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Massage Today
December, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 12

AMTA National Convention a "Diamond Jubilee"

By Editorial Staff

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) celebrated its 60th anniversary during the 2003 National Convention, Oct. 22-26, in Richmond, Va. This year's convention, dubbed the "Diamond Jubilee," included four days of continuing education classes, AMTA Foundation news and research, social events, and trade show exhibits featuring products, services and educational opportunities from hundreds of vendors.

AMTA President Brenda L.

Griffith recapped the association's accomplishments over the past year at the annual business meeting, and in her opening remarks, Executive Director Elizabeth Lucas discussed relationship-building within the health care community, and the AMTA's plans for the future. "Your board of directors is committed to fostering relationships that can help advance the profession and create a better environment for massage therapy practice. Relationship development is about representing the best interests of the whole massage therapy profession, in addition to representing the well-being of the public... AMTA envisions the future of the whole profession, and plans into the future for where public demand and the acceptance of massage will be next. We envision that [same] acceptance in health care ..." she said.

National election results were also announced and include newly elected President Laurel Freeman and President-Elect Mary Beth Braun; executive committee Vice-Presidents Leena Guptha and M.K. Brennan Knollmeyer; re-elected member at large Ron McKnight; and newly elected Members at Large Kathy Lea, Glenath Moyle; and George Schwind to the board of directors.

The convention welcomed best-selling author Dr. Bernie Siegel, an advocate of patient empowerment, as this year's keynote speaker. He discussed the role of love and spirituality in health and healing.

Attendees were able to choose from a wide range of continuing education workshops that included many nationally known educators, including Sandi Fritz, who presented "Ethics and Professionalism"; Dr. Bruno Chikly: "Lymphatic Mapping"; Bob King: "Postural Pain and Foot Pronation"; Cheryl Chapman: "Hands-on for Cancer"; Linda Tellington-Jones: "Introduction to TTouch(tm) for Humans and Animals"; and Benny Vaughn: "USA Sports Massage."

Other presenters included John Calvi, Margo Bowman, Yamuna Zake, Dawn Nelson, June Lordi, Roger Tolle, Suzanne Torrenzano, Claire Marie Miller, and Wayne Perry.

In addition to AMTA-sponsored activities, the AMTA Foundation showcased poster sessions of foundation-funded research, and featured workshops on grant writing, research findings and the foundation's Massage Therapy Research Database. Renowned massage educator Eric Dalton presented a post-convention workshop: "'Dirty Dozen' Myoskeletal Techniques for Neck, Shoulder and Hand Pain," to benefit the foundation.

Additionally, the foundation announced plans to temporarily suspend scholarship distributions while it redesigns the program; new scholarship guidelines will be issued next spring.

Plans for the AMTA 2004 National Convention, scheduled for Oct. 7-10, 2004, in Nashville, Tenn., are already underway. For more information, visit For more information on the AMTA Foundation, visit


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