Thai Massage: An Ancient Form of Healing

by Winnie Cain, LMT

Is Thai Massage an ancient form of healing, as claimed by those using this modality over the past 2,500+ years?  I believe it is.  When you understand Thai Massage, you will see why it is called an ancient form of healing.

Thai Massage is based on two theories:

  1. The Four Elements of Life theory: It is the main principle in Thai traditional medicine of which Thai massage is a branch. The body is composed of four elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire.
  2. Sen Sib (energy line) Theory:  It is the core of Thai massage. Acupressure is applied to the Sen Sib.

Four Elements of Life avatarsThe Four Elements of Life

  • Thai massage affects the Earth element at the muscle, bone and ligaments.
  • Thai massage stimulates the Water element flow through the body. It helps to maintain healthy function of the organs.
  • Thai massage helps direct the Air element to flow in the right direction for the body. The Air element provides all the energy for all activities and functions.
  • Thai massage improves circulation and helps maintain the right temperature for the body. The Fire element consists of the heat and energy of life.

Sen Sib

Thai massage helps to remove blockages that may prevent energy flow in the Sen Sib and bring balance to body, mind and spirit.

In Thai massage, the therapist works from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head, ending at the feet.  The therapist releases the fascia by doing acupressure and stretching.


Demo of a Thai Massage sessionThe theory of Thai massage is that a person’s health and well-being relies on the balance of the Four Elements and the life energy channels (Sen Sib).  It is believed that the Sen Sib need regular maintenance to avoid blockages or stagnation.

In Thai massage, the therapist must be comfortable and confident stretching the client. The therapist accomplishes this by using proper body mechanics. It should appear to the client that it is effortless while the therapist is lifting and stretching them. It will also feel like a meditation to both the therapist and client, from beginning to end while using the same rhythm throughout the massage, transitioning from one move to the next, like a dance.

It is an easy modality to do anywhere because the client is fully clothed, which gives on-site massage a new meaning. Thai massage can be performed on a mat or a massage table; it is a great way for the client to become energized while at the same time relaxed.

Decreasing Edema with Active Isolated Stretching

by Joshua Morton, LMP, MAISS, MMLT and Susan Guttzeit, LMP, MAISS

One main key to understanding how to reduce edema lies in stimulating the lymphatic and venous systems. Circulation needs to be restored to deeper tissues, adhesions released, and scarring reduced and realigned. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by utilizing muscle contractions and stretching to create a pushing and pulling force within the vessels. The repeated muscle contractions and stretching that occur using the Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) method create exactly that - a gentle pumping action that promotes lymphatic and venous circulation. This action in turn reduces inflammation and edema. A healthy lymphatic system is an essential component in restoring balance in the body so that it can heal.

AIS-Morton01The lymphatic system is comprised of vessels, nodes and organs. It plays an important role in maintaining stasis in the circulatory system, supplying white blood cells to fight infection and disease and removing metabolic waste products. At the cellular level in the interstitial space between arteriole and venous ends, tiny lymphatic capillaries collect, filter and absorb the remains of plasma and by-products of cellular activity and store them as lymph fluid. Most of the interstitial fluid is reabsorbed into the venous blood stream; the remainder is taken up by lymph. When there is a lymphatic blockage or dysfunction, excess fluid cannot drain effectively. The result is edema or swelling due to fluid retention or build-up. Localized swelling is common with soft tissue injuries.

The lymphatic system begins with tiny capillaries that increase in size to deeper vessels or collectors (nodes). The largest lymph vessels are called ducts and they drain into the venous system by means of the subclavian veins at the base of the neck. Lymph nodes distributed along lymphatic vessels filter lymphatic fluid and contain lymphocytes, which are an important component of the body’s immune system. This drainage system follows a specific pattern of superficial areas near the skin before entering deeper ducts such as the thoracic, cisterna chyli and iliac nodes. The lymphatic drainage territories are separated by overlapping regions called watersheds. The right arm, right shoulder and right neck drain into the right lymphatic duct. The rest of the body drains into the thoracic duct. Lymphatic flow is unidirectional and is mostly passive requiring active muscle contraction of skeletal muscles as well as the act of diaphragmatic breathing and peristalsis (Rattray/Ludwig, p. 218). Nonetheless, the lymphatic vessels themselves have been found to have a minor contractile ability. “This minor contraction is stimulated by stretching the vessels either internally, by the vessels filling, or externally by light massage” (Rattray/Ludwig, p. 217).

Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) is a dynamic flexibility system developed by Aaron Mattes. It is grounded in physiological laws and clinical observations. Utilizing the physiological mechanism of reciprocal inhibition and a 2-second contraction of the synergistic muscles creates a brief window that allows the antagonist muscles to be stretched gently without traumatizing tissue. To illustrate one example of how this works, when you extend your knee using your quadriceps, neurological signals are sent to your hamstrings to relax in order for your knee to straighten. Physiologically, the contraction of agonistic and synergistic myofascial structures allows antagonistic muscles and fascia to relax and lengthen naturally. This creates an optimal environment to safely open up tissues. The act of contracting and stretching is repeated many times to create a pumping action that stimulates lymphatic and venous flow. This flushes the tissues with restorative blood and nutrients and returns blood and lymph to organs for processing and elimination. As the process continues, scar tissue softens and realigns while myofascial adhesions restricting circulation are loosened.

When edema is caused by acute trauma, such as a rolled ankle or twisted knee, the resulting swelling is part of the injury healing process. Tissues become inflamed immediately due to tissue damage and the burden placed on the lymphatic and venous systems. Usually our body is able to cope with most of these disruptions well enough without intervention; however, sometimes the injury is much more than our body can handle on its own and it requires outside help before healing can occur.

Scar tissue in the form of extra fibrin is laid down to knit together torn tissue. The scarring that takes place does so indiscriminately, attaching to anything close at hand to lend to stability. This process can include other tissues, even bone. Scarring must be addressed to fully restore circulation to the affected joint and surrounding tissues. The repeated muscle contractions associated with AIS realign scar tissue in the direction of movement initially and have the potential to permanently remodel the tissues by aiding and stimulating the body’s natural ability to reabsorb the collagen that has been laid down. Homeostasis is restored to the body allowing the body to heal.

There are three main principles behind how AIS works and why it is effective. The first is Sherrington’s Law of Reciprocal Inhibition, which illustrates why active muscle contractions are an important component to any stretch. What occurs physiologically is the initiation of a neurological signal that innervates one muscle to contract and inhibits the opposite one to relax. This is what allows movement to occur. Without this mechanism, you could not bend or straighten your elbow smoothly, throw or catch a ball with force, or push off from one leg to the other gracefully when walking. Adhering to active versus passive movement enables the body to take advantage of this law.

The second principle follows Wolff’s Law. Dr. Wolff observed that the body adapts to the stresses placed upon it. If the stress is abnormal, the result will be an abnormal adaptation. By taking into consideration every possible joint angle and the fundamentals of joint movement, the AIS system ensures that stretches are done with the joint in proper alignment to avoid compensations and to stay within the joint’s own ability to move. These specific movements, repeated numerous times, create the optimal cellular environment to allow for tissue remodeling that can go as deep as the bone. For example, when you are running and consistently pounding the pavement, your bones become denser in most cases. This is the same principle we are dealing with when we perform stretches repeatedly.

The cornerstone of the AIS technique, the third principle, lies in the mechanism behind the stretch reflex. Spindle cells located in muscle bellies (and more recently discovered in fascia) (Hammer, 2014) act as monitors for every stretch. When the spindles are stimulated by a stretch that could injure muscle and fascial tissue, they act to protect the endangered soft tissue by sending a signal to it to contract. The purpose of the contraction is to protect the muscles from being torn by being over-stretched. The stretch reflex is triggered by three different stimuli. The first is when you try to stretch a muscle beyond its tensile ability. The second is when a muscle is stretched too quickly and the body cannot keep up with the speed at which the muscle lengthens. The third trigger is holding a stretch too long. The approximate time it takes for the spindle cells to trigger a protective muscle contraction is 2 seconds. The AIS system avoids this contraction by holding a stretch for no more than 2 seconds. Each stretch is done gently to avoid triggering the myotatic reflex and to sedate the nervous system with its rhythmic movement and deep breathing. The stretches are then repeated numerous times for greater effectiveness.

decreasing edema w AIS - sample protocolAIS utilizes the same concepts taught in manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) by starting proximally and working distally from there. First we start by freeing-up the subclavian terminus and opening up the thoracic duct in order to drain the lymphatics. A typical approach begins by releasing myofascial restrictions in the cervical and pectoral area moving from proximal to distal. Opening up the lymphatic ducts on the side of the neck between the trapezius and SCM (sternocleidomastoid) and the subclavian ducts located medially inferior to the clavicle should be the first step. “While there are no nerves shown to become entrapped from a tight pectoralis major, lymph vessels from the breast pass in front of and around the muscle.” (Morton, 2009, Shoulder chapter, p. 15). From there move on to free the axillary ducts by stretching the shoulder girdle down to the hands if you are working with upper extremity swelling. If the swelling you are addressing is in the lower extremity or extremities, continue on from the chest into the lumbar, pelvic, inguinal and lower leg lymphatic ducts in the popliteal space and then finish by draining the foot. Specific attention should be focused on the cisterna chyli, the inguinal and popliteal lymph nodes. Adding manual resistance to all of these stretches produces a more powerful pumping action to stimulate lymphatic and venous flow. Once these areas have been worked in this order, continue to follow MLD protocol and direct your work back up towards the thoracic duct, doing the stretches and resistance work in the opposite order. This stimulates lymphatic circulation back towards the primary ducts for filtration.

There are generally no contraindications to doing this type of work, but there are always precautions that are relevant for any manual therapy modality. A sudden increase in swelling, pain that doesn't go away, nausea, dizziness are just a few symptoms that might warrant immediate medical attention or referral to the patient’s physician. Since active muscle contractions affect the lymphatic and venous systems indirectly (there is no direct manual pressure placed on the tissue), the usual contraindications for MLD are not applicable for AIS with the exception of increasing circulation when it is undesirable, such as in cases of acute infections, especially systemic infections and thrombosis. Restoring a healthier environment for the body to heal presents the best possibility for a positive outcome. The advantages of the AIS approach go beyond simply reducing edema via increased circulation. Improved mobility, greater uptake of oxygen and nutrients into the tissue, soothing the nervous system with breathing and gentle movements, and establishing a baseline of strength are some additional benefits of this work.


Clinical Massage Therapy: Understanding, Assessing and Treating over 70 Conditions by Fiona Rattray and Linda Ludwig, Talus Inc., Toronto, Canada, March 2000.

Balance is Possible F.R.O.M. Head to Toe by Joshua Morton, 2009 (Unpublished)

The Fascial System is a Sensory Organ, by Warren I. Hammer, D.C., April 2014:

2015 Legislative Changes in Nevada for Massage Therapists

NevadaLegislatureBuildingThe Nevada Legislature usually meets every 2 years - 2015 marks the 78th Session of the Legislature to do the business of legislation: regulation of all the state functions and scopes in a Session that concludes around the end of May.

The AMTA-NV Chapter’s Mission is to serve any AMTA members while advancing the art, science and practice of massage therapy - a part of that ‘practice’ Mission is to assure that, as an organization, our members are treated fairly and have an opinion, if not a say, about how we’re regulated.

The first step is knowledge - knowledge of the laws that affect us: that we know them is our bound, ethical duty.  That we follow the ones that are ‘in effect’ for each of us, professional- and business-related (separately), is our legal duty.  Duty of Diligence lays groundwork for having an opinion and effect on those laws that may change the way we practice.

The Chapter strives to be aware of and respond to or act upon legislation that is of Profession in nature - so, following: we’ve broken up the 3 Bills that we - through our Government Relations Consultant, National Government Relations Department, and local, chapter Government Relations Committee - have been tracking that may affect all Licensed Massage Therapists in the future into two, distinct categories: ones that affect professionals and ones that affect business owners.


Proposal That Affects Massage Therapy (professionals):

This year, 2015, there is one specifically-massage-therapy Bill - AB 126 - that will affect how the NSBMT regulates its Applicants.  Below is a summary of those proposed changes to NRS.640C:

AB 126 -

Sponsor:  Assemblywoman Margaret Carlton

​Summary:  Proposed changes to NRS.640C:


  • adds exemption of nail techs from massage licensure;
  • strikes the language "by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, or its successor organization" which leaves the sentence stating "successfully pass a nationally recognized competency examination in massage that meets acceptable psychometric principles, is statistically validated through a job-task analysis under current standards for educational and professionally testing massage therapists and has been approved by the Board; or other examinations approved by the board;"
  • clarifies by changing the limit of time allowed to reinstate an inactive license to 2 years;
  • strikes the 10 year limitation on criminal background offenses;
  • eliminates ‘moral turpitude’ as being a reason to not give a license;
  • adds "has knowingly failed to report to the board that the holder of a license or other person has engaged in unethical or unprofessional conduct as it relates to the practice of massage therapy within 30 days after becoming aware of that conduct"


The path of this Bill started in the Nevada Assembly (AB = “Assembly Bill”) and will move on to the Senate, if passed by the Assembly.  The Senate will need to pass this Bill for it to get to the Governor’s desk, which is the last approval the Bill needs to become law.

The Chapter has drafted and remitted a letter of support to the Sponsor and the NSBMT for the above changes to NRS.640C. [view letter]


Other Proposals That Affect Massage Therapy (business owners):

AB 336 -

Sponsor:  Assemblymen Benitez-Thompson and Hambrick

​Summary:  Proposed change to NRS.597:

* adds requirement, under threat of penalty ($500/day, after the first 24-hour Warning), [Section 1.1.d] "A massage parlor or public spa;" to post a state-produced sign regarding the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline "in a conspicuous location near the public entrance of the business or establishment or in another conspicuous location in clear view of the public and employees where similar signs are customarily posted"

This is likely a trend around the country and does not affect NRS.640C - it does affect how the classified/defined businesses listed need to operate according to NRS.597...

Currently, the NSBMT is requesting "parlor" be changed to "establishment", so this will affect all "massage establishments"

The Chapter has drafted and remitted to the Sponsor a letter of support with the NSBMT’s requested change of “parlor” to “establishment” [view letter]


SB 252 -

Sponsor: Committee on Revenue and Economic Development (on behalf of the Department of Administration)

Summary: Proposed change to NRS.76:

Current law requires Independent Massage Therapists and Massage Establishments to maintain a State Business License annually, fee = $200 (unless Exempt).

Proposed law requires Independent Massage Therapists and Massage Establishments to maintain a State Business License quarterly, fee = minimum $100 (based on reported gross income for each quarter)(pg 15, table, at the link above)(unless Exempt)

Basically, it's a fee structure change for all Nevada business licensees.  This will affect how IMTs and some Establishments will do business.



Please leave your Comments below - stimulate a conversation/debate/opinion with your educated, well-thought-out questions or comments.  Everyone has an opinion about the profession they let us hear yours!

If you have specific questions about how these changes might affect you, please contact the AMTA-NV Chapter Government Relations Committee or the Board of Directors - we would be happy to help you understand what these changes involve.

If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest changes, please come back to this page occasionally.

We are also looking for a Nevada chapter member to be active in the Government Relations Committee: attending NSBMT meetings, reporting to the AMTA-NV Chapter Board of Directors, and bringing legislative issues to the members’ attention (no matter the origin; within and regarding any Nevada [jurisdiction’s] statutes, codes, and/or regulations).  Join us in keeping AMTA-NV members IN THE KNOW and empowering our practices in massage therapy!

NSBMT Post Available – Application Information

Credit: GlobalPartnership for Education

Ever thought seriously about serving as a member of the Nevada Board of Massage Therapists?

The Nevada State Board of Massage Therapists (NSBMT) consists of 8 members: 6 professional massage therapists, 1 non-massage-therapist representing the public, and 1 non-voting member from Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Special Investigations Unit.  All member appointments are made by Nevada's Governor and terms of service are 4 years.

Board members are required to attend all meetings and functions of the board and to serve on panels as required.  Additionally, board members are held to the open meeting law, the requirements of being a board member as defined by the Attorney General’s office and by the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS 640C), and are held accountable to the Nevada Commission on Ethics.

The application process may be accessed by visiting the  or the Governors page where applications may be completed online and directly submitted to the Governor’s office.  All applications are held for a period of time at the Governor’s  office and future appointments may be made from current applicants on file.

Currently, the NSBMT has two member positions available beginning on July 1 - both applicants need to reside in Clark County as part of eligibility for position appointment.

For more information on the positions available, please visit the NSBMT's "Board Member Positions" document.

Contact the NSBMT for serious inquiry and questions.

To apply, please access the Governor's website at

Hospice Massage vs Spa Massage

by Robert Amaro, LMT

Those in the hospice and palliative care business tend to overlook the value and positive effects massage has on our patients. Perhaps it is due to a misunderstanding of what we do in hospice compared to what we might do in a traditional spa setting. The difference between spa services and the type of massage we do with hospice and palliative care patients is a little like comparing apples and oranges; they are night and day.

A few of the services offered in a traditional spa setting would never work for our patients. Massage services such as deep tissue, Swedish massage and hot stone would never go over well for the patients we deal with on a day-to-day basis. Another service you might see offered at a spa is the body wrap, and some wellness centers even have pre-natal massage. The list is endless of the types of specialty massage services offered at upscale spas and salons. Of course none of these massage services will work for our hospice and palliative care patients.

150315 cranialmassageThere are several massage modalities that can be incorporated specifically into the needs of the hospice/palliative care patient. First and foremost is a technique called CranioSacral Therapy (CST). CST is a light touch approach that can create dramatic improvements to one’s body because it directly affects the cranium, the spinal cord and the sacrum. Its goal is to release tension deep within the body, thereby relieving pain. The modality has a direct effect on the central nervous system. In fact, there are some interesting studies on the profound effects CST has on a variety of end of life pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is another technique used frequently in the hospice and palliative care field. Many cancer patients develop edema in their upper and lower extremities. MLD simply moves the fluid out. The results can be instantaneous when this technique is used correctly.  Many patients with edema fear they can’t be touched and nothing can be done to help them but this technique has had some astounding results.

Another technique used to help patients relax when they are agitated or restless is Reiki. This is an energy technique that lightly palpates the body or, in some cases, uses the patient’s aura to communicate with the body without the need for touch. The patient’s body simply responds to its own energy fields with a massage therapist’s assistance. Yes, even patients who are obtunded and unresponsive still have energy in their bodies and that energy can be affected in a positive manner.

The massage therapists at Nathan Adelson Hospice are highly skilled at what they do. One of the best compliments I ever received was from a nurse who said, “When you get done doing your work, my patients are less agitated and they need less medication.” Less medication at this point and time is one of the great benefits of massage therapy. This is a strong testament to the type of work we do and the results we can achieve.

All of NAH patients can benefit from massage therapy. Whether the patient is alert, lethargic, obtunded or unresponsive, massage therapy can have a profoundly positive effect.

RAmaro-2009Robert Amaro, LMT, is a massage therapist in the Las Vegas, NV, area and has been practicing Hospice and Palliative Care massage for the last four years. His current employer, Nathan Adelson Hospice, has offered him immense opportunities and challenges. To help people find comfort at the end stages of life is one of the most rewarding positions he has ever had - it is Robert's pleasure to share some of his experiences.


originally published at
reprinted with permission

Medical Marijuana and Massage Therapy…Are We Ready?

Unless you have been hiding in a mine shaft for the last year, you have probably heard that medical marijuana is a hot topic in Nevada.  In November 2014, Dispensary Applicants are expected to be issued their business licenses.

The AMTA-Nevada Government Relations Committee has been contacted by one of the organizations that have organized to educate and advocate the use of medical marijuana.  The Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Association ( has regular meetings where they discuss policy and educational talks.  At this point, you may be thinking to yourself “So what?”

Well, the “what” is this:  as a complementary and alternative wellness practitioner, you may very well be asked about the use of medical marijuana for pain and stress relief.  What do you say?  What is your personal opinion?  And, moreover: what is your professional opinion?

Apothecanna productsWhat would you say if a client asked you to use an "infused oil" on them?  Are you aware of what infused products are (their content, MSDS requirements, prescription viability)...?  Do you know the risks/benefits of using THC or marijuana for medical purposes...?  Is it in a massage therapist’s Scope of Practice to use it?

These are some of the questions the Government Relations committee has brought to your Chapter’s attention and is looking into answering from a more-informed position.

Here’s a little background information that I have found:

In short, marijuana has two primary substances in it: THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol).  THC has mind-altering and anti-nausea effects, while CBD is the pain-relieving, anti-seizure substance.  Traditionally, the different strains of marijuana plants have had different mixtures of these two components.

With selective breeding and hybrids, they now have strains of marijuana with only trace amounts of THC and high amounts of CBD.  Part of the "science" of medical marijuana is finding the right strain for the client and their symptoms, then finding the correct dosage.

Correct dosing is where infused products come into play:  the THC and CBD oils are taken out of the plants, much like an essential oil would be; the oil can then be put on or in a food, or it can be placed in massage oil for topical application.  The dosages of THC and CBD can be controlled better with infused products that are ingested or absorbed rather than by smoking (inhaling) least that is how some think.

The infused products have received some bad press due to their potency.  The thing to remember is, like anything, people tend to become resistant to THC or CBD over time.  So: infused products came about for two reasons, first to make something strong enough to work on the worst cancer patients, and so a person can medicate without smoking pot at work.

There are some upcoming events in Nevada that may be helpful to get more information. The LVMMA’s Medical Marijuana Oktoberfest happens on October 16th and 3rd-annual Marijuana Business Conference & Expo on November 11th at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas.  We have been told that there will be massage therapists from Colorado attending.

We think the questions that are arising will be ones that will need answering in the future.  It would be wise for you to do some self-education on this hot topic as well.  We want to hear from you on this topic – please email hidden; JavaScript is required and leave your comments below: answer any of the questions above, share links to online, reputable sources to substantiate data and/or your opinion.  You can help us form an opinion as a state chapter of the AMTA on this hot topic.  Ω

submitted by: Chuck Williams, Government Relations Committee Chair - read more about the chapter's involvement in Regulation in Nevada

Take our Survey!

One Question: Right Here - we'll publish the results of the online survey in a follow-up article. PLEASE: This survey is intended for licensed massage therapists only and is available through January 15, 2015:  CLOSED

Survey Results!

150115 CBD-THC survey results AMTA-NV post

Leave your Comments Below!

What’s Love Got To Do With It? A Webmaster’s Request

You’ve probably seen it: an email in your member-registered email Inbox from “email hidden; JavaScript is required”.  That’s Me – HI! :)

Why we receive Nevada chapter email:  We’re all pretty busy in our practices and our lives and you won’t be able to participate in everything that the chapter has to offer that as a chapter and your webmaster, as a natural, efficient, timely, and contemporary method of communicating with all chapter members, send your way.  The National office of the AMTA also sends you news you can use, to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your profession and ways to engage that news with your practice and clients/patients.  So much information is out there, and delivery of that information and receipt/management of that information can be real challenges.

It’s all great information that I, personally, have used and depend on to keep on top of what’s happening in the massage therapy world – my opinions and efforts are driven by several origins of that information, including AMTA’s publications: the MTJ and emails, to name a couple of ways…

If you become inundated or uninterested in the types of information that come your way via email, there are methods for changing your preferences as your needs/desires change – that is the purpose of this article/request.  Instead of reporting chapter emails as Spam or Complaining (as functions of the email links you may click or in your email client options), I ask that you kindly either delete the email or, if you would like to unsubscribe – permanently – from chapter communications, please: change or remove your email address from your AMTA Member Profile on the national website on your Member Profile.

email-letter-envelopeIt happens with any service that mediates email delivery…like, in your own practice, for example.  When Complaints are logged with a mail server, like Eventbrite (a service we use to mediate attendance at free and attendee-paid/chapter-sponsored events), our reputation as an organization is tarnished.  We are perceived as an organization as “not having permission to email the recipients” on the monthly email list that we get and upload each time we send out an email through any service.  As a consequence, we are restricted from emailing through these beneficial services and tools – first, in bulk (All Members At Once as opposed to a “up to 250 emails a day” restriction), but then, ultimately, our account is closed by the service – something we want to avoid.

Up to now, some emails come through from the nevada chapter that a simple button cannot be clicked to Unsubscribe or Complain about “too many” emails coming through.  I can only imagine that that is the main reason members Complain about receiving emails from their chapter.  These emails have directions to “change your email address or remove it” from the database with the National office of the AMTA.  We are preparing to change the way you regularly receive all emails from the chapter.  If you wish to Unsubscribe from specific types (not just chapter-related) of AMTA-approved email communication (login required), visit:

Not getting your chapter communications?

Update your email address on your AMTA Member Profile if:

  • You no longer have access to (by choice or accident) the email address on AMTA-file,
  • You want to receive your chapter-related emails/communication at another email address than you are currently receiving,
  • You no longer want amta nevada chapter or AMTA National emails

Here’s how to Update your email address(es):

  1. Log in to your AMTA Member Profile at (login Name = your member #)
  2. Click on Edit Account Details
  3. Click (Edit), next to Profile Information
  4. Click the Manage Contact Info button
  5. Under My Email Addresses, Click (Add) or click on the email type you want to change/delete
  6. Enter the new information or remove the email address
  7. Click the orange Save button

Make changes for each type of email address and then exit your Profile.  Explore your options for your Profile to be up-to-date while you’re there: there are a lot of things you can do in and with your AMTA Member Profile!

If you choose to receive AMTA-related emails and before you register a complaint, please Unsubscribe – your Unsubscription will be registered with that particular email service and you will not be emailed again from that service.

What happened to chapter communication in my [USPS] mailbox?  As a reminder, you will not get as many USPS mailings regarding chapter activity: National policy allows us to Be Green in communications with our members, but, more importantly, it makes the process of communicating with each of you more economic – costing the chapter less, for paper mailings – so that we (meaning “you”, if you’d like to volunteer to help facilitate expenditures) can spend your hard-earned membership fees in other efforts that support your local, chapter organization in promotions, educational events, and keeping up-to-date with the ways local government affects your practice.

What’s Love Got To Do With It?  We LOVE that you are a Nevada chapter member!

Thank you for being kind and helping us be efficient and continuing to receive emails from “email hidden; JavaScript is required” – That’s Me: HI!

If you have any questions about your privacy, making changes to your email preferences, or receiving amta nevada chapter emails, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

2014 AMTA-NV Delegates’ Report

2014 House of Delegates – Delegates’ Report

Submitted by Nevada chapter Delegates: Shawna Smallwood and Brent Bornemeier, 9/27/2014

Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO – September 17, 2014:  The American Massage Therapy Association’s House of Delegates (HOD) annual Business Meeting started at 1pm with a Welcome from House of Delegates Operating Committee (HODOC) Chair Lisa Curran-Parenteau. Lisa said encouraging words to all Delegates and congratulated everyone on another year of proposed Recommendations and Position Statements.

AMTA National President Nancy Porambo also welcomed Delegates with encouraging words. Then, Lee Stang, the HOD Moderator, welcomed everyone and introduced herself to the Delegates. Lisa also introduced Parliamentarian Rick Greely to the Delegates. The entire HODOC was introduced with standing applause.

The Pledge of Allegiance and Silent Reflection were conducted, respectively by HODOC members Roxanne La’akea Young and Laura Stevenson-Flom.

A memorial was conducted in honor of Dan Barrow by Nancy Porambo. Nancy reflected about the great work Dan has done for AMTA; Dan was the HOD Moderator for many years.

A memorial was conducted to remember Bill Greenberg by Kerry Methot from the Connecticut Chapter. Kerry reflected upon how Bill had encouraged her to become a Delegate and how he would be greatly missed. The Connecticut Chapter also brought Bill’s famous vest to the Convention to honor his memory.

A memorial was conducted to remember Pat Aicher by Lisa Curran-Parenteau. Lisa reflected on how Pat had made an impact in the HOD by taking her job seriously.

AMTA 2014 House of Delegates Business MeetingThe reports from the HODOC Chair were given by Lisa Curran-Parenteau. This report included three submitted Position Statements, and three Recommendations. There were 142 registered Delegates, and 140 Delegates checked into the HOD meeting. Xerlan Deery, Position Statement Review Commission Chair, reported that Position Statements had been reviewed, approved, and were ready for Delegate discussion and voting.

Lee Stang gave a short tutorial on the voting equipment and explained how voting works. The first vote cast was in order to get an accurate count of Delegates. This vote also established the 2/3 total Delegates present, established a quorum, and established the voting points. The voting points showed the actual weighted points, majority of actual weighted points and 2/3 of actual weighted points.

Next, a motion to adopt the HODOC’s proposed Agenda to the HOD was presented. The motion was proposed by a Delegate from South Carolina, and a second was given by a Delegate from Virginia. A vote was cast to adopt the Agenda:  For: 140, Against: 0.

The Rules and Procedures were presented by the HODOC and were called to approve. A Delegate from Washington made the motion, and a Delegate from Indiana seconded the motion. A vote to adopt Rules and Procedures was cast:  For: 140, Against: 0.

Position Statement 1 was presented: “It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that massage therapy can improve health and wellness through its effect on the physical, mental and social well-being of an individual.”

The Position Statement was presented by a Delegate from Utah. The Delegate read the background information, and the rationale. The Moderator asked for comments from the floor. The Moderator moved a motion to call the question into a vote when no one came forth to comment. A vote was cast:

  • Total For: 110
  • Total Against: 30
Weighted For - 40704, Weighted Against - 3628, 2/3 majority weighted - 3622

Motion to call the question was Passed.

The call to vote to approve Position Statement 1:

  • Total For: 115
  • Total Against: 20
  • Abstained: 5
Weighted For - 42062, Weighted Against - 10208, 2/3 majority weighted - 3622

Position Statement 1: PASSED

The HOD was the ahead of the approved Agenda for the day. A Delegate from the Washington chapter moved to continue the meeting until the scheduled 3pm break time.

A vote was cast: For: 127, Against: 9, Abstained: 4; the meeting carried onto the next position statement.

Position Statement 2 was presented: “It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that regulations, in statue and/or rules, should provide options for portability of credentials which meet the required licensing, certification, or registration of massage therapists across the United States.”

The Position Statement was presented by a Delegate from Utah. The Delegate read the background information, and the rationale. The Moderator then asked for comments from the floor.

For Comments:

  • This works for a future goal
  • Empowers AMTA members to move forward
  • Plain simple good idea
  • Doesn't say how we are to be regulated, so this gives AMTA an advantage to send a message to high level officials about what we want.

Against Comments:

  • There is no money for the smaller states to get credentials in order to change their regulations.
  • How can we make a state change their laws, then the scope of practice, and tests for each state?
  • We need to create a set standard first then create this statement.
  • This will flush out other therapists because they can’t get the correct credentials. i.e.. other therapists not in AMTA. [fic]
  • This needs to be rewritten then sent back to the Delegates.

The allotted 20-minute time for discussion ran out. The Moderator called for a vote on Position Statement 2.

The call to vote to approve Position Statement 2:

  • Total For: 80
  • Total Against: 60
Weighted For - 30647, Weighted Against - 23685, 2/3 majority weighted - 36222

Position Statement 2: FAILED

Position Statement 3 was presented:  “It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that massage therapy can assist in the rehabilitation of burn scars.”

The Position Statement was presented by a Delegate from North Carolina. The Delegate read the background information and the rationale. The Moderator then asked for comments from the floor.

For Comments:

  • The word “can” is in position statement.
  • Could become a catalyst and standard across the country.
  • Gives our profession more of a credential.
  • Clients need therapists to help recovery with a caring touch
  • Has been brought to HOD 3 times, has been rewritten 3 times and now it shows proper references and research.

Against Comments:

  • Too broad to be used, unclear distinction for massage, and when to apply massage.
  • Not enough research or findings to stand behind.
  • AMTA does not have a locator service to back up.
  • Be more specific towards burn scars.
  • General massage is not good for burn scars, this needs to be specific on how, when, and where to apply massage.
  • Based on scientific evidence it doesn't show enough evidence.
  • More research by actual therapists.

The allotted 20-minute time for discussion ran out. The Moderator called for a vote on this Position Statement.

A motion was brought to the floor to extend the discussion time by ten minutes. There was a second to the motion. The delegates voted on extending the discussion: For: 13, Against: 127.

Vote to approve Position Statement 3:

  • Total For: 85
  • Total Against: 54
Weighted For - 31312, Weighted Against - 22719, 2/3 majority weighted - 36222

Position Statement 3: FAILED

Brent and Shawna representing the NV chapter at the 2014 HOD Business MeetingThe HOD meeting was called for a break at 3pm. The Colorado Chapter provided snacks for all Delegates during the 20-minute break. All Delegates were allowed to leave the floor and to communicate with other colleagues within the area. Many Delegates exchanged pins and gifts. The Pennsylvania Chapter gave out candy and cards to help raise excitement for next year.

After the break, a roll call was taken of the seated Delegates. The voting machine was not picking up the correct number of Delegates. After roll-calling twice, the Moderator decided to have a manual vote. Each Delegate stood next to their chair and counted themselves. As they counted, they sat down in their chair. The total number of Delegates was 140. The computers seemed to start working; the Moderator welcomed everyone back and called for the first Recommendation.

Recommendation 1 from South Carolina chapter:

Subject:  A Recommendation to the American Massage Therapy Association Board of Directors that the AMTA Board remove the financial responsibility of funding Delegates’ attendance in the House of Delegates from the State Chapters’ budget. A Delegate from South Carolina read the Recommendation in its entirety. The Moderator asked if she would like to make a comment on the subject. The Delegate declined to comment until later in the discussion. The Moderator called for comments from the floor.

For Comments:

  • Nationals need to be responsible for reimbursements of actual costs for each delegate.
  • It’s nice to have National pay so people can get to conventions.
  • Chapters can no longer pay for delegates, National should help pay.
  • Reflects the hardship each chapter is going through.

Against Comments:

  • This will cause management problems- but recommends a waiver for fees for delegates.
  • States can manage their own money better than National.
  • Doesn’t consider states that are further away in the expense reports.
  • Data is not correct- also will alternates be included in the reimbursement?
  • This responsibility belongs to each chapter, or the chapter will lose control.
  • Just simply put chapter fees back.

The allotted 20-minute time for discussion ran out. The Moderator called for a vote on this Recommendation.

  • Total For: 96
  • Total Against: 44
Weighted For - 35688, Weighted Against - 18644, 2/3 Majority weighted - 36222, Required majority weighted: 27167

Recommendation 1: PASSED

Recommendation 2 from Washington chapter.

Subject: A Recommendation to the American Massage Therapy Association Board of Directors that the AMTA Board study moving the function of generating and approving Position Statements on the clinical efficacy of massage from the House of Delegates to another group, and that the AMTA Board encourage the House to discuss issues that relate to the actual practice of massage therapy throughout the United States. A Delegate from Washington read the Recommendation in its entirety. The Moderator asked if he would like to make a comment on the subject. The Delegate declined to comment until later in the discussion. The Moderator called for comments from the floor.

For Comments:

  • Create more of a peer review to create a better understanding.
  • Not everyone is qualified to review position statements.
  • Many recommendations failed because people don’t understand the research portion.
  • Does not take away responsibility but creates a better understanding.

Against Comments:

  • A place for decisions
  • Gives decisions to other people will not reflect the member’s feelings.
  • Delegates and alternates take their position seriously.
  • Delegates should keep responsibility for all position statements.
  • This is insulting to delegates.
  • The purpose of HOD is to discuss, pass or fail position statements.

The Washington Delegate then commented on this recommendation by saying, “I just created this recommendation in order to get people to discuss this. I don’t even care if it passes; all I wanted was to hear people talk about it”. The Moderator then called for a vote.

  • Total For: 14
  • Total Against: 126
Weighted For - 8457, Weighted Against - 45875, 2/3 Majority weighted - 36222, Required majority weighted - 27167

Recommendation 2: FAILED

Recommendation 3 from California chapter.

Subject: A Recommendation to the American Massage Therapy Association Board of Directors that the AMTA Board allow each state to determine its own Chapter Fee.

A Delegate from California read the Recommendation in its entirety. The Moderator asked if he would like to make a comment on the subject. The Delegate declined to comment until later in the discussion. The Moderator called for comments from the floor.

For Comments:

  • This creates a significant recourse for chapters.
  • Chapters have already taken significantly less funding going into the next year.
  • States do the main work of AMTA they should have their opinion on fee’s.
  • Having a set fee will show uniformity and create competition.
  • Each chapter board can decide their own fees.
  • More equitable way to fund chapters.
  • Helps lobbyist’s funds.
  • Have the board reconsider the decision to take away chapter fees.
  • Supports outreach programs.
  • Nationals need to listen to the members.

Against Comments:

  • By dropping the chapter fees it brought back members to the chapter.
  • Jeopardizes AMTA’s global view.
  • Chapter fees need to be the same across states.

The allotted 20-minute time ran out, the Moderator called for a vote on this Recommendation.

  • Total For: 126
  • Total Against: 13
Weighted For - 48946, Weighted Against - 4839, 2/3 Majority weighted - 36222, Required majority weighted - 27167

Recommendation 3: PASSED

DOtto (2014 Alt Delegate), BBornemeier (2014-2015 Delegate), SSmallwood (2013-2014 Delegate)The Moderator congratulated the HOD for another successful year of voting. She also thanked everyone for the professional participation. She commented that everyone on the HOD is significant and appreciated. The meeting then changed its focus onto the candidates for the new HODOC. Each candidate came up and talked about how they can help on the new HODOC and why they wanted to be elected. The candidates the returned to their seats in order to cast a vote. The vote was in three sections. Each time Delegates voted on one person that they thought was the best fit for the job. A total of seven candidates came forward.

  1. Richard Testa (CT)
  2. Christine Eckery (DE)
  3. Myrleen Harrison (FL)
  4. Olivia Nagashima (HI)
  5. Bary Terry (MO)
  6. Jessica Ferrer (NH)
  7. Linda Toomey (NY)

The votes were cast to fill three open positions for the HODOC. The three candidates with the most votes where; Myrleen Harrison (FL), Bary Terry (MO), Jessica Ferrer (NH). The HOD erupted with applause for the new members voted into the HODOC.

The Moderator called for any new business to be brought to the floor:

  • Recommends that the online forum be open year round for Delegates.

The Delegates then performed an evaluation of the HOD meeting. This was done on the electronic voting machines, and there were a total of 20 questions that the HOD answered to evaluate the meeting.

A motion to close the 2014 HOD meeting was made and a second came after. The motion was met and the Moderator called to close the HOD meeting at 5pm.

Get Involved: Run for an AMTA National Elected Position!

Get Involved: Run for an AMTA Elected Position

Serve your profession by running for an AMTA elected office on the National Board of Directors or the Commission on Candidacy!

AMTA is a leader in advancing the massage therapy profession, and we're led by volunteers elected by our membership.

Application Process

  • Review the position criteria. Candidate applications will be available on July 1 and must be completed by Sept. 1.
  • Take the following online courses (log-in required): About Non-Profit AssociationsResponsibilities and Communications throughout AMTA and Risk Management for Associations.
  • Once the courses are completed, fill out the online application packet.
  • Once the Commission on Candidacy determines that you meet the position requirements, your candidate profile will be added to AMTA’s Election page.
  • As a candidate, you can choose to begin using social media.

 If you're interested in serving, contact email hidden; JavaScript is required, AMTA staff liaison to the Commission on Candidacy.

Mentoring Our Future program

Nevada Chapter Member Benefit

Mentoring the Future - a Nevada Member Benefit program

The amta nevada chapter is proud to partner with Steiner Education Group’s premier education program and campus, the Nevada School of Massage Therapy, to offer its members an opportunity to mentor up-and-coming professionals in the field of massage therapy!

If you are an amta nevada chapter member, have a NV state-issued professional license (NSBMT), and have a couple of hours to help/mentor a current massage therapy student, consider this:

  • Students need guidance.
  • Your feedback is sought and needed, by both the programs that educate future licensed massage therapists and the Students of these programs. Part of their education is to perform massage on the Public in school-hosted Clinics that put them in touch with their technical and business skills to increase their confidence and effectiveness.

Wouldn't you like to help IMPROVE their performance?
Wouldn't you like to know that there are more qualified and experienced graduates entering the massage therapy profession every year?

ANY state-professional-licensed Member of the amta nevada chapter is invited to participate in this special event, hosted at and by NSMT’s Student Clinic:

"First Massage Free, Subsequent Massages Half-Priced"

the IDEA:

  1. You get an email invitation from the chapter at your AMTA-registered email address.
  2. You RSVP (through Eventbrite) to posted dates where the Nevada School of Massage Therapy is working with the amta nevada chapter to offer incentives to come in to the weekend Student Clinic and receive a massage.
  3. The purpose is for you to leave thoughtful, constructive, and positive feedback after your massage.
  4. For your Evaluation of the student that has just given you a massage, you will not have been charged for your massage (first one only) OR you will have been charged half-price (2nd+ time).
  5. You will have given critical feedback for the student to consider, study, and act on during his/her time in student clinic...and probably for the rest of their career!

The Skinny:

  1. RSVP through your emailed Invitation from the Eventbrite system to any “Mentoring Our Future” amta nevada chapter events during 2014 (8 opportunities over 16 days)
  2. Print your event Ticket and take it with your current NSBMT license (blue card or certificate) to NSMT (map).
  3. Show up at the school during the event times – give the Clinic Manager your Ticket AND show the Clinic Manager your NSBMT license.
  4. Wait in line to be called in for your massage [re: Wait time: getting a massage in student clinic is on a first-come, first-served basis – please plan for wait times ranging from “now” to up to 1 hour, depending on business levels)
  5. Receive your massage – TRY to stay alert so you can give good feedback! 😉
  6. After your massage, tell the student that you need to complete an Evaluation for them and ask if they have a few minutes to review the Evaluation you complete with them. Then, pick up and complete an Evaluation form from Reception and find a place to meet for a few minutes with your student practitioner to review your evaluation - this gives them a chance to clarify and ask questions about points you bring to their attention – positive and constructive!

Terms of Use

  • Times of availability of this offer are ONLY during scheduled amta nevada chapter event times listed on its website at or in a specific email invitation. Clinic hours are 8am – 5:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays, notwithstanding any emergency closings.
  • The Nevada School of Massage Therapy will have you register as a guest of the student clinic – you will be signing a release form for the school’s clinic participation as well.
  • To receive your “free” or “discounted” massage session at NSMT’s clinic, you must complete an Evaluation Form provided to you by NSMT at the conclusion of your massage/bodywork session. Failure to do so jeopardizes the relationship between the amta nevada chapter and NSMT, your ability to further participate in future special events.
  • When you are receiving your massage, you are responsible for communicating with your student massage therapist and controlling your exposure to their manipulation and method used: if you are not comfortable, stop the session and contact a school supervisor.
  • The amta nevada chapter is not responsible for any damages or negative impact participating in any amta nevada chapter-organized event may cause any registered participant. The amta nevada chapter facilitates opportunities, services, and information that participants use at their own risk.
  • Your RSVPing to attend “Mentoring Our Future” events does not guarantee your participation at any stage of the scheduled times you may receive a massage at the rates organized between the amta nevada chapter and NSMT. You may be denied entry into the clinic for any reason outside the control of the amta nevada chapter or NSMT at any time.


  • FREE = "$0.00"; Half-Priced = "$16.00" (cash, debit/credit - you pay NSMT directly, on-site),
  • you must RSVP through the amta nevada chapter system of “invitation through Eventbrite” to each Evaluation/Mentoring opportunity
  • one (1) RSVP per member,
  • when you arrive and if you are qualifying for the "free massage", you must show your current NSBMT license as proof that you hold an LMT credential,
  • when you arrive, you must give your Eventbrite Ticket to the Clinic Manager (printed from the Eventbrite event invitation),
  • you will not be able to participate in the event (aka "get your massage offer") if you do not RSVP online and follow the above Terms and Conditions,
  • contact email hidden; JavaScript is required with any questions.

email hidden; JavaScript is required

We are looking forward to your maximizing your Nevada Chapter membership in the AMTA by taking advantage of this awesome opportunity - Mentoring the Future and self-care, all in one!  See you at NSMT!

If you are not yet an AMTA member, please join us!  More information about the benefits of membership and participating in shaping the profession are found here: