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 (http://www.lvmma.org/) 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) it…at 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

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150115 CBD-THC survey results AMTA-NV post

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[Even] Higher Standards in the New NCBTMB Board-certified Credential

Being a massage therapist professional for a number of years in Nevada, I have seen many changes that have affected the direction of our profession, our passion, and ultimately affect the way the public perceives massage therapy.

Last year, the AMTA began its Consumer Awareness Program (CAP) which has been wildly successful, for both the public and members.  Check out some of the video, member stories, and news stories that have come out of this well-planned, multi-year project.  Your dollars are at work in promoting massage and its benefits to large gatherings of people, like at races and social events of magnitude around the U.S.

This is one way that our organization makes well-known the benefits of regular massage.

Search Provider #407142-00 @ ncbtmb.orgThe National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) has done the same types of promotion over the years – through a short-lived “certified spa” program (where, when all the LMTs on staff were Nationally-certified, the spa is listed and promoted as an NCBTMB-approved spa/employer), member self-promotion with materials supplied by the NCBTMB (article copy for publication, use of logos, website resource for the public, Find A Certified Massage Therapist listing service, etc), and support of a credential that has long-established the competency and possibly proficiency of a certified practitioner.

As of January 1st, 2013, things again have changed for NCTM/Bs.

Just when you were getting used to the title… Since the establishment, in 2005, of a competency exam for licensing purposes by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) – the MBLEx – the NCBTMB has revamped their program.  Now, the NCBTMB also has a [rebranded] competency exam for licensing (formerly, the National Certification Exam (NCE)), now called the NCBTMB Licensing Exam.  These two tests by two different organizations are considered (by at least 39 states) to be the standard test to which the states’ Applicants [for licensure] must pass.  Nevada is one of those states where either test is accepted for license application.

Polaroid: Nevada [the Nevada State Board of Massage Therapists (NSBMT)] never required that an Applicant or Licensee “be” Nationally-certified…and still does not – just to pass the NCBTMB’s entry level exam (and, now, the MBLEx is an added, optional exam accepted).  When a professional massage therapist is Nationally-certified, it is a credential separate from “being” competent.  National certification is a professional’s commitment to a standard that exceeds basic competency.  In the past, that Nationally-certified standard included (mainly): 500 hours of classroom education, an earned number of Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) every 4-year renewal period and an agreement to a Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics outlined by the NCBTMB (to which all Certificants agree to uphold).

Instagram:  Today, under the newly-termed “Board-certified” title that Certificants are using that have already renewed with the new requirements, the additional requirements will include: 750 (total) hours (minimum) of classroom education (was “500-hour core massage program” prior), 250 hours of professional hands-on experience, CPR certification of the NCBTMB Certificant, national background check (every application/renewal), agreement to an anti-Human Trafficking statement.  These new requirements apply to new applicants AND any currently-Nationally-certified massage therapist that wishes to renew their NCBTMB certification.

With that said (and “new” way of doing things at the NCBTMB having hit the ground running), the AMTA-Nevada Chapter supports our members who are and will be NCBTMB Board-certified.  We continue to, as an AMTA Chapter, be a source for NCBTMB-approved course credits.  We also have a great relationship with some staff members at the NCBTMB – while we encourage Nationally-certified chapter members to contact the NCBTMB directly for individual assistance (specific, case-by-case), we will certainly do our best to answer your questions and send you in the right direction, when you find a challenge.

New Requirements, New Friends  We are in the process of allying, in Southern Nevada, with a couple of offices that offer CPR programs – back in my day, class was “all day” and cost a little more than the current programs.  The programs we’re working with (one of which is an American Heart Association CPR training/certification course) are designed for concise and complete education and cost less, time-wise and dollar-wise, and are very promising to utilize as a source for your Board-certification and any other purposes.  If you are in the Northern Nevada and know of a program that may fulfill the NCBTMB’s Board-certified requirement of “CPR certified”, please let us know!  We’d like to start informing all our members about the potential relationship, making things easier for every member.

Should I renew?  This is really a question based on your perceived value in the NCBTMB.  I renew to stay active in my profession.  I also volunteer for the NCBTMB as an exam Item Reviewer – there are plenty of ways to “be” in the profession, with whichever organization you find value.  The NCBTMB has been there for us as a profession, through thick and thin, and they are changing with our profession to make it the best for everyone: practitioners and public alike.  For as long as I have been a massage therapist, the integrity of the NCBTMB has always been noble, their Standards and Codes of high regard when adhered to, and I appreciate the distinction that the credential brings to my profession and what I love doing most for my clients: massage therapy.  I believe that without the organizations that are represented by the mere numbers of professionals who populate them, the organization loses identity and the ability to be accessible by the public, news outlets, allied professionals, and the regulatory bodies that also strive to seek the right model or advice on how to apply laws for the safety of the public we all serve.

The diligence of “claiming a profession” and being professional exists, in my opinion, in the members of professional associations like the AMTA, and certificants of a program that strives to create “better” massage therapists at every turn.  If the organizations are left unmanned, from where will credibility and efficacy come?

My word alone is not enough for today’s massage therapy client and massage therapy market – the clients are toooooo educated now 😉

The AMTA Nevada Chapter is here to support your decisions: to renew, to apply, to be active in your profession.

If you have any questions or need clarification, please give us a call at our new phone number: (775) 556-0300 or drop us a message at email hidden; JavaScript is required

Our newsletter is coming out soon with information about our Annual Member Meeting and Convention – stay tuned for some excellent ways to distinguish yourself as a professional with continuing education courses (NCBTMB-approved!), effective networking opportunities, and…FOOD!

Be Well,

David-fnamesign

 

 

 

AMTA-NV Chapter President

Mentoring on a National Scale: the AMTA’s program

The AMTA Mentoring Program was created to help those new to the massage therapy profession more fully realize their potential and provide experienced massage therapists the opportunity to share their wisdom and expand their professional network.

Although the Nevada Chapter has additionally worked to provide members local, short-term mentoring opportunities in the past (and we look forward to setting up more like Mentoring Our Future!) there is a GREAT opportunity for you to mentor (or be coached by) local AND national members in practice.

Who can participate?
Through this new program, experienced massage therapists (Mentors) assist those new to the profession (Mentees) in goal setting, communication and success planning.  This program is free and available only to AMTA members.

How does the program work?
AMTA members interested in becoming Mentors complete a profile at www.amtamassage.org/mentoring.  Those wishing to become Mentees access the Mentoring Program webpage www.amtamassage.org/mentoring and perform a search for Mentors based on location, skills, work setting, and other criteria. Participants in the mentoring relationship will communicate each other’s expectations, create goals and objectives, meet milestones and deliverables, and provide feedback.  The Mentoring Program webpage includes links to resources to assist and guide program participants.

Where can I sign up?
Go to www.amtamassage.org/mentoring and sign up as a Mentor or become a Mentee and learn more about the program. Along with advancing your network or career, enjoy lasting friendships and the fun of sharing with other massage therapists.

Refer-A-Friend to the AMTA: Be an AMTA Ambassador

raf_banner_webRight now, the American Massage Therapy Association is offering a $20 gift card, sent to you, when you refer someone to become a member of the AMTA.

As the AMTA Massage Therapy Tour travels across the country to show people the benefits of seeing an AMTA member—that’s you!—for their next massage, we need your help to grow our community. AMTA’s enhanced Refer a Friend program rewards you when you share the benefits of membership with your friends!

Check out the new Refer a Friend page on our website for program details and tools to help you share information about the AMTA Massage Therapy Tour and membership. You’ll receive a $20 Visa gift card (to spend as you like) for every friend you refer who joins AMTA at any level—professional, graduate or student. Referring is easy—check out our Refer a Friend tips & tools page for suggestions on how to encourage your friends to join the AMTA community.

There is no limit to the number of friends you can refer or the number of gift cards you can receive. Plus, your friends will enjoy a special rate and gift too!  Tell your friends to join AMTA today by calling 877.905.2700, and help them gain a partner who will keep them connected to opportunity, to community—to their future.

the First 90-days…

Hello Members!

David OttoI am truly honored to be writing today in the President’s Blog – there have been many years that I have served where the chapter did not have such an efficient, fast way for the members to connect; specifically, with the commentary and updates from the chapter President.  I am happy to say: all the Nevada Chapter Board of Directors volunteers, chapter volunteers and Delegates are available via email and that you may post publicly or email me privately regarding the [future] topics in this forum!

Now, on with this month’s blog…

I was elected to serve as a chapter leader, first as 1st Vice President back in 2010, with the intention of running for another leadership office, but not really the presidency.

Billie Shea (who has served several terms as President, now Immediate Past President) had other plans than my “just” participating in a fully-engaging and wonderfully-satisfying position as a volunteer.  She knew that, over my years of service in media outlets, out in the population of the membership and non-members of professionals in the Las Vegas area, being active in my professional goals as well as association goals, I had a little more potential.  And I guess I have to say: I thought so, too.

I suspect, from the get-go, Billie was looking for the right person, a willing person, an established professional and personality in the massage therapist community, and I had worked hard to be in that position, but didn’t realize the gravity of my situation until someone told me I should run for President.

When I joined the AMTA & Nevada chapter back in 2001, during my last weeks of school, I really had no idea that the AMTA would be an opportunity that grew me both professionally and personally – was starting with a solid liability insurance policy, as far as I was concerned.  I had and have a passion for massage therapy, and that passion to do what was right for me, back in the day; and now, my passion has developed into a purpose to do what is right for the profession in Nevada.  I can think of no stronger, prominent, or active group of massage therapy professionals than those who are members of the AMTA – in Nevada and across the U.S.!

^^^ check out what AMTA’s doing in its new Consumer Awareness Program! ^^^

I have had, even before I was elected chapter President, more positive & growth experiences in my management skills, massage therapy skills, interpersonal skills, marketing skills, and entrepreneurial drive than I can ever imagine would have happened had it not been for the tried, true, and structured resource of the humans that make up the AMTA.  From the National office to the newest Student Member, I count on every person who professes to support and practice massage therapy in its truest form to contribute to the success of the organization. And, as in a recent interview that I participated in for the national promotion of the AMTA, “I am David Otto.  I am AMTA.”

And so is every member.

If you believe in supporting massage therapy research, the development of the field and profession, and providing massage therapy clients with the “best massage ever,” you have found a friend, mentor, and inspiration in the AMTA.  Times can be turbulent and hard to comprehend, but by keeping the Mission in mind and participating, everyone comes out ahead.

Thank you for trusting me as one of the many talented leaders of the Nevada Chapter that you will come across.  I encourage you to get to know one other member this year.  By the end of 2012, we are organizing a couple of member events coming up in Southern Nevada and there are several continuing education courses in Northern Nevada where you will likely meet a fellow AMTA member – but if not, recognize the “member” in the professional with whom you are talking.

There will be more updates about things YOU and/or your colleagues find interesting and may want to participate in as an Attendee.  If you have any ideas, questions, or comments about your membership or participating in affecting an awesome membership of professionals in Nevada, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Yours in Service,

 

 

Keep in touch on Facebook & LinkedIn

Report: August 17, 2012 chapter member meeting

attending the August 17 member meeting
(more pics)

Our member meeting at Tuscany Suites & Casino in Las Vegas last Friday was a great time for all: many members got to meet colleagues (some of whom live “just around the corner”) and share some good food and information.

Sally Hacking joined the chapter, from Florida, as it’s Government Relations Consultant – she gave the attending members a brief overview of her role with the chapter and advice that she has given and may yet give the chapter regarding the promotion of the massage therapy profession in Nevada.

Michelle Viesselman & Brad Enerson, Nevada chapter Delegates going to the 2012 House of Delegates in Raleigh this October at the National AMTA Convention, presented 6 proposed Position Statements and 2 Recommendations to the members.  A brief outline of what a Delegate’s role in the chapter is and some specific conversation about the Position Statements and Recommendations made for a lively and interactive presentation.

Judi Calvert of Hands-On Trade Association, CAMTC, and the World of Massage Museum presented some information about the history of the AMTA in Nevada and the chapter – there were members here in Nevada before there was an organized chapter (more to come on our history!).

We’d like to thank our NV State Convention Sponsors for providing some great prizes for giveaway, including a Retail Starter Kit (a counter-top display, valued at $125) from Biofreeze that went to our lucky winner Judi!

Come out and find out…at our next chapter member meeting – email hidden; JavaScript is required if you have any ideas for Topics!

Sponsors Show Appreciation for AMTA-NV Members at June 4th, 2012, Annual Meeting

At this year’s 2012 AMTA-Nevada Chapter Annual Meeting, we’re trying something new: Let’s Play Monopoly! Participating in this email version of a classic game will help educate members (regarding some anatomy questions from Educated Touch and Thousand Petaled Lotus) and put members in touch with products and services from well-known and ever-supportive massage therapy and wellness industry Sponsors.
Amongst this year’s Sponsors and the prizes they are giving the members at the Annual Meeting during Let’s Play Monopoly:

The Nevada Chapter is very happy to bring our members quality products and services that they can use in their practices of massage therapy and professional lives!

To Register for this amazing opportunity to learn, network, win Sponsored prizes, and eat, Massage Therapists may register online – Register Now!

Thank You, Sponsors!

 

Your Working with the National AMTA this year…

AMTA 2011 National Elections!amta logo

 

 

Have you considered participating with fellow members at the National level? You can choose to run for an elected office for the National Board of Directors or Commission on Candidacy. Serving at the national level is a great way to meet some wonderful, dedicated people in the profession.

You may find criteria for Board or Commission on Candidacy positions by visiting our National Elections website.  You may also be interested in knowing that some elected positions involve less of a time commitment than other positions.

You may request a candidate application and must complete the application process by August 1.  The process includes completing three online courses: About Non-Profit Associations, Responsibilities and Communications throughout AMTA and Risk Management for Association.

Once the courses are completed, you will have access to the online application packet. After the Commission on Candidacy has reviewed the application and determined that you meet the requirements of the position you are seeking, your candidate’s profile will be posted live on AMTA’s official election website and your choice of using social media as a candidate can begin.

If you are interested in serving, please contact the Commission on Candidacy via email hidden; JavaScript is requiredAMTA staff liaison to the Commission on Candidacy.

The Commission on Candidacy and Commissioner of Elections welcomes your questions, comments, and ideas.

 

Chris Rider, Commissioner of Elections

Barb Lis, Commission on Candidacy Chair

2011 Commissioners: Michael Blackmore, Christopher Deery, Jennifer C. Irving, Lucia A. Kaestner, and Shari Mirgon