Member-Results: Summer 2020’s Surveys “Massage as Healthcare” and “Online Elections”

One of the great things about being an AMTA member in Nevada is that the national AMTA-organization supports the fair regulation of and the movement forward of the massage therapy profession in Nevada. One of the easiest ways to see that is in how the chapter is able to and moves forward ideas from our members to the organizations, legislators, and public that are served by its members and the profession in Nevada, like through member-Surveys and speaking during Public Comment at our Nevada State Massage Therapy Board meetings.

In 2020, there have been a couple of issues and resolutions the chapter’s leadership team wanted to explore, and especially through surveying its members, regarding

a) moving the massage therapy profession in Nevada forward, and

b) the way the chapter operates regarding electing its leadership, in the future.

The Results of these Surveys and what they could mean for the AMTA Nevada Chapter’s members, the profession in Nevada, and the Nevada massage-receiving-Public are outlined in the following:

a)

The chapter Board of Directors was presented, by the Government Relations Committee, an idea of How massage therapy could be viewed – legally – in order for it to be regulated as it has been for 15 years and additionally be recognized by lawmakers, other healthcare professions, and the Public as a form of healthcare in Nevada…without a ‘medical’ classification. This could be achieved by being included as a profession (like Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Athletic Trainer, Music Therapist, etc) within NRS 629.031. On July 23rd (& for 10 days), the Chapter asked this question:

“Would you support the profession of Massage Therapy in Nevada to be included in the category of “Provider of healthcare,” as described in and related to NRS 629 “Healing Arts Generally”?”

The chapter preceded the member-Survey with some background:

Currently, in NV:

  • Massage Therapy (MT) is considered a Personal Service;
  • A NVMT performs work that can be billed using a [medical] NAICS Code, CPT Codes, and is recognized by the WHO (ref: ICHI Beta 3) all of which provide bases for remuneration;
  • Recent events have restricted access of MT by patients/clients who would otherwise need MT to maintain their good health status;
  • The NSBMT’s requirement of “550 Education Hours” et al for eligibility to perform any type of MT (from relaxation to healthcare-related) applies to all Applicants, regardless of their intent for performing MT;

…all with the intent to either bring up to speed and/or put – in a contemporary-context – information that may have been helpful to our members in answering the survey-question.

In the members’ response, there was an overwhelming number of Respondents (142, 13.4% of the 1056 Survey-invitations Sent) who, at 98.6% (140 of them), responded “Yes” to the chapter’s Question. Fifty-eight (58) Comments were added to the “Yes”es, to elaborate why each Respondent answered “Yes”, primarily indicating that massage therapy has health[care] benefits.

2020 AMTA-NV Survey Results - Massage Therapy As Healthcare

This information was summarily presented by the Chapter President, Elizabeth Benion, in an Open Letter to the Nevada State Board of Massage Therapy on August 19th, 2020, in the morning’s Public Comment, with a request for the Board to consider the process of moving the massage therapy profession forward, in the direction of being considered healthcare in Nevada. Already on the Agenda was an Item of Discussing the potential of Massage Therapy in Nevada moving toward being recognized as healthcare, officially – check it out in the Chapter’s NSBMT Meeting Notes for 8/19/2020. Stay tuned for more of this developing topic in our profession in Nevada.

b)

Since 2020 made allowances for non-live, chapter activities to take place online – in an electronic format: leadership Elections, Annual Meeting, etc – the Chapter Board of Directors was interested to find out if the members would want to continue an online-portion of 2020’s chapter governance, being: holding Annual Elections online. They thought this method of conducting chapter-business for its members in the electronic age might be worth considering, since the national AMTA organization also conducts its National [Board of Directors] Election online and support many state-chapters in conducting their Annual Elections online already, so on August 1st, they asked:

“Starting with (and continuing, annually) the 2022 Election for open chapter

leadership positions, would you support Voting Online for your chapter

Leadership?”

The chapter preceded the 10-day member-Survey with some background:

Currently, in the Nevada Chapter:

  • Every year since 1999, member-elected leadership Positions are filled during a live-Election, held during the chapter’s Annual General Business Meeting at the AMTA-NV State Convention;
  • A President-appointed Commission on Candidacy accepts & vets Nominations and provides ballot material for use during the live-Election;
  • During the chapter’s 2020 Annual Elections, the membership was able to elect their leadership through an online-Election process, due to a determination of and guidance by the National AMTA Office, due to a pandemic that restricted live events;
  • The chapter’s Standing Rules do not allow regular, online-Election measures, only live-Election measures;
  • The Nevada Chapter would need to, by member-Approval in a Vote taken at the next [live] Annual General Business Meeting, change the Standing Rules, to change the way Elections are held, from live-Election to online-Election measures.

Of the 63 recorded Responses sent to 1056 Member-Recipients (6% Response-rate), 51 (81%) answered “Yes”. Of the 13 Comments that elaborated on their Choice (Yes or No), the support for online-voting mostly favored “convenience” and “participation of all”, while a minority of the Comments expressed a live election is acceptable.

2020 AMTA-NV Survey Results - Chapter Online Elections

In order to change the way the Nevada Chapter members vote during Annual Elections, the Chapter needs to change its Standing Rules to reflect its Election practice – for the record and per proper governance-procedures.

As a result of this survey, the AMTA-Nevada Chapter Board of Directors has convened the Standing Rules Committee, which is currently reviewing and redrafting Nevada’s Standing Rules to reflect Online Election procedures. The membership is slated to vote to pass the proposed, new Version of the Standing Rules in mid-2021, to be effective with 2022’s Annual Elections.
The AMTA Nevada Chapter Board of Directors wishes to thank all participating members for their input in taking action to move the profession of massage therapy in Nevada forward.

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.


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

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!

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.

TYMbtr-01

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.

 

TYMbtr-02

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.

 

about the Author: Jamie S, LMT is trained in Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga and is a graduate of the Nevada School of Massage Therapy.