The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association

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News and Events



Upcoming Events:

  • January 7, 2015
    **Board Meeting, 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

  • January 10-11, 2015
    Dimensional Massage Therapy for Soft Tissue Dysfunctions of the Head, Neck & Shoulders with Nancy Dail, Radisson Airport Hotel, Warwick RI (Details to follow)

  • February 7-8, 2015
    Thai Table Massage with Jeanne Coleman, Radisson Airport Hotel, Warwick RI (Details to follow)

  • February 10, 2015
    **Board Meeting, 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

  • March 1, 2015
    **Board Meeting, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

  • March 19-22, 2015
    New England Regional Conference

** Board meetings are open to all of our members. Times and dates are subject to change. Locations to be determined. If you would like to attend a meeting and learn more about your Chapter, please contact our Secretary, Deb Kilty, at 401-339-1041 or via email at prior to any meeting for confirmation on date, time and location. Check in the next newsletter for future meeting dates.


September 29, 2014

Important Information Regarding the New England Regional Conference

Hello chapter members:

The NE Chapter Presidents with support from their respective chapter Board of Directors have voted to make the upcoming 2015 NERC the last one. We would like to explain why so there is no misinformation or questions and so that moving forward if a chapter member asks why NERC is ending there is factual information to rely on.

When we were in Denver at National Convention, the 6 NE Chapter Presidents gathered together to discuss the future of NERC. We would like to share with you the mission statement of the conference, "To provide quality educational opportunities; allow networking possibilities for massage therapists, from in and around the New England area". NERC began over 30 years ago primarily so that therapists who could not afford to travel to National Convention could experience the same type of prime educational opportunities in NE. The goal and the mission has been met over the years, as the national award winner, NERC has become "THE" premier regional conference in the country.

We all took a hard look at our individual chapters and realized that we are all providing that type of education currently. Most chapters have weekend events and all make it a point to utilize local NE educators or to fly in nationally recognized presenters as a way to provide low cost/no cost education to our members. The optional chapter fee also played a role in this decision. Each chapter is looking at a huge loss in revenue. The MA chapter alone lost $90,000 out of their budget. We agreed that we simply can't keep NERC as a line item in our state budgets any longer.

We then looked at the current state of NERC and found that we were looking at startling statistics. There has been a steady and consistent decline in both attendance and profitability over the last 7 or so years. This should be viewed as a positive reflection of chapter growth and development. In addition, our chapter volunteers are spread very thin and NERC as you all know requires an immense amount of time and talent. Bringing NERC to a close returns those volunteer resources to the chapter and allows chapters to spread their wings and offer multi-day events within their own chapter without competing with NERC.

In closing we want you to know two things. Although it is sad to bring NERC to a close, it presents wonderful new opportunities. It should be viewed as a positive change as NERC has served its purpose, exactly what the first committee and conference coordinator set out to do. The marketing of the 2015 NERC will reflect that positivity, as the last year will be hugely successful.

Lastly and most importantly, we want you to know that we recognize how valuable our NERC chapter representatives are. Most of the current chapter presidents have been on the committee, some of us have even chaired more than once. As Chapter Presidents, we promise that each of us will support the conference and offer help and resources when needed to make the last NERC one to remember. This decision was well thought out and we believe that it will make our individual states stronger. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We all look forward to seeing you in March for the 2015 New England Regional Conference in Framingham MA.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa Parenteau, MA Chapter President
Kerry L. Methot, CT Chapter President
Michaele Colizza, RI Chapter President
Michael Regina-Whiteley, ME Chapter President
Jeanie Gorski, NH Chapter President
Karen S. Rarick, VT Chapter President

June 27, 2014

Get Involved: Run for an AMTA Elected Position

National Elections AMTA

Serve your profession by running for an AMTA elected office on the National Board of Directors or the Commission on Candidacy!

AMTA is a leader in advancing the massage therapy profession, and we're led by volunteers elected by our membership.

Application Process

  • Review the position criteria. Candidate applications will be available on July 1 and must be completed by Sept. 1.
  • Take the following online courses (log-in required): About Non-Profit Associations, Responsibilities and Communications throughout AMTA and Risk Management for Associations.
  • Once the courses are completed, fill out the online application packet.
  • Once the Commission on Candidacy determines that you meet the position requirements, your candidate profile will be added to AMTA's Election page.
  • As a candidate, you can choose to begin using social media.

If you're interested in serving, contact Colleen Leeders, AMTA staff liaison to the Commission on Candidacy.

February 28, 2014

There has been a recent change to membership fees from the National Board of the AMTA in an effort to remain competitive with other professional associations. The once required chapter fee, $20 for Rhode Island, has been eliminated making our dues $235 per year rather than $255.

January 1, 2014 marked the beginning of this change. The RIAMTA is expected to lose appoximately $8000 in revenue. It is this revenue that allows our Chapter to provide additional benefits to you, our member. Benefits that include our chapter meetings, affordable education, membership outings, and our lobbyist just to name a few.

While leadership is looking for other sources of revenue for the Chapter, we need your help! Please consider donating to your chapter when you renew your membership this year.

Looking forward to working together!

Joanne Lozy,
RIAMTA President

November 18, 2013

We have answers to the questions that arose at the October 20th General Meeting regarding the new Massage Therapist Law and the Affordable Care Act.

August 2013

Exciting Changes at the Department of Health!

It is our pleasure to share with you the exciting changes that have recently occurred at the Rhode Island Board of Health regarding Massage Therapy.

On July 11, 2013, the Governor of our State signed legislation that was presented by the RI AMTA and it became law. The new legislation contains changes in the law created to protect the Licensed Massage Therapist, as well as the community.

Most importantly, the new legislation puts into law that the State of RI will now have a Massage Therapy Board!

Key Changes in Legislation

  • There shall be a state board of massage therapy examiners to be appointed by the director of the department of health with the approval of the governor
  • A massage therapist's name and license number must conspicuously appear on all of the massage therapist's advertisements.
  • The board shall establish requirements for continued education either annually or biennially, not to exceed 12 hours biennially or 6 annually.
  • Graduates from an approved educational program will have 90 days to meet licensure requirements and may practice under the supervision of one, assigned, onsite licensed massage therapist during that time.

To review the changes in this legislation in it's entirety please click here. These changes will effect ALL Massage Therapists licensed by the State of Rhode Island.

There have been numerous therapists throughout the years that have worked diligently to establish a Massage Therapy Board within the Department of Health. We would like to express our gratitude to them as well as the current Government Relations Committee for their committment to the advancement of our profession.

April 21, 2013

Election Results

Here are the results of our elections held during our most recent General Meeting:

  • 1st VP Michaele Colizza
  • 2nd VP Bridget Roberts
  • 3rd VP Pat Bachus
  • Treasurer Joan Tarter-Van Hees
  • Delegates: Pat Bachus, Bridget Roberts, Jennifer Wilkicki, and Kenji Omori

Congratulations to everyone!

August 11, 2012

Share the benefits of AMTA with your friends and be rewarded!

As the AMTA Massage Therapy Tour travels across the country this summer to show people the benefits of seeing an AMTA member-that's you!-for their next massage, we need your help to grow our community. AMTA's enhanced Refer a Friend program rewards you when you share the benefits of membership with your friends!

Check out the new Refer a Friend page on our website for program details and tools to help you share information about the AMTA Massage Therapy Tour and membership. You'll receive a $20 Visa gift card (to spend as you like) for every friend you refer who joins AMTA at any level-professional, graduate or student. Referring is easy-check out our Refer a Friend tips & tools page for suggestions on how to encourage your friends to join the AMTA community.

There is no limit to the number of friends you can refer or the number of gift cards you can receive. Plus, your friends will enjoy a special rate and gift too! Just have them join AMTA by September 30th to take advantage of this great offer! Tell your friends to join AMTA today by calling 877.905.2700, and help them gain a partner who will keep them connected to opportunity, to community-to their future

Click HERE to download the Refer A Friend website banner

July 4, 2012

Your Vote Counts! AMTA 2012 National Elections

Be among the professional members that shape our association. Vote for our national leaders. Find out what their vision and goals are for the future of AMTA and the massage profession. Link up with candidates at the bottom of each bio information page found on the AMTA official election website. Your vote counts! Cast your vote by December 1.

Please contact Gail Friedman at 877-905-2700 x168 or if you have questions.

July 4, 2012

Chapter Call for Candidates

Have you considered participating with fellow members at the National level? You can choose to run for an elected office for the National Board of Directors or the Commission on Candidacy. Serving at the national level is a great way to meet some wonderful, dedicated people in the profession. Click here for more information

May 28, 2012

Rhode Island Academy of Family Physicians Primary Care Conference

The RIAMTA has been cordially invited to attend the upcoming Primary Care Conference on Friday, June 8, 2012. We are looking for massage therapists to showcase the RIAMTA and our diverse programs to the members of the Rhode Island Academy of Family Physicians. Volunteers will be performing chair massage at the RIAMTA exhibition booth for registrants of the RIAFP Primary Care Conference. This is an excellent opportunity for Licensed Massage Therapists to interact with other members of the health care industry.

The Westin Hotel
One West Exchange Street
Providence, RI 02903

Shifts Available:
7:00-8:00 a.m.
10:15-11:00 a.m.
12:00-1:00 p.m.
3:00-4:00 p.m.

A minimum of 4 massage therapists are needed for each shift. It is NOT necessary that you are present for the entire day.

If you are interested in participating,contact Pat Bachus by telephone 401-225-8610 or by email Please be sure to include your shift preference.

It is requested that all volunteers dress in appropriate and professional attire. Please wear a shirt that will identify you as a member of the RIAMTA or as a massage therapist.

May 14, 2012

On Saturday morning May 12th the Massage Therapy community released a truly gifted therapist to the angels, Dianne Polseno succumbed to her battle with cancer. Dianne was a gifted massage therapist, mentor, educator, author, dynamic personality and speaker. She stepped into her calling in 1990 after graduating from the Bancroft School of Massage in Worcester, MA. Massage therapy was a natural progression in her career path. She had already established herself as a healer and giver through her previous career choices in nursing and addiction counseling. In an interview in 2007 Dianne was quoted "I loved being a nurse," she says. "But when the hospital where I worked closed in 1989, I realized it was now or never." As a nurse, Polseno had discovered the healing power of touch "I found that the most effective treatment I could offer patients was a back rub. It was a non-invasive form of touch; other treatments I gave, like shots, were invasive. A back rub changed a person's entire day. Afterward, they looked different; they acted different."

Her 22 years as a massage therapist were a gift to our profession and the many lives she touched. During her early career she taught at Bancroft School of Massage and was the Clinic Director. She later moved on to become the President of Cortiva Institute in Boston, MA. Dianne's boundless energy whisked her and anyone she came in contact with along, as she traveled the country speaking and educating on ethics, anatomy, and massage. She not only taught massage therapists, she also spoke to the Doctors of Brown University on fascia and had regular involvement in the Physical Therapy program at University of Rhode Island. Dianne also taught in such prestigious venues as the AMTA National Convention. Her dedication to our education earned her the AMTA's prestigious Jerome Perinski Teacher of the Year Award in 2006.

Dianne was an active member of the AMTA and journalist for MTJ. At home in Rhode Island she was a fellow member of RI AMTA, volunteer on the Crisis Massage Team and came to our assistance when RI AMTA Government Relations needed a note worthy speaker for massage therapists to speak before the Cranston City Council. In 2009 we presented her with the RI AMTA Distinguished Service Award. We were honored to have her twice as keynote speaker at the New England Regional Conference.

Through out these years Dianne maintained her practice as a therapist, plus a strong passion for the advancement of our profession in the public eye and an intense commitment to ethics. She was the author of "Ethically Speaking" published in the AMTA's, Massage Therapy Journal, and wrote such articles as "Desexualizing the Massage Experience" in 2000. Dianne was also a contributing author to "The Ethics of Touch" by Ben Benjamin PhD published in 2004. If you Google Dianne's name you will find her articles referenced in publications and websites across the country from the Swedish Institute in New York to The Massage Activists Page.

Her presence on the World Wide Web speaks volumes, she was an incredible writer and educator. She was a brave journalist through these last eight months keeping us abreast of her journey and cancer battle in her extensive journaling on Caring Bridge. Her last entry on April 16th spoke of the return to health after chemo, radiation and a myriad of other procedures. Through her entire ordeal she always had an upbeat attitude and sought positive approaches to her healing. If you knew Dianne's affinity for anatomy and physiology or were privileged enough to attend one of her Cadaver labs you could probably picture her doing this; in her February 27th journal she wrote:

"This morning, I had a very serious chat with the cancer cells in my body. I told them that they may think they are almighty and all powerful, having words like "rare" and "aggressive" said about them. In reality, though, they are not more powerful than God, chemotherapy, and my will to fight and survive. So I told them to shut up, eat the chemo like they are supposed to, and go the hell away. Amen."

And she ended her journal with her ever positive, giving nature:

"Enjoy this day, Dear Ones. Look for a miracle, big or small, because I prayed for you today that you would get and recognize one."
Much love,

Dianne's last journal entry came to us on April 16th. She Wrote:

"I did record time at the Boston marathon today! I beat that chick from Kenya! Okay so I still have swollen feet and couldn't even get my running shoes on, but it's fun to think about. I love to kid around."

There was more in the journal but I chose to leave it out

"So if I am kidding around, you know what that means - I'm improving. I feel like I've re-entered the world of the living and boy, it feels good to be back..... How was your time at the marathon today? :)"
Much love,

Dianne's last message to us on Caring Bridge came through her sister Gail on May 10th. Dianne wanted us to know that she had "gone fishing".

Even if you did not know her, you have probably in some way been touched by her gifts. She will be missed.

Please take a moment to send thoughts of love and light to Dianne's family.

Joanne Lozy LMT
President RI AMTA

From Gail Chatfield, Dianne's sister:

Dianne's calling hours are Tuesday, May 15th from 3pm to 8pm at the Tucker Quinn Funeral Home on Putnam Pike, Greenville, RI. Her funeral service is on Wednesday, May 16th at 11 am at the same location. I would like to thank all of you for all of the love and support you have shown to Dianne, especially in the last 8 months. It is because of all of you that she responded so well to her treatments for as long as she could. I am happy to say that Dianne's family was with her at home when she left us, and I truly believe that all of her wishes have been fulfilled. I am sure she will be with us always. Thank you and God Bless.

March 8, 2012

Starting with the 2012 Spring edition of the RIAMTA Newsletter we are offering Business Card Size Ads! These ads are sized as standard business cards (3.5"W x 2.25"H) and the cost is a mere $20.00.

Just scan your business card and email it to

Your business card will appear in the upcoming issue of Handprints where it will be seen by all of our members as well as all potential new members at 6 area schools and our advertisers!

Your business card will also be on our website and will remain there until the next issue of our newsletter is printed (and you can always renew your ad!)

This is a great way to let everyone know who you are, where you are and what you specialize in! This can be a great tool for referral business!

February 26, 2012

Congratulations to our new officers!

Our membership elected Joanne Lozy as our new Chapter President. Also elected were Michaelle Colizza, 2nd Vice President; Deb Luhrs, 3rd Vice President; Kim Cook, Secretary; Pat Bachus and Alda Medeiros as National Delegates; Bridget Roberts and Donna Dtschuta as Delegate Alternates. Michelle Neuner has stepped into the role of Government Relations Chair.

May 1, 2011

AMTA 2011 National Elections Chapter Call for Candidates

Have you considered representing your fellow members at the National level? You can choose to run for an elected office for the National Board of Directors or the Commission on Candidacy. Serving on the national level is a great way to meet some wonderful, considerate and dedicated people.

Visit our National Elections section on AMTA's website for more information.

April 21, 2011

RIAMTA Donation to the Massage Therapy Foundation

Thanks to all members of our chapter for supporting the Massage Therapy Foundation's work in advancing our profession. We voted to contribute a portion of our dues to help sustain this vital organization. We should feel proud!

Massage Therapy Foundation's Letter

April 5, 2011

President's Update

The Cranston City Council Safety and Licensing Committee met Monday night, April 4, 2011, and agreed to recommend to the greater City Council to adopt legislation that will acknowledge and register legitimate massage therapy establishments in their city. This will be the first such legislation passed by any municipality since the State of Rhode Island decided to allow local governments to regulate such licenses. The Government Relations Committee of the RIAMTA worked closely with Councilman Robert Pelletier to work out some of the details of the legislation that was unanimously supported by all councilmen present and enthusiastically recommended by many RIAMTA members in attendance. Special thanks go out to Joanne Lozy, RIAMTA vice president and head of the Government Relations team, Gina Marino, owner and physical therapist at Hope Physical Therapy, Scituate, Doctor of Chiropractic Stephen Estner, Cranston, as well as Diane Polseno, president of Cortiva School of Massage, massage educator, and RIAMTA member, and Pat Bacchus, IPP and representative of the massage program at CCRI for representing our concerns at the meeting and speaking on our behalf. We believe this ordinance will better serve and protect the Cranston community and licensed massage therapists therein. We would like to congratulate them on their foresight and good judgment.

None of this would have been possible without the diligent efforts of the RIAMTA Government Relations Committee led by Joanne Lozy, RIAMTA vice president, Frank Rapone, Kim Cook, delegate alternate, Pat Bacchus, IPP, Jennifer Slick, Mark McCarthy, Michaele Collizza, Michelle Neuner, Angela Perry-Place, Deb Luhrs, chapter historian, Dawn Tremblay, chapter secretary, and Regina Cobb, Crisis Massage Team leader and Therapeutic Massage Program Director at CCRI. Great job, everyone!

Stay tuned as this landmark legislation continues to progress!

RIAMTA | PO Box 14641, East Providence, Rhode Island 02914-0641

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