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Massage Today
March, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 03

Association Looking for New Members

By Kathryn Feather, Senior Associate Editor

The National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists (NANMT) is looking for a few good members, according to new Board President, Judy Dean, RN, DS, NCBMB, CHt. The NANMT was organized in 1992 and experienced several years of growth but has since seen a drop in membership. A new board in now in place and is looking to grow the association once again.

Dean, a former Director and Chair of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, said her goal "is to support the state boards in the trend of supporting nurse massage therapists in their scope of practice." In order to do this, her "first goal is to increase membership. We're taking a look at everything to make sure there is agreement in terms of our purpose and broadening the appeal and message to others in the field who engage in touch therapy." Dean also shared that, "the intent of our presence in health care is to have nurse massage therapy recognized as a specialty in the nursing profession. We want to ultimately make a strong push to get recognized by the state nursing boards."

In addition to Dean, the new board consists of Jamie Listebarger, RN, LMT, as Vice President and Andy Bernay-Roman, MS, CMT, and the original founder of the NANMT will serve as Secretary/Treasurer. According to the new leadership, the first steps include assessing and formulating various structural and logistical changes to redevelop a strong, active and viable membership driven organization. The NANMT currently participates in fund raising events, distributes a newsletter, provides a source of referral and collaboration to nurses and non-nursing colleagues and interacts with legislators as to the role of the nurse massage therapist in the health care setting.

nurse - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark The NANMT philosophy is stated as, "Nurse Massage Therapy is grounded in nursing theory and implemented within the context of the nursing process. It possesses a specialized body of knowledge and therefore represents a distinct specialty in professional nursing practice. Nurse Massage Therapists provide professional services in various practice settings and receive fair reimbursement for their services. Nurse Massage Therapy affirms nursing as both an art and a science whose primary purpose is to provide health care services that nurture and strengthen clients' ability to heal themselves. Nurse Massage Therapy provides a holistic approach to health care, which is needed to balance the trend toward impersonal, technological-oriented health care. Using a variety of touch therapies, the Nurse Massage Therapist acts as a catalyst to facilitate clients' ability to heal themselves. NANMT members are committed to integrating massage and bodywork into various settings of contemporary nursing practice and health care. We work cooperatively with other health care professionals and with other nursing and massage/bodywork organizations. NANMT members maintain a high level of integrity and accountability consistent with the NANMT Code of Ethics and Bylaws, and adhere to the laws and legal scope of practice set forth by the regulatory nursing agency where they practice, as well as the Standards of Practice for the Nurse Massage Therapist."

NANMT members provide touch therapy to hospital in-patient, out-patient and in community settings; as private practitioners within health oriented agencies; as researchers collecting data regarding the impact of touch therapy on vulnerable populations; teaching the process of incorporating touch therapies to nursing students and caregivers and presenting at national educational programs. Membership dues are currently $100 per year for active members and $55 for students. And with more and more hospitals looking to include alternative therapies such as massage, nurse massage therapists could be in demand. A January 2012 article in the Los Angeles Times noted the increased trend in offering massage. According to the Times article, "experts say hospitals are embracing these therapies for many reasons, including a growing recognition that some integrative therapies...are very effective in certain instances."

If you are a nurse massage therapist or a student interested in incorporating touch therapy into your skill set, send your suggestions and ideas to the NANMT, as they work to get this association back to the forefront of the nursing and massage professions. As the board reminds existing and potential members, "your input impacts the future of your organization, as well as the acceptance of integrating your specialized touch therapies into nursing and the broader health care arena."

According to Dean, the NANMT currently has approximately 100 members but "more membership means a louder voice."

To learn more about the NANMT and become a member, visit their web site at


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