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Massage Today
May, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 05

Best Ever New England Conference

By Editorial Staff

The 19th Annual AMTA New England Regional Conference was held from March 14 - 17, 2002 in Boxborough, Massachusetts. Host duties for this conference rotate through the six New England states, and the Vermont chapter hosted this year.

AMTA-VT President George Glass and Immediate Past President Lindsay Crossman co-chaired the event.

Almost 500 therapists participated in this year's conference that always proves to be one of the country's best. Only the Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) and the AMTA national conventions surpass the New England Regional in attendance and size of the exhibit hall, and none surpass the New England Regional in networking opportunities, educational offerings, fun and value! Unlike many conventions/conferences, the New England Regional includes almost all meals in the conference fee! Attendees and exhibitors alike always have wonderful things to say about this event, and many attendees have already reserved rooms at the conference hotel for 2003, as the hotel was a complete sellout this year.

The conference theme was "Massage - The World At Your Fingertips." This international theme was highlighted by the attendance of Melanie Hayden, president of the Association of Massage Therapists and Wholistic Practitioners, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Also from Canada was presenter Grace Chan, RMT, DOMP, co-founder of the Sutherland-Chan School in Ontario, Canada. Grace taught a workshop on Advanced Soft Tissue Manipulation of the Shoulder.

Other world-class educators included NCBTMB board member Leena Guptha, ND, DO, PhD (Hospital-Based Medical Massage); Denise Borrelli, PhD, LMHC, ATR, NCTMB (Burn-out at Your Fingertips, and Working with Fibromyalgia Syndrome Clients); Tom Myers (Spiraling Into Alignment); Kate Leigh (Enhancement of Massage with Nature's Tools and Aromas); June Lordi (Tai Chi Massage); Bob King (Postural Pain and Foot Pronation); John DiBlasio, MPT (Musculoskeletal Balance and Neural Tension); Don Ash, PT, CST-D (CranioSacral Techniques and Applications for the Massage Therapist); and John Calvi (Massage for Trauma).

The presentation highlight of the conference was keynote speaker John Upledger, DO, OMM, who addressed the audience on "Massage: Self-esteem, Compassion and Violence," and led a workshop in his breakthrough "Cell Talk." Both his keynote address and workshop were standing-room only!

Bob King and Kate Leigh paired up to conduct an Ethics Seminar on Creating and Ethical Foundation for Your Practice. While many ethics seminars involve discussions on money or sexual issues in practice, this seminar spotlighted the power aspects of a massage therapy practice. Bob and Kate skillfully brought the thoughts of the audience out in a safe and nurturing way, and also included much humor in the presentation.

The exhibit hall was always full of shoppers (and browsers). Some new technology was previewed this year, including two manufacturers providing products designed for the comfort of female clients. One exhibited a table with removable breast cutouts, and another had a breast cushion designed to be used on a flat table. Also exhibited was a new table with a free-moving face cradle, allowing for cervical traction with the face completely supported. The exhibit hall provided a great mix of new technology as well as the "tried and true."

The New England Regional Conference is an educational and social event. Comprised of all six New England States, there is no business meeting. Several of the state chapters held individual receptions, and everyone was able to socialize together at a DJ dance and the closing dinner dance.


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