AFMTE logoThe Alliance for Massage Therapy Education is pleased to announce the dates and location for the Educational Congress. The 2019 Biennial Educational Congress will take place over four days from July 24-27, 2019. The main portion of the conference, including the exhibition hall, is July 25, 26 and 27. The event will be held at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue, 4200 City Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19131;

The theme of the Educational Congress is “Excellence in Education: Influencing Practice, Policy, Teacher Training & Research.” Opportunities will be provided to become informed about critical issues affecting our health industry, gather information, enhance teaching skills and network.

Massage therapy and bodywork are in a state of transition, and so is its education. Attend the Congress and work together with your colleagues and the professional associations to help direct the future and generate new strategies to elevate the educational standards.

President Stan Dawson said, “AFMTE is excited about our upcoming Congress in Philadelphia, July 25 – 27, 2019. We hope you will take advantage of the CE courses available at the Congress, including a track for teacher education. We are looking forward to seeing members, meeting new educators, and the presence of and collaboration with the other members of the Coalition of National Massage Therapy Organizations at the upcoming Congress. Join us!”

The schedule includes full group discussions; informational breakout sessions; ample time for networking; fun activities including optional yoga in the mornings and a chair massage fundraiser for the Massage Therapy Foundation during the Thursday evening opening reception; and opportunities to visit vendors who provide goods and services to educators.

Thirty exhibitors are expected, including ABMP, Acuity Scheduling, Biotone, COMTA, Elsevier, Enrollment Resources, Hands Heal EHR, The Jojoba Company, the Massage Therapy Foundation, Save Your Hands! and Sohnen-Moe Associates.

The AFMTE is honored that Universal Companies is the Platinum Sponsor again this year. Sponsors are also exhibitors. Here is the rest of the sponsor list so far:

  • Massage Today: Media Gold
  • MASSAGE Magazine: Media Ruby
  • Massage Envy: Gold
  • FSMTB: Silver
  • Performance Health: Bronze and Educator of the Year
  • Books of Discovery: Lanyard
  • Hand & Stone: Coffee Break

The Educational Congress also features breakout sessions led by the industry’s top educators, making it a perfect opportunity for professional development and continuing education. There are three educational tracks:

  • Teaching Training;
  • Administration;
  • and Hot Topics.

Included will be current roundtable discussions, presentations by the winners of the Educators of the Year, and COMTA will host a free pre-conference titled “Accreditation – A Pillar of Education” (details below).

Here is a summary of the presenters and topics:

  • Implementing Changes from the 2017 Forum with Diane Mastnardo & Niki Munk
  • Teaching Up-to-Date and Accurate Information: Panel to include Jill Berkana, Douglas Nelson, Deanna Faulk-Sylvester, Ruth Werner, Pete Whitridge and Anne Williams
  • Teacher Certification Update by Penny Jeffrey
  • Teaching Hands-On Skills – Best Practices for Teaching in the Psychomotor Domain by Anne Williams and/or Kristin Coverly, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
  • 24 Ways to Create a World Class Enrollment Process: Getting Your School to Be the Gold Standard by Tom King
  • Publishers and Authors Panel – How to get published!
  • Ethical Issues and Boundaries in the School/Educational Environment by Nancy Dail, Beverley Giroud, Julie Goodwin, Cherie Sohnen-Moe and Terrie Yardley-Nohr
  • Talk to the Hand…Book! Influencing and Shaping Policies for Students, Faculty and Staff by Dawn Hogue, COMTA
  • Solving the Mystery… Strengthening Educational Approaches with Educational Research by Brent Jackson
  • Teacher Certification Program: Preparing your Portfolio by Penny Jeffrey & Ruth Werner
  • CE Provider Registration Requirements by FSMTB & NCBTMB
  • Why Your Social Media Strategies Don’t Work and What to Do About It: Get Your Social Media Working for You by Tom King

Descriptions of the above are posted at

Educators of the Year Award

The AFMTE is currently accepting applications for the 2019 Educators of the Year Award (one for a teacher in a school setting and one for a continuing education provider). This award honors excellence in massage therapy and bodywork education, and serves to foster a culture that supports raising the standards of excellence in massage therapy and bodywork education. The recipients are chosen based on their experience, teacher training taken, and how well they meet the Core Competency standards that the AFMTE published in 2013. The Core Competency document includes 10 standards, each of which describes the knowledge, skills and attitudes which form the basis for effective and successful teaching.

Past winners are LaWanda Allen, Ralph Stephens, Julie Goodwin, Dale Alexander, Ariana Vincent, Juliebeth Mezzy, Whitney Lowe, Cate Miller, Elaine Stillerman and David Lauterstein.

Each nominee is required to complete an application and return it on or before April 15, 2019. Educators can directly apply or be nominated by a colleague. Winners will be announced and contacted directly on June 1, 2019, and receive their awards at the Educational Congress. In addition to the award, winners receive a 1-year AFMTE membership, free registration to the 2019 Educational Congress, $1,000 stipend (for expenses related to attending the Congress), $250 in free product, and an opportunity to deliver a presentation at the Congress. Please visit for details. The winners of the Educators of the Year Award will be presented at the beginning of the Congress.

“The conference will be packed with information for educators, but do not underestimate the opportunity to network with peers, connect with vendors, and socialize with old and new friends,” said Nancy Dail, Chair of the Educational Congress Committee. “The charge we get from being with each other helps fuel our vision and enthusiasm for the profession! See you there!”

About the Alliance

The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education serves as an independent voice, advocate and resource for the massage therapy and bodywork education community. Our mission is to support, strengthen and elevate educational practices and standards in massage therapy and bodywork. The Alliance may be contacted at P.O. Box 40014, Tucson, AZ 85717. The phone number is (520) 329-2627; the general office email address is; and the website is