Evanston, IL (Nov. 14, 2011):  In 2011, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has continued its relationships with spas and spa organizations to improve the opportunities for massage therapists who choose to work in spas. This week, the association participated for the fifth year in a row in the International Spa Association (ISPA) Annual Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, NV.

AMTA members Mary Beth Braun, Eric Stephenson and Jaime Huffman participated in the professional development session titled, “Come Together – Inspiring Teams to Deliver Your Spa’s Vision.” This panel session was comprised of industry experts representing both AMTA and ISPA and gave special attention to how to create a team approach for massage therapists and spa managers. The discussion was parallel to the spa-oriented presentation the panelists presented at AMTA’s national convention in Portland last month.

“This is an important opportunity for AMTA to meet with people who employ or contract with massage therapists,” says AMTA President Glenath Moyle. “We all want this business relationship to be positive for the massage therapist, the spa and the client. So, we need to talk with each other about how best to accomplish that. I worked in a spa for many years and know how challenging it can be for a massage therapist.”

The ISPA Conference attracted more than 2,200 attendees for educational sessions and networking opportunities. It is an excellent opportunity for AMTA to discuss with spa owners and managers how to have the best working relationships with their massage therapists.

In August, AMTA representatives traveled to Brazil for that country’s spa conference. Both spas and massage therapy are rapidly growing there and the association welcomed the invitation to discuss both how AMTA has help build the massage therapy profession and how to ensure a positive work environment for massage therapists in spas. Both massage therapists and spa managers were eager to read AMTA’s “Working in a Spa” career success guide distributed to attendees. The association first published the guide as an insert in the fall 2010 issue of its magazine, MTJ. It was the first of several career success guides provided to AMTA members so far. The spa guide complements a career assessment quiz also made available in 2011.

The American Massage Therapy Association is the largest nonprofit, professional association for massage therapists in North America with more than 56,000 massage therapist and massage school 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.