AMTA OR Fall 2017 Newsletter

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President’s Note:

Julie Crispin, LMT, BCTMB, CMLDT, President AMTA-OR

Happy Autumn! Change is definitely in the air – in so many ways. As a child I moved with my family many times – so change became a fact of life to me.   Some might say I even embrace change. Change leads to new experiences and perceptions ultimately leading to growth.

Speaking of growth, our Oregon Chapter has been consistently growing. We have recently moved from a medium chapter to a large one. Unfortunately, while our numbers have grown – participation in chapter activities has not grown. I’d like to find a way to change that.

This summer we started off with our Board of Directors planning meeting over in Bend, Oregon. We brainstormed and set goals for the coming year as a board. We focused on Education and Social events.

We likely missed you at our summer social – a fun time on the Sternwheeler boat downtown on the waterfront in August. Massage Envy provided the henna and face painting for everyone – Thank you ME. We provided sweets and treats and mimosas! It was a beautiful day – but unfortunately – even though the event was free to you 1600+ members – we only had about 20 show up. For those who did show up – they had a great time!

In early September I had the pleasure of representing our chapter at the AMTA National Convention down in Pasadena, California. It was a whirlwind of a convention! Tuesday was the National Board Meeting followed by the Chapter Presidents Council. Wednesday morning we had Chapter Leadership Training for all of our board members attending the convention followed by House of Delegates in the afternoon. We ended the day as a group at a local restaurant. Thursday morning we had a joint breakfast for our Pacific NW attendees. Washington and Idaho joined Oregon for a breakfast buffet and new friends were made! We hurried over to the opening session where we heard from our National President and Executive Director and then the Keynote address by the very energetic Shaun T. He had the room dancing before 10 am!

I had strategy meetings with the National Government Relations team to discuss issues happening in Oregon as well as at the national level. Thursday evening I went to dinner with people from New Mexico, Washington, Idaho, Maryland, and Minnesota. (How cool is that?)

Friday I took a class in Table Thai massage followed by Insurance billing. We attended the Massage Therapy Foundation reception on Friday evening followed by a game night fundraiser hosted by our own Nathan Nordstrom. Saturday was closing ceremony followed by the Annual Dinner Dance where everyone gets dressed up and dances the night away!

Convention next year is in Washington D.C. and it will be AMTA’s 75th year celebration. If you have ever had interest in attending – this would be one to attend! Mark your calendars now – August 9 – 12th!

We are excited about some upcoming events here locally:

Wednesday, October 4th we have a groundbreaking ethics class: Ethics, Gender and Sexual Orientation – Considerations for Massage Therapists. As our society continues to evolve – we are faced with new concepts and need to stay educated. Please join us for a 4 hour class at East West College from 5 -9 pm. (Munchies provided!) All for only $30! You can’t beat that!

Registration link:

We are excited to take our Board Meeting on the road once again to reach out to our members who are far from the Portland Metro Area. We are excited to go to beautiful Ashland, Oregon on November 4th. We will have our board meeting in the morning at Ashland Institute of Massage followed by a 4 hour Ethics class featuring the previous chair of the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists, David Fredrickson, who will offer an interesting approach to ethics and the future of Massage in Oregon and beyond. If you are in the valley – please come down and see us! Body Cushion is generously hosting a happy hour social following David’s class! Come meet your board – we want to meet you!

We have a special social event in the works for early February – so stay tuned and keep in touch with us via FaceBook and our amazing new website! AMTA-OR.ORG

One of the things your local chapter is working on involves the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners. We are striving to maintain the integrity of our Massage profession by working with the OBCE who are considering changing the scope of practice for Chiropractic Assistants. We may need your help in the near future to let them know that CA’s do not have enough skill and training to perform any form of massage – including MFR.

We are also keeping up with the various changes that the Insurance Companies are trying to implement and will continue to fight for our right to be part of the healthcare system.

Cheers to you all! Hope to see you this fall at one of our events – and always love your input on Facebook!

Julie Crispin


Editor’s Note:

Aaron Gustafson, LMT, CAMT II, Communications Chair AMTA-OR

Hello again, I hope you’ve all had a great Summer!

It’s taken longer than I’d hoped, but I’m excited to roll out our new Digital Advertising program for our online newsletters and content:  Put your products or classes in front of, and just a click away, for Oregon’s fantastic and ever-growing AMTA membership.

Click here to visit our Advertising Page, Or click on any of the Ad placeholders I’m sure you’ve noticed, like the lovely one to the right, or below if you’re on your phone : ).

For past advertisers, I will be reaching out directly to you soon, and thank you again for your patience with the transition.  Interested in Advertising with us, contact me @ .

Aaron Gustafson

Communications Chair



Education Chair’s Note:

Hello Oregon members! 

I’m Mark Retzlaff, the new Education Chair for AMTA-Oregon. I’ve been working hard on organizing some amazing education opportunities for the next few months leading up to our annual convention in April 2018. My goal is to put together some unique and exciting programs that you can’t get anywhere else. 

On October 4th, from 5-9pm, we will be hosting an ethics course on Gender and Sexual Orientation in massage practice. The course will take place at East/West College of the Healing Arts in Portland and provided by Bridge 13, a project of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Resource Center. I’m really excited to have this opportunity to bring LMTs together around making massage therapy more safe and accessible for this population. We’ve intentionally kept the cost very low because we really believe this is an important topic. There will be lots of time for discussion, so please come ready to participate by sharing your thoughts and experiences!

For November, the AMTA-OR board will hold our annual traveling meeting in Ashland, OR. This will also be an ethics course, and the instructor will be David Fredrickson, out-going chair of the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists. David will lead a 4 hour interactive presentation and discussion of a range of ethics issues shared by massage therapy professionals locally, regionally and nationally. He will also address the changing roles and relationships of the OBMT, AMTA-OR and other trade associations in maintaining ethical standards in the massage profession.

We’ll be taking December off for the holidays. Stay tuned for more CE opportunities in 2018, including an 8-hour course in Trauma-Informed Massage Therapy. We’ve also got some amazing presenters lined up for our convention taking place April 7-8th at National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in Portland. Put in on your calendars now – it’s going to be great!

Links to all our events can be found at the webpage – If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions of classes you’d like to see, or if you are a CE provider interested in working with AMTA-OR, you can contact me at

I really hope to see you at an AMTA-OR event soon! 

-Mark Retzlaff

Scroll Down for Mark’s write-up of his experience @ National Convention and the Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program


Coming Events:


Keep your finger on the pulse of coming board meetings and CE opportunities with our click here: Events Calendar


AMTA-OR LMT of the Year:  Congrats to Don Butzner! Read the full article: click here.


Delegate Updates, 2017 AMTA National Convention:

Christina, Lowell, Julie ans Mark @ CVOP

My Experience at AMTA Convention as a Delegate

By Lowell Welch

Granted it does not matter how prepared you think you are for an event, it does not match the actual experience going through an event like the AMTA convention and the House of Delegates (HOD) for the first time. I appreciated all the help to get prepared from members from the Oregon Chapter and members from the National scene. The forum for the HOD on the AMTA website was easy to navigate and follow topics of discussions. Arriving in Pasadena California was interesting by itself. On the shuttle to the hotel, from the airport, all but one was associated with AMTA. From the start there was interesting conversation on where massage as an industry could be in the overall healthcare platform. Also, I have learned at the convention when you have hundreds of people passionate about massage the energy level is simply amazing. The HOD was very interesting. How the debates were accomplished in a professional way using “Robert Rules” was impressive. Being part of a system that makes and builds the reputation and standards of the massage industry is very exciting. I am very humbled through this experience. I am honored and looking forward to being part of next year AMTA convention in Washington D.C.

Julie Crispin and Lowell Welch

My Experience at CVOP

By Mark Retzlaff:

Every year at National Convention, AMTA offers a Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program (CVOP) to help volunteers understand the organization and the responsibilities of a volunteer. The 12-hour training covers the structure of AMTA, its mission as a non-profit professional organization, as well as strategies for effective communication with AMTA members, other professionals, and the public. There was lots of food for thought, and engaging discussions with volunteers from other chapters.

My biggest takeaway came from the section on messaging. As a non-profit professional organization, our mission is to serve our members and the profession. We were asked to consider whether the impressions that people have of AMTA matched the identity we have for ourselves. We want to make sure that our deeds match our aspirations. It’s one thing to say that we want to advance the massage profession, and another to put it into practice. As our industry matures, we’ll have to grow along with it – and that means making hard choices about how and where to spend our energy as an organization. I’m hoping that there are other massage therapists here in Oregon that are passionate about these issues and will help us determine the future of AMTA.

The rest of the week was a whirlwind of classes, events, and connections with other massage therapists from around the country. I really enjoyed meeting Susan Salvo, and was delighted to hear her discuss career longevity in the massage profession during her course for educators. I got to talk to massage therapists presenting their research posters and was inspired to think about what research questions I might like to address. I introduced myself to members of the national organization, and I always mentioned innovative programs in Oregon to include massage therapy for pain management as an alternative to pharmacological and surgical interventions. We’ll be focusing on the role of massage therapy as a primary option for pain management at our state convention next April at NUNM in Portland, so it was great to hear enthusiasm from so many AMTA members. 

My Convention

By Christina Weber,

I had the opportunity to participate in the AMTA National Convention in Pasadena last week and what an experience! The convention is a great opportunity to spend time with amazing people from all over the country who are dedicated to our profession. I started the week with a couple days of CVOP (Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program). There were many great discussions and connections made.  My biggest take away from the program was that there may be a barrier to engaging more people in our organization because there is an idea that volunteering has to be a huge commitment. We talked about how we can change the culture to include episodic volunteer opportunities, meaning smaller commitments that will allow people with their busy schedules to contribute and benefit from our community without feeling like they have to sign their life away. If you have considered volunteering, but have been intimated by the commitment, please talk with us. I am committed that people can contribute in small meaningful ways and get the most out of their membership.

Another highlight for me was learning about the latest research in massage and pain. In one session, Jerrilyn Cambron from the Massage Therapy Foundation shared the findings from a systematic review and meta-analysis of published science on massage and pain that was partially funded by AMTA. It will probably not surprise you to hear that the outcomes were, overall massage therapy decreases pain and improves functions, specifically looking at musculoskeletal pain, cancer pain and surgical pain. Although we see the difference massage can make for people dealing with pain all the time in our work, it is important that we as a profession back that up with well-designed research. In that same session, Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier shared with us that the Joint Commission’s New and Revised Standards Related to Pain Assessment and Management includes that hospitals provide nonpharmacologic pain treatment modalities and specifically mentions massage therapy. (The Joint Commission accredits more than 21,000 U.S. health care organizations including most major hospitals). There is clearly a place for massage as a complimentary modality in pain management and I am proud to be part of an organization that supports research that will give us the credibility to be at the table with what we have to offer.

My Convention

By Renee Stenbjorn,

Pasadena 2017 was my sixth AMTA Convention. During these events, I have had the pleasure of participating in the annual House of Delegates three times.  This time, we had two major decisions to make for the future of the organization.  

First, we were presented with the opportunity to decide if the AMTA would support this statement:  It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that massage therapy can provide significant benefit as a component of Integrative Health Care.  The only aspect of this statement that was controversial was the use of the word “significant” in that is has a specific meaning in research literature and requires a very solid result in order to use this word.  It was generally agreed that this statement was supported by the 188 research findings submitted in substantiation of the statement.  Passing this statement was strongly favored by the vote of the entire House of Delegates. It is now an official position you AMTA.

The second issue in front of the delegates was about finances of the state chapters.  We were asked to support this statement: Allow chapters to receive an allowance of $10.00 for each student member, allowing chapters to better serve all its members and fulfill the Goals, Objectives and Vision of the American Massage Therapy Association. AMTA has been providing free student memberships throughout the country.  There are many benefits to this policy, including expanding the membership as most student members renew and become paying members after the initial time period elapses.  While states are happy to support this change, the problem has arisen that there is no additional funding to the states.  Some state’s membership is now 25% non-paying student members. The delegates from these  states expressed a desire to provide some events to welcome members but don’t have the funds to create new programs.  The Delegates favored this position and recommended we pass this recommendation on to the National Directors for their consideration.

AMTA OR Delgates, Lowell, Renee, Mark & Christina

Membership Updates:

Welcome new Oregon members! Here’s who’s joined, reinstated, or transferred in from another state chapter as of August 2017:

New Members:

Kelci Graper

Sonya Ottavi

Robert Yount

Rowena Villarin

Arwyn Daemyir

Anika De Vore

Abbey Pyle

Beverly Holdeman

Laurie VanCurler

Aymee Wilson

Samantha Hignell-Stark

Natalie Erickson

Jacquelyn Pannullo

Lynn Orson

Lacey Simone

Matthew Crauder

Megan Randall

Hailee Gambrell-Krebs

Olivia Free

Lola Reed

Kasey Balch

Pricilla Madera

Mariel Tasche

Luis Rodriguez

Rose Ganzer

Jenna Roberts

Annabelle Bettger

Scott Huette

Johnathan Thornburg



Carly Hardman

Mariza Mozee-Rose

Adam Steele

Sabria Rios

Kelly Cormier

Jeremy Starr Sykes

Nathan D. Davis

Lizzi LoPresti

Rosie Bardakji



Adriane L Allred

ShaoPing Peng

Valerie Pontius

Paul Scott Benton

Emma Stricker

Risha Trethewey

Kellye Michelle Houck

Renee Jazmin Aragon

Deborah Larson

Rebecca Peters

Mark E. Hahn

Monica Lambert Eng

Welcome ALL!!!

Get to know and get in touch with your Oregon Board members by clicking here.

Thanks for helping make AMTA OR great!

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