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Jan 12, 2015

Massage Therapy Ambassador, Riya Suising, Recaps her Experience at the AMTA National Convention

As a member and officer of the AMTA-CA Silicon Valley Unit, I get to participate in many AMTA events and workshops throughout the year. This year I attended the AMTA National Convention for my first time.

I attended the AMTA-CA Chapter Conference for the past 3 years in Northern and Southern California where I was able to meet 100-150 of the most involved and enthusiastic massage therapist and industry colleagues. The National Convention was very different. Imagine a grand ballroom with over 2000 energetic massage therapists from around the country. We had about 20-30 attendees from California, including NHI Massage Therapy Ambassadors Bard Williams, Nicole Rancatore and NHI President Tim Veitzer, as well as most of the AMTA-CA chapter board members.


Dr. Oz spoke on the importance of massage therapy for healthcare. In addition Dr. Oz showed data from the medical field of how we can offer suggestions to our clients to improve cardiac health, reduce stress, and most importantly, how to overcome the fear of making change, the basic but powerful way to a better life.

The convention included nearly four full days of continuing education, special events, an extensive vendor expo, and numerous hours of networking and celebrations day and night with peers from every state.

Here is the full schedule of classes I attended at the convention:

  • Dimensional Massage for the Hand, Wrist, Elbow, and Radioulnar Joints by Nancy Dail taught us techniques to engage the muscles and joints from various angles and with multiple types of stretching.
  • Talking to Your Clients About Skin Cancer taught us to recognize the basic symptoms of possible skin cancer on our clients, and how to communicate with clients properly.
  • A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Malpractice by Jennifer Flynn and Lynn Pierce of HPSO (the liability insurance company for AMTA), reminded us of our ethical responsibilities for our clients and practice and showed us several case studies where HPSO defended therapists in lawsuits and the amounts they settled for.


  • Lifting Your Clients out of Pain by Deborah Kimmet taught us new ways to use wedges to help restore balance to clients who may have pelvic asymmetries that may cause pain throughout the body.
  • Paranasal Sinus Drainage by Sandy Grover Mason taught us new techniques for facial massage and lymphatic drainage in the head and neck.
  • From the Heart: Massage and Cardiovascular Health by Tracey Conway, Emmy-award winning actress and comedienne of KING-TV’s Almost Live!, shared in the closing keynote her experience of surviving a heart attack after collapsing a heart attack after taping one of her episodes.


The convention provided a total of 26 Continuing Education hours for me, more than half of my requirement for my AMTA Professional and NCBTMB certification periods. Most of the classes were directly applicable to my massage work, with lots of hands-on practice, and other useful guidance for my private practice.

I was able to network and meet many other famous names such as Andrew Biel (author of Trail Guide), Ruth Werner (author of the Pathology textbook), Cynthia Ribeiro, Carole Osborne, Jeff Forman, Til Luchau, Tina Allen, CG Funk, Bruce Baltz, Taya Countryman, and many others.

There were also many fun activities too throughout the week such as an optional night at Coors Field for a game between the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks, a First Timer Lunch, and a lavish closing night Gala dinner.


This was a great conference, not just for taking classes and loading up on our Continuing Education Units, but like other AMTA events, a great opportunity to meet other massage therapists, educators, and industry professionals.


Riya Suising
NHI Massage Therapy Ambassador
NHI Group 37 Alumnus
AMTA-CA Silicon Valley Unit, VP-Education


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