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Fall  2018 Newsletter
Presidents Address

Deb Kilty, RI Chapter President 

Hello Rhode Island! Summer is past us now and so is the first six months of the beginning of my presidency. This six months has been quite a ride!
The term "first hundred days" typically refers to the first hundred days of the beginning of a term of office for President of the United States, I'm well past the "first hundred days" but I'd like to share with you all what has been going on in the first six months. Bear with me there has been much happening!
Government Relations:
In the first weeks there was much going on with Government Relations in our state. The House and Senate were hearing testimony on bills (H7499 & S2537) relating to mandating health insurance coverage for non-pharmacological alternatives, such as massage therapy, to treat patients with substance-use disorders for pain management. I was able to attend both the House and Senate Committee hearings on these bills, give testimony at the Senate committee hearing and Cassie Rawcliffe and I attended Lobby Day at the State House. Both the House and Senate Committees have recommended that the bills be sent back for further study, but this doesn't mean that it's over. Cassie Rawcliffe, RI government relations chair, has been working diligently to obtain a grant from AMTA national to help in furthering this endeavor by working on the RI Statute for Licensure for massage therapists. (exciting news from Cassie later in this newsletter).
Since taking on the president's role I have been able to attend each RI State Board of Licensed Massage Therapists board meetings, these are always quite interesting. There has been discussion regarding the recent up serge in the use of CBD products in our profession (please see full article regarding the use of these and other cannabis-based products later in this newsletter), as well as discussion on improving the wording in the RI Statute for Licensure for Massage Therapists. The DOH, in cooperation with the State board has already issued a notice for public comment with proposed changes to the Massage Therapy Rules and Regulations. In contacting the DOH we were informed that no comments were received either in support of or opposition to any of the proposed changes by any LMT in Rhode Island. These changes have been promulgated and went into effect August 8, 2018. (see article from John Balletto regarding these changes)
Chapter Advancement Initiative:
The next few weeks leading up to the RI Chapter Advance (this is the planning session for the chapter board and volunteers for the upcoming year) were spent preparing with volunteer coordinators from our chapter, Joanne Lozy and Kim Medeiros, as well as Chris Voltarel and Andrew Smith from AMTA National. The Chapter Advancement Initiative is a new program designed for each chapter to receive one face-to-face or virtual training each year. Chapter leaders are worked with to develop a tailored training for their chapter. A training "playbook" is developed with pertinent information for the chapter volunteers to build action plans for the chapters to use in planning and executing activities. The goal of this new training is to help chapters understand their role, create a positive culture and model and enjoy their volunteer experience.
The RI Chapter Advance is also the annual meeting where the new (or returning) president is presented with goals that the chapter board members and volunteers (chairs and committee members) have submitted to the Advance coordinators. These goals are things that the board members, chairs and/or volunteers would like to see the current president set to be obtained within their term of office. The following are the goals that were presented to me as written: 
1)    My concern is that chapter goals will be published and that committee goals will be supporting the chapter goals. I also hope that committees will learn to report good info (data) about accomplishments or issues they are struggling with. I have not been at any chapter board meetings for some time & have not had access to any meeting minutes which are not published.   In response to this presented goal I submit that minutes from open session board meetings (once approved by the chapter board) are posted on the chapter website, this has been done for the past two years. Any interested party can access minutes from any of our board meetings if they are unable to attend personally. Open sessions of chapter board meetings are always open to the public and members are always encouraged to attend. If interested in accessing the minutes from any meeting go to the chapter website: ri.amtamassage.org scroll down to the calendar on the front page; choose any of the past meeting dates; click on the meeting date and if the minutes for that meeting have been approved by the board you can click on the link that will appear.
Example of link: 
  minutes bod meeting 10-4-2017 approved   . The filing of chapter committee reports has recently been changed. Each committee chair will be submitting a report on any happenings from their committee at each board meeting, should a committee chair be not able to attend a board meeting, a written report will be filed via email to either the secretary or president to be presented at the meeting. If there is nothing to report for a committee, just that will be entered into the minutes. My hope is that in having committee reports filed at board meetings and having them as part of the official minutes, available on our website, this will satisfy this requested goal.
2)    Strengthen our committees; Provide education throughout the year
I've taken the liberty of combining these two goals into one. Strengthening our committees; our membership committee has gained two new members; our chapter is pleased to welcome Michelle Souza and Stephanie Welsh as new membership committee members! They both bring great energy and new ideas to this committee for our members! Our chapter has gained a new Sports Massage Team Chair; Welcome Larry Gallagher! Larry has been a longtime volunteer at many (if not all!) of the chapter sports team events! Our chapter gives many thanks to Lou Ann Botsford for her long tenure as out Sports Massage Team Chair! Lou Ann gave so much of herself to volunteering for the chapter winning many awards over the years! Lou Ann officially resigned her position in June of this year, with many other activities Lou Ann decided it was time for her to hand over the torch! Kim Cook has taken up the task of interim education chair to help out our chapter in the absence of Alda Corderio. Alda is taking a sabbatical from being Education Chair for the chapter; Alda has held this position for many years and has done an amazing job but at this time; business and personal issues need her priority. Kim Cook hit the ground running finding the chapter a new workshop venue as well as contracting CPR class in September and 2 upcoming workshops this fall! (see flyers later in newsletter) This speaks to the second part of this goal. As always, the Rhode Island Chapter strives to offer the best in continuing education workshops and welcomes all suggestions for subject matter.
3)    Policy & Procedures Manuals and the Presidential Transition Package are living documents. Change them when you feel it needs to happen, however please don't delete the old information. I think pages should be dated when changed and approved.
Policy & Procedure manuals for all committees have been completed and are stored within the library of the Rhode Island chapters Constant Contact account. This makes the p&p's available to all board members and committee chairs to access when needed or to make available when a new volunteer takes over a chair position. These documents make for an easier transition for a new chair to familiarize themselves with the tasks associated with their new role and their committee. Documents can be changed and originals can be archived within this library.
4)    Continue to provide updates on what's going on at the National level; Continue to provide responses to questions at meetings with feedback from National or appropriate source.
As your new chapter president, I was able to attend the Chapter Presidents Meeting in June at the National AMTA Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois. Please see the full article later in this newsletter with all the information received at this meeting! As always if questions come up during meetings from the chapter board or volunteers that need clarification from national they will be addresses and the information shared.
In sharing these goals that were presented to me I'm hoping to show our membership that your chapter leaders are hard at work and to show that we are using every effort to be as transparent as is possible.
And last but certainly not least, I attended the National Convention in Washington DC last month. This year is the 75th anniversary of AMTA and the national convention was amazing. If you have not experienced an AMTA national convention yet I highly recommend it! The week started off with chapter volunteer orientation program (CVOP) which, in honor of the 75th anniversary, was open to any chapter volunteer that wanted to attend at no cost to the chapter. The RI chapter had 7 volunteers attend! In the following days I attended the open session of the National Board meeting, Chapter Leadership Training and my first Chapter Presidents Council meeting, were I was honored to receive my chapter presidents pin from fellow New England chapter president, Becca Torns-Barker, Connecticut chapter president and to be congratulated by our national president, Joan Nichols! Opening and closing ceremonies of the convention, as always, were amazing! The guest speakers this year included Bert Jacobs, co-founder of Life is Good and Sergeant Noah Galloway, wounded Iraq War veteran! I was so excited and honored to meet them both in person.
Of course, in between all of these larger events the chapter had four regular chapter board meetings, I attended three RI State Board of Licensed Massage Therapists board meeting, one RI chapter government relations committee meeting, one Office of the Health Insurance Commission (OHIC) meeting as well as have had numerous conference calls with various departments and committees at the national level. I've done my best to help Kim Medeiros, new chapter secretary, with the transition into her new role that I previously held and have worked with many of the committee chairs to be sure that chapter business is progressing as smoothly as possible.   Kim Cook has done a wonderful job updating the chapter website; ri.amtamassage.org; check it out! These first six months have been very busy, very challenging but also very fulfilling and so rewarding!
Again, I thank all the members that were present at the Spring Chapter Member Meeting for voting for me as your new chapter president.

      2018 National Convention AMTA's 75th Anniversary!

Claudia Botthof
Greetings from the AMTA-RI Chapter Library!

Our library offers a great resource and only a few people know about it!  
  Rent free educational DVDs, books, videos from the AMTA RI Chapter library! 
You will find a list of titles on the RI Chapter website ri.amtamassage.org or simply call for information:
Claudia Botthof, LMT
Unique Fitness & Massage Therapy
Phone: 615-2355
Text : 749-0176

               Understanding the Assembly
Kim Medeiros, Chapter Secretary, Chapter Delegate
This years' National Convention marked the first meeting of the new Assembly of Delegates (AOD). In the past, the House of Delegates would come together to vote on proposed position statements. In this new format, the delegates are being brought together for what the national office likes to refer to as a "think tank." I spent much of my time leading up to the AOD meeting on the delegate's forum, this is a space within the Volunteer Hub on the AMTA national website where the delegates from across the country can discuss the proposed ideas for the upcoming meeting. I read posts and explanations of my new role. I also read through discussions regarding the proposed position statements so that I could come to the meeting with solid thoughts to add to the in-person conversation.
The new set-up for the meeting was quite different than the previous year when I had walked in as a first-year delegate. Round tables replaced long rectangular ones, clearly the stage was set for open dialogue. Microphones were available, but it was explained that while in the past this was where the formal "for" and "against" arguments were presented, they were now for comments, questions, and points of clarification. Each table was assigned a moderator. The moderator would facilitate discussion, take notes, and make sure everyone had the opportunity to speak.
There were two proposed position statements to consider this year:
  1. It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association that massage therapy may help reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.
  2. It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that massage therapy may be beneficial for pediatric populations within the hospital setting.
It was agreed upon by the Assembly that both of these statements should be submitted to the National Board of Directors. We were then asked to prioritize the ideas for submission. This was done via paper ballot; the result was not announced at the meeting.
There was also a "discussion topic" to consider: "Massage as a component of Integrative Healthcare". This discussion topic was accepted as a position statement last year. We know this is true because other professionals have been administering massage as a component of their health care delivery.
The delegates were asked to consider this topic in light of one of the following questions:
  1. How do we make certain that massage therapists are contributing to this comprehensive approach to care?
  2. How do we as U.S. massage therapists have the knowledge and skills to contribute to optimal patient outcomes?
We were being asked to explore the concept of this topic and suggest ways for more research and data to be collected. While some delegates focused their comments on insurance, it was clear that the majority of the room saw this as an education issue. It is the hope of the Rhode Island chapter delegates that the moderators will bring the ideas of the Assembly regarding education to the National Board and that this will continue to be explored at future Assembly meetings.

RI Crisis Massage Team News
Notice to all volunteers: We have wonderful news!
The RI Crisis Massage Team has a new website. www.crisismassageri.weebly.com .
For Crisis Massage team members there is an event on October 3rd, 2018 in which we are invited to observe an actual first responder drill.Valley Falls Rail Yard. Details are on the website. Contact your team leader if you wish to attend.
If you are interested in joining our team there is an application on our website.
CMT coordinators are always available for questions.
Regina Cobb 508-954-2125
Frank Rapone 401-559-4318

In This Issue
Board of Directors:
Debbie Kilty

Regina Cobb
Board Member

Victoria Moutahir
Board Member

Kimberly Medeiros (Gregorzek)

Roy Kenji Omori
Financial Administrator
Join us in Welcoming our New members: 
Virginia Thomas                       Melynda Durrell
Sarah Shoen                           Elizabeth Hughes
Jillian Baker                             Lauren Borrelli
Rebecca Leach                       Karen L Ahola
Mason Cohen                          Isabella Roever
Nancy Whitfield                       Karon A Hartshorn
Dawn Pouliot                           Brad Kirton
Maria L. Loring                        K atelyn Ribeiro
Antonia Rivers                        Gloria Vega
Tina Joyce                              C laire Naughton
Gavin Mott                              O livia Binette
Gabrielle Rivers                       Niki Barton
Amber Almeida                        Heather Powers
Amiel Mira De Guzman          Jessica Veth
Lisa Pavelka-Jalette                Nicole LeBlanc
Aisha Faison                           John Townsend
Rafael Gomez                        Kathryn LaPre
Emily Anderson                   

Total RI Members: 528!!

And Congratulations to Christopher Adamo on receiving his 25-Year member pin at the National Convention in Washington DC from National President Joan Nichols!

Cassie Rawcliffe
Roy Kenji Omori
Financial Administrator

Jennifer Wilkicki
Membership Chairperson
Volunteer Coordinator

Claudia Botthof

Kim Cook
Interim Education Chairperson
Website Chair

Larry Gallagher
Sports Massage Chairperson

Angela Perry-Place
Twitter Administrator/Social Media Chair

Kim Gregorzek-Medeiros
Membership Committee: Senior members contact

Ellen Field
Newsletter Editor

Michelle Souza

Pat Bacchus

Upcoming Meeting Dates

All AMTA-RI Chapter Board Meetings are
open to the public.

The following is a list of dates and times of upcoming board meetings:

September 25, 2018
November 19, 2018
January 9, 2019 

Times and dates are subject to change.
Please contact our Secretary
Kimberly Medeiros  
at (860) 617-1546 or via email
at AMTA.RIsecretary@gmail.com
prior to any meeting for
confirmation on date, time and location.

Check in the next newsletter or on our website for future meeting dates.


Rhode Island Chapter Social Night!

Come join us for a fun night of networking!  
Meet up with old friends! 
Network with colleagues! Meet new therapists!
Grab a drink (soft or hard), have a bite and connect 
with new people in your field!
Rhode Island Chapter Board and Committee members 
with be there too! 
We look forward to seeing you there!

Space is limited register today so you don't miss out!

Membership Benefits

AMTA Offers the Strongest Benefits in the Profession!

From education to award-winning publications to broad liability insurance, AMTA membership gives you the tools you need to grow and thrive in the massage therapy profession.

In fact, 100 percent of your membership dues are invested back into you in the form of benefits and advocacy for the profession.

Questions? Call 1-877-905-0577 during business hours or email us.

As the largest non-profit association for massage therapists, students and schools, AMTA is celebrating our rich history while looking to the future for exciting advancements.

Share your story of how AMTA has impacted you and your massage career and you might be featured in an upcoming AMTA publication!
Share your story now >


Thankful for my service. 
Kim Cook, 2018 Chapter Meritorious Award Winner
Our Chapter is so fortunate to have the membership and volunteers that we do.  Our volunteers, from leadership to door greeters, work so hard to ensure that the our membership and community are served to the best of their ability.  Through my service to the AMTA,  I have had the good fortune of working beside many of my talented colleagues in an effort to advance our profession.  There is nothing within our Chapter that has occurred because of only 1 person.  We are a community of caring, talented and educated Massage Therapists with a common goal - to serve our members and advance our profession.   This is why I felt so honored to be the recipient of the Chapter Meritorious Award for 2018 on behalf of the Rhode Island Chapter.  I'd like to thank the Board and Awards committee for nominating me for this award.  The truth is we do it better together.  

Currently, we have 2 workshops open for registration.  "Introduction to Cupping" for 6 CE's is scheduled for 11/10 
and "PNMT for the hip" on 12/1 and "PNMT for the Leg" on 12/2 for 16 CE's Register here  
These classes can be taken together or separately.  The PNMT (Precision Neuromuscular Therapy) classes  meet a portion of the classroom/hands-on requirement for the NCBTMB/ACM  Clinical Rehabilitation Specialty Certificate.  

For more information regarding the Advanced Specialty Certificates offered through the NCBTMB for Board Certified Therapists please    click here.   

Stay tuned to your  website  for added workshops throughout the year!  I would love to know what classes or presenters that you would like to see offered in Rhode Island.  Email me at kimjcook@yahoo.com with suggestions!

Government Relations

Legislation Amendments for 2019
The Government Relations Committee has been working on multiple things throughout the summer months. Over the past few years, there have been discussions among the membership about amending the massage therapy practice act, which includes our statute, scope of practice and definitions. With a recent shift toward integrating massage therapy within the health care field, it is important that we continue to align our profession so that we are viewed as a viable therapy option for client care, a referral source for health care professionals, and for progression of the profession. For such things to take place, we need to keep elevating our professional state licensure standards, which includes amending our minimum education hour requirements from an accredited program and clearly defining what massage therapy is and differentiating it from the massage therapy profession. The proposed increase in accredited hours creates reciprocity from state to state, thereby decreasing difficulties for therapists trying to relocate. We are also looking toward state mandated insurance liability coverage at the time of licensure and renewal. There have been inquiries about this process with the Department of Health; we are currently waiting to hear back from the state. Providing proof of insurance liability coverage is to ensure protection for massage therapists as they practice. Other states such as Indiana, New Jersey,and Kansas,to name a few, have already made this change to their state's legislature. To make all these legislative changes possible, the GR committee has applied for and received a $20,000.00 LLEAD grant, which enables us to hire a lobbyist and advocate for these amendments in the next legislative session, which begins in January and extends through June 2019. Finally, a coalition is presently being formed and will be comprised of therapists throughout the state willing to be a part of amending our massage therapy practice act. If you would like to be a part of this effort, or if you have any questions regarding GR's overall goals and objectives for the upcoming legislative session, please feel free to contact Cassie Rawcliffe at GovRel.AMTARI@gmail.com . Thank you!

The Government Relations team is keeping it's eyes and ears open for anything that may impact our profession. Our National Government Relations office keeps us abreast of legislation that is happening at both the local level and across the country. If you are interested in keeping abreast of legislation regarding massage therapy locally and nationally you may do so on the American Massage Therapy Association web site. Follow this web address 
You are also welcome to contact the American Massage Therapy Association Rhode Island Chapter Government Relations team through Cassie Rawcliffe at  GovRel.AMTARI@gmail.com  

The Government Relations team is always looking for people interested in  joining the team. 
Please do not hesitate to contact Government Relations with any questions or concerns; our door is always open. 
Cassie Rawcliffe, LMT 
AMTA RI Government Relations Chairperson

How to
  Obtain A New Massage Therapy RI License Through Examiniation or Endorsement

Obtaining a license for massage therapy in the state of RI doesn't have to be a difficult process. There are many components to the application, but the Department of Health has made the clear checklist for new applicants. Whether you have recently graduated from an accredited school and passed the National MBLEx exam, or completed a comparable exam in a prior year but are looking to move your practice to Rhode Island, here are the simple steps to navigate yourself through the process:
  • Go to http://www.health.ri.gov/
  • Click on LICENSING
  • Under "What We License", click on Massage Therapists
  • Click on APPLICATION
  • Print and fill out a hard copy of the application and follow checklist on first page of the application
  • If you have just completed and passed the MBLEx, check "Massage Therapist by EXAMINATION"
  • If you have passed the MBLEx exam or comparable exam, and are looking to practicing massage in the state of RI and are coming from another state, check "Massage Therapist by ENDORSEMENT"

First Time National Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program (CVOP) Designee's Experience 
Victoria Moutahir, RI Chapter Board Member

The 2018 AMTA National Convention happened August 9-11 in Washington D.C. and what a week it was! I had the honor of attending as the RI Chapter designee and I started the week with the Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program (CVOP). This is a day and a half of motivation and group exercises meant to stimulate creative thinking and problem solving for the chapter. It was a packed scheduled with the added side effect of having fun and getting to know other AMTA members around the country.

After CVOP, the convention began and it opened with Life Is Good co-founder Bert Jacobs. Wow, was he impressive! He is a great story teller and his energy was contagious. Learning about how he and his brother took a t-shirt idea to a multi-million dollar company turned into a lessons for life...do what you enjoy...give back because you want to...make your own path. Berts' messages resonated loudly with me and some of his stories brought tears to my eyes. As I listened to him, I realized (again) how lucky I am to be practicing massage (because I love it), that I have the opportunity to mentor (because I giving my knowledge and time is what I want to do), and that I created my business to work with a community (because it was the path I created). Bert cultivated positivity and excitement during his opening speech at the convention and the energy was palpable in the room. This carried over into the vendor hall and during convention.

The continuing education offered was excellent and the instructors were top notch too. It was tough to choose only one session per time slot. The session topics ranged from business focus, teacher focus, veteran massage, cancer massage, lymphatic drainage massage, focused treatment massage, and research. I think the AMTA knew it would be tough choosing because the handouts for all sessions are available on the website (It was like I cloned myself and I was able to attend all sessions!). As a business owner and instructor, I attended sessions that were applicable to both settings and my goal was to bring back information to share. I was able to learn from Susan Salvo who wrote the book Mosby's Guide to Pathology for the Massage Therapist. She gave updated information on sanitation guidelines, documentation, case studies, and the pathologies we work with. Get her handout off of the AMTA website as it is full of good information. I also took advantage of learning from Nancy Dail. She taught techniques to work with headaches and it was hands-on work that easily translated into my regular practice. My full day of learning was in the Teachers Day- teaching with case studies. This was my favorite session because I connected with other teachers and we were able to share our experiences in the classroom. And, since the classroom is one place I love to be, it was great to realize I am not alone! I attended very different sessions but I left with an abundance of new information.

As convention came to a close, I was thinking of the new directions our profession is moving toward. One very important document that came out of this convention is the research publication Massage Therapy in Integrative Care & Pain Management. It is a two part publication about the value and efficacy of massage and the economic case for incorporating massage into the health care system. I encourage all of you to read this as it puts massage therapy on the map with research and supporting statistics as we work to be part of the healthcare system. The second important take away, for me, was the need for us as massage therapists to communicate and share ideas with one another. We are a strong, effective, and valuable group and we need to make our voices heard.

In closing, I am grateful for the opportunity to attend CVOP and the National Convention. It was an experience I will not soon forget and one that afforded me new contacts, ideas, knowledge, and perspectives. I will incorporate all of this into my business life and into the RI Chapter as a board member. This is an exciting time for our industry and I will continue to work to move it forward and I hope you will join me.

What you should know when using CBD oils in your massage therapy practice in Rhode Island

Studies showing the efficacy of CBD oil in a variety of conditions continue to flood current  medical literature as more and more jurisdictions are enacting laws legalizing the use of  medical marijuana and its derivatives. Conditions reported to have positive results from the  use of CBD include pain mitigation, anxiety, depression, MS, diabetes, PTSD, arthritis, and  inflammation to name just a few.  Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the main compounds found in the plant Cannabis sativa  (marijuana). The C. sativa species encompass a host of varieties grown for their resinous  glands and other fibrous plant parts.  There are many CBD products available in legalized compassion centers and online and they  fall into two very separate and distinct categories: Hemp CBD and Cannabis CBD. Products  made with industrial Hemp CBD (including Hemp-derived CBD oils), from the fibrous plant  parts and not the resinous plant glands, may be considered "recreational" and are legally  distributed and used in RI due to the minimal amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present.  These parts of the C. sativa plant are mostly used in the making of fibrous materials and fabric.  Cannabis-derived CBD contains a significantly higher percentage of THC, considered to be  responsible for a psychotropic (psycho-active) sense of euphoria or "high". These substances,  including Cannabis-derived CBD oil, are subject to adherence to federal and state regulation.  Generally speaking, using products with a CBD to THC ratio of 1:1 have been found to yield  the most significant therapeutic effects. 
Here are some differences in the two CBD products:
Hemp CBD
* Can be grown and lab tested outside of the US, and is not subject to US standards and  procedures;
* Requires a large amount of plant to make a very small amount of oil, increasing risk of  contamination due to substances accumulated in the hemp fibers; 
* Contain a minimal amount to terpene-a amor constituent in the efficacy of cannabinoids
* May contain additives and fixatives
Cannabis CBD
* Is grown in states with recreational or medical marijuana laws that include growing and testing standards for pathogens, insects, toxins, etc.;
* Cannabinoids are present in concentrated amounts in the plant sea small amount of plant can produce a generous quantity of oil;
* Because extraction is from the whole plant, a complete terpene profile is present in the extract.

In RI, the use of medical marijuana is governed by the Medical Marijuana Act: 
It is important to note that the use and cultivation of marijuana is legal in RI only under certain approved qualifying debilitating medical conditions. The RI statute does not alter federal statutes and regulations prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana.

As massage therapists, we may have clients that self-administer CBD oil as it is readily available in the RI marketplace as well as on a variety of internet sites. At times, clients may request their massage therapist to use of CBD oil during their sessions. Recently the question of whether or not this would be within the legally defined scope of massage therapy was presented to the RI State Board of Licensed Massage Therapists for consideration. This is a very delicate and tricky maze to navigate. RI statute (§ 23-20.8) states "..."Practice of massage" means the manual manipulation of the soft tissues of the human body through the systematic application of massage techniques including: effleurage, petrissage, compression, friction, vibration, percussion, pressure, positional holding, movement, range of motion for purposes of demonstrating muscle excursion or muscle flexibility and nonspecific stretching. The term massage includes the external application of lubricants or other topical preparations... Massage shall not include ...diagnosis of illness or disease, the prescribing of drugs, medicines...or any services or procedures for which a license to practice medicine, chiropractic, occupational therapy, physical therapy or podiatry as required by law." Simply stated, the use of Hemp CBD oils is perfectly legal in RI provided it has 0% THC. So yes, its use would be within our scope of practice as a topical preparation application. However, if the application is made with the attempt to ameliorate a medical condition, it may be considered outside of our legal scope of practice. The RI statute is unclear as to whether or not a licensed massage therapist may ameliorate medical conditions except for the situations specifically mentioned in our statute.  The application of Cannabis-derived CBD oil allowed by prescription only in RI. This makes use of any CBD oil having even a minute percentage of THC in its chemistry far more questionable as allowable under the RI Statute and it would also governed by the RI Medical Marijuana Act. It may be most appropriate before engaging in the use of any CBD oils in your practice to seek legal counsel to help understand the liabilities associated with its use and to help guide you in your decision making process. If you personally decide to use any CBD oils in your practice, the Department of Health recommends that you comply with the RI Medical Marijuana Act §21-28.6-6:

Medical Marijuana Information for Patients & Caregivers

The state's Medical Marijuana Act permits Rhode Island residents with debilitating medical  conditions to use marijuana if a physician certifies in writing that the marijuana may alleviate  their symptoms and that the potential benefits of using medical marijuana would likely  outweigh the health risks to the patient. This means that patients, caregivers, and authorized  purchasers who are registered with the Department of Health's Medical Marijuana Program  may possess a limited amount of marijuana without violating state law.   Registered patients may designate one caregiver and one authorized purchaser. Individual
caregivers may be responsible for up to five patients. Authorized purchasers can only be  associated with one patient. There is no limit to the number of patients a compassion center  may serve.

What Patients Should Do
* Check with your doctor to see if your medical condition qualifies for an application
and to see if medical marijuana makes sense for you. If it does have your doctor fill out  a Practitioner Form to allow you to apply

* Register as a Medical Marijuana Patient using the patient application form  Application forms will not be accepted via email or fax. The phone number or email  address will be used to schedule a photo identification card if your application is  approved.

* Determine if you are eligible for reduced application fee. Recipients of Medicaid,  Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Federal  Railroad Disability benefit or Veterans' Disability are eligible for reduced application fee.  rovide one of the following as proof: photocopy of your Medicaid Card (example) or  your letter or other proof that you are a recipient of SSI (example), SSDI (example) or  Veterans' Disability (example). Proof must accompany the application to be eligible for  the reduced fee. Verification of your SSI or SSDI eligibility can be obtatined at Social  Security Administration.

* Designate a Caregiver. You may designate a caregiver. Parents are [usually]  designated on behalf of children younger than 18 years old.You may also visit any of the  three (3) Rhode Island Compassion Centers without having to register.

* Designate an Authorized Purchaser.

* Keep your information up to date. Use the Patient Information Change Form if you  wish to change your registered caregivers or if you move.

* Use Medical Marijuana Responsibly. Follow your doctor's instructions on how to use  the medication and be aware that you may not share the marijuana with others for any  reason. 

* Order a replacement registration card when yours is lost or stolen. The fee for a  replacement registration card is $10 (check or money order only) and a valid RI Driver's  License or valid RI State ID must be presented. Hours for photos for replacement
registration cards are Monday through Friday from 1PM - 3PM .

What Caregivers Should Do
* Get Designated. Work with the patient to determine who is/are the most appropriate  caregiver(s). NEW PATIENT APPLICATION Note that caregiver information is always  provided by the patient. The application includes information on required background
checks and application fees for caregivers. 

* Be Responsible. Once you are designated, you are responsible to make sure the  patient gets the medication the doctor recommends and that no one else uses it. 

* What all Applicants Must Do
◦ Renew your application. The renewal application for patient, caregiver, and  authorized purchaser will be mailed to the patient 60 days prior to the expiration  of the registration.

Amendments to the Rules and Regulations governing the statute for Massage Therapists

by John Balletto, LMT
RI Lic MT-00194

By executive order in 2016, the Department of Health (DOH) was mandated to update the rules  and regulations supporting all statutes for licensed health care practices. The RI State Board  of Licensed Massage Therapists (Board) began this process at their May, 2016 quarterly  meeting and completed their recommendations in May 2017. Recommendations were  submitted to the Department of Health for internal and legal review. Once this initial process  was completed, the recommendations were announced for public review and comment. After  the period of public comment, there were significant recommendations and the Rules and
Regulations were sent back to the Board for further review and revision in November 2017.  The Board reviewed the public comments and suggested revisions and sent an updated draft  to the DOH February, 2018. After internal and legal review by the DOH, the recommended  amendments to the Rules and Regulations were sent out for public comment and review in  July 2018. After the close of the public comment period, the Amendments, as outlined in this  article, were promulgated on August 5, 2018.
A full copy of the RI General law and the Rules and Regulations for Massage Therapists is  available for viewing and downloading on the Secretary of State Website:  http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE23/23-20.8/INDEX.HTM

Here is a summary of the changes as they affect CURRENT RI licensed therapists:

1. Section10.1 creates the authority of the Board.
2. Section 10.2 creates the Incorporated Materials the Board will use in its deliberations.  These are the Code of Ethics and the            Standards of Practice set forth by the National  Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. These documents 
    were  selected because of the completeness of their content specifically covering behaviors- professional, business and ethical-        that protect the public.
3. Section 10.7 (C) and (D) clearly outlines expiration and lapsed licenses and the means an  individual needs to follow to reinstate      their license.
4. Section 10.8 outlines the process for complying with the continuing education requirement  for license renewal in conformance          with RI General Law 23-20.8-3(d)(1). The Rules and  Regulations require 6 hours of continuing education per year. Please                review the  Rules and Regulations to determine eligibility for courses that may be submitted to  meet this requirement.  Also,              please note that individual practitioners are required to keep their own record of  courses completed. You will not need to 
    submit them at the time of license renewal but will  only need to submit proof of attendance in the event of an audit of your                license or if/when a  complaint is filed or disciplinary action is warranted.
5. Section 10.9(B) establishes the use of title "massage therapist", "licensed massage  therapist", and the abbreviation "LMT" as          exclusive only to the individuals licensed  under RI General Law 23-20.8-3. No other titles or abbreviations are to be used by (RI)
    licensed practitioners or others claiming to practice massage or massage therapy.  (As a reminder, it is required by statute that          your RI License number must appear on all  business cards, pamphlets, brochures, advertisements, websites, etc.)
6. Section 10.9 (C)(D) requires all RI licensed massage therapists to comply with the code of  ethics and standards of practice              outlined in Section 10.2

For individuals submitting an application for an initial RI state license by testing or endorsement, the following changes are important to understand:

1. Section 10.5 articulates the definition of an "approved school", and outlines revisions in the  educational requirement for                    licensure in RI. These new requirements reflect current  curricular requirements to align with established standards of practice          and the eligibility  requirements to sit for the MBLEx (passing required for licensure in RI) and eliminates  outdated curricular hour      requirements and outdated course titles. Statute requires a  minimum of 500 in-class hours of education.
    Approved schools must meet one of the following requirements:
    a) Be accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education; or
    b) Be approved by Department of Education, or branch thereof, in the state in which the  school is located; or
    c) Have a curriculum that is endorsed by the Commission on Massage Therapy Education   (COMTA).
2. Section 10.6 removes the requirement for submission of a birth certificate/proof of lawful  entry into the US and a current                  photograph. The removal of this requirement was  mandated by the DOH for any and all license applications, not just massage        therapy.
3. Section 10.4 clarifies individuals exempt from licensing requirements under RI General Law  23-20.8-3.

Should you have any questions on the RI General Law or the Rules and Regulations for  Massage Therapists, do not hesitate to contact Alana Rodriguez, Board Manager (Alana. rodriguez@health.ri.gov) or me (johnballetto@me.com).

On behalf of the Board, thank you for the privilege and opportunity to serve the massage  therapy profession in this way.

Respectfully submitted,
John Balletto, LMT 
Chair, RI State Board of Licensed Massage Therapists

Highlights from Chapter Presidents Meeting June 2018
Deb Kilty, Chapter President
AMTA Strategic Plan  
4-year plan launched in March of 2014
Member Experience
Goal : AMTA members receive and potential members discover the rewards of AMTA membership.
Objective: To increase awareness among members and potential members of the value of AMTA membership.  
Membership is at the highest level in history! As of the June meeting there were 83,699 amta members across 51 chapters . 12% increase in one year!    And the value of the volunteer experience increased by 72% of those answering surveys.
Professional Competency
Goal : Support high standards in massage therapy education.
Objective: Expand massage therapy education that elevates the professional competency of our members.
AMTA now offers 70+ online continuing education courses.  The last three national conventions have had the highest attendance ever.  The AMTA Anatomy guide app & exam prep study app are available free to anyone not just AMTA members.
Image and Awareness
Goal : Consumers prefer massage therapy from AMTA members.
Objective : Increase consumer preference for massage therapy provided by an AMTA member.
First 13 weeks of the Radio campaign by AMTA this year saw an increase in hits to the "find a massage therapist" section of the national AMTA website by 175% and an increase in hits to the "find a massage school" section by 338%!
Goal : AMTA members are aware of the importance of scientific research to the massage therapy industry.
Objective : Increase the opportunities for members to access massage therapy scientific research through AMTA sources.
The Research tab on the amta website is full of research studies! Use this link to check out the latest in research; https://www.amtamassage.org/research
Government Relations
Goal : AMTA works for effective licensing both to ensure the right to practice of massage therapists and to protect the public.
Objective : To establish portability of massage practice throughout the United States and its territories.
The National Government Relations Operating Committee (GROC) has finished a book entitled: Massage Therapy in Integrative Care& Pain Management regarding the research on the savings to the healthcare industry of massage vs. opioid addition. The savings is based on the pain/addition/rehab costs vs having alternative non-pharmacological pain management solutions will save the industry $25.99 billion. You can access this book and download for free with this link: https://www.amtamassage.org/career_guidance
Currently there are 4 states with no licensure for massage therapists; 8 states with regulations, but not all of the "must haves"; 37 states plus DC with licensure that comply with "must haves."
There are three state chapters currently engaged in legislative or regulatory activity in non-licensed states; 1 non-licensed state has legislation introduced (Kansas) and  36 chapters are currently engaged in legislative or regulatory activity. (24 more than 2017 at this time).          Use this link to read more about the National AMTA Government relations overview:                                            
2017 Highlights for the AMTA GROC:
Tracked and Monitored Over 800 Pieces of Legislation, Regulation or Ordinances That Were Related to Or Impacted the Practice of Massage Therapy
18 Engagements Sent with 13,550 Total Actions
Successfully Worked with Chapters and/or Our Partner Organizations to Defeat, or Amend, 12 Pieces of Legislation that Would Have Had a Negative Impact on the Practice of Massage Therapy - (deregulation, sales tax)
Attended 17 State Regulatory Board Meetings to Continue to Create A More Collaborative Environment Between All Stakeholder Groups in The Industry
Indiana Became the 45th State to Require a License to Practice Massage Therapy
2018 Efforts for the AMTA GROC:
New bill tracking services (Leg. and Reg.)
Improvements to the LLEAD grant application process
Work with our chapters, industry partners and other stakeholder group to develop and introduce language within the MT practice acts that creates an environment of consistency across all states - portability!
Update grassroots advocacy training materials for chapters/members to better support state efforts and encourage a more collaborative environment
Continue to fight for AMTA members right to practice
Industry Relationships:
AMTA continues to engage in relationships with organizations that address issues of reimbursement, oversight, healthcare legislation and education of medical professionals that affect massage.
AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians)
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
Academy of Integrative Pain Management (AIPM)
Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH) (Formerly ACCAHC)
Various Private Payors (Health Insurance) Nationally
Pain Care Forum
Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE)
American Medical Association Current Procedural Technology and Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee (AMA CPT HCPAC)
Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA)
Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM)
Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB)
Individual State Boards
Federation of Therapeutic Massage, Bodywork and Somatic Practice Organizations (FedMBS)
International Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC)
National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCTMB)
International Congress on Integrative Medicine & Health (ICIMH)
Coalition for Patients' Rights
2017 Highlights within Industry Relationships:
Hosted A Representative from The FDA To Discuss the Role of Massage Therapy as A Non-Pharmacologic Therapy as It Relates to Pain Management - Specifically Addressing the National Opioid Crisis
Staff Attended A Round-Table Discussion, At NIH Headquarters, on pain management and pain research as it relates to the Opioid Crisis (NIH, FDA, CDC, DOD/VA, CMS and HHS)
Initiated A Third-Party Reimbursement Strategy
Initiated A Federal Policy/Advocacy Strategy
We Sent A Volunteer to The First Ever Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress (Over 60 HC Associations, Federal Agencies, Hospital Systems, Private Payors and Professional and Patient Advocacy Groups in Attendance)
2018 Efforts within Industry Relationships:
Update the "Value & Efficacy of Massage in Integrative Care" handbook; see link above.
Continue to develop new and existing collaborative relationships within medical communities in order to increase awareness of the benefits of massage therapy for integration into heath care systems.
Work with our industry partners and stakeholder groups to build up evidence and resources supporting the role of massage therapy as a value based non-pharmacologic therapy as it relates to pain management and addressing the national opioid crisis.
Increase collaboration between AMTA, its members and other health care and wellness industry leaders.
In collaboration with internal (staff) and external groups develop printed and online materials (educational and informational) for members around issues of third-party reimbursement and the business of billing.
Build on FY 17/18 efforts to advance conversations and opportunities for third party reimbursement for Massage Therapy.
Develop printed and online materials (educational and informational) as well as in-person trainings for Massage Therapists already billing to support the changes in coding and professional recognition.
Bring recommendations to board for approval and/or next steps.
You can see the full strategic plan listing all goals and objectives on the amta website


         Nationals and CVOP: Dreams into Reality
Written by Stephanie Welsh and Michelle Souza, membership committee 

    When we started our massage journeys; 12 and 6 years ago respectively, we both had a career goal to accomplish, make it to an AMTA National Convention. Along the way we individually had some bumps that prevented that from happening, but we were determined. Enter Massage Envy Providence; where our paths eventually crossed. It was a professional connection that would create the platform to our first National Convention.
    Since it was AMTA's 75th anniversary we were granted the opportunity to attend CVOP; Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program. First thing Monday morning we were itching with anticipation; the excitement was written on faces. Luckily, we were greeted with the same enthusiasm from other chapter volunteers across the country as well as our fellow Rhode Islanders! It was a breath of fresh air to have the opportunity to discuss membership strategies, personality barriers, and even do some dancing with previous national presidents and current directors! We came back to the hotel with an enlightened sense of purpose; we must come back to RI and put this into action. CVOP was an amazing two days of networking that proved to be priceless, we made friends with other volunteers from Alaska, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Maryland, and so many more. That was just Monday and Tuesday.
    Then, it was Thursday morning; we had so many emotions; excitement, anxiety, happiness, and just pure joy it was hard to sleep that night. We got our Dunkin' Donuts, because, well we are still from RI right?! Anyways, it was opening session with a riveting speech from our current AMTA president, followed by so many inspiring awards for AMTA members that put a tear in our eyes and standing ovations many times over. Bert Jacobs was the highlight of our morning; his motivational autobiographical story of how Life Is Good came to fruition was absolutely awe inspiring. It was the perfect jump-start to the dream we had been waiting for all this time.
    The next two days were a blur. We took 5 classes; Blissful Business, Fibromyalgia, Massage and Military Veterans, Lymphatic Drainage, and Balance/Postural Stability. Each class brought new information, intriguing life experiences, as well as the ability to interact with our professional counterparts throughout the country. We can honestly say it was well worth waiting for. It lit a spark; we now have a new goal to make it to Nationals in 2020; which will be in Arizona. We were immediately hooked.
    At the end of our journey, sitting in the airport, we reflected on the week before. All the incredible, beautiful people we met, the comradery of CVOP, the motivation from Bert Jacobs, and above all the lifelong bond we created was the most gratifying experiences for the both of us. If you are reading this wondering if you should attend a National Convention; do not hesitate. Start researching those flights to Indianapolis (Nationals will be there in 2019), put those pennies in a jar, save all your tips, and don't look back. It was worth it. The last piece of advice we would give is; find a colleague to go with you. You will both learn about each other, experience the convention together, meet many new friends, and it will just make your bond so much stronger.
    We saw each other for the first time two weeks after the convention; without skipping a beat we both uttered the same word to describe how we felt about the whole week in Washington, DC; it was s imple, grateful.
Che Che Coolay!


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or email info@amtamassage.org

For Sale
"bodyCushion2" package - $300
  • 3-piece cushions (face cradle, upper body support, pelvic support)
  • 2 split leg supports
  • 2 arm rests
  • 1 cotton cover set for face cradle, arm rests, and leg supports
My reason for selling: This bodyCushion is almost new. I used it for one day (3 clients) but realized that it just doesn't fit my particular style of massage. In general though, the bodyCushion is very versatile. My own massage therapist has used the bodyCushion for years and swears by it. Other LMTs have said that it's great for everything, including sports massage and prenatal massage. Another told me that it's perfect in a nursing home setting because she can place the upper body supports on a chair for clients who can't tolerate a table massage. If you want to check out more info on this system, you can go to www.bodysupport.com.
If you're interested in buying my bodyCushion, please contact me, Carole Costanza, at c2sea@verizon.net or at 401-741-7218. Thanks!

Employment Opportunity
Unique Fitness & Massage Therapy needs a part-time or full-time, professional massage therapist to assist us with our increasingly busy practice. We specialize in relieving tension and pain for athletes and the general population. 
Experience is a plus! 
Email your resume to  info@uniquefitnessLLC.com

A View of the New Assembly of Delegates from the Eyes of a Seasoned House of Delegates Representative
Pat Bachus, AOD Delegate

    The AMTA Assembly of Delegates (AOD) meeting took place in Washington DC on Wednesday, August 8, 2018. Each state is represented by two or more delegates depending on size. Rhode Island is considered a medium size chapter therefore our chapter elects and sends two delegates.
    A new approach has been presented to the assembly of delegates to help facilitate a more involved-response; it is set up in such a way that once the position statements are presented there is a 15-minute round table small group discussion.
In the past the delegates would respond based on the feedback that they received from the members of the their state . This new approach helps to clear out some of the sacred cows and open up new ways to look at issues. After the table discussion the position statement is open to a 20-minute floor discussion which once again presents different aspects of the situation both for and against the viability of the position statement. It is a remarkable tool in helping one see beyond the limited experience on the subject. After this, the statement goes to a voice vote, we no longer use electronic voting. If the AOD moderator is unable to determine by voice count then the delegates will mark a paper ballot which is collected and tabulated or all delegates voting will stand to be counted. A 2/3 majority is needed to pass in the assembly.
If the recommendation passes then it goes to the national board of directors for further research and study.
Topics for discussion and approval were:
1. American Massage Therapy Associations' position is that massage therapy may help reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.
2. American Massage Therapy Associations' position is that massage therapy may be helpful for the pediatric population within the hospital setting
Both of these positions were approved and will now be passed on to the national board for review.

Proposed discussion topic
Massage and integrative health care;
  1. That massage therapy is a component of integrated healthcare was accepted last year. The question now is; how do we make certain that massage therapist are contributing to this comprehensive approach to care? This discussion covered the growth of Massage in the Healthcare field with an increase in employment of massage therapist by 23% in 2017
  2. It is believed that 43% of american massage consumers got there last massage for medical or health reasons. This is down from 50% in 2016. Consumers 55 and older increased their use of massage for medical and health reasons. 59% of the consumers age 55 to 64 got their last massage for medical reasons.
  3. General impression of the research is that increased education in the medical field is apparent and essential for growth and safety of all concerned.
Thank you for this opportunity to serve the RI chapter and its members. 
Pat Bachus, Delegate

The AMTA-RI and the editor reserve the right to edit and/or refuse any submitted article or advertisement, and assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, corrections or modifications in publication.

Neither AMTA-RI nor the AMTA-RI Newsletter guarantees, warrants or endorses any product, service, "Letter to the Editor," or referral advertised herein, nor do they express any opinion in regard to the legality of the use of any product
advertised herein in connection with the practice of massage therapy.

Subscriptions to the AMTA -RI Newsletter are free to AMTA-RI members and $20/yr for non-members. The editor welcomes any and all contributions pertinent to massage therapy and will respond to any suggestions to this publication.


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