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Washington DC Chapter
In This Issue
Next Meeting
Join us for the next Chapter Board Meeting
Tuesday, June 10
10 am - 12 pm


The meeting will be held at Mt. Pleasant Massage Therapy, centrally located at 1749 Irving St. NW. Accessible by metro, bus, and CapBikeShare with ample street parking. For directions, click here.


Leadership Volunteering
Can you spare 1 hour a week? We need your talents for chapter committees.



Work with a great group of people to get the word out about issues and events affecting DC-area MTs. Contribute 1 hour a week and learn marketing and social media skills.


Continuing Education: We are committed to providing quality CEs for our members. What classes do you want? How much do you want to pay for them? Contribute 1 hour a week to create CE opportunities for our chapter members.


Legislative: Keep an eye on how DC government regulates our profession and give voice to our concerns with the Council. Advocacy support is crucial for massage therapy to flourish.



In October we celebrate National Massage Therapy Awareness Week. Help plan a fun, exciting and informative event by joining this committee. Last year's "Flash Massage" at Farragut Square was a great success -- see the YouTube video here. This year we want your creative ideas for NMTAW! 





DC Chapter Leadership
Melissa Martinie Hall

Jaime Bernardo

Cary Bland
Second Vice-president

Jessica LaGarde
Third Vice-president

Annie Roberts

Elizabeth Shrader

In the May issue of the AMTA-DC Chapter newsletter we're featuring "VOLUNTEERISM" and the many ways that you can offer your immense talent and perhaps get back more than you give. There are many ways you can volunteer:

Event (or "episodic") Volunteering -- massaging at a single event, often in support of a fundraising cause, such as walkathons, marathons, and bike races. A great way to practice sports massage techniques, network with other bodyworkers, and benefit from racers' positive energy.

Community Volunteering -- massaging at a community space or for a particular population in the community, such as hospice staff, cancer patients and caregivers, or homeless shelter residents. A great way to work on different populations and hone skills in stress relief and pain management, and useful for promoting your services.

Leadership Volunteering -- providing your wisdom, insight and talents to guide the AMTA DC Chapter or other organization in pursuit of its nonprofit mission. A great way to balance the physicality of massage while staying connected to the profession.

Voluntourism -- enhancing your overseas travel experience by including massage services in a community setting.  Often a business expense related to professional development, voluntourism offers an incredible opportunity to engage with local communities on a whole new level beyond the tour bus.

How do you volunteer? Why do you volunteer?  Go to our Facebook page and tell us about your experiences and the impact it's made on you and on your community.

From Our President
Melissa Hall  DC Chapter President
Can we replace the word "volunteer" with something else?
It seems like everyone runs for the hills, groans and avoids phone calls and emails when that word comes up.  The sticking point with the word "volunteer" comes from its definition: "Unpaid; without pay; doing something undesirable."

Well, yuck, of course it's not appealing.

I personally prefer collaborate: "To work with another/others to achieve something."

  • Would you like to collaborate on this project with us? 
  • Would you like to collaborate on the regulations that affect your profession? 
  • Would you like to collaborate to bring quality and affordable continuing education to DC?

You could also use "partner", "pool resources", "work for the greater good"...What word/phrase would YOU use? I've been an AMTA volunteer for over 10 years.  Am I paid? No. 

But I have been...

  • reimbursed for expenses, supplies, and mileage.
  • subsidized to attend AMTA's National Convention and continuing education opportunities.
  • the beneficiary of free training to be a better board member.
  • offered free training to improve my communication skills.
  • honored to collaborate with the BEST and BRIGHTEST in our profession from around the country.
  • given resources that I could NEVER access or afford on my own.
  • exposed to research, education, and business opportunities locally, nationally and internationally.

Because I volunteer, my professional, personal and business relationships have all improved.  I have skills, strategic abilities and resources that I use every day.  All of THAT is invaluable.  There is no college course, mentor relationship, or networking group that can give you all of that.  For free.  


You want some of this?  Come get it.  It's all available to you.


   Step forward.

      Speak up.

         Show up.



Bring what you have to the table: skills, talents, past and current career experiences, hobbies, passions, connections.


We will find a place for you so you can reap the benefits, too.


     Looking forward to collaborating with you,


Event Volunteering
Massage therapy teams are a big draw and fundraising boon for athletic events.
Jaime Bernardo organizes teams for Avon Walk and 
Marine Corps Marathon.
Volunteering even once a year can be rewarding. Our DC-metro region offers many opportunities, including the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, Best Buddies Challenge, and the Marine Corps Marathon.
"Event volunteering can reap you tremendous benefits as a practitioner," says Jaime Bernardo, who organizes volunteer massage teams for Avon Walk, Marine Corps Marathon and other regional events. "You gain a lot by opening and expanding your heart and contributing lovingly to your community, to a cause or to a group of deserving folks who have little to no access to massage. You get to work alongside other passionate therapists who can teach you and learn from you in a unique environment. Your collective efforts add considerable value to fundraising for the recipient organizations."  According to Bernardo, The Fisher House saw a marked increase in registered MCM runners when they introduced the massage tent, which translated into an additional $100,000 raised to support wounded vets and their families.

"What could be your greatest reward as a LMT, however, is how providing massage therapy as a volunteer enriches the quality of the work you pass onto your paying clients. It can also provide a unique balance to your practice that no amount of CEs can offer, because the experience cuts through all the baggage of considering value of work through your income stream and managing/maintaining a sometimes demanding and fickle client base. It can remind you to be present in the brief moments you are with your clients. They can offer you sincere gratitude for the incredible gift you just gave them and thank you for your service."

Volunteer massage team at Marine Corps Marathon.

May 26
Ride to Recovery Volunteer Opportunity

June 10, 10 am-12 pm
AMTA DC Chapter
Board Meeting

July 17, 1:30 pm
DC Massage Therapy Licensing Board
Public Meeting
899 N.Capitol St.NE 
2nd Floor

Sept 8, 10 am-12 pm
AMTA DC Chapter
Board Meeting

Sept 13 & 14
Ride to Conquer Cancer Volunteer Opportunity

Sept 17-20
AMTA National Convention
Denver, CO
Keynote speaker: Dr Oz!!!
Sept 28 6:30-8:30pm
AMTA DC Chapter Quarterly Meeting


Oct 18
Best Buddies Walk
Volunteer Opportunity
Oct 19-25
National Massage Therapy Awareness Week 2014 (NMTAW)
Oct 26
Marine Corps Marathon
Volunteer Opportunity
in Peru
Massage therapists living and learning at the Healing House in Cusco.


"You'll be working at Casa Mantay, teaching infant massage to the young moms living there," says Niki Coate, co-founder and director of Healing House. I'm thrilled, but nervous.  It's been years since I've taught in Spanish and I wasn't sure how I'd feel working with teen moms as young as 12 years old. Would it be depressing? Would I make myself understood? Would it be worthwhile?


It's March 2014 and I've come to Peru with 12 other massage therapists for a two-week stay in the Sacred Valley.  We're combining tours of Machu Picchu, Oyotambo, Pisac, Cusco and elsewhere with volunteer shifts during the community wellness days at Healing House. Self-care is a key component, too, and we replenish ourselves through acupuncture, yoga, and massage.


Our AMTA-DC Chapter is well-represented by past and current members. Marissa Gandelman is the trip's organizer; with us are Bree R, Sunny Shaw, Clyde Anderson, and Michelle Brummit. In spirit are last year's DC "voluntourists" Rebecca Carle, Becky Wilkinson and Becca Menso, who all assured me that it would be "the trip of a lifetime!"


And they were right. We climbed Wayna Picchu and saw the Inca Trail. On community wellness day we massaged 75 locals and got paid in bananas, oranges and smiles. I showed 13 new moms how to massage their babies ages 5 days to 18 months old.  And I taught infant massage instruction to four Cusco-based MTs so they can carry on the work at Casa Mantay after I'm gone.


Mostly, we got to reconnect with a part of our work that sometimes gets lost in the hustle for clients and income. 

Another Peru trip is planned for March 2015. Isn't it time you discovered a whole new way to engage as a massage therapist?


Elizabeth Shrader, emerging at the peak of Wayna Picchu



save the date!
save the date!  keynote speaker: Dr Oz!

AMTA DC Chapter | | [email protected]| 1731 Harvard St. NW
Washington, DC 20009

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