Evanston, IL – The American Massage Therapy Association®(AMTA®) Schools Summit February 18-19 in St. Pete Beach, Florida brought together more than 100 massage therapy school owners, administrators, educators and exhibitors to examine the challenges facing massage therapy schools and massage therapists. The Summit also featured 4 general sessions, 9 education classes and a wide variety of formal and informal discussion groups on massage therapy education.

Two discussions groups examined current challenges and opportunities. Owners/administrators identified admissions, lead generation and facility expansion as important issues. Teachers identified formal and informal teacher training and curriculum development as their key issues.

“We were delighted with both the positive passion expressed in the discussion at the meeting and the large turn out,” says AMTA President Judy Stahl. “Our goal was for this to be a meeting where those involved in the initial and ongoing education of massage therapists could learn from the experience of their colleagues, AMTA’s research and the realities of the massage therapy marketplace. That is what AMTA School membership is about – mutual support that moves the profession forward. The whole experience was refreshing.”

Highlights of AMTA’s 2010 Massage Profession Research Report were presented by AMTA Executive Director Elizabeth M. Lucas, CAE and massage program administrators Dale Healey (DC) and Jeff Forman (PhD).

“Because of the economy, potential students want to make sure their career choice is viable,” said Lucas. “So, it is important for massage educators to teach their students about growth markets, such as integration into health care and what spas need massage therapists to know when practicing in that environment.”

The report highlights shifts in where massage therapists work, consumer use of massage, the growing integration of massage therapy into health care settings and the unique challenges facing massage therapy schools and programs.

“…I loved every minute (of the Summit),” said Faye Tackett, Department Chair, Sanford-Brown College in Illinois. “The speakers were excellent and their topics reflected the changing landscape in massage therapy schools and their curriculum design. I cannot wait for next year’s Schools Summit in San Francisco.” The 2011 Schools Summit will be held February 17-18.

Read AMTA’s 2010 Massage Therapy Profession Research Fact Sheet at https://www.amtamassage.org/news/MTIndustryFactSheet2010.html.

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.