Fall Newsletter                                        Sept 2018
Letter From the President
A Few Words from Your President

The Importance of Volunteering

As a massage therapist, we know that we should be putting ourselves out in the community in the hopes of building a great clientele. Many though, are not comfortable networking and volunteering. There are many reasons why people do or do not volunteer. I could spend a complete article on the why we do NOT volunteer but I am going to discuss why it is in our best interest to step out of our comfort zones and volunteer.
  1. Be Part of the Solution - Be the changes you want to see in your profession. Create an atmosphere of value and support and where your voice is heard and welcomed. For example, many things are going on at the Advisory Board of Massage Therapy and the same individuals are showing up for the meetings. The ABMT already know the thoughts and ideas from these individuals and these individuals truly cannot express what every massage therapist in the state of Oklahoma is thinking or what they want to see in the massage therapy profession. These few will be heard above everyone else unless more massage therapists attend the ABMT meetings. This is just one way for your voice to be heard.
  2. Improve Your Professional Skills - Networking and interacting with people will allow you to meet people from a variety of cultures and different walks of life. Though it may be intimidating, stepping out can build and strengthen social skills and allow you to gain new experience and insights in different areas that can assist your practice. Never be too shy to smile and say hello. You never know whose life you may have just changed for the better by that small act of kindness.
  3. Mentorship - There is an ever-increasing number of people that are entering the massage therapy field every year. It is their hope to be successful. Those more seasoned massage therapists know what it is like to struggle to build a solid practice. If you could help someone in need that needed the skills you have, why would you not want to assist them? Competition? There are plenty of people in the state of Oklahoma that competition should not even be a consideration. We all have a special piece of advice or skill that can be shared with others.
  4. Reaching Your Full Potential - Volunteering offers a sense of accomplishment and it just feels good. Knowing that you are giving back to the field that you worked so hard to get into is very satisfying. You may even influence others to begin volunteering.
The AMTA Oklahoma Chapter is looking for volunteers. Even the Chapter's Board members, I included, volunteer in these roles. Do they take time, energy, and commitment? Yes, it does, but assisting our members accomplish their goals is what it is all about. Please consider volunteering with the AMTA OK Chapter and get involved deeper in the massage therapy profession.
Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you.
Best Regards,
Tonya Sharp
AMTA OK Chapter

Tonya Sharp-President

Rocky Chen-Financial Admin

Thomas Snow-Board Member/Education Chair

Rachel Adams-Board Member/Communications Chair

Upcoming Events

Sept. 10
Nov.  5 
All these dates are a Monday and are subject to change.

Meetings start at 10 AM in the testing center of the OSBCB
Suite 84
2401 NW 23rd 
OKC, OK 73107


Nov. 1 
Dec. 20
All these dates are a Thursday and are subject to change.

Meetings start at 10 AM in the testing center of the OSBCB
2401 NW 23rd 
OKC, OK 73107

2018 CVOP Training Alumni

AMTA 75th Anniversary

AMTA President 
Joan Nichols


AMTA 2018 Convention Washington DC
The 2018 AMTA Convention was a huge success. Your Chapter President Tonya Sharp was in attendance along with fellow board member Rachel Adams, your representing delegates Mary Elizabeth Le Blanc and Tammy Dickeson as well as several Oklahoma Chapter members.

Several reasons to attend an AMTA Convention are:

1. It's a great way to meet and network with your fellow AMTA members from across the country. 
2. You can earn Hands On CE's from some of America's Top massage instructors.
3. Get energized and inspired from speakers at the opening and closing ceremonies. They share their experience and encourage you to be the best you can be.
4. You may enjoy an annual Baseball fund raiser hosted by the Massage Therapy Foundation.
5. You get the chance to explore the hosting cities main tourist attractions.
6. You get to learn how to grow your practice and learn new techniques of the trade.
The next convention is October 24-26 2019 and is in Indianapolis, Indiana.

If you haven't gone to an AMTA convention it is highly suggested that you go. 

~ AMTA-OK Chapter

A Salute to Our Dedicated Members
The AMTA-OK Board would like to recognize our chapter members that have dedicated years of service to their communities one massage at a time. Thank You!

30 Years +
LouAnn Bounds-Lawton
Trudie Davis-OKC
Loanne Tremaine-Duncan

25 Years +
Jayenita Herdman-Wagoner

20 Years +
Cynthia Ciancarelli-OKC
Wendy Sullivan-Vinita

15 Years +
Tony Brown-Claremore
Marilyn Cope-Tahlequah
Leoncio Curva Jr-Tulsa
Erik Dalton-OKC
Lori Johnson-Jasper
Kimberly Schiesel-Claremore
Jenny Sinning-Tuttle
Jeff Smoot-Elk City
Rachel Van Peursem-Bartlesville

From the Government Relations Chair
     The June Advisory Board on Massage Therapy (ABMT) meeting was canceled last minute.

     The July Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering (OSBCB) had many crossover topics. There are things that affect massage therapy due to those who work in a salon or spa setting. The item of concern for me from the OSBCB July meeting was the discussion to look at redefining 'massage therapy' in our statute. Laura Grisso informed the board and attendees that the revised rules were signed by the Governor. This is good and bad. The bad thing is that it dropped required CEs from 8/year to 5/year. The good is that the disparaging language I fought to change in the established rules of 2017 were eliminated. The new rules are now posted to the OSBCB website.

     The August ABMT meeting had two items tabled because Assistant AG Grant Moak was not present. The items concerned whether reflexology and essential oils in aroma therapy constitute massage therapy as defined in the Massage Therapy Act. This is why they are seeking to redefine 'massage therapy'. Laura Bryce is fielding too many calls from those who practice reflexology and Young's Living Rain Drop Therapy. Tonya Sharp spoke up during public comment to address the attempts to redefine 'massage therapy'. Tonya feels that we need to educate the boards and Legislators on the difference between massage therapy and those exempted modalities in the statute. We all need to understand that if the exempted individuals stay within the scope of their practice, they don't need to license. If they do massage as defined outside of the scope of their practice, they need to license. Most of the PTs and Chiropractors who do massage outside of their medical practices understood this. Other public comment concerned minutes from ABMT meeting in April. The Tulsa area massage therapists are still concerned over alcohol being served in some salons and spas. This is an ABLE commission issue not the OSBCB. They also wanted clarification on traveling massage therapists, the subject was tabled in April. They will address this in the rewrite of the language or the Rules. Laura Embleton with the abmp Government Relations Department was present. She wanted to reiterate that she is a resource to help with rules and the rewrite of the original bill SB 687. A school owner spoke up about reflexology and felt everyone involved with this was attempting to outlaw touch. They also felt that that stats I shared from Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) were a lie. Laura Grisso asked for volunteers to sit on the committees. Laura has the following committees: Legislative, Rules, Professional Conduct and Overview. She consolidated Continuing Education with Rules. It is too late to sign up for one of these committees. If you want to be more involved, then you need to be attending the OSBCB and ABMT meetings at least in the summer months.

     The Chapter was awarded a $15,000.00 LLEAD Grant amount. All necessary documentation has been completed and submitted. The Chapter will need to contribute the additional $5000.00 to pay the Lobbyists who continue to represent us for a deeply discounted fee. We won't have an active contract until January 1, 2019. The lobbyists are always keeping a watchful eye and working on our behalf all year. Some of the deadlines we need to be aware of are: December 7, 2018 - Bill Request, so if you wish to be heard contact ABMT members Laura Grisso or Theresa Schroeder, myself or another AMTA-OK board member to give your input, the first meeting for the ABMT Legislative Committee is 9/20/2018 at 3PM; January 17, 2019 - Bill Introduction; February 4, 2019 - Session Begins; and May 31, 2019 - Sine Die, which means they get signed by the Governor or die.

     I am encouraging all board members, members and those massage therapists I network with to work toward a cohesive massage coalition so we have numbers to bring about the change we need for massage therapy while supporting our governing board. We have a right to respectfully disagree with their direction if we feel it is taking us down the wrong path. I know many work in a salon or spa setting but I feel confident even in this setting most therapists align with health and wellness. Please take a proactive approach to your chosen career path. Stay informed and try to get involved with the process.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Mary Elizabeth Le Blanc
AMTA-OK Government Relations Chair