Education Sessions

The AMTA 2018 School Summit, February 15-16 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, features high quality educational programming designed to strengthen your massage therapy school, your career and your students.

Onsite registration begins on Thursday, February 15 at 8:00 AM!

Thanks to our speakers for bringing high quality content and discussion to the AMTA 2018 Schools Summit! Explore education sessions & programming »

Opening & Keynote: How Can Massage Educators Prepare Students for the Challenges of the Future?

Dr. Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier | Thursday, February 15, 10 a.m. -  Noon

Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, MD, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired) is the program director and principal investigator for the Uniformed Services University’s (USU) Defense & Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management (DVCIPM) under the department of Military Emergency Medicine.

Kick off the AMTA 2018 Schools Summit with the Opening Session and Keynote! All massage schools must prepare graduates for the future of the profession. Hear from an expert in his field on how he's integrated massage in a variety of settings and to hear the latest research in pain management.

Issues Facing the Massage Therapy Profession: Complicated Client Conditions

Rebekah Blowers, Dr. Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier & Julie Goodwin | Thursday, February 15, 1:30-3 p.m.

Rebekah Blowers, MSHS, NCBTMB, LMT, is a graduate of the Potomac Massage Training Institute and an NCBTMB-approved provider. She had eight years of honorable service with the U.S. Navy and currently works for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Her goal in studying health administration is to bring reform and complementary integrative health – specifically massage therapy – to other veterans.

Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, MD, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired) is the program director and principal investigator for the Uniformed Services University’s (USU) Defense & Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management (DVCIPM) under the department of Military Emergency Medicine.

Julie Goodwin is a longtime massage therapy educator and an NCBTMB-approved provider. She is the author of Touch & Movement: Palpation and Kinesiology for Massage Therapists and creator of She was named the 2016 AFMTE Educator of the Year.

As a follow up to opening session, Dr. Buckenmaier will lead a panel discussion and Q&A on issues facing the massage therapy profession. Follow up on the issues presenters’ discussed in the morning session and ask in-depth questions to support your massage school and your students.

Understanding and Teaching Pain Management 

Brett Baute | Thursday, February 15, 3:30-5 p.m.

Brett Baute, LMT, NMT, attended Florida College of Natural Health in Miami, FL, where he completed both the basic and advanced massage training programs. Today, Baute owns a Miami-based mobile massage company that focuses on high endurance athletes, ranging from weekend warriors to Olympic athletes. He is also currently an instructor at Cortiva Institute—Miami Campus, teaching both basic massage courses and seminars for students interested in working with athletes.

This course focuses on the role massage therapy plays in pain management, including identifying proper assessment tools as well as the need for more awareness surrounding non-pharmacological interventions. 

AMTA’s 2018 Massage Profession Research Report

Winona Bontrager and Cynthia Ribeiro | Friday, February 16, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Winona Bontrager founded the Lancaster School of Massage in Pennsylvania in 1991. She teaches massage therapy and maintains a private practice. Winona is an AMTA past president and an AMTA Council of Schools past president. She graduated from the Florida School of Massage in 1986.

Cynthia Ribeiro is the advanced program developer and an instructor at the National Holistic Institute. Her background is in physical education and surgical nursing, and she graduated from two massage school programs. She founded the Western Institute of Neuromuscular Massage Therapy, and was an honorary professor at the University of California-Irvine Medical School. She is an AMTA past president.

Start the day off with an overview of this outstanding resource designed to give you the information you need to improve your school, address the needs of your students and respond to changes within the profession. You’ll engage in discussions with fellow attendees about how to use this report as soon as you return home! All summit attendees receive a complimentary copy of the resource.

Teaching in the Fourth Wave: the Value of Learning from Failures

Karen Guerin |  Friday, February, 16, 9:45-11:45 a.m.

Karen Guerin, LMT, RPP, RPE, BCPP, MLA, has been a bodywork and massage therapy practitioner since the late 1980s. She is an associate professor with 10 years of experience at the community college level. As a Registered and Board Certified Polarity Practitioner, she is also a Polarity educator through the American Polarity Therapy Association. It is her desire to share her knowledge, training, and experience wit massage educators during the challenges of a rapidly changing culture.

The fourth technological wave is upon us! How do we teach learners in the age of robotics? Brain science shows that learning can be compared to a computer model (RAM and ROM) and we can optimize the potential for retention by using our most human and misunderstood trait: failure. How we manage and deliver content can create success out of failure.

The Inner and Outer Body Experience: Teaching Self-Care Skills

Robin Anderson | Friday, February 16, 1-3 p.m.

Robin Anderson is a board certified and licensed massage therapist and the director of the massage therapy program at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). Robin has taught for seven years with experience in both proprietary schools and community colleges. Robin is a Massage Therapy Foundation board member and an active AMTA member. She has worked with the Alliance for Massage Therapy Educators (AFMTE) and the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB).

Correcting body mechanics and preaching self-care to students are things we do regularly as massage instructors. How can we equip them with the proper tools and awareness so that they can have long and sustainable careers as massage therapists? Explore how the scientific concepts of physics and ergonomics play an important role in body mechanics from the kinesthetic sense, but also the establishment of healthy habits and solid boundaries. Review in-class exercises to help students develop both inner and outer body awareness to help them start their careers off on the right foot. 

"As a professional member of AMTA, I have found comfort in knowing that all the effort I put into obtaining my massage certification is recognized and protected. AMTA standards validate the profession."

Kim K., AMTA member since 2003