, Editorial Staff
, Editorial Staff
Massage Highlighted at Virtual Pain Management Symposium
Representing the massage therapy profession, Massage Therapy Foundation President Doug Nelson was recently a panelist at the Alliance to Advance Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management (AACIPM) virtual symposium.
The two-day symposium, held on May 13th and 14th, featured some of the nation’s leading examples of innovation and progress on evidence-informed, holistic pain management and featured multi-disciplinary, team-based approaches. Other key contributors to the conversation included the Veterans Health Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Duke University, University of Vermont Medical Center, Boeing Company, and the United Health Group.
The conference aims to support the ongoing advancement of massage therapy as part of an integrative approach to pain management. Massage therapy is currently covered by the VA, DoD and many Medicare Advantage plans as a supplement benefit for pain management.
Review the presentations featured at the conference.
Spotlight: Meet NCBTMB’s New CEO, Shelly Johnson
Please provide your full name, current location, and current job title.
Shelly Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, NCBTMB, Burr Ridge, IL
Share one fun fact about you.
When I’m not in Chicago, I live in a town of 929 people in northern Minnesota. I know people wonder why, but if they saw the sun setting over the lake (even when it’s cold!) they would get it.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to cook, and we’ve created a little club where we choose a cuisine each month and must cook something that fits that theme. I also love to golf (although I will never be remotely good at it.) I love reading/watching documentaries about 20th century history (the inner nerd is a strong force within me.) And, finally, I love hanging out with my husband and puppies.
What magazines or books have you read recently?
Atomic Habits—it’s a book that instructs on how to build good habits and break bad ones. I’m trying to put the book into practice. It does not always go well ...
What is one city/country you long to visit and why?
There are two cities that I’ve visited, loved and haven’t spent enough time in to do them justice. Those cities are New York and Paris— they are both so historic and vibrant. I’ve got to go back when the world settles down.
Have you had any previous experience(s) in the massage profession?
Yes, I served as chief executive for the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and prior to that I served in the No. 2 position with the organization. In total, I spent almost 11 years there.
What motivated you to apply to NCBTMB?
I believe that certification is the diamond of any profession—it honors those in a profession that make the commitment to the highest levels of education and competency. In addition, I’ve worked with a variety of professions and—by far—this field has been the most rewarding in terms of relationships. Massage therapists are so passionate and caring—it makes you proud to support them as they support others.
What experiences have you had that prepared you for your role at NCBTMB?
In addition to my experience with AMTA, I served as an executive for several associations where certification was the most important program. I have a strong understanding of what certification takes and the processes and procedures that need to be maintained to ensure program integrity.
What has your role as NCBTMB CEO taught you so far?
Our volunteer leaders and staff have an amazing commitment to our certificants, providers, schools and applicants. And—just as importantly—a commitment to maintaining the integrity of our programs.
What does Board Certification mean to you?
To me, Board Certification is a long-term investment with personal and professional implications. The therapist who commits to achieving certification and to the advancement of his/her education and experience—both of which require time, effort, and money to achieve—is an ongoing process. Certification symbolizes a therapist’s journey to actively carry out that commitment.
Similarly, on a larger scale, Certification from a national certifying body (NCBTMB)—which also requires time, effort, and money to produce and maintain—further legitimizes massage therapy as a profession per the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health.
FSMTB Offers Free Cultural Competence Courses and Guidelines with COVID-19 Considerations
Free Cultural Competence Courses on Prejudice, Racism & Discrimination
To further their commitment to education and service, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards has begun offering the online Cultural Competence: Prejudice, Racism & Discrimination courses free of charge through July 31, 2020 to all those who wish to watch, listen, learn, contemplate – and, in large or small ways, act.
FSMTB says, “It is our hope that by taking one of these Cultural Competence courses, you are inspired to be intentional and proactive in supporting each other and in supporting positive change.”
The organization believes we all have the responsibility and the platform to reinforce a culture of caring; where hate, racism, bigotry and discrimination have no power. “We draw strength from our diversity,” says FSMTB.
For Massage and Bodywork Professionals, visit FSMTB’s website.
Massage & Bodywork Practitioner Guidelines with COVID-19 Considerations
The intent of this document is to provide a resource to FSMTB member boards and agencies, massage and bodywork professionals, and massage school staff to support public protection. Readers are encouraged to refer to and use the FSMTB Guidelines for Practice with COVID-19 Considerations within the confines of the regulatory structures of their respective states.
The FSMTB Guidelines for Practice with COVID-19 Considerations references Standard Precautions and CDC protocols and adapts them to the specific practice environment of massage and bodywork. Whenever possible, this document reflects specific CDC recommendations to provide guidance on facility cleanliness and sanitation, facility policies and procedures, and requirements for massage practitioner hygiene.
“For public protection, it is important to support regulated professionals who are informed and can exercise professional judgment that is not clouded by misinformation and fear,” said FSMTB Executive Director Dr. Debra Persinger.
The FSMTB recognizes that some customization and flexibility are necessary to allow these concepts to be of assistance in each jurisdiction and practice setting. The recommendations and guidelines do not replace any directives or guidance provided by federal or state agencies, regulatory boards, or other authorities having jurisdiction. Where conflicts occur, the stricter requirement will apply.
COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. The document will be modified as necessary when further relevant information becomes available.
FSMTB acting Board President Craig Knowles said, “The Board of Directors extends its sincere appreciation to the members of the Practice Guidelines Task Force who worked diligently to research and prepare the Practice Guidelines and to share best practices for massage and bodywork therapists, all while working from home during the global COVID-19 pandemic.”
Visit FSMTB’s website for more information.
AMTA Offers Free CE, Releases New Consumer Data and Opens 2021 Call for Speakers
AMTA continues to offer the profession an extensive free CE library to help meet licensing requirements and reinforce massage skills. Choose from a wide range of NCBTMB-approved free courses in several categories.
AMTA’s Online Courses give massage therapists, massage therapy educators and massage therapy students an opportunity to enhance their continuing education.
+ Business & Marketing
+ Massage Educator Skills
Visit AMTA’s website for more information on how to participate in free online courses.
In a May 2020 AMTA consumer survey on massage therapy and COVID-19, of those who indicated they received massage in the past 12 months:
+ 72 percent have a high likelihood of going back to the therapist they saw for their last massage.
+ 45 percent of massage consumers will look at getting a massage once restrictions are lifted.
+ More than half of respondents who received a massage in the past year anticipate getting a massage for soreness, stiffness or spasms when they are able to get a massage again.
+ And, 41 percent anticipate getting a massage for pain relief or pain management.
Share your knowledge with the massage profession by submitting a speaker application for AMTA educational opportunities, including AMTA’s 2021 National Convention, AMTA’s 2021 Schools Summit and AMTA’s online continuing education.
Being an AMTA speaker has myriad benefits, including:
• Exposure to other massage therapists, educators and vendors who share your commitment to educational excellence and high ethical standards.
• Sharing ideas, knowledge and experience with massage therapists new to the profession and those with years of experience.
Speaker applications are due July 23, 2020.
For more information, visit AMTA’s website.
AFMTE Changes the Name of the Educator Certification Credential
The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) changed the name of its certified educator credential. It is now known simply as Certified Massage and Bodywork Educator (CMBE). Due to some confusion between other acronyms and the original CETMB credential, the Board of Directors decided to change the name and the AFMTE will update all materials and marketing to reflect the new name.
AFMTE President Stan Dawson commented on the name change by saying, “The name of the CMBE credential reflects a fundamental value stemming from the Entry-Level Massage Education Blueprint’s (ELAP) core that the defining feature of massage and bodywork is therapeutic, structured touch, regardless of the system through which it is applied. It also honors a commitment to diversity and exploration in education while aligning with the AFMTE’s vision to advance the therapeutic massage and bodywork professions by strengthening and elevating educational practices and standards through supporting, credentialing, and engaging educators.”
Deanna Sylvester, AFMTE Certified Educator Project Manager said, “This name change reduces confusion and simplifies our acronym, while continuing to directly reflect the accomplishment and expertise of our certified educators.”
Visit AFMTE's website for more information.