Evanston, IL (Nov. 4, 2011)  – The American Massage Therapy Association’s® (AMTA®) 15th annual National Massage Therapy Awareness Week® (NMTAW) activities and public relations reached a media audience of 240 million the last week of October. AMTA reinforced the value of massage for health and wellness for existing and potential massage therapy clients. Major online publications and news services published information from AMTA’s annual consumer survey and featured stories on the growing acceptance of the health benefits of massage therapy. These included placements on Reuters Health, Women’s Health Magazine, AOL and Yahoo! AMTA chapters and members in nearly all states reached out to the public with information about massage, massage demonstrations and charity events during the week.

Preliminary reports to AMTA indicate a wide range of NMTAW events. Photos of many are on the AMTA Facebook page. AMTA’s multi-media press releases again brought the association two free and very visible electronic billboards in Times Square and at the Las Vegas Fashion Mall.

Here are a few examples of how AMTA members and chapters celebrated NMTAW:

The AMTA-Alaska Chapter members provided chair massages and education on the benefits of massage at Providence Medical Center. Donations from each massage benefitted the Children’s Hospital at Providence.

The governor of Arizona and the mayor of Memphis, TN both proclaimed it National Massage therapy Awareness Week.

The AMTA-Colorado Chapter partnered with The Chanda Plan Foundation and “Giving Wellness A Way”. Many AMTA-CO members are donating 20 percent of their massage therapy income from the week-long, integrative therapy event to raise funds and benefit persons living with long-term disabilities in metropolitan Denver.

The AMTA-Florida Chapter members gave massages at Fisher House, a private-public partnership that supports America’s military in their time of need.

The Silicon Valley Unit of the AMTA-California Chapter provided 15-minute table and chair massages to 38 City of Cupertino employees and librarians.

The Austin Unit of the AMTA-TX Chapter provided free massages at the Elmcroft Assisted Living Facility in Austin.

Professional member Sarah Lashley (IL) offered free neuromuscular assessments and $1/min. chair massage at a health and wellness open house, hosted in conjunction with other health care professionals.

AMTA School member Harrison College (IN) hosted a complimentary chair massage event for the public.

Professional member Luke Maynard (CT) offered discounts and a client referral promotion.

Professional member Jo Witkowski (WI) was featured in her local newspaper, and promoted her practice and the benefits of massage with an open house.

More highlights of 2011 NMTAW will be posted on the AMTA website. National Massage Therapy Awareness Week was created by AMTA to raise public understanding about the benefits of massage therapy and to promote the professionalism of AMTA members. NMTAW will be celebrated again October 21-27, 2012.

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.