Home   |   Print Page
Site Search
Hands of Time: WA Chapter's History
Share |

Hands of Time

AMTA WA Chapter Milestones 1947-2013








  • AMTA founded in Washington State by Ruth and Jesse Williams of Tri-Cities, Washington.


  •  Washington State had three massage schools: Atomic School of Massage in Tri-Cities, Broadmoor in Seattle and one school in Spokane.
  •  Washington State required passage of State Massage Exam to practice. Ruth Williams was among the first to be licensed; also Heida Brenneke, Cheryl Hockett, Susan Rosen, William Prelle, Daisy and Cohen Kallop, Lucy and Fred Baker, Richard Butt.
  • Washington State began approving massage schools (1988).LMPs began working with auto injury claims.

  • Uniform Disciplinary Act (UDA) defines and governs all providers in WA State. LMPs were included for the first time, which gave us status as healthcare providers.  Because of this action, Labor and Industries opened up to us in July the following year.(1984) LMPs began working with L&I.

  • More massage schools opened: Brenneke School of Massage, Acadia, Spectrum Center School of Massage, Alexandar's School of Natural Therapeutics, Fairhaven and Brian Utting School of Massage.LMPs began doing Labor and Industry injured worker claims.

  • LMPs began doing auto injury insurance treatments.

  • Washington Sports Massage Team Officially Started (1987).
  •  State Standards for Massage Education set at 500 hours.
  • Sales tax added to LMP fees. LMPs organized protest and win. (Entered the era of "Healthcare Provider")
  • NCBTMB (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork) formed.
  •  Health Care Reform Act Passed
  •  First MERT Deployment: Inaugural Day Windstorm.
  •  Chapter contracted with lobbyist Melanie Stewart.
  •  State dropped practical exam, adopted National Certification Exam.
  •  "Every Category of Provider" law passed - giving individuals the right to choose the provider they will see for a covered condition as long as it is within a healthcare provider's scope of practice.
  •  Atlanta Olympic/Paralympic Games - First time that sports massage was included as a member of medical service for the games by a local organizer.
  •  Chapter contracted with management consultant David Matteson.
  •  Health Care Reform is declared constitutionally legal all the way to the Supreme Court in San Francisco.
  •  Eisenburg Study on low back pain with Dan Cherkin at the Center for Health Studies began.
  •  Somatic Practitioners were exempted in RCW.
  •  National Sports Massage Team dissolved.
  •  AMTA-WA Chapter membership at 2,200.
  •  Chapter hired administrative director Cathy Olson.
  •  AMTA-WA participated in the Clinicians' Workgroup on the Integration of CAM (CWIC) with Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn from 1998-2000. The workgroup existed fro three full years addressing myths, fears and coverage issues from service that were not understood by insurers. The relationships developed through that workgroup are still supporting the CAM professions today.
  • Unit policies developed.
  •  Chapter website launched.
  •  Insurance Committee became the Health Care Integration Committee.
  •  Animal Massage Endorsement.
  •  Chapter contracted with Rial Marketing Communications to produce the Washington Massage Journal member publication.
  •  White House Commission Town Hall Meeting in Seattle (AMTA-WA testimony).
  •  Northwest Integrated Health Care 2000 - King County; AMTA-WA participated.
  •  MERT-WA was established.
  •  9/11
  •  Contracted with bookkeeper Gloria Major.
  •  Eisenburg Study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMMA).
  •  Salt Lake City Olympic/Paralympic Games - Sports massage was again recognized as a member of medical services. The AMTA petitioned the Internal Olympic Committee to make sports massage a mandated service of the Games.
  •  First Chapter Volunteer Gathering held.
  •  Reflexologists were exempted in RCW.
  •  MYOPAC raises $11,000 to help defeat I-895. This initiative threatened a patient's right to access the healthcare provider of their choice to deliver covered services in their health insurance policy.
  •  I-895 dies.
  •  Biggest political contribution by the massage profession ($11,000 in donations to MYOPAC).
  •  HB 2460 dismantles much of Washington State healthcare reform, but "Every Category Provider" law still intact.
  •  Chapter membership at 4,000.



  • Updated Chapter website launched

  • Chapter Listserv launched.

  • MYOPAC is retired and a new political action committee, Washington Massage Alliance for Health, is created.

  • AMTA-WA volunteers provide massage at the National Conference of State Legislators which was held in Seattle.



  • Worked with the Association of Washington cities to end discriminatory local massage ordinances.

  • Online registration available for the first time for Chapter Convention.

  • Seattle Unit volunteers provide on-site massage at Habitat for Humanity construction site.

  • Department of Health issues new rules which define professional misconduct for all healthcare providers in Washington.


  • Chapter membership at 4,425
  • National Provider Identifier (NPI) required for all healthcare providers by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in accordance with HIPAA.

  • AMTA-WA launches legal services program as a free AMTA-WA member benefit.

  • MERT-WA volunteers provided on-site massage for construction volunteers who were building a family home in Kirkland for the TV show Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

  • AMTA-WA wrote and worked to pass HB 1397 which expanded scope of practice to include intraoral massage as an endorsement to the massage license.

  • AMTA-WA wrote and worked to pass HB 1341 which repealed language from the massage practice act that allowed local jurisdictions to charge additional fees for massage businesses that were not required for non-massage businesses.

  • SB 5403 passed which created a new category of animal massage therapists under the purview of the veterinary board for those who only want to work with animals and not humans


  • Chapter membership at 4,565.

  • Updated Chapter Website launched.

  • AMTA-WA wrote and worked to pass SHB 2959 which placed the massage continuing education requirement into law (RCW) and not just in rule (WAC) and created an inactive license category for massage.

  • Massage Awareness and Involvement Network (MAIN) launched.


  • Chapter membership at 4,649.

  • Health Electronic Resource for WA (HEAL-WA) an evidence-based health sciences information website is launched. Site funded by an additional fee added on to state healthcare providers.

  • AMTA-WA volunteers provide on-site massage at the Seattle Breast Cancer 3-Day benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

  • Department of Health issues new rules for continuing education for massage practitioners.


  • Chapter membership at 4,744


  • Chapter membership at 4,690
  • SHB 1133 passed



Association Management Software  ::  Legal