Evanston, Illinois (July 13, 2012):  Today, the AMTA Massage Therapy Tour begins with the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) mobile exhibit at the Humana Race to the Taste event in Chicago, IL. This marks the first direct consumer phase of the multi-year, multi-level commitment by AMTA to raise public awareness of the health benefits of massage therapy and of the professionalism of AMTA members.

On Friday, the van and exhibit will be part of AMTA’s Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program, giving chapter representatives an opportunity see first-hand how this part of the AMTA consumer awareness program will work. The tour continues Saturday at the annual Taste of Chicago event, which attracts approximately 40,000 people and on to the Ride for AIDS event in Evanston, IL. This morning, AMTA members and the tour were featured on the early morning show of TV station NBC-5, as AMTA promotes media coverage connected to the tour.

The tour then moves on to Dayton, OH and Columbus, OH next week. Follow the tour and see comments from AMTA volunteers and consumers at www.amtamassage.org/tour and through AMTA’s Facebook page and Twitter account. Photos and video from events will be posted regularly. Consumers at tour stops will be encouraged to share their experience of demonstration massage immediately from the tour location, with onsite internet access. The association also will post information on media coverage through its ongoing proactive media program.

This year, the AMTA Massage Therapy Tour will travel from Illinois to New England and on to Raleigh, North Carolina, with stops at major public events reaching millions of people. It is intended to attract public attention to massage therapy and share research on how massage can benefit them. The van will function as a traveling billboard about massage for health, designed to help millions of consumers know to look for an AMTA member for their next massage.

The American Massage Therapy Association is the largest non-profit, professional association serving massage therapists, massage students and massage schools. 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.