Delegate Report from AOD August 23, 2023 Phoenix, Arizona

Scott Lesieur and Gary Schwander AMTA WA-Chapter

#1 – Proposed Idea for a Position Statement: Massage Therapy and Cancer Treatments

Nearly unanimously the delegates present would like to see the AMTA come out with a position statement about massage and its benefits for people with cancer. This would be beneficial to AMTA members, medical professionals, the community, and people with cancer.

Common Themes:  

  • Massage therapy has proved beneficial to many with cancer
  • Members are asking for more training and education related to oncology massage
  • An official position statement could potentially help fund more research and acceptance of massage
  • Articles published by AMTA show that AMTA is considering the efficacy of massage for oncology patients.
  • More research and training is needed to validate the benefits and effects of massage to ensure public safety and comfort for the person receiving care.

#2 – Discussion Topic; How might the Decriminalization of Sex Workers and the Sex Workers Industry Impact the Massage Therapy Profession/Statutes/Licensure?

Common Themes:

  • Protecting the term “Massage” and all related derivations, for use by licensed/certified/registered massage therapists is imperative.
  • Public Education Campaign: 
  1. We need to educate the public on what massage therapy is.
  2. AMTA should lead the way when media speaks about “massage parlors” and educate that “adult, sex-oriented business is not related to the massage industry”
  3. Have massage therapists on boards related to human/sex trafficking at state and federal levels.

Language and Laws:

  • Adopt an official well defined scope of practice, rigorous educational/testing/continuing education requirements for licensure.
  • Bolster efforts to investigate illegitimate/unlicensed businesses.
  • Safety!
  1. Safety of the public from sexual predators passing as massage therapists
  2. Safety of massage therapists from clients looking for sexual acts during massages sessions
  3. Establish safety for victims of sex trafficking.
  • The decriminalization of sex workers could help us separate our identity through public outreach and education of our industry.
  • Members of Maine support decriminalizing sex work AND working to educate the public and medical professionals about what our ethics and practice are about.