AMTA’s Mentoring Program – Connect With Your Colleagues

Whether you’ve been practicing for 10+ years or are just starting out in the field, the American Massage Therapy Association has a benefit for its members that is good for taking advantage of ANY time during your career: the Mentoring Program!

All of the program Details are in any of the below-links – research it, and see if it something you can benefit from: being a Mentee OR a Mentor!

If you have time to assist a colleague in developing a business plan for their practice, be a sympathetic or empathetic ear and a solid shoulder for an ethical issue, or just want to be creative in a team relationship – you should think about BEING a Mentor. Read more on the AMTA website on How and Why to do it!

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3 Ways to Get the Most From the AMTA Mentoring Program
AMTA’s Mentoring Program is a great way for new massage therapists to learn about the profession or help individuals make a career change. Learn and build professional connections with these helpful tips:

1. Keep communications open.

  • Mentee: Be up front. Let your mentor know what your goals are and what you hope to take away from the program.
  • Mentor: Help your mentee set realistic expectations. Also, if you know you will be unavailable because of business or personal travel, let them know.

2. Offer support.

  • Mentee: Remember that your mentor is there for you, but is only a guide.
  • Mentor: Encourage communication and participation. Help create a solid plan of action.

3. Stay positive!

  • Mentee: Remember that your mentor is offering feedback and not criticizing.
  • Mentor: Recognize the work the mentee has done and the progress made.
LEARN MORE ABOUT AMTA’S MENTORING PROGRAM »

AMTA’s Health Care Relationships – Advancing the Massage Therapy Profession

AMTA’s Health Care Relationships 2013
An Update of the Association’s Relationships
and their Impact on the Massage Therapy Profession

The American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®) continues to be involved in ongoing interactions with health care, wellness and medical organizations with several goals and objectives in mind:

  • To influence the health care community so it acknowledges the value of massage therapy and professional massage therapists;
  • To educate all in the health care and wellness industries about the benefits of massage therapy and the growing body of research that supports its value;
  • To increase collaboration between AMTA, its members and other health care and      wellness industry leaders;
  • To enhance the potential for massage therapists to practice in collaboration with other health care providers  and in integrative care; and,
  • To increase the overall acceptance of massage therapy and advance professional opportunities for all massage therapists.

AMTA’s Health Care Relationships

Massage is increasingly accepted by consumers as an important component of their health and wellness.  Meanwhile, new clinical massage research is also getting the attention of more people in the medical community.  The health care situation in the U.S. is constantly changing and is even more complex in light of the Affordable Care Act.

“We have gained the respect of many in health care and they recognize AMTA as the best resource for information about massage therapy,” says AMTA President Winona Bontrager.  “They appreciate AMTA’s approach to massage therapy and health care and look to us for input to better understand how massage therapy and massage therapists can continue to be more integrated into health and wellness care.”

Involvement in National and International Health Care Meetings

As part of its involvement with leading health care organizations, AMTA has been an active participant in several industry meetings in 2012-13.  These have included the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health; the International Medical Program’s Integrative Oncology Healthcare Professional Training Conference; the Annual Integrative Healthcare Symposium; the International Congress for Educators in Complementary and Integrative Medicine; and, the Third International Fascia Research CongressThese meetings continued to validate that leaders in health care are acknowledging that health care in our country needs change; and integrative approaches for patient care are important trends that need cultivation.  They also provided opportunities for AMTA to forge new relationships with many leaders in health care who can influence the further acceptance of massage therapy.

For example, AMTA’s participation in the International Medicine Program’s 1st Annual Integrative Oncology Healthcare Professional Training Conference in February 2013 allowed AMTA to gain valuable insight and perspective from one of the foremost integrative oncology programs in the country. This perspective will assist AMTA as it continues its approaches to healthcare.  The goal of the conference was to review the principles and disciplines of integrative oncology and to identify indications and contraindications for complementary therapies within the cancer population. The conference was designed for physicians, nurses, social workers, dieticians and other healthcare professionals who care for cancer patients and have an interest in better understanding integrative oncology.

The networking connections made at this conference will also help reinforce AMTA’s commitment to quality massage education and our willingness to be collaborative partners in projects that will help advance the art, science and practice of massage therapy.

AMTA Relations with the American Medical Association (AMA)

Susan Rosen of Washington State continues to serve as AMTA’s representative to the AMA’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee (HCPAC).  As AMTA’s Primary Advisor to HCPAC, she is the massage therapy representative on the committee. HCPAC serves in an advisory capacity to the AMA CPT Editorial Panel. This relationship gives AMTA and the massage therapy profession input on review of CPT codes associated with massage therapy.

AMTA also continues to provide the AMA with an updated description of the massage therapy profession for its Health Care Career Directory. This directory provides information on recognized health care fields and is also used as a resource by those in a variety of health care professions.

Massage Therapy and the Affordable Care Act

AMTA has been actively engaged with federal agencies and U.S. congressional offices, since the Affordable Care Act was introduced more than three years ago, about its impact on massage therapists and those they serve.  AMTA is approaching the ACA in a very practical and systematic way, which will promote and protect the best interests of massage therapists and avoids jumping in too quickly and making assumptions that might prove counter-productive.

The association is moving forward with a plan for vetted research to make the case for massage as an integrated part of health care.  This will provide a foundation for all we do at the national level and what we will pursue in each state.  This also will ensure that what we bring forward is valid and relevant to the process of achieving acceptance within the framework of the ACA.

Anyone following the evolution of the ACA is likely aware that dates for implementation, as well as interpretations of its meanings and legal decisions, are still very much in a state of flux.  Therefore, AMTA is continuing to directly engage both the congressional offices of those who developed the legislation and the government agencies that will be implementing the new law.

Public Education and Engagement with Health Care Centers

  • Since spring 2012, AMTA has issued three Research Roundups that summarize a variety of research on the health benefits of massage therapy.  These Roundups were distributed to health and medical publications, as well as consumer media outlets.  Excerpts from them and the research they cite has been published by several medical and health care publications and online sources with a total audience reach of well over 100 million.
  • AMTA’s 2013 Massage Therapy Tour, which primarily reaches out to consumers to educate them on the health benefits of massage therapy included educational stops at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting and offices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.  AMTA members engaged these health care professionals in discussions about the growing body of research on massage therapy, how to find qualified massage therapists and how massage therapy is being integrated into health care in a variety of settings.
  • Through a collaboration of relationship building and communications, AMTA is engaged in ongoing conversations with major medical centers about integration of massage therapy into patient care

 

What Does All of This Mean for Massage Therapists?

The American Massage Therapy Association is actively engaged every day in advancing the profession.  These relationships with the health care/medical communities provide a strong voice for those massage therapists who seek to work within health care, while recognizing and protecting the rights of those massage therapists who practice in other sectors of the massage therapy profession.

Further acceptance of massage therapy as a viable part of health care and wellness will benefit all in the profession.  Not only will it present new potential for those who want to work within health care, it will provide all massage therapists with confirming support for what they do, whether it is in private practice, in a spa or health club, a massage therapy franchise, or with a sports team.

As the body of research on the efficacy of massage therapy is expanded and results published, AMTA will continue to use the research and its relationships in health care to advance the massage therapy profession in the eyes of the medical profession and the public.

[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

Thai Yoga Massage, Beyond the Rub

I discovered the amazing modality of Thai Yoga massage here in our great city of Las Vegas.  I have been practicing as a massage therapist since 2001.  Before I began to practice Thai Yoga massage, I was primarily doing deep tissue bodywork, and because of the effort and energy I was exerting, I began to feel repetitive strain in my hands and body.

This was one reason I began to practice yoga on a regular basis.  The breath, movement and energy I received from the yoga really helped my stamina and strength so I could continue doing the massage I love.  In addition to the physical aspects, I also found peace and balance in my life and with myself; I wanted to share this gift with others and guide them to their place of inner peace through my massage.

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That is when Thai Yoga massage found me.
Thai Yoga massage is performed on a floor mat, while the receiver is fully clothed, and the massage usually will last one or more hours.  I work with the receiver through different positions: seated, face-up, face-down, and side-lying. Each change flows into the next:

  • Combining movement – compression massage moves blood through the body- and my body is always moving along with the receivers’ for a sense of safety, oneness and stabilization,
  • Stretching – passive, relaxing stretches that get deep into the limbs, hips, spine, organs, and the whole body and,
  • Breath – as the massage and stretches combined together can be very deep and intense (in a good way!)  BREATH is the pathway to the release of tension and emotions.

This combination of movement, stretching and breath is what makes Thai Yoga Massage so unique and powerful!

Most consider that Thai Yoga massage came from an area in what is now known as India about 2,500 years ago. It is considered to have originated from the Hindu culture. Thai Yoga massage has its basis in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is translated as the study of how to make your life long and happy and in balance with itself and nature.

Thai Yoga massage then traveled to Thailand with the movement of Buddhism to Aytthaya, the old capitol of Thailand, where it was traditionally practiced by Buddhist monks in their Wats, or temples, and the emphasis of this healing modality incorporated METTA, the act of loving-kindness.

 

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The foundation of Thai Yoga massage relies on the energy pathways of the body called Sip Sen, or Sen Lines. These are the lines I focus on while giving a massage. I release any blockages that I may feel along these lines through holding the pressure,  by rocking the body or limb, and by guiding the receiver’s breath. This can create a wonderful release of physical pain, emotional stress, and negative postural patterns for the receiver.

Emotional changes, physical changes, or both can happen during a Thai massage session. This sacred space of oneness and safety is where one can truly let go of any blocks.

Thai Massage is just as enjoyable to give as it is to receive. I love seeing the transformation in people after just one session! The biggest thing I learned from Thai Yoga massage is that I didn’t have to travel outside of myself or to another country to heal others with my hands. The sacred temple is inside me wherever I go.

 

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Jamie Schab, LMT is the owner of LV Healer Massage Therapy. She has training in Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, and is a graduate from The Nevada School of Massage Therapy. For more information visit www.lvhealer.com