Position Statements ready to review

Each year the Assembly of Delegates  gathers at the National Convention to deliberate on Position Statements before they are adopted by the Association and presented to the public and its chapters for use. Please read the 2 short statements below and go HERE to take the survey. You should have received an emailed version too.

Statement #1 of 2
Submitted by: Rachel Mann-North Carolina Chapter Delegate
Date Submitted:May 2, 2018

Proposed Position Statement

It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association that massage therapy may help reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.

Summary Rationale

Arthritis is acute or chronic inflammation of one or more joints, usually accompanied by pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is generally considered wear and tear of the joints. It involves the breakdown of the cartilage within the joint causing it to become stiff and more susceptible to damage. When there is significant enough wear of the cartilage joint replacement is often indicated. Osteoarthritis is more often found in weight bearing joints like the knees and hips but can occur anywhere. Those most likely to develop osteoarthritis of the knee are athletes playing high impact sports such as soccer, tennis or football and people who work on their knees such as carpet layers. Other contributing factors include age, obesity, injuries and family history.

Osteoarthritis affects approximately 27 million Americans. It is anticipated that by 2020 more than 50 million Americans will have osteoarthritis and that the cost to health care will be over 60 billion dollars.

Massage therapy has been shown to be helpful with many musculoskeletal conditions. Studies show that it increases local circulation to joints, improves muscle tone around a joint, enhances flexibility and reduces pain. Recent studies conducted for NCCIH(National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)and using between 85-222 adults with osteoarthritis determined that with 8 weeks of Swedish massage one hour per week, participants showed significant redactors in pain and improvements in mobility.

As osteoarthritis is on the rise, it is important for massage therapists to consider tis condition when networking with health care providers and as they attempt to address client needs. The AMTA currently references the benefits of massage therapy for osteoarthritis in MTJ Winter 2017, in the client handout: Massge Therapy + Osteoarthritis of the Knee and in the on-line continuing education course Massge Therapy for Osteoarthritis.

Having a document like an AMTA position statement that clearly lists the supporting research and results of the research will further provide massage therapists the information they need. This will be beneficial as they discuss the role of massage therapy with physicians, physical clearly discuss and market the benefits of therapeutic massage to current and potential clients. There is ample current research to support such a statement.


Statement 2 of 2. 
Submitted by: Hailey Strampel and Deborah Hatch-Colorado Chapter

Date Submitted: May 11, 2018

Proposed Positon Statement:

It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that massage therapy may be beneficial for pediatric populations within the hospital setting.

Summary Rationale

AMTA has done a wonderful job identifying many populations that may benefit from massage. One major demographic group is conspicuous in its absence is the pediatrics. This group is typically identified as between 1 and 18 years of age. Although in situations involving childhood diseases (i.e. juvenile arthritis, cystic fibrosis, etc.) pediatric treatment protocols may extend into the client’s 20’s and 30’s.

Pediatric populations with chronic conditions and complex medical needs often develop fear and anxiety surrounding
their medical care–and they must cope with a variety of stressors, symptoms and side effects related to their illness and treatment. Facilitating healthy touch experiences within the medical system can help restore trust and teach children how to effectively express their needs, while improving the outcomes for pediatric patients.

The postion statement aligns with the AMTA Core Value “We affirm and promote the benefits of massage therapy as validated by research.”

There is a growing body of research to support the benefits of massage for pediatric patients in physical, emotional and social aspects.

Aligns with the following vision statements and strategic objective

  • “Massage Therapy is a vital component of health care and wellness.” The use of massage therapy for easing chronic symptoms may prevent unnecessary medical treatments and lessen use of pharmaceuticals
  • “Ouality research is the foundation for evidence-informed massage therapy education and practice.” Data collected has demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of access to complementary and integrative therapies, noting the economic favorability of those therapies compared to standard medical care alone. Studies have also shown that those therapies have an increasing value to patients with complex health needs
  • “Increase understanding of the benefits of massage therapy through education of the health care and wellness industry.” Hospitals and their staff realize that often patients who have access to both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic strategies have improved outcomes