Evanston, IL — For the second year in a row, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) will take part in the American Heart Association’s 5.3K Metro Chicago Start! Heart Walk in the Chicago area, September 25 to October 3, 2009.  AMTA massage therapists from Illinois will be onsite, providing 10-minute massages to Walk participants.
More than 18,000 walkers will participate in the 4 events that help fund lifesaving heart and stroke research and community education programs.  Walkers also will have the opportunity to visit areas that honor survivors, inspire heart-healthy changes and celebrate significant lifestyle changes during the event.
“We are excited for AMTA to be a part of this event supporting healthy hearts,” says AMTA President Judy Stahl.  “It allows our members to give back to the community, while demonstrating the value of massage to a person’s health and wellness.  There are so many heart-healthy benefits of massage, including temporarily lowering blood pressure and helping to relieve anxiety and stress.”
The American Massage Therapy Association is the largest non-profit, professional association for massage therapists with 58,000 massage therapist members. The association is directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters.  AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage.
AMTA’s Find A Massage Therapist free national locator service helps consumers find AMTA massage therapists throughout the U.S.  The service is available via AMTA’s Web site at www.findamassagetherapist.org and toll-free at 888-843-2682 (888-THE-AMTA).  October 25-31, 2009 AMTA members will celebrate National Massage Therapy Awareness Week to attract attention to the benefits of massage, including those that benefit heart health.