Evanston, Illinois (March 22, 2011):  The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) formally launched its new mentoring program on Jan. 25, to improve communications skills, goal-setting and success planning for AMTA members just entering the massage therapy profession. So far, nearly 300 AMTA members have volunteered their time and expertise to serve as mentors in the program.

“I remember stepping into the job market with a lot of questions,” says one of the new mentors, Charlotte Phillips of Illinois. “I was lucky to have access to some therapists with more experience who were incredibly helpful and I’d be happy to help answer questions for the next wave of new therapists.”

The association has already confirmed 60 official mentoring relationships in 23 states, with many more still pending. AMTA created the program in response to members who wanted to mentor new massage therapists and input from new practitioners who sought regular contact with successful massage therapists who could coach them in building their practices.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our experienced members to use the strength of the AMTA community and share their wisdom with new massage therapists,” says AMTA President Glenath Moyle. “This expands the sense of community from AMTA chapters into one-on-one support to help build better future massage therapists and a stronger profession.”

The association also supports the program as another means for its members to give back to the profession and to enhance their personal growth. It is a parallel program to AMTA’s Volunteer Connections, which pairs AMTA members with non-profit charitable events where they use their massage therapy skills to benefit the broader community, while promoting the benefits of massage therapy to the public at large.

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.