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

We Get Letters

Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be edited for space and clarity, and published in a future issue or online.

Please send all correspondence by e-mail to or regular mail to:

Massage Today
P.O. Box 4139

Huntington Beach, CA 92605

AMTA Responds to Article
Re: AMTA Board of Directors Disbands Council of Schools, November 2009

Dear Editor,

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) is very concerned about your November article on its recent decision regarding its Council of Schools (COS) Board. The article contains many errors and seems to question the accuracy of AMTA’s public statements. We believe both our members and others in the profession are moving forward and have no desire to see more divisiveness in the profession. Unfortunately, we feel we must take the time to set the record straight.

After repeatedly providing Massage Today and all other trade publications with accurate information about our COS Board decision, the history of the COS, and the new Alliance for Massage Therapy Education, your article questioned our veracity by saying "The AMTA asserts that their decision regarding the COS Board is not a response to the recently-announced Alliance for Massage Therapy Education." It is not only AMTA that has said this, but the Alliance has publicly stated that the developmental process for the Alliance was "completely separate from the internal restructuring AMTA recently completed with its Council of Schools."

The article states that the AMTA decision was abrupt and implies it was forced. However, the AMTA Council of Schools Board agreed with the approach of the association and the decision, writing its support well in advance of the AMTA Board decision. The article also implies AMTA is hiding something by not yet publicly "disclosing" the formation of a new schools committee, even though AMTA rarely publicly announces when it has formed committees to serve its members.

Your article continues to promote an idea that the AMTA Council of Schools was not really a part of AMTA by saying we voted "to end the 27-year relationship with the Council of Schools." Our Board of Directors voted to disband the AMTA Council of Schools Board of Directors and change bylaws to indicate all schools under the name Council of Schools are still AMTA member schools. Later you state, "However, in late January at the COS annual meeting and leadership conference, COS members expressed a desire to retain independence from the AMTA." The vote was to create a separate organization to represent all massage schools, not to retain independence. As we previously reported, the vote at the January meeting was among the 30 member schools attending, from among more than 400 AMTA member schools.

Misinformation about AMTA's decision regarding the AMTA COS Board has created a great deal of confusion. Distortions communicated by some have only served to create false issues. Therefore, we must also restate that AMTA School Member benefits have not changed as a result of the COS decisions and, in fact, are in the process of being enhanced.

AMTA has been clear, upfront, candid and factual about its decisions to find new ways to serve its schools members. We are firmly committed to our School members and look forward to an expanded meeting with school owners, administrators and educators at our conference in February 2010. There are many challenges in our profession and AMTA will continue to look for the best ways to help schools, students and practitioners succeed professionally.


Judy Stahl

Editor's note: To read the November Massage Today article, which includes a full statement from the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education, the history of the COS and the events leading up to the AMTA board of directors’ decision to discontinue the COS board, please click here.

Massage Today will print a correction in the next available issue regarding the word choice used in the sentence: "However, in late January at the COS annual meeting and leadership conference, COS members expressed a desire to retain independence from the AMTA..." The better word choice is obtain.


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