include:
Patty J. Kruschke (WA) – Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year
Charlotte Phillips (IL) – first recipient of the Mentor of the Year Award
Laura Stevenson-Flom (CT) – Sports Massage Achiever Award
Garnet Adair (AZ) – Humanitarian Award
Chris Widlund (VT) – Government Relations Activist Award
Angela Palmier (IL) – National Meritorious Award
Ann Blair Kennedy (SC) – Outstanding Volunteer Group Chair

Three people received special Certificates of Appreciation for their long-time service to AMTA: Whitney Lowe, Dan Barrow and Mark Tyle.

The transcript of the joint presentation of AMTA President Glenath Moyle and Executive Director Shelly Johnson from October 20, is available online.

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. The AMTA 2012 National Convention will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, October 3-6.

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Chris B., AMTA member since 2012

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