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Massage Today
October, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 10

Massage Therapy Makes Presence Felt at FCA National Convention

By Michael McGillicuddy, LMT, NCTMB and Lynda Solien-Wolfe, LMT

Editor's note: This article was co-authored by Lynda Solien-Wolfe, LMT, NCTMB, and Michael McGillicuddy, LMT, NCTMB, both members of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA).

Lynda is FSMTA/FCA liaison, and chair of the FSMTA professional relations committee; Michael is first vice president of the FSMTA and executive committee liaison to the professional relations/FCA committee.

The Florida Chiropractic Association (FCA) National Convention, held in Orlando, Florida August 10-12, attracted an estimated 2,000 attendees -- including 150 massage therapists.

The theme of this year's convention was "Elements of Excellence!" Commenting on the presence of massage therapy at the convention, Debbie Minor Brown, CEO of the FCA, enthused:

"The Florida Chiropractic Association offers the largest conventions and expositions in chiropractic, including chiropractic programs for license renewal that are viewed as the best in the nation. The Florida State Massage Therapy Association is an effective and appreciated partner in planning and producing license renewal CEU programs for licensed massage therapists at four of our five annual conventions. This provides tremendous two-way PR and networking opportunities for our respective professions, and has truly been a win-win situation."

Massage therapy was a visible presence throughout the convention, from the exposition hall to the classrooms. The expo floor had over 400 exhibitors on hand for the world's largest chiropractic show. Many of the booths had a massage focus to them: chairs with massagers built in, bodywork tables, and every imaginable type of hand-held massager.

One hundred and fifty massage therapists were registered for the convention, along with more than 1,800 chiropractors, chiropractic assistants and X-ray techs. In association with the Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA), the FCA offered a 16-hour CEU massage program.

On Friday, David Malin of the Upledger Institute taught a class on visceral manipulation. On Saturday, George Kousaleous, owner of the Core Institute in Tallahassee, spoke on myofascial therapy for the low back. Sunday featured a full eight-hour day on advances in neuromuscular therapy by Dr. Rebecca Birch of the NMT center in St. Petersburg. An AIDS class was also offered to fill state requirements for both massage therapists and chiropractic physicians. Both Florida and National Certification credits were available for the classes.

On Thursday, Michael McGillicuddy and Lynda Solien-Wolfe participated as instructors at FCA's Right Start program for newly licensed doctors, familiarizing them with ethical considerations of hiring, working with and referring to licensed massage therapists. Over 100 DCs were in the room during their presentation. How to find a well-trained therapist and how to write and give massage referrals were among the issues raised by the new chiropractors.

Lynda Solien-Wolfe and Dr. Sheldon Hoxie authored a chapter in the FCA "Right Start Handbook" provided to all convention attendees. The chapter includes ways to work with massage therapists; how to find a massage therapist; what to include when writing a prescription/letter of referral to a massage therapist; and definitions of commonly used massage modalities.

Massage therapy vendors Golden Ratio Woodworks, Upledger Institute and Biofreeze donated prizes for the program. One lucky chiropractor walked away with a brand new massage chair. Lynda is the primary massage therapy instructor at all five FCA Right Start conferences, co-sponsored by massage supporter Performance Health, the makers of BioFreeze.

Under the supervision of the FSMTA public relations chair, Jose Fernandez, the FSMTA had a room where convention attendees could receive a chair massage. Five massage chairs were provided by Golden Ratio woodworks. The therapists were licensed members of the FSMTA. All registered chiropractors were offered one complimentary massage; others paid $10 for the service. Over 200 chair massages were given in the room during the convention.

On Friday night, Michael McGillicuddy and Lynda Solien-Wolfe represented the FSMTA, along with Tom Oakley, Maria Turk and Nancy Vail from the American Massage Therapy Association-Florida Chapter (AMTA-FL) at FCA's Political Reception. Many members of the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate were on hand to meet and greet the guests.

On Saturday night, massage therapist David Kent from Deltona, Florida was honored at the FCA Board of Directors reception. David received the association's Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) of the Year award. This award is given for a massage therapist who contributes to building professional relations between the chiropractic and massage therapy communities.

When nominations were requested for the 2001 FCA LMT of the Year award, the FCA received numerous letters from their members throughout the start recommending David. He has forged new ground in the massage therapy industry by developing gross anatomy seminars that are now taught throughout the United States. He strives for excellence at all times and is an active, hard working member of his profession.

David works with numerous chiropractors in his area; he is respected and well-known as a skilled therapist. Part of David's close working relationship with the chiropractic profession has included lecturing at various Florida Chiropractic Association activities. These were some of the reasons mentioned by FCA President Tim Johnson, DC during the awards presentation. This December, David will be a presenter at the FCA conference in Naples, Florida.

This is the fifth year the FCA has honored a massage therapist. Past recipients include: Deborah Karlan; Lynda Solien-Wolfe; Judy Walker Delany; and Michael McGillicuddy.

The relationship between the chiropractic and massage therapy communities in Florida can be credited to over a decade of efforts that began with the vision and hard work of Florida Massage Therapists and past FSMTA Officers Judith Walker Delany and Deborah Karlan.

"Massage therapy is an important and beneficial service, and the vast majority of our members either employ or actively refer to licensed therapists. The Florida Chiropractic Association has enjoyed outstanding cooperative relationships with state and national massage associations and certifying entities, including the FSMTA, AMTA-FL and National Certification Board Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), and recognizes the value of massage in the maintenance and improvement of health," Mrs. Brown affirmed.

Click here for previous articles by Michael McGillicuddy, LMT, NCTMB.

Lynda Solien-Wolfe is Vice President, Massage and Spa at Performance Health. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and has been in private practice in Merritt Island, Florida for more than 20 years. Lynda graduated from Space Coast Health Institute in West Melbourne, FL.


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