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Monday, February 18, 2013
Castor Oil??

Castor oil packs have been used for centuries and were first used by ancient Egyptians. The oil is obtained from the castor bean, and can be found in health food stores. If you've used it you know the health benefits, and if you haven't then you may not be aware that it can be helpful for liver issues, constipation, gallbladder issues, ovarian cysts, non-cancerous fibroids, joint pain, bursitis and muscle strains. It's advisable to wait to use a castor oil treatment pack if you're menstruating or if you're pregnant.


If you're detoxing, it's a vital tool to help stimulation and circulation, especially on the area it is placed. It's also been known to help stimulate the immune system - a lot of bang for your buck!


Making and using a castor oil pack is simple to do. One way is to take either a piece of cotton flannel or wool flannel, preferably unbleached, double or triple thickness approximately 12" x 12" and saturate the piece. Lay down on something that won't be ruined if the castor oil drips, put the saturated flannel on the afflicted area, put plastic wrap completely over the flannel, then place a heating pad on top of that with a towel over that to keep in the heat.


It's recommended to keep the pack on for approximately 60-90 minutes, and not more than once per day. After you take it off, be sure to not get the castor oil on anything because the oil could cause permanent stains. It's a good idea to shower afterwards. Fold up the flannel, place it in a plastic baggie or jar and store it in the fridge because it can be used again and again. I've heard of people using it for many, many months, although you might need to add oil over time if it's not saturated. Once it becomes rancid, throw it away.


Now is the time to try a castor oil pack! What a great way to promote healing and to reduce inflammation. Relax and give it a try tonight.

Posted by: Dorinda Springer @ 12:00:00 am 
Monday, February 4, 2013
Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration


    AMD is typically a gradual disease, and the condition may progress so slowly in some cases that you don't notice your vision worsening until it's too late. However, your eyesight does not have to worsen with age. Some of the best ways to protect your vision and prevent AMD include:


        Astaxanthin: This is the ultimate carotenoid for eye health and the prevention of blindness. It's even more powerful an antioxidant than both lutein and zeaxanthin, and easily crosses into the tissues of the eye and exerts its effects safely and with more potency than any of the other carotenoids. Specifically, astaxanthin may help ameliorate or prevent light-induced damage, photoreceptor cell damage, ganglion cell damage, and damage to the neurons of the inner retinal layers.

        Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats: Omega-3 fats may help protect and promote healthy retinal function. One type, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is concentrated in your eye's retina and has been found to be particularly useful in preventing AMD. Further, inflammation is likely involved in AMD progression, and omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory effects. Research has shown those who had the highest intake of animal-based omega-3 fats had a 60 percent lower risk of advanced AMD compared to those who consumed the least.5

        Vitamin D: After receiving a vitamin D3 supplement for just 6 weeks, mice had improved vision and reductions in retinal inflammation and levels of amyloid beta accumulation, which is a hallmark of aging. The findings suggest vitamin D3 may help prevent AMD, and lend further support for optimizing your levels via safe sun exposure.

        Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Of all the carotenoids, only zeaxanthin and lutein are found in your retina, which has the highest concentration of fatty acids of any tissue in your body. This is because your retina is a highly light and oxygen rich environment, and it needs a large supply of free radical scavengers to prevent oxidative damage there. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, and also in egg yolks.

        Care for your cardiovascular system: High blood pressure can cause damage to the miniscule blood vessels on your retina, obstructing free blood flow. One of the primary ways to maintain optimal blood pressure is to avoid fructose. Research by Dr. Richard Johnson, chief of the division of kidney disease and hypertension at the University of Colorado, shows that consuming 74 grams or more per day of fructose (equal to 2.5 sugary drinks) increases your risk of having blood pressure levels of 160/100 mmHg by 77 percent!

       Eat plenty of fresh dark green leafy vegetables, especially kale: Studies have shown that diet rich in dark leafy greens helps support eye health, and those with the highest consumption of carotenoid-rich vegetables, especially ones rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, had increased vision health.



Posted by: dale Stillman @ 12:00:00 am 
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
What's a bylaw?

What is a By-law

By-law ( sometimes also spelled bylaw, byelaw or by law) can refer to a law of local or limited application passed under the authority of a higher law specifying what things may be regulated by the by-law. It can also refer to the internal rules of a company , organization or clubs. Bylaws vary from organization to organization, but generally cover topics such as how directors are elected, how meetings of directors are conducted . A common mnemonic device for remembering the typical articles in bylaws is NOMOMECPA , pronounced “No mommy, see pa!” It stands for Name, Object, Members, Officers, Meetings, Executive board, Committees, Parliamentary authority, Amendment.

Posted by: LuAnn Williams secretary @ 12:00:00 am 
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Is it Myoskeletal or Visceral Pain?

What is referred pain? Referred pain is pain perceived at a location other than the site of the painful stimulus. An example is the case of ischemia brought on by a myocardial infarction(heart attack), where pain is often felt in the neck, shoulders, ,jaw, and back rather than in the chest, the site of the injury.[3]

When a client presents with pain in the shoulder coming up to the neck but only on the right side and,the muscles are hypotonic and it looks like there is no muscular problem. No matter what you do you can’t help them. They also have history of digestive upset. Your first thought is .pain in the shoulder indicates injury or disease to the muscles or tendons that affect the shoulder, such as the subacromial bursa or a rotator cuff tendon problem.[1] Visceral pain would be suspect especially if you do some testing to find that none of the structures are referring pain..

If we always look at musculoskeletal pain as part of the picture and we miss the fact that the client has digestive or kidney problems as well, we may overlook the referral pain from visceral problems such as the pain referred from the kidney, gall bladder or liver. Another interesting peculiarity of visceral pain is the fact that it is often felt in places remote from the location of the affected organ. This is known as 'referred pain' and it is often a very useful tool to diagnose diseases of internal organs.[4]

It is unlikely but possible that  shoulder, low back or mid thoracic pain is a sign of something injurious happening in one of the visceral organs, gallbladder, stomach, spleen, lungs, or pericardial sac (the connective tissue bag containing the heart). Interesting isn’t it? Conditions as diverse as liver abscesses, gallstones, gastric ulcers, splenic rupture, pneumonia, and pericarditis can all cause shoulder pain. How is that possible?[1]
Neuroscientists still don't know precisely which anatomical connections are responsible for referred pain, but the prevailing explanation explains it pretty well. Referred pain happens when nerve fibers from regions of high sensory input ,such as the skin, and nerve fibers from regions of normally low sensory input  such as the internal organs, happen to converge on the same levels of the spinal cord. The best known example is pain experienced during a heart attack. Nerves from damaged heart tissue convey pain signals to spinal cord levels T1-T4 on the left side, which happen to be the same levels that receive sensation from the left side of the chest and part of the left arm or even the jaw. The brain isn't used to receiving such strong signals from the heart, so it interprets them as pain in the chest and left arm or jaw.

Visceral pain shows peculiarities that make it very different from pain affecting the somatic organs (the skin, muscles, joints and bones). For instance, not all internal organs are sensitive to pain and some can be damaged quite extensively without the person feeling a thing. Many diseases of the liver, the lungs or the kidneys are completely painless and the only symptoms felt by the patient are those derived from the abnormal functioning of these organs[4]
Pain receptors in the brain don’t have the same connection with organs that they do with the muscles ( diaphragm.)[1]

So how exactly does the gall bladder and or liver refer to cause shoulder pain? All of organs bump up against the diaphragm, The diaphragm is innervated by two phrenic nerves (left and right), which emerge from spinal cord levels C3, C4, and C5  ( “remember these spinal cord levels using the mnemonic, "C3, 4, 5 keeps the diaphragm alive"). The phrenic nerves carry both motor and sensory impulses, so they make the diaphragm move and they convey sensation from the diaphragm to the central nervous system.[1]
For example, because the bladder is located in the low back, an infection in this organ may cause referred pain to the lumbar area. Other examples include but are not limited to:

the gallbladder may refer pain to the shoulderblade

the pancreas may refer pain to the back

the appendix may refer pain to the umbilical area

the heart may refer pain to the left chest, shoulder and jaw.[4]

Most of the time there isn't any sensation to convey from the diaphragm, But if a nearby organ gets sick, it may irritate the diaphragm, and then sensory fibers of one of the phrenic nerves are flooded with pain signals that travel to the spinal cord (at C3-C5). It turns out that C3 and C4 don't just keep the diaphragm alive; neurons at these two spinal cord levels also receive sensation from the shoulders (via the supraclavicular nerves). So when pain neurons at C3 and C4 sound the alarm, the brain refers the pain to t the shoulder. As massage therapists we always look at pain from a myoskeletal view point,usually that's a good assumption, but sometimes it's wrong.[1]
Looking at our complete picture of the client from the intake paperwork we may notice that there are digestive problems or kidney and bladder problems. If they are coupled with muscular pain that corresponds with visceral pain we may want to refer them to the doctor.

Keep in mind that we don’t diagnose just suggest to the client that they see their doctor and if you are not helping them let them know that and let them make the decision to come to see you for further treatment or not.

Another example that seems bizarre until you know the anatomy is disease in the stomach causing pain between the shoulder blades. Gastric cancer, a relatively aggressive and often incurable disease unless it's caught early can refer to the area of the rhomboids, or mid back. Some of the nerve fibers to the stomach;:specifically, visceral afferent nerve fibers that travel in the greater splanchnic nerve, convey pain signals to the same spinal cord levels (especially T5 and T6) that receive pain signals from the skin between the shoulder blades.[1]

 I am not suggesting that we send our clients off to the doctor at the first sign of pain that “could be” visceral pain. I am suggesting that we look more closely at the whole intake and if a client has pain in referral patterns that could be from visceral pain and we have other evidence such as complaint of digestive problems or prior kidney or bladder problems we should suggest that they see their doctor, especially if they are not getting better or the muscles are not hypertonic.

I hope you will check out the chart on the You Tube video.

Aurora Green


1. http://anatomynotes.blogspot.com/2006/10/referred-pain.html Dr Brad


3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Referred_pain

4 http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/pain/microsite/science3.html

5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHdGrkqkT7M

Posted by: Aurora Green @ 12:00:00 am 
Thursday, January 17, 2013


It can be a scary thing, or an exiting one. However, one thing is sure- life is change!

If you should google “making changes in your life” a large variety of pages and suggestions come up. One thing is consistent, that is the suggestion to start small, and the fact that it does not take long for a change to become a habit. Perhaps it is a personal habit or issue you seek to change. Or something in your practice. If you wish to change your professions status in Indiana, SB 573 has been introduced by Senator Sue Landkse in this 2013 session. Lend a hand and be supportive. I could write a whole blog, and more, about that! However, you can find information on it at www.amtaindiana.org or in your e-mail box.

Below are some change, or housecleaning suggestions that I like:

Admit when you are wrong, and apologize gracefully.

Be honest with yourself and others.

Take responsibility for your own emotions.

Have integrity by doing what you say you are going to do.

Be kind.

Consider all perspectives.

Set boundaries

Choose happiness

Don’t try to control, fix or change others.

Speak up. Don’t be a door mat.

Cause no harm to yourself or others, don’t gossip.

Forgive and ask for forgiveness often.

Basically, life is messy. Clean it up! How many of these “changes” appeal to you in 2013? How would any of these change your personal or professional life?

In my work with AMTA Indiana I have experienced much change in many aspects of my life. Some I have appreciated more than others, but it all adds up to personal growth. Volunteering has been good for me.

Every day brings new opportunities our way. Enjoy!

Posted by: Jennie Irving: GR chair @ 12:00:00 am 
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Have you updated your Member Profile lately?

Have you updated your Member Profile lately?

I received a call today from a therapist in another state. One of his clients has moved to the Indianapolis area and hadn’t found a therapist yet.  Added to that, during our lovely storm last weekend she was in a car accident.  She was checked out at the hospital and is fine but very stiff and sore and wanted to get a massage.  

The therapist was looking for a recommendation for an Indianapolis therapist to help his client.

I, of course, recommended the “Find a Therapist Link” on AMTAs National Website. http://www.amtamassage.org/findamassage/index.html

After talking to him, I thought I would check the link myself to see if any of the therapists I know were listed.  

I was surprised how many therapists that I know are AMTA members are not listed on the Find a Therapist Link and several that are listed have out of date information.

There are so many reasons to take advantage of this valuable (and FREE) service.  For one, if you are from Indy you could have picked up a new client today.   

1. Have you moved your office?  Can new clients find you?  

2. Have you taken a new class that you are really excited about?  Is it listed on your bio?  

3.  Have you expanded or reduced the hours you work?  Are you now working evenings or Saturdays?  That is the only time some clients might be able to come in.  

There are lots of reasons to update your listing.  Find yours and get it done!

Posted by: Terri Brandt / President @ 12:00:00 am 
Monday, August 6, 2012
Refer A Fiend
Share the Benefits of AMTA With Your Friends / Be Rewarded!

AMTA’s enhanced Refer a Friend program rewards you when you share the benefits of membership with your friends.

You’ll receive a $20 Visa gift card for every friend you refer who joins AMTA at any level—professional, graduate or student.

Referring is easy with these tips...

Posted by: Margi Lane @ 12:00:00 am 
Sunday, July 22, 2012
AMTA is happy to announce a major, multi-year commitment to

AMTA is happy to announce a major, multi-year commitment to public education on the benefits of massage therapy and to promote AMTA members. AMTA members are trusted professionals in massage therapy, and we know that some of the most important things we can do for you and your practice are to educate the public about the value of massage therapy for health and wellness, and the importance of choosing an AMTA member.

The association is expanding our efforts with consumer media to share current research on the health benefits of massage therapy. Enhanced media efforts began in late May and have already begun to produce increased news coverage about massage therapy for health and wellness. These resources and others will be available to help you participate in your own client outreach activities.

Additionally, in a significant multi-year program, AMTA will be traveling to major consumer markets around the country to share the benefits of massage with the public through direct interaction, education and massage demonstrations. For more information and to volunteer at summer 2012 tour stops, visit Volunteer Connections on National AMTA Website.

Posted by: Margi Lane, 2nd VP @ 12:00:00 am 
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
What roadblocks are You putting in Your path?

I am not fond of excuses but I find myself making them all the time. When my children were young I used them a lot.  (Sorry, kids.) “My kids are so small and they keep me so busy; I don’t have time, I don’t want them to miss any school, (and honestly) it would be such a hassle to drag the kids along or find a babysitter.  My children no longer need a babysitter so I can no longer use them as an excuse, (Darn!) but I still find myself in a rut and making the same excuses.  Excuses are roadblocks we put in our own paths.

What kind of road blocks do massage therapists need to overcome in order to take continuing education; volunteer for their AMTA chapter; volunteer in their community; or write their public officials about licensure? Time, money, kids, how about fear?

I was so excited about my first continuing education event.  I was also absolutely terrified.  It was over two hours away, I had never met any of these people.  It was also my first chapter event. Throw in, my husband just lost his job, which meant I was rooming with an absolute stranger and had very little money for food.  I had already scheduled to be off work, but still considered canceling.  

It didn’t matter that I was over 40 years old, I felt like a scared kid.  But to use a popular phrase, I put on my big girl panties and I went.  

IT WAS AMAZING!!!  I met wonderful people.  I learned how great our AMTA chapter is.  The chapter bought my lunch one day, just for going to the business meeting.  I learned stuff I had never imagined and still use today. I also ended up making more money then I spent on that weekend by publicizing what I had learned and using it on my clients.  Most of all I was excited about my  job and my whole profession.

All of our excuses are roadblocks that keep us from being the best massage therapists and people we can be.  Find the time!  Find the money!  Love the kids, but find a babysitter!  Put on your big girl panties/man up, and do it!!
Posted by: Terri Brandt / President @ 12:00:00 am 
Monday, June 25, 2012


As massage therapy is growing in popularity, so is the number of massage therapists.  Schools are experiencing ever-increasing enrollments.  Spas are popping up everywhere.  Salons,health clubs, chiropractic offices and even dentists are employing massage therapists.

So what can you do to set yourself apart in this ever more competitive climate?  It’s the little extras that make the difference.   More important than having a list ten feet long on your business card or website of all the modalities you’ve learned is how you treat each client when s/he comes to you.  First, take a quick look at your schedule to remind yourself who’s coming in the door, and greet him/her by name.  For new clients, take a few minutes to review the intake form with them.  Commenting on their job and how it affects their need for massage shows that you’re taking a genuine interest in them.  It’s important to keep the focus on the client and not insert too much information about yourself, but a brief introduction about your schooling and/or experience is appropriate.  Your client will get to know the kind of person you are more quickly by how you treat him than by an oral autobiography!  For your repeat clients, it can be helpful to jot down a couple things they may have mentioned during the session on the soap notes, so that you can follow up when they return.

Now you’re in the treatment room.  If your client has never had a massage with you, give them a quick rundown on what to expect: how much to dress down, if you want them to lie face up or face down, and how the massage will proceed.  Knowing what to expect will allow the client to relax.  Another thing I always tell my clients is that this is THEIR massage, and I want them to have an enjoyable experience.  So, I let them know my feelings won’t be hurt if they want me to work more or less deeply or just change what I’m doing.  Giving them permission to be honest allows them to set aside any fear that their massage is going to be anything other than what they want.

Depending on your situation, anything you can add that costs you very little, but adds value may just be what brings the client back.  Why not add a couple drops of essential oil to a tissue and place it on the crossbar under the face cradle? Or begin with a hot towel on the back, or lay a flax seed eye pillow over their eyes or under their neck?  Think not in terms of what it costs, but rather how it will benefit you in terms of building a solid base of return clientele.  By showing you care, and adding a few special touches, you WILL set yourself apart. 

Chris Costianes

Volunteer Chair

Posted by: Christine Costianes @ 12:00:00 am 
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
What Makes a Good Massage Therapist?

What Makes a Good Massage Therapist?

Recently I've tried several different therapists for different reasons and oh my, it's been quite interesting. As a fellow professional I was embarrassed for our profession, and also sad, considering that might be a client's introduction to massage. Other massages were excellent. So here are just a few highlights that come to mind...

Wouldn't we all like to be greeted professionally? Introduce yourself and be pleasant. You would think that would be a given wouldn't you? Apparently since I just typed that question - well... you can see where it's going.

Have a thorough intake form, one that is pertinent. Maybe look over your form and see if it needs updated. It only takes a short time in a word processing program. If you're copying them, make sure it's not faded and it copies straight. That's one of many first impressions of you or your company.  Go over the form and discuss it, also discuss what time of massage the client would like to receive, i.e. Swedish, deep tissue, sports, etc. Did I mention discussing that before the massage starts? Again, there might be a reason I just typed that too!

Be in tune with your client. There are a couple schools of thought on talking vs. being quiet, so use discernment. As a therapist if you do talk, don't turn it into a therapy session about your life.  Nobody's paying to listen to an autobiography of "My Life in Less than 60 Minutes."

What would you like to hear when you leave a place for the first time? If something comes to mind that is pleasing to you, chances are it will be pleasing to your client. It's your choice what to say, but hopefully what you say is pleasant and relaxing, and not just "have a nice day" as you're already walking back into the room. If goodbyes or rescheduling are awkward for you, maybe consider some marketing classes or talk with others to see what they do to make it comfortable.

There have been a lot of Groupons, Living Social, Daily Deals, coupon-like email options, etc. floating around and I'm sure they can be somewhat beneficial and other times maybe not so productive for future business. Treat each coupon-bearing client as if they will be your client for the next 20 years, because you really don't know who is walking into your massage room.

So I challenge you, what are you looking for in a total massage experience? Maybe try another therapist, and don't necessarily critique them, just see what resonates with you that you could improve upon or see if it validates how you do business. We can all learn from each other!

I wish you an exciting, unique, professional, successful and long massage career. Life is good! Go get a massage!

Posted by: Dorinda Springer @ 12:00:00 am 
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why I believe that you should always charge for your services, Most of the time


First and formost. Who do you know that get’s up in the morning, cleans up, drives to work, and does not expect to get paid for there work? Okay, we are in the early stages of being considered health care professionals, we not only went to school and paid on the average of $6K for that education we are as professional as is our title,” Massage Therapist”. We all know of, or are aquainted with another professional that has a “Therapist “ title. I guarantee you that they do not go to work, and not expect to be paid for there servies. Now we come to that gray area of volunteering for a cause. In my mind there is a difference in working for my Chapter, or a event to raise money for a charity, versus geting up early driving 100 miles round trip and spending my day out giving massage to race participants that have day jobs, and paid a $245 entry fee. Then comes to the massage tent and says to you or the chair person $20!!! no way!!! I have talked to race directors across this state and they all come up with the same line... What, you want to charge my participants for massage? We will just go to the local massage school and  get volunteers. Sorry you can’t do that anymore, unless you have a professional therapist on staff to monitor the students, Oh, by the way you will probably have to pay that professional. Then the race director will say “But we always have done that” Can’t anymore, State law will not allow it, and if you get reported you can be arrested. So we are back to that charging for your services. I would hope that if you are working a sporting event you think very seriously about what you are giving up to work that event. Not only the cost for you to be there, but how much are you loosing in revinue for your day away from the office. As you know most events are on the week-end wheather it being walking for a charity or a full sport event that awards points. I have to give up that day in the office to work those events. So if you are approched to do an event,consider your time, your costs, and what you are giving away before you say yes. OH! I almost forgot. If you do work for your Chapter, your food costs, and milage are tax deductable. So next time you see a request for volunteers for your chapter please sign up. It is a great way to meet new people and a great networking opportunity. I will leave you with this... I will never call on you to work for free, It is just not right after all you went throrugh to get that blue piece of paper from the the State Of Indiana. Thank you.


From your State Sport Team Chair

Dale Stillman, NCTMB,CPT

Posted by: Dale Stillson @ 12:00:00 am 
Monday, May 28, 2012
Depression, does it hold you back from what you enjoy?

Depression, does it hold you back from what you enjoy? Depression is a serious medical condition that can take so much out of you. It can make you feel sad, helpless and uninterested in your favorite

activites. Sometimes depression can make you feel lijke you have to wind yourself up to just get out of bed.  This can take a tramatic toll in your  family, your work, and in yourself.  Talk to your

healthcare professional about what would be the best avenue for you, could it be medication or should you think about  trying  a massage as well? . Sometimes if you take the time for yourself, get a massage, and let your body relax and release your inner tension, you may begin to  find that inner happiness. Look for  a massage therapist that can assist you to help your body relax, then  you can begin to focus on the more  important things in life.  When you receive your massage it is natures  way to help relieve your stress and  pain.

Posted by: LuAnn Williams @ 12:00:00 am 
Monday, May 14, 2012
Have you ever?
Have you ever?
Have you ever wanted to learn to be better at what you do? Have you ever wondered how you can help someone really feel better in their body, help someone who is injured? Perhaps you have great skill at helping to facilitate the healing of the body but we all have those days when we just can’t get it to work. When this has happened do you ever question yourself? To change this
the best thing to do is take more education to increase your “bag of tools” that you bring to the table each day you work. Learn better assessment skills so you know where your work will be best utilized by the body, know the structures that you are working with.
This fall AMTA Indiana will host one of the foremost educators in massage therapy education today, Ben Benjamin. What an opportunity! Dr. Benjamin will be teaching Assessment and Treatment of Neck Injury and Communication and Ethics on October 27th and 28th 2012.
Dr Benjamin was the founder of The Muscular Therapy Institute and holds a Ph.D in Sports Medicine. Please come join us for a landmark educational experience.
Posted by: Amy Ingram, 3rd VP @ 12:00:00 am 
Friday, May 4, 2012
The Fine Art of Doing Nothing
The Fine Art of Doing Nothing
I got to play with my 5 month old grandson yesterday. How do you spend the day playing with a 5 month old? You eat toes, admire hands, kiss firmly squishy cheeks, go for a walk around the yard. Enjoy watching him eat his toes and suck his fingers. Show him flowers, listen to frogs and let him try to grab the curious cat. I gave him a baby massage, did some craniosacral work (which he seemed pretty awestruck by) and enjoyed giving him his bottles although he was a bit dissapointed that nani didn’t feed him like mama does! We sat on the porch and admired the wind and trees.
I did not allow myself to mutlitask, Quite a chore for me. No checking the computer, answering the phone unless it was mom or dad, no pulling weeds or deadheading flowers on our walk. No watching the tv shows I have recorded. No dishes or laundry. I even took a nap with him!
When my husband asked how the day was, I replied “fine, I didn’t do anything, just played with the baby”.
I enjoyed the day and let myself be present. In the moment. No expectations. Just the experience I was having and enjoying. Actually a meditation of sorts.
Later, I was wondering, why do I feel that I have to have a reason to do this? Is it not valuable?
When we are truly present, and “doing nothing” it can be quite the gift to ourselves. Being present is a gift to the person on our table, to your spouse, family and friends. Being present allows the fog to lift, life fall into the priority of the moment. As massage therapists we are in service to others. We must also serve ourselves.
In our profession, many of us are self employed. As such we maintain a practice and a space to work in. Lots of communication and thoughts go into it. Sometimes constantly! And this is only one aspect of our lives. We are all busy people. When was the last time you “did nothing”? Perhaps it will help clear the cobwebs a bit and leave you revitalized.
If your busy list includes the need to get some continuing education hours in, or you wish to clarify your business intentions, you may enjoy the upcoming AMTA Indiana class with Patti Stanley. Her classes are valuable tools in finding the business practice you desire.  Visualizing and being present with yourself and your dreams. You may be aware of what others what from you, but what do you truely want for yourself? Not quite “doing nothing” but still an enjoyable way to listen to your inner voice.
Wishing you a wonderful summer, filled with the art of “doing nothing”.
Posted by: Jennie Irving, 2nd VP @ 12:00:00 am 
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Do you take full advantage of your continuing education?
Do you take full advantage of your continuing education?

The obvious benefit of continuing education is the additional knowledge you gain from the class, but there are so many more benefits.

Since it is tax time, lets talk money.  You can deduct not just the cost of the class but also the mileage to and from the class, the lodging for the evenings of the class, the meals (50% of the cost) you ate on the days of the class as well as any supplies to bought to support the continuing education.

How about free advertising?  When I am scheduling my clients I always let them know when I will be off work for education.  I recently took a Migraine class.  You can bet I let everyone know I would be taking the class.  If they don’t suffer migraines, they probably know someone who does.  I had people scheduled for a migraine massage before I ever took the class.  My town is also small enough that it might make the newspaper on a slow day.  

Networking with other therapists is also valuable.  If we view other therapists as colleagues rather than competition, we can build a professional network to refer to as well as get referrals from.

My favorite benefit is credibility.  You wouldn’t go to any other professional that hasn’t learned anything new in several years.  Your tax professional, your doctor, even your mechanic need regular updates in order to do be the best at their jobs. Continuing Education says that you care about your clients and want to be the best therapist you can.

What class are you taking next?


Posted by: Terri Brandt / 1st VP @ 12:00:00 am 
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Oak Trees and Legislative Efforts

It is said that when you plant an oak tree, you do not do it for you, but for the future generation.

Being an avid gardener, I can’t help but think of the comparison of this fact and Government relations or the pursuit of Licensure of Massage Therapist in Indiana.

  1. Browsing seed catalogs and ogling garden possibilities- looking over Laws in other States, comparing it to what we have and need.
  2. Choosing varieties- narrowing down what will work in Indiana. Will it grow? Will it meet the needs of the Profession? Is it good for the membership? Will it satisfy the other interested organizations and associated professions? Will it stand on its own?
  3. Climate- is this going to grow? What am I willing to prune out? How can it be fed? Who will best represent the Bill and lobby for it? What is the current environment?
  4. Pollination- enabling support. You must have support from the profession, public and Legislators to get fruit from your efforts.
  5. Time- just like a seed, it takes time. Prepare the soil. Plant and wait. Hope and prepare. Weed, water if needed. Regarding legislation, lots of water, fertilizing and support is needed. Unfortunately, painful weeding may be needed as well.
  6. Pests- what is feeding on it? Who are other interested parties? What is happening behind the scene? How can I help it survive? Why do they want to amend certain language? How can we minimize damage, and still meet our needs?
  7. Watch it grow- In Indiana legislative efforts were started years ago. We started when just a few States had regulation regarding massage therapy. Now 43 do, and only three of those have Certification. We are one of the three- and getting that alone was quite the effort!
  8. Harvest- we have harvested some benefits from Certification. It may not seems like it sometimes, but it has been a good start. It was offered, and we took it.
  9. Gardeners prepare all year long. Harvest leads into winter. A bit sleepy perhaps, but you look over your successes and failures. Legislative activities are not seasonal either. Contacts should be made year round. Encouraging community and legislative awareness and involvement cannot be a singular activity. 

We have planted the seed here in Indiana for Licensure. The end of 2012 legislative session is approaching and SB10 did not get a hearing in the House. We have a week to explore other options- perhaps getting into conference committee on another Bill. If not, we will be looking forward to 2013, and see what changes occur in Indiana after the fall elections. We can celebrate the success SB10 had in the Senate this session! This was a huge hurdle to overcome.

Faith- I left this off the above list, but it is the most important item of all. When you plant a seed, you have faith in it and all it can do. The same is for legislative efforts. You throw your all into it, knowing that the kernal itself must stand up alone. It wll root or not. Ultimately it is not up to you. Once a Bill is taken on by an author or sponsor, we have no guarantees. It takes on a life of its own. It must meet specific needs and criteria.

Year ago, my boys and I gathered acorns and walnuts from a park. We emptied pockets and lunch bags, and planted them in a field we were letting naturalize. They now have children of their own, and I can see the growing trees from my back window. They have grown....and supply fruit for the squirrels and crazed blue jays in the fall. My husband loves the fall color and we are both amazed at how quickly they have filed in the space around them. They are standing strong.

It can happen. It will eventually happen. It could still occur in the next week or so. However, it likely will not. Massage Therapy is one of the fasted growing professions in the country. It cannot be ignored or passed by forever. 

Thank you to all who have worked on this effort in one way or another. No effort was too small. If you spoke to anyone about it, wrote a note or made a call- you contributed. In a grassroots effort such as this, that is invaluable. That is what it all is about. The profession is in your debt.

Happy Gardening!

Jennie Irving
AMTA Indiana Government Relations Chair

Posted by: Jennie Irving, 2nd VP / GR Chair @ 12:00:00 am 
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Keeping Your Massage Fresh

Do you ever feel like you are in a rut? Does it seem like you are doing the same massage for everyone? There are ways to keep your massage fresh! Reading our trade journals such as Massage Therapy Journal and Massage Magazine can give you ideas and remind you about techniques and protocols that you may have learned but forgot. This can enable you to design a massage session that is created for each individual and the particular problems that they face. It will also give you new ideas for things you can sell such as face massage, fomentations, salt scrubs or other procedures that you may not be offering regularly. In addition to keeping your massage fresh it can mean extra money. I usually offer the service for free to a client so that they can try it. I tell them I am giving them a trial of the service for free. Sometimes they will add it to their regular massage because they enjoyed it, this means extra time can be added and extra charge for that time. Collecting email addresses can enable you to send out notices about the new procedures you are doing, it is a free way to advertise.

Continuing education is one of the best ways to keep up with current  trends and to keep your massage fresh. You can opt to take continuing education in person,online or by mail order. Doing it in person allows you to network with other massage therapists and set up opportunities to trade massage. Trading massage is a very effective way to keep your massage fresh. You learn other techniques from the people you trade with and they learn from you. How about adding a new service? I learned how to do cupping in one of the classes I took with AMTA Indiana and that has been very effective to release the fascia for my clients, it is now one of the main services I offer. I now offer some spa techniques such as exfolliation of the back too.

Learning new techniques will get you excited about your massage again. YouTube or the Massage Leaarning Network is a good resource for a quick jump start, you can watch a massage video in the morning before work and apply the technique for your clients that day. We are lucky to be living in an age when so much information is at our finger tips. Researching a particular problem that a client may have can also keep your massage fresh. It gives you the opportunity to find ways to make your massage more effective. Our intent is to help people feel better and researching problems is a good way to find the best ways to help. Researching can be done through magazines such as the ones mentioned previously or the internet. Some of the leading massage instructors have web sites that give information or allow you to take online continuing education. The Massage Therapy Research Foundation has a data base that you can access to look at case studies and find protocols that will help you be more effective with your clients. A simple Google search will give you many sites with information on massage therapy. 

I hope these ideas will help you keep your massage fresh and effective!

Posted by: Amy Ingram, 3rd VP / Education Chair @ 12:00:00 am 
Monday, December 19, 2011
The tipping point for legitimate massage practices

Public outcry regarding the lack of a stop sign at an accident prone intersection may get one installed.

Multiple complaints about public policy can, and likely will, make a ripple effect that effects all of us. Look at protests that are going on around the country now. Agree or not, it has raised discussions and will likely have a future impact.

To make that phone call, file a complaint, stepping out of the crowd and taking the time to voice your opinion is our American right. If you are a CMT, it may also be your professional obligation.

When mutliple people do so, it can evolve into a tipping point- the point when multiple forces spread change.

Are you ready to participate in the tipping point for Legitimate Massage Practices in Indiana?

Are you concerned about advertised “massage” serviced being offered by inadequately trained persons?

Have you, or someone you know, obtained an injury while recieving a “massage”?

Is your community impacted by “massage parlor” busts?

Are you frustrated by the lack of enforcement or lack of a clearly defined profession in the current CMT Law?

We have no control for what the Attorney General's Office, or the Indiana Legislature choose to enforce. We do have control though educating them and sharing our concerns in a reasonable manner. We do have control over offering adequate information for educated choices.

Are you ready to do this? Are you willing to take the time to make your voice heard?

If so, please contact me as I have prepared a packet of information which will enable you to file a legitimate complaint regarding some of these activities in your communities and your profession.

YOU may provide the information which is the Tipping Point for this issue. Please do not rely on someone else to be that person. YOU have a voice. YOU are the Profession. YOUR clients, friends and family are the public in public protection and policy.

Posted by: Jennie Irving, 2nd VP @ 12:00:00 am 
Sunday, December 11, 2011
The importance of continuing education

I would like to talk about the importance of continuing education in our profession. Massage therapy as a profession is one of the most wide open occupations I know of. How many of us have extended our massage skills beyond massage school?

I have heard many of the negatives about continued education. "It is too expensive," "it takes away my weekend or time I could be working and earning money," "I don't have anyone to care for the kids while I am away," "Hotels are very expensive." All of these can be valid excuses, but not terribly strong when we consider the fact that continuing education is a requirement for AMTA membership. 

Continuing education is required to maintain licensure in many professions in Indiana. I think continued education should be a necessary part of our certification or licensure in Indiana. The knowledge and skills we learn during continued education makes all of us better and more effective therapists.

Posted by: Dean Berry, President @ 12:00:00 am 
Sunday, December 4, 2011
What the hell is the HOD anyway?
The HOD is the American Massage Therapy Association House of Delegates. The HOD is structured to represent the members and their opinions. The delegates are in a unique position to serve at the chapter level and at the national level. Delegates are one of the many bridges between the chapter and the National Board of directors so there are more voices in the room. When the HOD meets at the AMTA National Convention they are there to discuss Position Statements and Recommendations.

The Position statement is the AMTA’s position on professional or public issues that relate to the mission and the goals of the association. Such as “ Massage can be effective for tension headaches.” A position statement can be written by a member or group of members, but they can only be presented by an AMTA professional member to be considered by the House of Delegates. They are presented by the delegate to the HOD where they are discussed, and voted on by the HOD.

A recommendation is a way for the members to submit changes to the AMTA bylaws and policy. It is a suggestion by a member that they would like to see action on. A recommendation also needs to be presented by an AMTA professional member to the HOD.

If you have an idea for a recommendation or a position statement, You can speak with a board member to make sure your voice is heard.
Posted by: Patricia Clouse, Treasurer @ 12:00:00 am 
Monday, November 28, 2011
TMJ Dysfunction: techniques for treating it

TMJ Dysfunction (Temporomandibualr Joint Dysfunction), can be caused from clenched teeth due to stress or even dental work. People clench their teeth throughout the day and can grind their teeth at night.

These behaviors can cause achy, tired feeling throughout the temples, occipital region, jaw and sometimes down the neck and shoulders ultimately creating pain.

Sounds like a good candidate for massage!

Treatments should not exceed 3 times a week, at least a 30 minute massage to the muscles of mastication, myofascial release to the neck and chest, kneading and muscle stripping to the neck, trigger point release, occipital traction, scalp shiatsu, face massage and mouth neuromuscular techniques are used Essential oil, lavender can be applied. While using these techniques and treating the condition, massage therapist need to look for the root of the client's issue.

I hope this gives you a few tips for addressing TMJ with your clients. Please post any questions or comments below.
Posted by: LuAnn Williams @ 1:24:33 pm 
Monday, November 21, 2011
Thanksgiving reflections

Thanksgiving will be here soon! More than just family, friends, food and fun - it is the opportunity to reflect upon our blessings, and perhaps the blessing our presence is to others. 

I have been a massage therapist for nearly 14 years, and it was awhile into it that I realized how grateful I am that all the prior paths I had been on had lead me to this profession. My stubby hands (I did not inherit the long fingered artistic ones my siblings did!) enjoyed the physical labor and were gifted at touch. I had been given the opportunity of service to people when they were vulnerable or pained. I receive the gifts their presence- and often friendly companionship- may offer me. I am exactly where I need to be. This is a gift indeed!

Part of this service has been to my professional organization as well. As an AMTA officer and volunteer, I have learned to better express myself in a business like setting. Organizing, public speaking, tackling computer issues, being accountable and goal setting skills have been honed and utilized! I have made many dear friends and enjoyed meeting so many different people. I have faced conflict. I have felt support and empathy. I have been determined not to get lost, and tried to remain peacefully resolute throughout the journey of Government Relations and the seeking of Licensure for Massage Therapists in Indiana. I have stayed engaged with myself and the practice of massage by sharing with others and hearing of their experiences. Like many in the profession, I have spent years in a solo practice, and these exchanges have been soul food! It has been quite the era of personal and professional growth.

I challenge you to contemplate the role your profession may play in your life. Do you consider it a calling, or merely a profession? How may your enhance your practice? How may you best utilize your own skill set? How may you impact your community? What is important to you?

Perhaps you will choose to volunteer for AMTA. Perhaps you will organize an event. Perhaps you will finally conquer social media or do that mailing you have been meaning to do. Perhaps you have learned to express your concerns to community leaders, and will take the time to write that letter! Perhaps you will take some continuing education and integrate what you learn into your massage- better enhancing yourself and what you can offer to that person on the table.

So, the next time you are booking that appointment, changing sheets or preparing to greet the next client, I challenge you to practice gratitude. Also know that as a fellow therapist you are appreciated. You make a difference!

“Bless our hearts to hear in the breaking of bread the song of the Universe.” - Father John B. Guiliani

Posted by: Jennie Irving @ 9:10:30 am 
Sunday, November 13, 2011
How AMTA continuing education grows your practice

Last weekend we held a fantastic education weekend in Indianapolis. We presented three classes:

  • Pillossage
  • CranioSacral
  • Social Media Marketing

We had a great turnout and our members found a lot of value in these educational opportunities. For example, take a look at what this member had to say in this video:

It's testimonials like this that really make us smile. So what are some ways that continuing education can help grow your practice?

1. Unique services are up-selling opportunities. The Pillossage class is a great example of this. If you know a unique modality that on one else in your area knows, then you may be able to charge a premium for it. This, of course, means more revenue.

2. Marketing education. Continuing education is not all hands-on! Our Social Media Marketing class offered tons of detailed tips, tricks, and strategies for marketing your massage business. In fact, one person who attended the class even got a new client within 24 hours of attending simply because it motivated her to try out a new social network.

3. Greater results for your clients. The more "tools" you can add to your tool box, the more options you have to treat your clients' issues. This means happier clients and more referrals. Sounds good, right?

Continuing education is a great way to grow your massage business and serve your clients better. What has been your favorite educational workshop you've attended recently? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted by: Michael Reynolds @ 7:09:23 pm 
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Your Vote Counts!

Be among the professional members that shape our association. Vote for our national leaders. AMTA is the premier professional organization and needs top leadership to be a strong voice and guide us to the future. Your vote is needed to ensure that the organization, remains on top and continues to be well represented. 

Get to know the candidates by linking up with them on facebook, linked-in or twitter. Ask them questions or read what someone else asked. Find out what their vision and goals are for the future of AMTA and the massage profession.  If the candidate established any social media sites, you can access the information at the bottom of each candidate’s bio information page found on the AMTA official election website

Your voice counts in this organization. Make a decision to support one of our core values, ‘to be a membership driven organization’ and vote. That is what ‘member driven’ means. Join in, become a more informed voter and cast your vote by December 1.

 2011 Election Timeline

November 1-5: A link to the online ballot will be sent via electronic mail to all voting members.

December 1: Completed ballots are due.

January 1: Results will be announced no later than January 1 on the AMTA website.

March 1: New officers assume office.

Please contact Gail Friedman at 877-905-2700 x168 or gfriedman@amtamassage.org if you have questions.

Posted by: Michael Reynolds @ 4:53:18 pm 
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Are you using a hammer?

Have you ever heard the phrase "if the only tool you have is a hammer the all the world is a nail."

How about "this technique is another tool in your tool box".

The more information you have the better able you are to care for you clients. No matter what continuing education class I have taken, I have learned something new. 

The opportunity to network and meet with other professional massage therapists is a significant additional benefit. 

The AMTA-Indiana Chapter wants to bring you the best education possible. This summer we are having a pregnancy massage class, a pelvic release class, an ethics class as well as a free skin cancer awareness class.  You can still sign up for classes on the website at  http://www.amtaindiana.org/events/20110624/2011-amta-indiana-state-convention/

We would like to continue to provide you with quality education opportunities so, please share with us your favorite continuing education class and/or instructor. 

Would you recommend this class to other therapists? 

What classes would you like to see in Indiana?


Posted by: Terri Brandt / 2nd VP @ 9:29:43 pm 
Friday, April 1, 2011
Back to the Blog!

Your AMTA Indiana Board of Directors have been fueled up with a good lunch and too many Snickers bars. Out of this sugar rush has come a new pledge to commit to regular blogging. Topics suggested have been education, techniques, local happenings, work issues and many random subjects. We have agreed that we will take turns blogging and let those creative juices flow.

No, this is not an April Fools Joke!

What would you like to hear or talk about? 

Posted by: Jennie Irving: 1st VP @ 12:00:00 am 
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Changing of the guard

As you may have heard, I am now officially the Immediate Past President of AMTA-Indiana. Our chapter is now in the very capable hands of Dean Berry, our new Chapter President. It has been rewarding, stressful, and a lot of fun all at the same time. The people I have met have been fantastic and I have really enjoyed making connections and helping the massage therapists in Indiana with the issues they are facing.

We have a very strong Board of Directors who sincerely care about Indiana's massage therapists and who work tirelessly to make this a better place to work and live. I'm not sure how many of our members really understand how fortunate we all are to have such a dedicated and caring group of leaders.

From the very first time that LuAnn Williams invited me to join AMTA back in 2004 to today, AMTA has been a significant part of my life and has enriched my work and who I am. I am very grateful to have been a part of it and to continue to be a part of it.

As a board member, I will now primarily be helping with commications and technology in the Chapter. I will continue to assist in our social media efforts, our website strategy, and anything that helps us communicate with members.

Please give Dean your support and let him know how we can help you. I will hopefully see you in the Fall for our November education!

Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 9:09:57 pm 
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Register for events online using a check

Did you know that you can register online for AMTA-Indiana events using a check? Many of our members register for our event online using a credit card. However, we know that some of our members prefer to pay by check. The good news is, you can pay online using a check!

All you need to do to register online with a check is to have a check handy so you can enter in the account information. When you get to the end of the registration process, choose "eCheck" as your payment type. You will be asked for your bank name, the name on your account, your bank's routing number, and your account number.

Online registration is just as safe as depositing a check at the bank and your transaction is fully encrypted and secure.

I hope you will consider going paperless and registering for our event using eCheck! It saves time, stamps, and trees. Now that you know this, why not register for our Summer Convention! See you there :)

Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 5:15:06 pm 
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
AMTA Calls on The View to Treat Massage Therapists with Professional Respect

As some of you may have heard, the TV program called The View has made some defamatory statements about the massage profession on a recent episode. AMTA has responded with a letter to The View calling for a more respectful representation of massage therapy.

A video clip is available online which shows this particular segment of the show. I would encourage you to take a look if you are curious about what was said.

As AMTA-Indiana Chapter President, I want to make you aware of this incident so that you can remain informed about what is being said about the massage profession. If you are concerned about the inaccurate representation of the massage profession on this show, please consider sharing this message with your clients and colleagues and continuing to educate others about what massage therapy is. Unfortunately, massage therapists are still fighting to overcome antiquated stereotypes still being perpetuated by a few people who need further education on what massage therapy is.

Please share with this others... especially your clients and friends. I appreciate your willingness to speak up for the massage profession and fight the inaccurate and degrading stereotypes that we still see sometimes.

Links for reference:

Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 10:36:31 am 
Monday, June 28, 2010
Massage therapist needed for sub work in Indianapolis
Lolita Knight is looking for a massage therapist to cover for her when she is away teaching CE classes.

Location: 2162 N. Meridian Street, Meridian Chiropractic
  • $40 per hour (or $10 per 15 minutes)when you are giving a massage.
  • Bring your own sheets or wash sheets you use.
  • Only need to be on site when you have a massage, although you can stay on site for possible additional bookings.
  • WiFi and desk available for your use between clients.
Hours Mondays 9-12 and 2-6
Thursdays 7:30 or 9 am to 12
Fridays 9-12 and 2-6

At present available times are:

Thursday July 1 (already have 2 hours booked).
Possible dates in August (to be confirmed July 19) : August 19,20,23

Call Lolita if you are interested: 317-445-5557.
Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 9:40:29 pm 
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Summer 2010 issue of Kneaded Notes online

The Summer 2010 issue of the Kneaded Notes (the newsletter of the Indiana Chapter of AMTA) is online and available for download. You can download it in PDF format from the Kneaded Note page on our website. We hope you enjoy this issue and that you have a great Summer. Thank you for being an AMTA member!

Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 11:52:56 am 
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Meeting minutes from the April 2010 meeting in Plainfield, IN

Please find the approved meeting minutes from the April 2010 Chapter meeting in Plainfield, IN. Below are meeting minutes from both the board meeting and the business meeting:

If you have any questions about the minutes, please feel free to post a comment below. Thank you!

Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 4:21:40 pm 
National Board Meeting in St. Louis

Terri Brandt and I had a great visit to St. Louis last weekend to attend the AMTA National Board meeting. As usual, we got to see lots of familiar faces and old friends, and made some new friends, too. It was Terri's first National Board meeting and my 7th (I think) but we still came away with some useful information.

The main exercise of this weekend was to collectively help AMTA create a new vision statement for the next 10 years. We did this by holding group discussions with the usual big sheets of paper and markers to make our notes. At the end, we had a vision statement that we felt that everyone could live with and feel good about.

Some specific points in the vision statement included:

  • An emphasis on integrating massage into mainstream health care
  • A focus on education
  • A commitment to a mindset of quality over quantity

These concepts were all important to the chapter leaders present and made up a significant portion of the new vision statement.

Additionally, I had a pleasure of attending the President's gathering and enjoyed networking with other Chapter Presidents. These discussions always help me by giving me new tools and insights that benefit my work in my chapter.

The last day of the event was a National Board meeting in which the Chapter Presidents were able to observe. Some highlights from this board meeting include:

  • Approval of the new Vision Statement
  • A motion to add the following to bylaws: "Chapter Boards may add responsibilities for their elected Delegates."

If anyone has any questions about this meeting or about the direction of AMTA, please don't hesitate to post a comment below.

Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 2:38:20 pm 
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Marketing your massage practice using social media

As I talk to massage therapists about their concerns, one of the most important issues facing massage therapists today is how to market themselves. Most massage schools do not teach in-depth marketing techniques and so independent massage therapists are left to figure it out on their own. The good news is that today more than ever, there are a number of newer online tools that can help you market your practice at little or no cost. I'm talking about social media.

Social media refers to networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, as well as blogging and video sites (like YouTube). Social media is allowing more and more people to connect with others in many different ways and can also be of great benefit to business owners and professionals who want to network and meet new clients. Here are some ways to use social media to help market your massage practice.

1. Friend your clients on Facebook and place them in their own list. This way, you can click on this list any time to see what your clients are up to. If you notice that they are posting information about significant life events, you can send them a note of congratulations about good news. You can also look for opportunities to suggest ways that massage can help and encourage them to book an appointment.

2. Maintain a blog and give away health tips. The more useful you make your blog, the more people will read and share it with others. Then, when your readers are ready for a massage, guess who they will think of? Be sure to post your blog articles on Facebook and Twitter, as well. Consider asking local chiropractors and other health care professional to write guest blogs for you to help cross-promote.

3. Search for prospective clients on Twitter. Consider setting up a Twitter account and then doing regular searches on keyword like "back pain" in your area. You will be surprised at how many people are complaining about ailments via Twitter. Contact them via Twitter and make them a special offer.

4. Interview some of your clients and post the videos on YouTube. For about $150, you can snag a nice Flip video camera (or borrow one) and do short 1-minute interviews with your clients in which they explain how massage has helped them recover from injuries and other health issues. Post these videos on your website, as well. You do have a website, don't you?

5. Optimize your LinkedIn profile. Instead of just putting your last name in the "last name" field in your profie, add the text "- Massage Therapist" after it. For example, if your name is "Jane Smith", your LinkedIn profile should say "Jane Smith - Massage Therapist". Doing this can improve your search engine rankings so that when someone searches for a massage therapist in your area, your profile may have a better chance of popping up. LinkedIn has a very high ranking in Google and you can leverage this fact by optimizing your own profile. Naturally, this also means that you will need to set up a complete LinkedIn profile and link it to your website.

I know that many massage therapists that I talk to are a little uncomfortable with social media. However, if you give it a chance and spend some time learning the basics, you may be surprised at how useful it can be in growing your business. Good luck and enjoy a prosperous Summer!

Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 10:27:28 pm 
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
New criteria proposed for diagnosing fibromyalgia

As masage therapist many of us work with clients who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. We also encounter people who may benefit from a physicians examination for this condition. The site http://www.fmnetnews.com/basics-news-criteria410.php on The Fibromyalgia Network has some info and a survey regarding the proposed changes by the American College of Rhuemotology.

Posted by: Jennie Irving: IPP @ 7:10:52 am 
Monday, April 19, 2010
AMTA Indiana members help in the fight against hunger

AMTA-Indiana massage therapists raised $145 for the Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis, Indiana. Items donated by the AMTA-Indiana Chapter Store, massage therapists and Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins were raffled off at the April 10th meeting.

The money raised will provide food to the hungry in the Indianapolis area. The following is taken from the Gleaners brochure:

Gleaners Food Bank is your community connection between those who want to make a difference in the fight against hunger and those who live the battle each day. A 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit, Gleaners was founded in a 3 1/2 car garage in 1980 by a group of people concerned about the growing problem of hunger in Indianapolis. As Gleaners nears its third decade of providing food to charities that feed the hungry, the food bank has distributed the equivalent of more than 168 million meals in central Indiana. The food bank provides food annually to over 400 Hunger Relief Charities - Emergency pantries, soup kitchens and shelters that provide food and critical grocery products across its 21-county service area.

With an increase in poverty, the number of people who need help continues to spiral upward. Thank you for joining Gleaners to fight against hunger in our community. Please join us to continue to feed the hungry in Indiana... until every bowl is filled.

The Indiana chapter of the AMTA tries to have a positive impact on the areas where we have our meetings, since July of 2008 we have raised $1,347 for local Charities. Thank you to every therapist who helped make this happen.

Posted by: Terri Brandt / 2nd VP @ 3:51:11 pm 
Thursday, April 1, 2010
10 questions for you as a massage therapist

We have recently received some questions from massage therapy students who are curious about what it's like to practice massage. They were such good questions that we thought we would post them here and ask our members to offer some answers.

If you can answer any of the questions below, please post your responses as a comment. Sharing your experience will help newer massage therapists gain a better understanding of the profession.

  1. How long have you been in practice?

  2. What obstacles did you have to overcome?

  3. What are some of the smartest decisions you made in terms of business success?
What are some poor decisions or mistakes that you made that I should avoid?
What are the keys to long-term success in this industry?
At what point in your career did you first feel successful?
How much has your business model changed now from when you first started?
What advice do you have for me about gaining the best results with a business support group?
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
What would you suggest I do while in school to prepare me for being in business?
Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 11:01:16 pm 
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The volunteers that make your chapter run

I speak to a lot of members who are frequently concerned about what the Indiana Chapter is doing for them, how we go about creating events, and how we get things done. Sometimes, there is a misconception about how the Chapter is structured. They are under the impression that people are getting paid to do the work of the Chapter or that there is a budget for staffing our team.

They are sometimes surprised to find out that the AMTA-Indiana Chapter is 100% volunteer run. The leadership of the Chapter is made up of the Board of Directors, who are elected by the membership. This Board makes all the decisions for the chapter, creates policy, and actually does about 90% of the work of running the Chapter, including event planning, PR, communications, government relations, and everything else.

In addition to the Board, there a a few committees that put in a great deal of work. Sometimes a committee consists of one person. This includes the Newsleter Editor, Sunshine Chair, Membership Chair, Volunteer Chair, Nominations Chair, and others.

Additionally, your Indiana Chaper has three Delegates, who represent the membership at a national level at the House of Delegates for AMTA. This is where we have the chance to make, change, and influence policy.

None of the people described here are paid. Some of them, like Board members, are reimbursed for travel and expenses, but aside from that everyone is 100% volunteer. These individuals have regular full-time jobs and other obligations to take care of and yet they donate their time to ensure that your Indiana Chapter runs as smoothly as possible.

These volunteers fight for laws that protect massage therapists. They plan complex education events. They help members with professional issues. They do all this in the spirit of service and concern for their fellow AMTA members.

Next time you have the opportunity, be sure to take a moment to thank you Indiana Chaper volunteers for all their hard work. If you would like to post a comment or a note of thanks here, please feel free to do so below.

Thank you to all who currently volunteer or have ever volunteered for AMTA-Indiana. You are appreciated.

Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 1:30:34 pm 
Have you attended a Chapter Business meeting lately?

Your Indiana Board of Directors wish to invite you to our Business meeting at 3:30 pm, Sat. April 10, 2010 at the Hampton Inn in Plainfield, IN. You do not have to be registered for the education sessions in order to attend. All AMTA members are welcome to join us for an afternoon tea party while we socialize and share the events and opportunities that we have to offer. Come and learn how your Chapter dues benefit you as a member. Terri Brandt has arranged some wonderful raffle items as well! Proceeds will be donated to the Gleaners Food Bank. Don’t miss this chance to socialize, enhance your profession, and have some fun for a great cause

Posted by: Jennie Irving: IPP @ 11:53:27 am 
Monday, March 15, 2010
Common Questions regarding CMT regulations

My massage practitioner application has been approved by the State, what is my title?

There appears to be some confusion about titling here in Indiana. You apply for a License to be approved as a Certified Massage Therapist. A State License is issued (just as for any other recognized profession) however your professional title is CMT, Certified Massage Therapist. Not LMT or Licensed Massage Therapist as some practitioners have assumed. Also, municipalities do have the right to require you to adhere to their ordinances or zoning requirements.

To report a suspected violation of Indiana CMT Law

If there is a practitioner in your area claiming to be a Certified Massage Therapist or performing massage therapy, and you wish to file a complaint, please contact the Indiana Attorney General’s office. You must file a complaint as AMTA Indiana cannot do this on your behalf. A complaint may also be filed if someone has sustained what they feel is a violation of the Rules and Regulations of Practice for Massage Therapists (read at www.in.gov/pla/massage.html)

The website for the AG office is www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/consumer

You can file a consumer complaint with the Office of the Attorney General online or by filling out a printable form. Regardless of whether you're filing a complaint online or using the printable form, you must complete, print, sign and mail the complaint form, along with copies (please do NOT send them your originals), of all relevant supporting documentation to the following address:

Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Indiana Attorney General
302 W. Washington St., 5th Floor
Indianapolis, IN 46204

You can also request a complaint form by calling 1.800.382.5516 or 317.232.6330.  

Posted by: Jennie Irving: IPP @ 7:07:00 pm 
Saturday, March 6, 2010
What Should AMTA Be Doing for You?

We just had a great state convention at the AMTA Indiana Chapter in Muncie, IN. Though numbers were a little lower than usual, we enjoyed an outstanding class by Marty Ryan, as well as networking and fun with other members.

In talking with our members at this and other events, I am always interested in learning more about the value that AMTA provides to its members. At the national level, AMTA provides great liability insurance and a outstanding professional publication that contains a wealth of information focused on helping massage therapists grow their practices. Additionally, AMTA provides professional support in the form of staff resources to answer questions, provide guidance, and make connections. The AMTA Massage Locator Service is also a fantastic resource for member and I personally know of many AMTA members who have connected with new clients as a result of being listed in the locator service.

At the state level, the AMTA Indiana Chapter provides multiple education opportunities year-round that are designed to be both affordable and high-quality. Networking at the state level is also a tremendous benefit to members, as connections are frequently made at AMTA events that lead to business opportunities and networking relationships. Finally, the AMTA Indiana Chapter has been instrumental in fighting for state regulation of massage therapy for over a decade and has been a catalyst in introducing massage certification in Indiana, which is a first step in providing greater protection for massage therapists and their clients.

My question to members is this: what else should AMTA be doing for you? How has your career been impacted by AMTA and how else can we help? I want to hear your feedback. By listening to member feedback, we will continue to grow and strengthen our partnership with our members. Please leave your comments below.

Michael Reynolds
AMTA-Indiana Chapter President

Posted by: Michael Reynolds @ 8:49:08 am 
Monday, July 27, 2009
How to Check the Status of your Indiana State Massage Certification Application

Interested in checking on the status of your application for Massage Certification in Indiana? This short video will explain how.


Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 9:51:00 pm 
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Testimonials from AMTA Indiana Chapter Members

We had a small but high-quality state convention this month in Muncie! Marty Ryan presented a class on abdominial massage and our members also enjoyed networking and visiting with new and old friends.

We also recorded a few video testimonials from our member to allow them to share their thoughts on how AMTA has helped them in their profession. Below are the testimonials. Enjoy!





Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 10:23:09 pm 
Monday, May 4, 2009
Going Green

Spring is here in Indiana and that means warm weather and more green! AMTA-Indiana is also going green with an evolving newsletter strategy. Going green is not just about the environment - it is also about reducing the amount of resources we use which can also be financially responsible. As part of an ongoing effort to become greener and more efficient, the Kneaded Notes will become shorter over time, while still including a core set of basic information. Rather than try to include everything in one newsletter, our goal is to post more information on our web site and treat the newsletter a a complement to the online information.

The Kneaded Notes will include the schedule of events, chapter contacts, and upcoming education information. All other material will be posted on our chapter web site, which will be the main source of information for AMTA-Indiana: www.amtaindiana.org. Additionally, the chapter is active on Facebook and Twitter and I encourage everyone to follow us on those networks, as well. Social media is a great way to network and communicate with other massage therapists throughout the state.

We are also soon moving toward an email-only version of our newsletter. In the near future, we plan to distribute the newsletter only via email to those members who have given us an email address, while continuing to mail a paper copy to those who have not given us an email address. Many other states have chosen to adopt this distribution method and are seeing benefits in the form of cost savings and efficiency.

Saving trees and saving money are good things and the positive financial impact will allow us to remain strong as a chapter and to continue to invest in high-quality education for our members at a reasonable cost. However, we also want to ensure that we are serving the needs of our members. We will be sending out a survey soon that will help us gather feedback on this newsletter strategy so I ask that you please help us by responding. Additionally, if you have any feedback for me on this topic, positive or negative, please don't hesitate to call me so I can discuss it with you.

We look forward to becoming more efficient and eco-friendly as time goes on, while consistently finding better ways to serve our members. Thank you and enjoy your Spring!

Michael Reynolds

Posted by: Michael Reynolds: President / Web Site Manager @ 12:07:24 am 
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
National Board of Directors Meeting in Chicago

I had the pleasure of attending the AMTA National Board of Directors meeting last weekend in Chicago. As usual, it was a pleasure to see the other chapter presidents and the national board and have the opportunity to network with others. I was happy to see that AMTA has taken care to reduces expenses to the tune of $1 Million this year. AMTA is also working toward reducing the amount of paper being used and mailed to members. I hate paper so I was very happy to hear that!

Additionally, the new president, Judy Stahl was sworn in and I was pleased to have sushi with her afterward. I enjoyed her message of change and desire to bring improvements to AMTA and I was encouraged by what I heard.

The message I want to communiucate is that the leadership of AMTA working for you. Though things may seem to move slowly at times, your national board does care very much about the needs of the membership. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to post them here.

Posted by: Michael Reynolds: 1st VP / Web Site Manager @ 8:05:57 pm 
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Massage Therapy Awareness Week 2009

We need your help! Please register now for helping with the 14th Annual Indiana Massage Therapy Awareness Week! We will be working at the State Capitol Building on Monday Feb 9th through Thursday Feb. 12th. Please join us anytime from 9:30 to 3:30 pm. Pre-registration is requested and may be done at www.amtaindiana.org (preferred) or call Jennie Irving at 765 396-9507. House Bill 1573 has been introduced by Representatives Welch, C. Brown and Dodge. This is a clean-up sort of Bill that will affect many professions. Rep. Welch has included language we requested to clarify some issues we have with cosmetology and insurance for massage therapist. Page 16-17 of the Bill has specific language requesting that CMT’s carry liability insurance and post their license where working. Page 12 has a clause which prohibits Cosmetologists (and those falling under their license, such as estheticians) from performing massage therapy. It has been referred to the Committee on Public Health. The members of the Committee are: Chair: Representative Brown Vice Chair: Representative Welch Members: Day, Fry, Moseley, Moses, Reske. T. Brown R.M.M., Dodge, Frizzell, Lehe, Turner. To find out who your legislator is, go to http://www.in.gov/legislative/legislators/ Please contact the Committee and encourage them to support the massage therapy language in the Bill. To call the House of Representatives and leave a message, 800-382-9842.

Posted by: Michael Reynolds: 1st VP / Web Site Manager @ 5:35:06 pm 
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Massage Therapy Awareness Week- a success!

What a busy week! Thank you to everyone who braved the elements and came to the Capitol to help us do seated chair massage for MTAW. Schools and therapist from all over the State took some time from their schedule to support this good will effort. The legislators and employees really look forward to us coming in every year, and it can not be done without your support.

This year we were certain to have people leave a note or personally catch up with their Legislator. It really made an impression on them. The legislators were pleased to speak and connect with their constituents, and seeing the government in action is very interesting to all of us.

Every year we encourage all therapist- not just AMTA members- to participate in this event. If you have insurance and are trained in seated chair, you are welcome and wanted. It really is quite a treat and satisfying on many levels.

Jennie Irving, President

AMTA Indiana

Posted by: Jennie Irving: President @ 11:01:17 pm 
Friday, December 1, 2006
Voice your Concerns

We had a busy Monday doing seated chair massage at the Health Conference. It was a fun event and we met many supportive people- it is great to hear how many people want massage licensed in our State.

I want to remind members that we need to be contacting our Representatives NOW! This is also when we should be exploring contacts with allied medical professions. It is hard because of the additional business of the Holidays, but December is an important time for our cause.

Posted by: Jennie Irving: President @ 4:17:05 pm 
Saturday, November 18, 2006
On line Education

I have been hearing so much more about learning via on-line courses. While I can understand the use of this method for continuing education, I am having a difficult time believing that it is appropriate for the initial 500 hour entry level requirement.

 I am wondering how the membership feels about this. Is it a valid way of learning hands-on modalities? Is there a good way of monitoring it? Would this help the profession? Is it just a cash cow for the provider? What would you look for in a program of this type?

Jennie Irving

Posted by: Jennie Irving: President @ 7:59:37 pm 
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