AMTA OR Newsletter Summer 2019

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AMTA-OR Convention 2019 @ NUNM

Editor’s Note:

Aaron Gustafson, LMT, CAMT II, Digital Media Production/Newsletter Editor AMTA-OR

-In this Issue: Summer is right around the corner!  That means another Annual Convention in the books. It was truly one of the best events I’ve attended.  The quality of the education and flow of the event was top notch. You’ll find photos from the Convention hosted @ NUNM throughout the newsletter, including the first video to be finished from this year’s presentations: Therapeutic Presence with Fara Tucker, LCSW – Scroll to the bottom of the newsletter to check it out. click to go straight there.

President Mark’s note gets you up to date with what’s to come in the rest of 2019.

Julie Crispin shares what’s happening in Salem and beyond (ongoing OBMT CE & Chiropractor’s Assistant Issues) with the Government Relations Report.

Membership #’s Update

I look forward to seeing you at the Summer and Fall events.

Aaron Gustafson

NUNM Campus

President’s Note:

Mark Retzlaff Headshot
Mark Retzlaff LMT, AMTA-OR Chapter President

Another convention has come and gone, and I want to thank all of our educators, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees who made this an amazing event. For those that weren’t able to attend, we recorded the morning lectures and discussions and will release them throughout the year with each newsletter. (You can use these as non-contact CEs for your license renewal too!) We’re already starting to think about next year’s convention. Kelly, Britney and I created a survey that went out to convention attendees, and we’ll use that to try to do even better next year!

With the new year, we have some changes to our volunteer team. Gamble Velimirovic will be our new Education Committee Chair. She and I have already had a few discussions about possible education events and speakers for the 2020 convention! Kelly Cormier will be taking the helm of the Communications Committee. She’s already been so helpful in helping to create emails and other communications, and I’m so grateful to have her expertise! Aaron has a new title of Digital Media Producer/Editor, which reflects his focus on the newsletter and other media production. He’ll also be serving as delegate at the AMTA National Convention. A big thank you to Christina, who starting a new term as Financial Administrator, and to Britney and Amie who are entering their second year of their terms. Finally, Julie is continuing on as head of the Government Relations Committee.

We have some awesome summer events coming up, including the Big Float at the Portland Waterfront (July 13th), our Summer Social at Oaks Park (August 25th). For AMTA volunteers, we’ll be meeting for our planning meeting later this month to organize our priorities for the next year. It’s always an exciting time, and I’m looking forward to my second year as Chapter President. I learned so much over the past year, and was the beneficiary of a ton of good will from the community. My goal is to earn your ongoing support so that we can continue to grow our organization and advocate for the profession!

Mark Retzlaff

Cynthia Price, PhD, LMT presents on integrating mindfulness approaches in massage therapy.
Michael Hamm leads us on a tour of the fascial and nervous system.



The Big Float: July 13th, 2019 Please volunteer now- equipment and supplies provided. We just need you to come have a blast with us!

The Big Float 9 is coming up, Saturday July 13! Join AMTA Oregon friends for this fun event. We’ll provide massage under the big oak tree by the river. There will be live music, food, and fun in the river! Click on this link to sign up for a shift, or email Leslie Lora Giese- to get answers to any of your event questions.
Big Float Crowd

-Summer Social @ Oaks Park. Sunday August 25th, 2019. Family and dog friendly.

Oaks Park is Family and Dog friendly – bring the kiddos and the doggos! Image:

SAVE THE DATES: OBMT Traveling Board Meeting:  Medford, OR September 13th & 14th with an AMTA hosted Member social: Friday 13th evening – location and time to be announced.

AMTA-OR 2019 Traveling Board Meeting: coming to Eugene, OR. November 2019 -Date to be determined.

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

Hamid Shibata Bennett provided live music during the evening social @ convention.


Important Links:

-Details for upcoming Oregon Board of Massage Therapists meetings can be found here.


-Get the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists Boarderline newsletters by clicking here.

Food, Music & Socializing

AMTA-OR Government Relations Report:

AMTA-OR Government Relations Chair: Julie Crispin LMT, BCTMB, CMLDT

I just returned from AMTA national president’s meeting in Evanston, Illinois. The GR chairs were invited to attend for some networking and training. It is always so enlightening to hear what issues both at the federal level and the various state levels our various chapters are dealing with.

One GR goal for National AMTA is to have every state have a lobbyist working for each chapter. We are lucky in Oregon that we have had a great lobbyist, Cindy Robert for many years, making my volunteer job a much easier task. Cindy tracks all the bills during session and notifies us of anything that may affect our profession.

This year Oregon AMTA has been in an ongoing battle with the OBCE (Oregon Board Chiropractic Examiners) over issues regarding the use of CA’s (chiropractic assistants) to perform massage for 60 – 90 minutes with little to no training – just direct supervision – meaning the chiro has to be in the building. Our stance has been that CA’s are not educated or trained with their 12 hours vs our 625 hours. We feel it is encroaching on our scope of practice and could potentially be a public safety risk. The chiropractors have found a loophole in our practice act that allows them to legally do so – even if we think it unethical. Unfortunately, we have the words: or persons working under the direction of any such person in our act that was written and passed back in 1950’s. (

We attempted to submit a housekeeping bill to the Senate to clean up the language of our practice act and remove the loophole. Unfortunately, the Chiropractic Lobbyist fought us and strategically pulled a fast one on us citing that a good number of Oregonians are on the Oregon Health Plan and that the OHP doesn’t pay out much for massage – so if we were to pass this and CA’s couldn’t perform massages – it would be prevent 1/3 of Oregonians from getting massage. When we testified about our concerns for Public Safety the committee asked for proof of public endangerment and we have no concrete evidence. Likely if someone made a claim that a CA injured them or acted inappropriately during a massage, the Chiropractor’s liability insurance company would settle such case and we would never know. The chair of the Healthcare Committee essentially killed our bill however she did tell both the lobbyists to “work this out.” We had begun to strategize on how to approach this situation when two things happened. First, the former chair of the OBCE ended his term. He was the driver of the policy changes allowing and even encouraging chiropractors to use CA’s to do full body 60 and 90 minute massages. Second, another former OBCE chair and very respected DC wrote a public letter to the OBCE and Governor admonishing both the former chair and the OBCE for this very issue. Her letter was submitted for public comment at the OBCE Board Meeting in May. Here is a quote:

The process of changing CA educational requirements should start at SQUARE ONE to ensure this process is done without conflict of interest from start to finish, public notice has been sufficient & discussion minutes are presented to stakeholders timely.

For now – we will see what the OBCE’s response is to this letter while we strategize how to move forward with our bill. AMTA also notified the OBMT of the current status.

The second big GR issue in our State is in regards to the OBMT wanting to change the CE (Continuing Education) requirements for license renewal. The current board chair is driving these proposed changes. AMTA OR has worked hard to keep you all apprised of the situation and called for Oregon LMT’s to contact the board if they had concerns about these changes. Lots of LMT’s stepped up voicing their opinions. Over the course of 3 board meetings, we encouraged the OBMT to follow proper procedure and consider using committees to help decide the best course of action. Gratefully, the OBMT created two committees – one on Education and one on Rules. The committees are now filled and ready to begin work. AMTA has members on both committees.

As we move into summer and the legislative session comes to a close – we will be hard at work being a watchdog for both boards and continue to strategize with our lobbyist on ways to close the loophole in our practice act.

As always – if you have any interest in getting involved in Government Relations – our committee is always grateful for volunteers, please contact

Thanks to Don Schiff and Imuya McDaniel for your time and efforts on the GR Committee.

Julie Crispin, Government Relations Chair

Don Schiff, Mark Retzlaff, Julie Crispin, Imuya McDaniel, Cindy Robert @ Oregon State Capital
AMTA OR Government Relations Committee,  Feb 4, 2019

Education Chair’s Note:

Introducing Gamble Velimirovic, LMT, AMTA-OR’s new Education Chair

Introducing our new Education Chair!

As she just hopped on board, we’ll get to hear from Gamble in the Fall newsletter.  Welcome!

Michael Hamm illustrating nerves.

Membership Update: Still Growing!

Britney von Trapp Headshot
Britney von Trapp, AMTA-OR Membership Chair

Hello all!

Between May 1st and June 1st, 2019 we had 51 new members join for a current total of 2034 members.

With appreciation,

Britney von Trapp

2019 AMTA-OR Board members. Julie Crispin, Kelly Cormier, Aaron Gustafson, Amie McCormick, Britney von Trapp, Mark Retzlaff, and Christina Weber. Photo by Hamid Shibata Bennett.
Amie McCormick, Meredith Guss, Britney von Trapp and Kelly Cormier celebrate a successful convention.

Video: Therapeutic Presence with Fara Tucker, LCSW.  48 minutes

Presented to 2019 AMTA-OR Convention. Watching our presentation videos may be submitted as non-contact CE’s for OBMT.

Video produced by @Technesoma.

Behind the scenes with Aaron Gustafson. (aka Technesoma) Did you ever notice almost everyone ducks when they walk in front of a camera?

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