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Oklahoma Chapter Board Members Mary Elizabeth Le Blanc President Norman, OK (405) 924-2114

Debbie Billington 1st Vice President / Membership Chair Tulsa, OK (918) 760-9406

Tonya Sharp 2nd Vice President Moore, OK (405) 249-3844

India Rose Carson

AMTA Elections are now open! Remember to vote by December 1. View bios and cast your vote Âť

3rd Vice President Norman, OK (405) 223-8416

Rocky Chen Treasurer Oklahoma City, OK (405) 702-8140

Rodrick Neher Newsletter Chair / Alternate Delegate Oklahoma City, OK (405) 351-0577

Scott G. Rayburn Delegate Oklahoma City, OK (405) 408-1564

Save the Date! 2013 Chapter Meeting June 1 & 2, 2013 Education will be provided!


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Volunteer Opportunities The Oklahoma Chapter board is looking to fill the position of secretary. Any volunteers from the chapter will be considered. Please submit your inquiries to Mary Elizabeth at

Your chance to volunteer is now! The opportunity to contribute to something worthwhile with a great group of like-minded massage therapists is knocking at the door.

The following positions are open for election: • Secretary – 2 year term

To apply to run for the position Secretary, candidates must: • Be a Professional or Professional Graduate AMTA Member in good standing • Sign the Chapter Code of Conduct form. Candidates can obtain the Code of Conduct form or ask any questions by contacting Mary Elizabeth at

Check out the Top 10 Reasons to volunteer!



FALL 2012

My Life as a Sports Massage Therapist By Rocky Chen, LMT When I was in massage school, I decided that the two areas I wanted to specialize in were Sports Massage and Oriental Massage/Chinese Medicine. After talking to a few people who were Chinese Medicine doctors and acupuncturists, I realized that Sports Massage would be the better “career move”. Since I was already a runner, I had a lot of friends (i.e. “potential clients”) who were also runners. And, as a runner, I had experienced the myriad of injuries that most runners experience: ITB tightness, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, etc. This gave me a unique insight into the best methods for treating these injuries, not only for myself but for other runners. As a sports massage therapist, it’s important for me to understand what muscles and body movements are involved in the athlete’s training and competition. Marathoners normally have issues with lower body extremities (feet, calves, hamstrings). Ironman Triathletes have those same issues, but also have low back tightness, as well as tight hip flexors, due to spending many hours on their bike, in an “aero” position. Dancers/cheerleaders also have similar issues with the low back, hip flexors, and legs. Whenever I see a new client who is involved in a sport or activity that I’m very familiar with (e.g. ballet dancing, gymnastics, archery), I like to spend some time observing them during their practice as well as their competition/performance so I have a better understanding of muscles they’re using. As massage therapists, we all understand that the area of pain isn’t necessarily the CAUSE of the pain. Many times, the pain is due to a “muscle imbalance”. If we look at a body in an “anatomical neutral position”, like Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” (or “Canon of Proportions”), we’ll see that the muscles are all “at rest”. Once a set of muscles becomes shortened, say, the pec major muscles, then the muscles that perform the opposite action (in this case, the rhomboids) become overstretched. When a set of muscles stays in a shortened position for a period of time, the opposite muscles also stay in their overstretched position and can lead to pain/discomfort. I have many clients who see me for upper back pain, but very few who complain of “pec major tightness”. When I explain that the pec major tightness may be causing the rhomboids to be overstretched thus reducing blood flow & oxygen/transfer to those muscles, they realize that stretching their pec majors can help to alleviate their upper back pain. I use this analogy for other areas of muscle pain, including lower back pain. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to work with a group of professional dancers and explained to them that just a few minutes each day of stretching their hip flexors will help alleviate the majority of their back pain. Within a week, several dancers told me that the back pain that they had experienced for the last 2-3 years has now “magically” disappeared. It’s feedback like that which makes me appreciate the opportunity to work with athletes.



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Currently, I’m working with several groups of athletes in the OKC area (dancers, runners, and triathletes). Over the last few years, I’ve worked with professional athletes, NCAA Division I sports teams, and Olympic/Paralympic athletes. I’ve also had the opportunity to work at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs (CO) and as well as the Ironman Triathlons in Lake Placid (NY), Tempe (AZ), and Panama City (FL). Many of these opportunities presented themselves due to networking with other sports massage therapists, not just in my local community, but also with others around the country who share the same passion of helping athletes fulfill their potential. If you are passionate about something, the opportunities are out there . . . you just need to seek them out. One of the main advertising tools for my massage business is volunteering at various events in my community. This is one of the best ways to network, to meet new clients, and to advertise your business. The more visible you make yourself, the more opportunities will present themselves. For example, I was recently working at the Ironman Triathlon in Florida. I was wearing my volunteer shirt from the Redman Triathlon (OKC’s Iron-distance Tri) when one of the athletes said, “Oh, you were at Redman this year?” I told him I was the Massage Director for the race, and he told me he raced at the event last year and had a great time. I noticed his friend was wearing a Team USA shirt, as well as OU sweatpants and I commented to him that I had worked with a few teams from OU the last several years. He said that he trains at OU, and was recently at the London Summer Olympic Games where he competed for Team USA. I said, “Wow! Well, here’s my business card. They next time you’re in Norman and need to see a sports massage therapist, please keep me in mind.” I know many of us who are massage therapists and own our own business may not have many opportunities to go out of town to volunteer at different events, but you may want to consider volunteering at various events in your community. My philosophy is that I should give back to the community where I have my business and where my clients live. The increased visibility helps to generate interest in my business and also provides an opportunity to be a “good steward and neighbor”. Although you may not be making money at these volunteer events, you’re still advertising for your business: you’re actually spending TIME instead of MONEY to advertise, and sometimes you get more “return on investment” than you would from a print ad. And, with the current national campaign for consumers to participate in “Small Business Saturday”, the day after “Black Friday”, it’s a good time to remind people that you are a small business in the local community. In conclusion, the opportunity to work with athletes can be very exciting, whether the athlete competes at the Olympic/professional level or if they’re “just” a weekend warrior. Having a good understanding of the sport they’re competing in will help you better provide services for your athleteclient and it provides the added benefit of feeling that you contributed to their athletic achievement, as a member of their personal “Sports Medicine Team”. __ Rocky Chen is a massage therapist who works with athletes & sports teams in the OKC & Norman metro areas. In his spare time, he trains for half-marathons, duathlons, and triathlons.



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Letter from the President Mary Elizabeth Le Blanc Dear AMTA-OK Members, It has been an eventful year. I want to start with giving a big Thank You to Xerlan and Chris for being such wonderful mentors; they will be missed. I want to thank Scott Rayburn for stepping in as Interim President to help us put together the Annual Membership Meeting on time and in accordance with National Bylaws. I also want to thank our Board and those in the membership that accepted the request to help us out. Although it was a small group it was a big success. We have a full Board once again. We took care of Chapter business, i.e. approving the proposed budget, and dispensing with our standing rules, so we can start over. It is good to have additional checks and balances, but not to the exclusion of talent I know is out there. We had Kirk Nelson from Weston, MO come in and teach Events Sports Massage. He is a very engaging and talented Instructor. I would highly recommend to all to attend any CE Course he teaches. The time and expense are well worth it. I would like to know from the Membership how the Board can best serve you. I know why I value my membership with the AMTA, but I want to know how you value your membership. I would like to change your mind if the only value you see is the Liability Insurance and/or the corporate type benefits National has acquired with various companies like Massage Warehouse, T-Mobile and Vistapoint etc… It takes an active membership to create a worthwhile chapter; one person doesn’t make a team. It takes many of different ilk’s to bring about worthwhile change. I would like to believe that we all have the health and wellbeing of the consumer and the Profession as common goal. The best way to achieve this is by educating the consumer and those wishing to join the Profession of Massage Therapy. I want see our Chapter grow and provide a wide variety of educational opportunities for our members. Becoming part of the process only requires a desire and willingness to do so. I want to encourage all to contact me with ideas or concerns I wish to end with two quotes from a man who had great influence on me, President John F. Kennedy. “Ask not what your Country can do for you, but what you can do for your Country.” and “There are risks and costs to action, but they are far less then the long-range risks of comfortable inaction”. I feel strongly that both of these quotes can be easily applied to my life everyday in many ways. Yours Truly, Mary Elizabeth Le Blanc AMTA-OK President



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2012 National Convention House of Delegates Report Scott Rayburn, Oklahoma state chapter delegate For those who are not familiar with the House of Delegates (H.O.D.) process I will summarize that here. Each year position statements are submitted to A.M.T.A. national for consideration, they are reviewed by A.M.T.A. national for appropriateness, content and presentation quality. In some cases the submitter is coached by national to upgrade the content of the submission for various reasons. Typically a position statement is a suggestion for A.M.T.A. to endorse the benefits of massage therapy for a particular condition or outcome. These position statements are submitted by A.M.T.A. members. After national office review these position statements they are submitted to the House of Delegates. They are reviewed by the members of the H.O.D. before we convene at national convention. These submissions are taken very seriously for once passed by the H.O.D. these submissions, their content and research backing are supported collectively by the A.M.T.A. Some years there will be recommendations submitted as well. A recommendation is a suggestion to A.M.T.A. for a change in national bylaw procedures for various purposes. This year two were submitted. These are also passed to the H.O.D. for a vote. Recommendations passed by the H.O.D. return to national office for review and to be passed by them. But the H.O.D. recommendation to pass or fail is a strong consideration. On the other hand position statements passed by the H.O.D. are immediately in effect. Below I will present the outcomes of H.O.D.

Position statements: 1. It is the position of the A.M.T.A. that massage therapy can be effective in reducing low back pain. Passed, Oklahoma voted in favor 2. It is the position of the A.M.T.A. that creating public health initiatives which promote massage therapy for health and wellness would benefit the public. Failed, Oklahoma voted in favor 3. It is the position of the A.M.T.A. that massage therapy can be good for health. Failed, Oklahoma voted in favor 4. It is the position of the A.M.T.A. that massage therapy can help improve sleep. Passed, Oklahoma voted in favor 5. It is the position of the A.M.T.A. that massage therapy can be a beneficial part of an integrative treatment plan for those who suffer with fibromyalgia syndrome. Passed, Oklahoma voted in favor 6. It is the position of the A.M.T.A. that massage therapy can assist in the rehabilitation of burn scars. Failed, Oklahoma voted against



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Bylaw Amendment Recommendations: 1. If a delegate is unable to attend the HOD orientation or HOD business meeting due to circumstances beyond their control an alternate, according to the order of votes received in that same chapter elections, shall assume the delegate position for the HOD meetings of that session, or, upon resignation, for the remainder of the unexpired term. This changes: “In the case of resignation or any other reason a Delegate is unable to complete their entire term, an alternate, according to the order of votes received in that same chapter election, shall assume the Delegate position for the remainder of the unexpired term.” Passed, Oklahoma voted in favor 2. This is a pretty lengthy recommendation to present here so I am going to summarize. This recommendation proposes that A.M.T.A. national reimburse state chapters for school convocations (school visits to recruit new members) for up to seven school visits. Reasoningthese visits can be cost heavy for small state chapters and/or their state chapter representatives and feasible returns to the state chapter in new member chapter dues can be low to compensate these expenses internally. Passed, Oklahoma voted in favor Members are invited to view these position statements and recommendations in more detail on the A.M.T.A. national website and give your personal feedback to your state chapter delegate. So if you are interested in being involved in this process for next year’s H.O.D. process please contact your state chapter delegate. In closing; I understand that the reasoning behind some of these pass/fails can be difficult to see for someone who is not directly involved in the H.O.D. process. So I’m going to present some examples from my perspective. Position statement #1 was presented by Debra Gallup, South Carolina chapter. A similar position statement has already been accepted by A.M.T.A. so why pass this one? More current research documentation was presented to support this position so this submission re-enforces that position. Why was position statement #6 submitted by Jerry Konrad, Florida chapter failed? Many of us work on scar tissue, burn, surgical, injury, etc. And we know that the work is effective. Unfortunately in this particular submission the research data was not strong. If the A.M.T.A. is going to publicly support a position statement it needs to be well supported by research documentation. Hopefully this position statement can be resubmitted in the future with stronger research documentation and passed. Scott Rayburn 2012 Oklahoma state chapter delegate



Thank You! Thank you all for taking the time to read this newsletter. We hope to see you all at the annual meeting this year!

Best Wishes!


AMTA OK Fall 2012 Newsletter  

The Fall 2012 Newsletter for the Oklahoma Chapter of the AMTA