AMTA 2020 Schools Summit Education Sessions

The AMTA 2020 School Summit, February 13-14 in Hollywood, California, features high quality educational programming designed to strengthen your massage therapy school, your career and your students.

Register now for AMTA 2020 Schools Summit »

Thursday, February 13

Opening and Keynote - Debunking The Myth of Learning Styles 

Tesia Marshik is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, who specializes in educational and developmental psychology. Her research focuses on understanding social-cognitive predictors of motivation and developing interventions for improving academic outcomes. She enjoys making psychological science accessible to public audiences and regularly presents on topics including effective teaching, debunking misconceptions, motivating change, and information literacy. 

The belief in learning styles is so widespread, it has become deeply ingrained in our educational system and rarely challenged. Teachers are routinely told that in order to be effective educators, they must identify and cater to individual students' learning styles. In this presentation, explore how recent research suggests that learning styles don’t actually exist. Find out how and why the belief in learning styles is problematic, and examine the reasons why the belief persists despite the lack of evidence.

Advanced Skills for Teaching Adult Learners 

Ashlyn Pickett is an LMT, massage therapy instructor and continuing education provider. She founded DFW Bodywork Education to bring quality continuing education to massage therapists in the field.

Find out how to improve your technical and soft skills to enhance the overall learning experience for students. Explore the art of teaching adult learners, classroom mechanics, and different student types. Learn how to design teaching methods, and creative ways to deliver content that is impactful and powerful. 

Business Head + Healing Heart: Building a Better Curriculum

Kelly Bowers, LMT has been teaching business practices to massage therapists since 2003. In 2019, she published The Accidental Business Owner: A Friendly Guide to Success for Health & Wellness Practitioners. 

While massage schools are highly specialized in developing anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and hands-on curriculum, the business portion is often not as strong. We, as practitioners, tend to have an uneasy relationship with business (and money) which can influence how we teach. This presentation will provide an approach for a business curriculum based on the strongest values and healthiest practices of our massage curriculums -- teaching to the head and the heart.

How to Teach Pain Management in an Integrative Environment

Heather Tick, MD is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine, Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, and is the first Gunn-Loke Endowed Professor of Integrative Pain Medicine at the University of Washington. She co-founded one of the first interprofessional pain centers (in Toronto), and is the lead author on the December 2017: Evidence-Based Nonpharmacologic Strategies for Comprehensive Pain Care: The Consortium Pain Task Force White Paper.

Pain is a physical and emotional experience that can be affected by one’s mood, one’s social environment or their level of sensitivity to pain. Rating pain can be arbitrary and can vary from person to person. Learn accurate ways to assess clients’ pain and how it affects their daily activities and functionality. Find out what students need to know to help them better collaborate with their colleagues to ensure optimal client care.

Friday, February 14

AMTA's 2019 Research Profession Report

Winona Bontrager, LPN, LMT founded the Lancaster School of Massage in Pennsylvania in 1991. She is a Past President of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), serving on the board for over 15 years.

Cynthia Ribeiro, LMT is the advanced program developer and an instructor at the National Holistic Institute (NHI). She founded the Western Institute of Neuromuscular Massage Therapy, and was an honorary professor at the University of California-Irvine Medical School. Cynthia is an AMTA Past President.

Dolly Wallace, LMT, maintained a massage therapy practice for over 30 years in Muskegon, Michigan, and now resides in California. She has actively served AMTA since 1988 in various roles, including MI Chapter Treasurer, National Government Relations Chair, member of the Board of Directors, and is a national Past President. Dolly currently serves on the NCBTMB Board of Directors. 

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 will receive a complimentary copy of the resource.

Assessing Program Effectiveness - How Does Your Garden Grow?

Dawn Hogue is a seasoned therapist, educator and administrator. She currently serves as the Executive Director for COMTA, and is dedicated to providing training and resources to help support school administrators with best practices for operational management and overall student success.

Assessing the effectiveness of your program incorporates many stakeholders who all play a valuable role in maintaining a healthy and thriving school community! Join us for an interactive exploration of best practices for gathering, analyzing and utilizing data from your stakeholders to help ensure your program is successful in fulfilling its mission. Just like a gardener must prepare the soil, plant the seeds and nurture their growth to have an abundant harvest, so too, must we prepare our administrative infrastructure to ensure our school produces effective massage therapists.

Business Marketing: How to Strategically Position Your Specialty

Dr. Julie A Hayek has served the healthcare field for over 25 years in a variety of roles including speaker, educator, counselor, and business consultant. She has written health manuals and books, and teaches interactive classes that help massage therapists build successful schools and practices. 

In this presentation, explore how to target your audience using niche marketing. Create a multi-channel advertising plan to get results while staying within your budget. Learn how to fine-tune your approach and get quality clients by using the correct buzz words.

The Science of Self-Care for Administrators and Instructors

Susan Salvo is an LMT with over 30 years of experience. She is co-director of the LA Institute of Massage Therapy, and is a nationally known author and speaker who has written several massage textbooks and online courses. 

Being a service provider can take its toll on us both mentally and physically – making self-care vital. Explore the science of self-care and learn tools based on research-based evidence, including updated body mechanics principles and ways to prevent professional burnout. Take away a personalized self-care plan that fits your needs and aspirations. Come get re-energized!


"AMTA and my chapter have already given me back so much
that I cannot believe I ever considered another group."

Chris B., AMTA member since 2012