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Massage Today
November, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 11

First Educational Congress Announces Diverse Program

By Nancy Dail, AFMTE Conference Planning Chair

The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education and the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation continue to release information related to the First Educational Congress in July 2015 at The Commons Hotel in Minneapolis on the University of Minnesota Campus.

Applications for proposals for presentations have been reviewed, contracts have been confirmed and a draft schedule is in the works. "We are thrilled that so many of our industry's stakeholder organizations have agreed to participate in this exciting event. The presentations are diverse, timely and worthy for all participants. The schedule, course descriptions and bios of the presenters will be up on the website soon." said Nancy Dail, Chair of the AFMTE Conference Planning Committee.

Here is a glimpse of the program: James Oschman, PhD, will lead us in a keynote presentation "Working Together for a Bright Future for our Professions" and will set a tone of harmony and light for the entire conference. Jim Oschman is the award-winning author of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis and Energy Medicine in Therapeutics and Human Performance. He lectures internationally on the science behind a variety of emerging medical techniques, especially bodywork, energetic and movement therapies. Jim has degrees in biophysics and biology from the University of Pittsburgh and has worked in major research labs around the world. "Creating, inspiring, and manifesting a future we all long for, is a topic worthy of big discussion." In this presentation James will suggest a model for such endeavors based on the wisdom within us.

AFMTE - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Besides the initial keynote, David Lauterstein will serenade us in the Destiny of Massage Therapy to view ways our collaboration can create a healthier more robust profession and contribute to a more just, vibrant and peaceful world.

In past conferences, the Alliance has had breakout sessions for teachers, schools and CE providers. This Educational Congress has a slate of presenters that will speak to all our members, as well as the industry stakeholders that have decided to attend and participate. Teachers will have a variety of courses to choose from including "Teach Yourself to be a Teacher" with Sandy Fritz to "The Science and Soul of Teaching" with David Lauterstein.

Sandy Fritz, author, school owner, renowned instructor and licensed massage therapist will explore in an interactive style, foundational information and resources to teach ourselves to be more competent teachers. "I think the Educational Congress is going to be a landmark event that I will write about in textbooks for years to come. I would not miss this historical event."

David Lauterstein, author, school owner, international speaker and instructor will engage in practical, exciting skill building exercises and group work for teaching and learning with one's whole self – using both sides of your brain.

Linda Derick, Director of the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy will appeal to teachers, schools and CE providers alike with "Redesigning Curriculum: Touch Education for our Changing World." Participants will join Linda to explore ways that massage therapy education can, through collaboration, attain a further reach into our communities and consider strategies to implement into curriculum that support students to become successful touch educators.

Susan Salvo, author, educator and licensed massage therapist will present, "The 21st Century Classroom" which will explore our learning environments based on research and determine the most effective learning methods based on current best practices.

Anne Williams, Director of Education for ABMP will present, "Reinventing the Lecture" to reinvent teacher lectures to support better learning outcomes.

Research Classes

In "Education Research in Massage: How Can We Move it Forward?" Janet Kahn, PhD, LMT and Martha Menard, PhD, LMT, will explore real world possibilities for educational research collaboration. The bulk of the session will be spent on brainstorming ideas for how to create an education research infrastructure and discussing ideas for feasibly conducting education research at our institutions, both individually and in collaboration.

Deb Hill from ACCHAC will lead a panel to discuss, "Research and Evidence Informed Practice: Bringing the big picture into the classroom and clinic." Here a discussion will look at how engaging in the research dialogue can facilitate communication in environments focused on interdisciplinary health care and how we can inlay this education into an already tight curriculum.

Virginia Cowen, Phd, LMT, Director of Education at the Rutgers University Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, will present "Secondary Data Analysis: An Untapped Resource for Massage Research." This session will review how massage records can be utilized in secondary data analysis to contribute to massage therapy research. Ethical and statistical issues will be explored from a solutions-oriented perspective.

The Executive Director of the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences, Inc. (NACCAS), Tony Mirando, will lead a discussion in "Student Outcomes: A Conversation for Establishing Best Practices." This session for institutional administrators and faculty serves as an interactive examination of the critical factors which most dramatically impact the graduation, placement and licensure outcomes rates of your students, including a pre-enrollment plan of action for each student which will provide a roadmap to graduation; networking within your community; teaching students results-oriented employment skills; and methods to effectively track licensure data following your state's exams.

COMTA will have a full day of presentations on Wed, July 22nd before the conference to include an "Open Forum" in the morning and a discussion on "How to Survive and Thrive During an Accreditation Visit." COMTA will also lead a discussion on "Technology Show and Tell," about what technology is being used in the classroom in a two hour session later in the conference.

Mary O'Reilly from the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, developers of the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) will review the do's and don'ts of creating challenging but fair questions from concept to completion in "Writing Great Exam Questions."

Jeffrey S. Harmon, Director of e-Learning for Ocean County College and public member of COMTA will present, "There's An App For That: Mobile Solutions To Everyday Needs." This breakout session will focus on the best-of-breed apps in education, business, productivity and lifestyle that may just provide you with that one app you've always been searching for.

Stephanie Beck, author of Social Trigger Points, will be presenting "Creating Exciting Content for Social Media." This is a workshop structured class, with 45 min outlining how to create the posts for each of the social media platforms and then small groups will be given a topic to create a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ update. Prizes will be awarded to the team who crafts the best post.

In addition to the above presentations, there will be brainstorming sessions on "Collaborating Toward Increasing Enrollment for the Career of Massage Therapy and Cultivating New Teachers," as well as a panel for "How to Get Published." All of the stakeholder organizations will take part in a panel during the conference. There will be ample time in the schedule to visit vendors, socialize and network before the start of each day, during breaks and at the scheduled lunches. Dinners out will provide additional network opportunities. This is going to be an event not to miss! Complete information about the conference may be found on the AFMTE website,


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