History of AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) 1980-present.

1982 – Council of Schools, Founded in 1982, was an independent forum for massage therapy school owners, administrators, and faculty to communicate. While independent, the council worked closely with the AMTA, as it was the largest massage association of that time. And in 1999, the COS made the choice to officially become the AMTA Council of Schools with hopes to expand and become more effective for the massage profession as a whole.

1990 – AMTA creates National Massage Therapy Awareness Week™ (NMTAW)

1990 – AMTA creates the Massage Therapy Foundation which was first called the AMTA Foundation – http://www.amtafoundation.org/ (archive.org link)

AMTA Membership March 1990 – 12,000

1992 – AMTA creates COMTA – The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation

1994 – In 1994 COMTA became an independent affiliate of AMTA, operating separately and under its own mission, policies and procedures. In 2004 COMTA became a completely independent organization. COMTA’s Commissioners are an elected body of volunteers who make final decisions regarding COMTA standards, policies, and the granting of accreditation to schools and programs that apply for accreditation.

1997 The first AMTA National Massage Therapy Awareness Week took place in 1997 www.archive.org

1999- In 1999 an independent council of schools, which long had a relationship with AMTA, decided to become part of AMTA and the AMTA Council of Schools. Currently, there are some 480 School members of AMTA

1999 – (Oct Press Release)

AMTA Membership Passes 40,000 San Antonio, TX — The largest and oldest professional association of massage therapists, the American Massage Therapy Association, announced today at its National Convention that its membership has officially passed 40,000. 

“This is an exciting occasion to celebrate at our national convention”, said Adela Basayne, AMTA President.  “The growth of our association in the last few years has paralleled the rapid acceptance of massage by the public.  We are delighted that the public is learning the value of massage and that qualified massage therapists recognize the benefits of being part of AMTA.”

AMTA’s membership has more than doubled since 1994 and now has members in 30 countries.  In 1990, membership was approximately 12,000. 

The association, started in Chicago in 1943, includes professional massage therapists, students enrolled in recognized, 500-hour minimum massage schools, qualifying massage schools, and organizations and individuals who support the association’s efforts.  AMTA’s mission is to develop the art, science and practice of massage therapy in a caring, professional and ethical manner in order to promote the health and welfare of humanity.

All AMTA Professional members have demonstrated a level of skill and knowledge through education and/or testing.  New Professional members must be graduates of training programs accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA); be graduates of AMTA Council of Schools member-schools; be Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork; or have a current AMTA-accepted city, state or provincial license.  AMTA has a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for its members.

The association also helps consumers, medical professionals and personal care services find qualified, professional massage therapists nationwide, through its Find A Massage TherapistSM national locator service.  The free national locator service is available via AMTA’s Web site at www.amtamassage.org and toll-free at 888-843-2682 [888-THE-AMTA]. AMTA Archive.org

2000 – AMTA Consumer Survey Fact Sheet

Approximately 20 percent of Americans continue to say that the primary reason they don’t get a regular massage is that they are too busy. This figure has varied little since 1997, with 20 percent giving this reason this year, 21 percent in 1999, 18 percent in 1998, and 24 percent in 1997. People understand its benefits, but say they are too busy to take the time to get a regular massage.

Almost one third of adults (29 percent) say that medical reasons would motivate them to get a massage. [Some medical reasons include: muscle soreness/stiffness/spasm (10 percent); to reduce pain (6 percent); for injury recovery and rehab (4 percent); for wellness and prevention (2 percent); greater joint flexibility or range of motion (2 percent); or because of a medical prescription or physician recommendation (2 percent).]

Twenty percent report that they would seek therapeutic massage for relaxation and 10 percent say they would seek massage for stress reduction.

Membership March 2002 – 46,000

2002 – AMTA publishes the Business of Massage Book

2002 – Article in Parade magazine October 13 issue of Parade magazine

Sept 4 2004 – AMTA Foundation changes it’s name to the Massage Therapy Foundation.

2009 – AMTA provided more than $500,000 to support research and the work of the MTF and more than $4 million from 2000 through 2009.

2009 – In late January at the Council of Schools annual meeting and leadership conference, COS members expressed a desire to retain independence from the AMTA, stating concerns of member schools being underserved and council members as ineffective under the AMTA control. In that meeting, a motion was made to establish the COS as an independent nonprofit organization. The motion made by council member Iris Burman was adopted by a majority vote of the member schools. News Brief: AMTA Board of Directors Disbands Council of Schools By Editorial Staff Massage Today 9/23/2009

2009 – AMTA announces the end of the Council of Schools. to make way for the Alliance of Massage Therapy Educators

According to alliance Executive Director Rick Rosen, the birth of the new group occurred only after six months had elapsed since the Council of Schools adopted a motion to begin separating from the AMTA and to reform as “an independent and autonomous non-profit organization.” With no action taken on the part of the council, education leaders took matters into their own hands and launched the alliance, he said

2009 – Alliance for Massage Therapy Education created. AFMTE is an independent educational organization comprised of a six-member leadership team including Iris Burman, Su Bibik, Stan Dawson, Eugenie Newton, Rick Rosen and Pete Whitridge