Massage Industry News
Massage Industry News

Industry News

By Massage Today, Editorial Staff
September 9, 2021

Industry News

By Massage Today, Editorial Staff
September 9, 2021

September/October 2021

Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa Names New CEO

John Teza has been named CEO of Hand & Stone. Teza has worked with Hand & Stone for a little over a year as president and chief development officer. He replaces Todd Leff, who will remain as chairman of the board.

For more information on Hand & Stone, visit their website

International Massage Therapy Research Conference

The Massage Therapy Foundation’s (MTF) International Massage Therapy Research Conference (IMTRC) will be held on May 12-13, 2022, in Alexandria, Virginia. MTF hosts this conference every three years to bring together massage therapists, educators, and thought leaders to discuss massage therapy research and innovations. 

For more information on IMTRC, visit their website

July/August 2021

Hand & Stone Acquires Canadian Franchise Massage Experts

Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa acquired Massage Experts, a Canadian franchise, adding to Hand & Stone’s existing 32-location footprint in the country.

For more information on Hand & Stone, visit their website.

Massage Heights Names New CEO/President

Susan Boresow has been named Massage Heights’s new CEO and president. Shane Evans, co-founder and most recent CEO of Massage Heights, will continue to serve as vice chairwoman on the board of directors.

For more information on Massage Heights, visit their website.

Massage Therapy Foundation Team to Run Boston Marathon 

Team MTF, the Massage Therapy Foundations’ marathon team, will be running the 125th Boston Marathon on October 11, 2021. The team was given four charity bibs. Follow their journey at #RunningForResearch!

For more information on MTF, visit their website.

NCBTMB Call for Candidates

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) is looking to fill two available practitioner member positions on its certification board, both beginning March 1, 2022. Applications may be submitted beginning August 3 through August 31, with both positions elected by the end of this year. Eligibility requirements for the Certification Board Member position, position description, as well as, important agreements and conditions for participation in the application process may be found here.

For more information on NCBTMB, visit their website.

New Massage Therapy Insurance Reimbursement Option In North Carolina 

A trial program has been announced in North Carolina giving massage therapists the ability to work with Carolina Complete Health (CCH) to provide massage therapy for pain relief and help lessen the dependence on opioid medication. At launch, it will be available in 41 counties in the state. The target population is for clients in acute situations to keep from getting to chronic pain, as an option to manage pain before medication starts, or before a second round of medication after injury. For this trial program, a patient will be referred to you by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. This is North Carolina’s first insurance acceptance program for massage therapy.  

For more information on CCH, visit their website.

May/June 2021

AMTA 2021 National Convention

Registration is now open for the American Massage Therapy Association’s 2021 National Convention, to take place in Tampa, Florida, on August 26-28. 

Michael Phelps, world champion swimmer, has been announced as the keynote speaker for Thursday’s opening session. Other general session speakers on the schedule include W. Mitchell, author and business leader and Mick Ebeling, innovator and founder of Not Impossible Labs. They will be joined by leading massage therapy continuing education presenters from across the country.

For more information, visit AMTA’s website.

BIOTONE’s Edu-Talk Series: Second Quarter Speaker Lineup

The second quarter of BIOTONE’s 2021 Edu-Talk series continues with featured speakers and topics, including:

Tuesday, May 4: “Medical Massage, the What, Why and How” with Shamaya Chah Tuesday, May 18: “Total Body Evaluation” with Kerry D’Ambrogio

Tuesday, June 8: “The Art of Clinical Decision-Making” with Doug Nelson

Tuesday, June 15: “Integrated Manual Therapy for Low Back Pain, Hip Pain, and Sciatica” with James Waslaski

Tuesday, June 22: “Prenatal Massage–Why Specialized Training Matters” with Judy Koch

For more information, visit BIOTONE’s website.

Franchise Gator Names MassageLuxe as 2021's Top Emerging Franchise

MassageLuXe ranked 44 out of 100 on Franchise Gator’s Fastest Growing Franchises list. The list is compiled using metrics like financial stability, growth, transparency, engagement, continuity and sustainability. 

This is the second consecutive year the brand has made the list, which aims to help potential franchise owners identify franchises on the rise.

To view the complete list, visit their website.

Massage Therapist Receives Fifth Third Foundation Grant

The Fifth Third Foundation announced Loose Massage Therapy Plus of Detroit, Michigan, as one of the recipients to receive a portion of its $1.2 million in grant money. The initiative—Innovation Meets Main Street: Boosting Black, Woman-owned Businesses program—was created in September 2020 and focuses on building partnerships between Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity.

For a full list of recipients, visit their website.

MTF Names New President, Vice President, And Trustees 

The Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) announced Robin Anderson, MEd, LMT, CEAS, as its new president and Adrienne F. Asta, BA, LMT, as vice president. MTF also announced new members to its board of trustees: 

Angela Barker, BCTMB, LMT, serving a one year-term.

Lindsay Bodkin, BA, LMT, CPT, serving a two-year term.

Kim Nimmo, LMT, NCBTMB, serving a two-year term.

Portia B. Resnick, PhD, ATC, BCTMB, serving a two-year term.

For more information, visit MTF’s website.


The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) announced Monica Love as its new chief operating officer. Prior to joining NCBTMB, Love was the senior manager of professional development at the American Massage Therapy Association.

For more information, visit NCBTMB’s website.

Two New Bills Addressing Comprehensive Approaches to Pain Care to be Considered by Congress

The Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (NOPAIN) Act, S. 586, first introduced in the last Congress, was reintroduced on March 4, by a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators. The NOPAIN Act is intended to increase patient and provider access to non-opioid approaches to acute pain management, including massage efforts. Last year, members of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) sent over 8,000 letters of support for NOPAIN to their respective House and Senate Members of Congress and helped garner 62 official bipartisan supporters in the House and 24 cosponsors in the Senate. 

Additionally, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has introduced S. 987, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA 3.0) to increase funding authorization levels for certain programs enacted as part of the CARA bill in 2016, and also to build upon earlier efforts to help address the rising opioid epidemic through enhanced access to treatment and prevention. CARA 3.0 is intended to be a comprehensive approach to tackling substance abuse. It provides support for new research into non-opioid pain management alternatives, increases continuing education for physicians and providers about non-opioid alternatives, and includes specific language from the NOPAIN Act that requires HHS to report to Congress on certain identified gaps in Medicare coverage for pain, including massage therapy, and to make recommendations to increase patient access to these therapies.

For more information on how massage therapists can get involved in efforts to support these pieces of legislation, click here.

March/April 2021

BIOTONE Launches Edu-Talk Series

BIOTONE’s newest education program focuses on helping massage therapists with tips for career success. Named “EDU-TALK,” this series features 30-minute ZOOM presentations with massage industry experts sharing their knowledge and expertise.

For more information, visit BIOTONE’s website.

Massage Therapy Research Webinar Series

The Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) are offering a free research webinar series. The series covers the basics of research, the impact research has on the massage profession, and what resources are available to help massage therapists seeking better engagement within the profession.

Massage therapists can earn one free continuing education credit upon completion of the quizzes offered at the end of each webinar video.

Current offerings include:

Research Webinar Part I: Why Research?

Research Webinar Part II: What is Research?

Research Webinar Part III: How to Find Quality Resources

Research Webinar Part IV: Case Reports

Research Webinar Part V: Massage Therapy for Pain Management

Research Webinar Part VI: Massage Therapy and the Immune System

(Coming June) Research Webinar Part VII (Topic TBD)

(Coming September) Research Webinar Part VIII: Sports Massage

(Coming December) Research Webinar Part IX (Topic TBD)

For more information, visit MTF’s website.

NCBTMB Receives Re-Accreditation 

The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) has renewed the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork’s (NCBTMB) five-year re-accreditation status of Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB). 

NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (formerly the National Organization for Competency Assurance).  Since 1977, the NCCA has been accrediting certifying programs based on the highest quality standards in professional certification to ensure programs adhere to modern standards of practice in the certification industry.

NCBTMB’s re-accreditation status is now active until April 30, 2025.

For more information, visit NCBTMB’s website.

NCBTMB 2021 Board Election Results 

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) welcomed Christopher Deery, LMT, BCTMB, to the NCBTMB Certification Board as a Practitioner Member. 

Dolly Wallace, LMT, BCTMB, was named president-elect. 

Both appointments are currently in effect. Wallace will serve for one year and Deery will serve a three-year term.

For more information, visit NCBTMB’s website.

AFMTE Group Mentoring Program 

The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) launched an eight-week group mentoring program this month that runs through April. The program will match individuals seeking mentorship with mentors. Accepted participants will attend a webinar to launch the program, meet weekly for six weeks as mentor/mentee cohorts, and attend a wrap-up webinar. 

For more information, visit AFMTE’s website.

ISPA 2021 Conference & Expo Canceled

The International Spa Association (ISPA) has canceled its 2021 conference and expo due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of an in-person event that typically draws thousands of attendees, ISPA will hold a virtual event in May called the ISPA Stronger Together Summit, with a focus on education. ISPA’s conference-related preparations have now shifted to the 2022 ISPA Conference & Expo, which will be hosted at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, from May 2–4, 2022.

For more information, visit ISPA’s website.

Successful Hands Grant Winners 

The Successful Hands Grant Program announced the winners of their 2020 grants in January.


•Sara Blackburn, Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies, Camden, New Jersey

•Carolyn DeVine, Spa Tech Institute, Westbrook, Maine

•Marisol Meyer, Albuquerque, New Mexico

•Marcel Machado, Hawaii Healing Arts College, Kailua, Hawaii

•Lauren Price, Center for Massage, Asheville, North Carolina

•Cori Kresge, Pacific College of Health and Science, New York, New York

•Cynthia Morrison, Cincinnati School of Medical Massage, Cincinnati, Ohio

•Eleanor Rutledge, Lexington Healing Arts Academy, Lexington, Kentucky

Performance Health and Massage Envy established the Successful Hands Grant Program to help students prepare for a career in massage therapy.

For more information, visit the Successful Hands website.

January/February 2021

Research Studies on Covid-19 and Massage Therapy

Two important research studies are currently being conducted to investigate the connections between massage therapy and COVID-19. 

Indiana University School of Health & Human Sciences launched a survey in mid-November focusing on COVID-19 and massage therapy. The survey hopes to get a better understanding of how COVID-19 has affected both massage therapists and their clients by examining the changing habits of both demographics since March 2020. 

Visit AFMTE’s website for more. 

Additionally, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, Prisma Health, Clemson University, and Indiana University are gathering real-life experiences of health care providers during the pandemic. Project COPE, short for chronicling health care provider’s pandemic experiences, includes massage therapists and aims to gather information from the experiences of all health care providers/professionals during and after COVID-19.

For more information, visit MTF's website.

Massage Therapy Foundation Launches Fundraising Program

Round-up your purchase totals and donate to a good cause. The Massage Therapy Foundation 

(MTF) launched a new program called Spare Change with the hopes of encouraging donations to the MTF. Those who opt-in to the program can round up the total of their credit card purchases and their “spare change” will be automatically transferred to MTF’s Spare Change program as a charitable donation. 

Spare Change is made possible by Cheerful Giving, and all participants are encouraged to sign up through the program’s sign-up page to begin donating.

Visit MTF’s website for more information.

AMTA 2021-2022 National Board Announced

AMTA’s FY 2021-22 National Board of Directors will take office on March 1, 2021. The newly elected board members include Cindy Farrar (GA), Patricia (Patty) Phillips (WA), Bob Jantsch (PA), Kimberly Kane-Santos (PA), and LaDonna Ward (AL). They will join five continuing Board Directors: Christine Bailor-Goodlander 

(NY), Michaele Colizza (RI), Pat Collins (NY), Jane Horton Johnson (GA), and Scott Raymond (CT).

On March 1, President-Elect Steve Albertson (IL) will become AMTA President and current President, Angela Barker (WV), will continue on the Board as Immediate-Past President.

Visit AMTA’s website for more information.