AMTA Assembly of Delegates – Nevada Delegation

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AMTA Assembly of Delegates 2019 Business Meeting – Indianapolis, IN – October 23, 2019

Position Statements are the cornerstone professional beliefs of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) as decided by the membership population of over 90,000 professional massage therapists.

See all the currently Approved Position Statements.

the 2019 Agenda – each year the members are encouraged to formally propose Position Statements – statements that say something about Massage Therapy: how it can/may assist in healthcare-positive results with special populations or medical conditions – all claims are thoroughly-researched and -studied, created by members with the most-current, scientific data. Annually, since 2006, Member-approved – through the Assembly of Delegates – Position Statements become the beliefs of the leading, non-profit professional association in the United States. This year’s Discussion Topics and Position Statement Proposal were released to the membership – through the AoDAC and Chapter Delegates – in mid-August.

Read the entire 2019 Nevada Delegates’ report – by Elizabeth Benion

Questions? Comments?  Contact your Delegate via email

Member Voting vs. Delegate Representation: the function of the Delegate is to represent the member consensus on the National floor of the Assembly of Delegates (AoD) each year.  Delegates poll the members, discuss the Discussion Topics and Position Statement Proposals with the members and take a Chapter consensus to the AoD.  When in the AoD Business Meeting at the National Convention, Delegates from all 51 Chapters have an opportunity to represent the support or concerns of their Chapter’s members and dialogue works toward a consensus of the state Chapters’ Delegates to vote for or against a Discussion Topic and/or Position Statement Proposal. If needed and based on information discovered at the annual AoD Business Meeting, a Delegate may change his/her Delegate vote to reflect the best interest of the Chapter membership.

Who can be a Delegate?  Any Graduate or Professional AMTA member in good standing.  Terms are now starting at 2 years.

Who can write a Position Statement Proposal?  Any AMTA member.  Your current Delegate(s), Chapter Board of Directors, or fellow members can help you start and explore the process, edit, proofread, keep communication with the people that need to vet your document, and basically help you follow it all the way through the process. timeline

If you consider the impact that statements a professional association makes on behalf of its tens-of-thousands of members, to include empirical evidence and “by massage therapists, for massage therapists” method of governance, then it is truly a professional representation of who we are and where we stand – what we profess.

…for 2020: If you are interested in becoming a Delegate or just starting a Position Statement of your own: share it with us.  Let us help and represent you in your professional Association, on a National stage, and so you can practice what you preach in your own Practice.  email hidden; JavaScript is required today.

Current Nevada Delegation

Elizabeth Benion, LMT

email hidden; JavaScript is requiredDelegate 2019 & 2020 (2-year term) [Nominate]

Elizabeth Benion, LMT, BS earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Phoenix and an Associates degree in Paralegal Studies at the McCann School of Business & Technology. She sought out the healing practice of massage therapy in 2017, graduating from Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) of Pennsylvania and becoming licensed to practice massage therapy in 2018. She is currently licensed in both Nevada & Pennsylvania. Presently she works full time as a consultant for a design/marketing company, A Mighty Group.

Elizabeth serves the AMTA-Nevada Chapter as the Chapter Secretary and 2019 Delegate.

2019 Discussion of Assembly of Delegates (AoD) Proposals

We’re asking all AMTA-NV members for thoughts and opinions to take to the AoD Meeting on October 23, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana – read the following notes and

Let Us Know Your Thoughts!

Two Discussion Topics and one Position Statement are up for discussion and a vote at this year’s Assembly of Delegates Meeting at the National Convention. Every year topics focusing on a wide range of issues affecting and pertaining to the betterment of our profession are submitted to Delegates. The two Topics submitted this year both focus on aspects of massage therapy in healthcare, while the Position Statement concentrates on online education and massage therapy.

Delegates are charged with gathering chapter member feedback and determining a Chapter consensus on the topics and statement based on that feedback. Delegates present this information at the Assembly and use this information to guide their vote. The topic(s) and/or statement(s) that pass then become the approved beliefs of the AMTA.

We want to hear your support, concerns, and thoughts about these Discussion Topics and Position Statement for 2019.

Discussion Topic 1

What specifically does “speaking the same language” mean in relation to massage therapy becoming more integrated in healthcare?

detailed Submission, here

Summary Rationale:

In last year’s AOD meeting there was a discussion focused on massage in integrated healthcare and how we can be more confident that U.S. massage therapist have the knowledge and skills to contribute to optimal patient outcomes. A good part of that discussion centered on needing to “speak the same language.” This brings up many thoughts regarding exactly what that means and how we can help our therapists do this. What is “that language?” Is it an anatomically based language? Is it specific to a certain group of professionals or clients? Is there a common foundation of language that will cross-over regardless of what profession or what setting one might be working in? Is it the language or the delivery of our message that is more important? How does our delivery vary? Often in discussions regarding massage we are not specific. The question of how might massage benefit the individual is often met with simple answers like: it helps relax tight muscles. Can we improve our language to align better within the integrated health field? Can we figure out how to truly integrate our knowledge with how we talk about things; what words we use to describe our work. If we can it seems it needs to start with our common understanding of exactly what that language is. What do we mean when we say we must “speak the same language” and how can we as professionals and an organization help us all to move forward with this? Further discussions can be of benefit to massage therapists and the profession around this idea of “speaking the same language”. If this language truly exists it may aid in opening doors into integrated health opportunities for massage therapists, strengthen our stance that we are an integral part of healthcare and provide a means for us to be better understood within the healthcare community.

Up To Three Questions Proposed For Discussion:

  1. In relation to integrated health care what is the specific ‘language’ we should be speaking (with examples)?
  2. Is this anatomically/physiologically based and where is it learned?
  3. Are there resources that the AMTA has, should develop or can make available to members to help strengthen our collective ability to communicate in a more professional and constructive manner within integrated health? (i.e a guide to ‘professional’ language, or an online CE course on ‘talking the talk’)

Discussion Topic 2

As massage therapists, how do we show the measure/accomplishments of our advanced studies and skills in massage education to healthcare professionals and the public?

detailed Submission, here

Summary Rationale:

The massage therapy profession is changing and more and more people are accessing massage services every day for stress reduction, relaxation, and specific conditions. Many of us know of a therapist that has taken an entry-level class and leaves thinking they have a mastery of it and can start practicing it right away. Remember, you cannot go to kindergarten 15 times and expect to graduate with a high school diploma. People looking for massage to address specific conditions or modalities need a better way to make an educated decision about who has the necessary skills and training. We need to provide them with a system to show the mastery in specific modalities. Also, a better system is needed because words are confusing. We need to provide an easier way to explain the words in a more uniform manner that everyone understands. Mastery of a specific technique or skill level is important and the words like: Intro to, Basic course of, Certificate in, Certification of, can be confusing. NCBTMB is currently the only nationally recognized certifying board for continuing education in massage. Should the Profession develop a series of levels in certification to make this process easier through our Board Certification process, which is already in place? Are there other certification programs in place that could be looked at as models? A unified system involving our educators, schools and therapists would enhance the massage profession making it easier for everyone to understand the level and value of our continuing education.

Up To Three Questions Proposed For Discussion:

1. What does Continuing Education (CE) actually measure and how could Board Certification make enough of a distinction to show our skill levels, achieved throughout our careers?

2. How important is it that continuing education, in a specific modality, include a certain amount of CE credits as well as documented sessions and practical testing to prove the skill level, or to show the mastery of this skill level?

Position Statement

Online education is an appropriate method to deliver curriculum content for non-psychomotor subjects in massage therapy entry-level training and continuing education.

detailed Proposal, here

Summary Rationale:

Online education has become a very effective delivery method for a wide variety of subject areas. As of 2018, one third of all college students were taking at least one course online. Numerous states currently have prohibitions written into their licensure laws against the use of online education in the entry-level curriculum and/or continuing education. In some states, only a designated number of hours can be online. In other states, none of the content can be delivered online. The psychomotor (hands-on) skills needed to learn massage therapy are best taught in the physical classroom environment. However, there is no reason that cognitive-based subjects such as anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, ethics, business, pathology, documentation, treatment planning, hygiene, or theory cannot be taught online. In fact, as an instructor in both the online and physical classrooms, I would argue that many of these cognitive subjects can be taught far better in the online environment with well-designed online courses. For over two decades, research has shown that online education is just as effective, and in many instances more effective, than classroom-based coursework. The vast majority of colleges and universities offer numerous courses online, and many prestigious schools offer entire degrees that are fully online. Many of those behind the prohibitions against online education view our profession as one oriented around hands-on learning. This idea is accurate for the essential physical skills of massage. There is no reason these other cognitive-based subjects mentioned above can’t be taught in an online environment, especially if the course methodologies are well constructed. Prohibiting online education limits training options for students and professionals. Most other allied health professions have online education integrated into their educational strategies. Currently the massage therapy profession is falling significantly behind in making these educational advances. It is important for AMTA to have a position statement on this topic because many stakeholders in our profession look to AMTA for leadership on issues like this. AMTA has remained an organization that supports evidence-informed decisions and research-based scholarship to make key decisions. The research on learning through online delivery methods is clear and a position statement from AMTA supporting the evidence-based perspective of online education would help support necessary legislative changes. Opening up greater opportunities for online education in our field will help us stay current and innovative in our educational strategies and will continually help make our training available to students that might have a hard time meeting the in-class requirements and thereby choose not to enter or stay in the profession.

Research Summary:

  • Extensive research has been published over the last two decades comparing the outcomes from online coursework with those of classroom-based courses. The studies reported in the literature are not only isolated reports but include several meta-analysis studies that have examined large numbers of studies in reaching their conclusions.
  • The resounding conclusion from these studies is that online education is at least as effective (and in many instances more effective) than classroom-based courses.
  • Many of these studies have been conducted in the health professions and show direct applicability to similar issues we face in massage therapy. Prohibiting online education in massage therapy shuts off access to educational options that may impair an individual’s ability to meet CE requirements or pose additional hardship on students at entry-level trying to balance complex work/life/school schedules. For the latter group, it may dissuade some people from entering the profession if the demands of school training schedules are more flexible in other allied health professions they may also be considering as career options.
  • AMTA has always been a leader on legislative issues facing our profession. In many instances, legislative action is not proactive, but reactive.
  • Unfortunately, in the instance of online education, the legislative reaction that has been encouraged by many state massage boards has been to react in a negative fashion to online education and as a result to craft legislation that was limiting or biased against this form of educational delivery.

Let Us Know your thoughts!

Do you support or challenge any of the ideas statements above? In what way would you like the AMTA to take a position on any or all of these topics?

Please fill out this email contact-form and Elizabeth or Sarah will be in touch with you.

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