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Apr 19, 2012

Interview with Nicole Vandehurst, NHI Instructor and President of the Redwood Empire AMTA Unit:

Nicole Vandehurst has been a member of the AMTA since 2004 and was recently elected President of the Redwood Empire Unit. She brings a rich background of experience as a massage therapist along with a dedication to education and advancement of the field.  In addition to her new role as President of the Redwood Empire AMTA Chapter, Nicole continues to provide her skill and passion for massage to our students as instructor at National Holistic Institute.

During the interview, Nicole candidly shared her views on professional massage therapy organizations, her hopes for her chapter in the coming year and her excitement about the legislative changes happening in the field of massage therapy.

Why did you become an AMTA member?
I want to be a member of an organization that stands for professionalism in this field. I believe it enhances my standing as a massage therapist. 

What benefits are there to joining a professional organization?
AMTA membership offers many benefits to massage therapists: It provides a sense of community and support, networking opportunities, continuing education, insurance, and up to date information on what is happening in the field – from current research to updates on legislative changes, both locally and nationally. I particularly like that it is a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of the entire field of Massage Therapy. I love the newsletters and magazines and always find inspiration in the articles for my practice and my teaching.

Why choose AMTA?
There are a couple of good choices for Massage Therapists wanting to be part of a professional organization and some therapists like to join more then one. I chose AMTA  because of the local chapters. It is so valuable to have that community support and dialogue. Also, AMTA has the ability to bring nationally recognized leaders in the field to the local chapters. I am a life long student of Massage Therapy and I appreciate all the education opportunities AMTA offers. I hope I never stop learning!

There are many changes happening in the field right now, especially in California. AMTA helps me stay current with what the newest trends are and with what is happening in our local legislation. It is an exciting time to be a massage therapist, but the rapid changes can sometimes be confusing too. AMTA helps us know what is going on without feeling overwhelmed. Their website gives information on how to get involved . As a massage therapist with a busy practice and a teaching career, I find the website one of the easiest ways to stay informed.

Another great thing about the website is that you can see a national calendar of events as well as your local calendar. So if I am traveling and want to find out what is happening in the area I am visiting, or if I want to locate a particular teacher, I have all the information I need in one place.

What goals do you hope to accomplish as chapter president?
I hope to increase local membership and chapter involvement. I want to be a thriving and connected community. I see us all working together to increase public awareness of the value of massage therapy. Education and networking will support successful Massage Therapists and they in turn will be supporting community wellness and health.

How do your roles of AMTA chapter president and instructor at NHI intertwine?
NHI has always stood for the highest standards of professionalism and education, and so does AMTA. They fit together like hand and glove.