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Massage Today
December, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 12

AMTA Meets in Music City, USA

By Editorial Staff

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) 2004 National Convention was held Oct. 6-9, 2004, in Nashville, Tenn. Nashville, which is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame, B.B. King, and other American music icons, was an especially suitable backdrop considering the convention's theme, "Harmonize Our Body's Song," and the myriad continuing education offerings available to "fine tune" every massage therapists' skills.

This year's continuing education workshops were particularly diverse in scope, and allowed for the wide interest of our profession.

Some titles, to illustrate the breadth of choice, were "Sounding the Liquid Body," "Painting with Love," "Fijian Massage," "Treating Frozen Shoulder Syndrome," and "Managed Care - Is It For Me?"

All workshops were offered to meet the interests, ethics or skill needs of practicing massage therapists. The convention provided both personal and professional opportunities for education, networking and socialization.

A large number of companies supporting the industry were in the "Exhibit Marketplace," allowing attendees to discover current products and services supportive of the success of their own businesses.

At the convention's business meeting, AMTA Executive Director Elizabeth Lucas provided an overview of the state of the association and profession, highlighting the association's desires for massage legislation and consensus building. AMTA President Laurel Freeman recognized the many volunteers and staff that made the convention, as well as the previous year, a success for AMTA.

Among the many professionals recognized for their contributions, the most notable included convention co-chair Glenath Moyle who received the National Meritorious Award; past National President Elliot Greene who received the Distinguished Service Award; and Leon Chaitow, DO, ND, who received the President's Award. Freeman also introduced visiting dignitaries and guests from around the world who were present to attend the convention.

Rachel Naomi Remen and Christie McCarthy. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Convention keynote speaker Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, (left) and her associate, Christie McCarthy, take the stage at the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. For many, the highlight of the convention was the keynote address by Rachel Naomi Reman, MD. Among a long list of professional and personal accomplishments, Dr. Reman is founder and director of the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness, a professional development program for graduate physicians who wish to develop a greater personal capacity for empathy, compassion, understanding and communication.

This master storyteller's address, "The Will to Live and Other Mysteries," had attendees alternately laughing and in tears as she led them to explore, via vignettes of her own life, the dimension of mystery in our work. She concluded by singing a duet with her associate, singer/songwriter Christie McCarthy, that seemed most appropriate for the meeting location, the Ryman Auditorium, original home of the Grand Ole Opry.

The AMTA National Convention is held annually; the 2005 convention is scheduled for Sept. 21-24, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information, visit


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