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Massage Today
November, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 11

AMTA Convention: Largest Attendance Ever

By Editorial Staff

The 2009 American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) national convention held September 23-26 in Orlando welcomed more than 1,800 attendees and nearly 100 vendors, making it the largest annual AMTA convention ever.

The event included educational courses, generous donations to massage research, exciting giveaways, awards, and plenty of opportunities to meet and connect with others in the industry.

Awards & Recognition

Keynote Speaker Tony Burroughs kicked off the Opening Session and Awards Presentation on Thursday, September 24.

The opening ceremony's national awards presentation included recognizing those in the industry for their outstanding service. Among the award recipients were: Sally Hacking who received the AMTA President's Award for her long-standing assistance in AMTA governmental relations; Carey Elizabeth Smith who received the AMTA Council of Schools Teacher of the Year Award; and Jeffrey Myers who received the Humanitarian Award. Also recognized were the Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge (MTBOK) Task Force and Stewards, who recently released the body of knowledge draft for public review.


AMTA Logo - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Attendees were able to choose from various educational courses taught by highly regarded instructors in the field. Popular classes included: "Pathology, Phamacology and Massage: An Introduction to Key Concepts" by Ruth Werner; "Evaluation and Treatment of Nerve Injuries" by Whitney Lowe; "Teaching Business Ethics Can Be Fun!" by Cherie Sohnen-Moe; "Unwinding, The Core of Cranio-Sacral Work" by Ursula Popp; "Just Say NO! to the Thumb & Awkward Postures" by Barbara Frye; and "Soft-Tissue Techniques for Piriformis Syndrome" by Robert McAtee.

Exhibitor's Marketplace

The exhibitor's marketplace was bustling with attendees testing samples of new products, learning information on tools and techniques and meeting representatives from major massage industry organizations.

One of the most popular attractions within the marketplace was Massage Warehouse's philanthropic project, the Sanctuary. With the help of corporate event partners, the Sanctuary offered 10-minute treatments (for a donation of $10) of basic reflexology, stone massage, exfoliation, hot/cold contrast protocols, herbal ball treatment or facial rejuvenating techniques. At the event, the Sanctuary raised a remarkable $5,608 for massage therapy research with every donation going to the Massage Therapy Foundation.

"I am so encouraged by the continued success of Sanctuary, and even more excited about the movement it has created to support research," said Angie Patrick, Sanctuary founder. "I see more and more products, events, and fundraisers benefitting research now more than ever before. It makes me so proud to hope Sanctuary may have helped in some way to inspire this shift. We will continue to present Sanctuary, and look for more ways to give back to the massage industry as a whole."

The Massage Today raffle drawings were held on Thursday and Friday with two chances to win $500 as well as product giveaways from generous sponsors including: Massage Warehouse, Bon Vital, Oakworks and the World Massage Conference. Lucky winners received the cash giveaways, massage chairs, a table, products, and one free pass to the World Massage Conference, a web-based massage conference held on Nov. 12-17, 2009 with presentations from more than 70 of the top massage experts in the world. (See front page article for details on the World Massage Conference.)

For information on the 2010 AMTA national convention held in Minneapolis, Minn. on September 22-25, go to


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