Illinois Annual Conference

2018 AMTA-IL Annual Meeting + Conference

Student Day Information

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Student Day Flyer

Early Bird Conference Prices through March 21, 2018
Early Bird:
Members: 3 Day: $225 2 Day: $175 1 Day: $100
Students: 3 Day: $235 2 Day: $185 1 Day: $135
Non-Members: 3 Day: $375 2 Day: $325 1 Day: $225
Members: 3 Day: $250 2 Day: $200 1 Day: $125
Students: 3 Day: $260 2 Day: $210 1 Day: $160
Non-Members: 3 Day: $400 2 Day: $350 1 Day: $250

For any questions, please contact:

To reserve a room at the Hyatt Lodge:

2018 Schedule of Events at the AMTA-IL Annual Meeting & Conference


7:00am-9:00am – Registration Open

7:30am – Vendor Hall Opens

9:00am – Registration for Student Day Opens

9:00am-12:00pm – All AM Sessions (unless otherwise noted)

10:00am – Student Day Begins

12:00pm-2:00pm – Lunch + Special AMTA-National Introduction and Keynote Speaker Presentation

2:00pm-5:00pm – All PM Sessions (unless otherwise noted)

5:30pm – Vendor Hall Closes

5:30pm-7:00pm – Student Day Reception


7:00am-9:00am – Registration Open

7:30am – Vendor Hall Opens

9:00am-12:00pm – All AM Sessions (unless otherwise noted)

12:00pm-2:00pm – Lunch + Annual Meeting, Election Results, and Special Budget Presentation

2:00pm-5:00pm – All PM Sessions (unless otherwise noted)

5:30pm – Vendor Hall Closes

6:00pm-10:00pm – Networking Reception + Awards Announcements (light hors d’oeuvres at 6:30pm & DJ at 7:00pm)


7:00am-9:00am – Registration Open

7:30am – Vendor Hall Opens

9:00am-12:00pm – All AM Sessions (unless otherwise noted)

12:00pm-1:30pm – Lunch

1:30pm-4:30pm – All PM Sessions (unless otherwise noted)

4:30pm – Vendor Hall Closes

2018 Course Descriptions

Friday, April 6
9:00am – 5:00pm

Intro to Dermoneuromodulation, with Jason Erickson (6 CEUs)

This workshop introduces massage therapists to practical applications of modern pain science concepts based upon the Neuromatrix theory of pain and the biopsychosocial model of therapy. Dermoneuromodulation (DNM) provides an updated conceptual framework for massage therapists to better understand pain and how to alleviate it.

Hands-on techniques focus on gentle skin stretching to stimulate non-nociceptive sensory pathways and trigger a downregulation of pain and neural sensitization. Participants learn simple methods for addressing common problem areas around the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and extremities. All hands-on techniques can be adapted for use with any form of manual therapy.

Participants will need massage tables, blankets, pillows, and layered athletic clothing that easily permits full ROM. All work will be done with the client clothed. Note taking is encouraged, and handouts will be provided.

9:00am – 12:00pm

The Mindful Teacher: Celebrating the Art of Teaching with Self-Awareness, with Paul Fowler (3 CEUs)

For anyone who has the good fortune to be a teacher, this three hour workshop will focus on the art of teaching itself. Using mindfulness as a jumping off point, focus will be placed on the self-study required to cultivate a calm and powerful presence in the classroom, so you become a more effective and influential teacher, no matter what subject you are teaching.

*Educators Course (Also Open to Massage Therapists Interested in Teaching)

9:00am – 12:00pm

PNF Stretching for the Low Back, with Mike Hovi (3 CEUs)

Would you like specific techniques that allow the low back to move freely within 30 minutes? If so, be prepared to learn a multitude of new stretching techniques that can be used in lieu of traditional massage sessions. You will also be taught how and when to use stretching, and when not to use stretching.

9:00am – 5:00pm

Practical Lymphatic Drainage, with Allison Ishman (6 CEUs)

Practical Lymphatic Drainage is a gentle, subtle, low-impact hands-on technique used to reduce swelling, decongest tissues and joints, improve lymphatic circulation and speed healing. It may be used for sinus pain & discomfort, improved sleep & relaxation, to speed healing post-surgery or injury, for sports recovery and performance, or for chronic lymphedema. The introductory course will enable therapists to safely incorporate lymphatic drainage into sessions that include other forms of therapy. This course includes an overview of the lymphatic system & introduction of hand-on techniques for overall lymphatic flow.

2:00pm – 5:00pm

Sinus Treatment for the Massage Therapist, with Mike Hovi (3 CEUs)

During this course, attendees will be taught a very simple treatment protocol which applies light pressure and stretching to specific points on the head and face, and in turn, helps the body resolve sinus congestion. The treatment, once learned, takes between 12-15 minutes to apply and can be used on any age person. The objective of the treatment is to stimulate the body’s own ability to resolve a build-up of congestion that is common with colds and the flu.

2:00pm – 5:00pm

Ethics & Health Boundaries, with Kathy Paholsky (3 CEUs)

(Meets Ethics requirements for NCB Board Certified Individuals)
In this interactive session, we’ll explore methods of setting and maintaining healthy boundaries in the workplace. We’ll also discuss ways to balance empathy, caring and nurturing and the role of emotions and feelings in the professional setting. Time will be spent on practical applications of stress reduction techniques as an important part of ethical behaviors.

Saturday, April 7
8:00am – 6:30pm

Techniques for Sports Massage Therapists, with John Combe (8.5 CEUs)

Learn techniques, contraindications, session planning and other valuable information to take your sports massage career to the next level. Receive hands-on instruction—including a shoulder injury case study—and tips to help you succeed in this specialty.

9:00am – 5:00pm

Give Them Hope: Intro to Working with People in Pain, with Jason Erickson (6 CEUs)

This class introduces important concepts that help massage therapists understand the science of pain and how it applies in practice. This class provides a framework of understanding that may enhance all forms of massage and bodywork.

Participants learn to apply pain science and dermoneuromodulation (DNM) concepts to client education and hands-on work. These reflect an interactive approach that considers the nervous system of the patient from skin cell to sense of self.

Hands-on applications include gentle positioning of limbs and torso to affect deeper nerve trunks, and is combined with skin stretch to affect cutaneous fields of nerves that branch outward into skin. Included are simple ways of explaining the nervous system and pain mechanisms as part of treatment, plus some simple, effective ways to get clients in pain to start moving with greater ease and confidence.

Participants will need massage tables, blankets, pillows, and layered athletic clothing that easily permits full ROM. All work will be done with the client clothed. Note taking is encouraged, and handouts will be provided.

2:00pm – 5:00pm

What’s That Smell? What You Should Know About Aromatherapy & Why You Should Use It in Your Practice, with Tara Grodjesk (3 CEUs)

This course will discuss the fundamentals of integrating aromatherapy within a massage practice. The agenda will include a brief history, how essential oils are made, quality sources, methods of application, and the therapeutic properties of various essential oils. We will discuss the benefits of incorporating aromatherapy into your massage practice and how it can have a positive impact for you and your clients.

9:00am – 12:00pm

An Understanding of Fascial Link Therapy, with Allison Ishman (3 CEUs)

Learn the basics of Fascial Link Therapy in this 3-hour class, including an overview of fascial structures and techniques you can add to treat them. Identify fascial thicknesses in the legs and hips. Try the Dual Release technique on your colleagues, and bring this new method of care back to your office. Incorporate therapy for fascia into your treatments right away!  We will introduce postural load from a fascial system perspective, discuss musculo-tendinous junctions in the leg, and even out tension along fascial lines of the leg. This technique will enable the body to handle additional load on the thickest fascial areas, which improves the performance of the body. Learn and apply right away with Fascial Link Therapy!

9:00am – 12:00pm

Impact of Massage on Pharmacology in the 21st Century, with Kathy Paholsky (3 CEUs)

In the majority of our practices, the number of massage clients taking one or more pharmaceutical products (OTC or prescription) has increased. Clients may not be sure of which products they’re taking or why. In addition, some are hesitant or unwilling to reveal the full list of products being used. In order to work safely and effectively, it is essential that massage therapists obtain all appropriate information.

The focus of this course is to identify medications associated with common medical conditions that are most likely impacted by massage and bodywork applications. By combining lecture with problem solving activities, we’ll explore possible approaches to working with this population as we polish our intake skills. Although all systems will be discussed, primary attention will be give to the soft tissues, cardiovascular and nervous systems.

2:00pm – 5:00pm

Therapeutic Applications for the Head, Neck and Shoulder, with Kathy Paholsky (3 CEUs)

Many of our clients come to us with complaints of pain and dysfunction of the head, neck and shoulders. In this session, we’ll explore the most common problems and the various ways we can address the muscles, connective tissue and nervous system to provide relief from pain and tension and improve movement. Whether you’re new to massage or have years of experience, this course is designed to boost your skills and review techniques and body mechanics as we work.

We will cover:

  • structures and functions involved
  • tissue injury and inflammation
  • common dysfunctions and issues of overuse
  • assessment methods
  • soft tissue manipulations

Students are asked to bring a table, headrest/face cradle, 1 set of sheets, lubricant (unscented lotion or cream), pillows and bolster
Wear comfortable clothing which allows for easy access to upper body. Encompasses at least 70% hands-on work.

Sunday, April 8
9:00am – 4:30pm

New and Advanced Self-Care Fascia Rescue Approach, with Penny Chelios (6 CEUs)

Attendees will be introduced to a brand new leisure activity floor method regime that incorporates safe self-performed maneuvers which instantly reward a whole body with expansive massage profits. We will identify how unique strategies and specially-designed clinical massage techniques offer distinctively unique end-result benefits and discuss how this all relates to obtaining consistent advanced whole body fascia rescue which, for exclusivity purposes, has been formally designated as Table and Floor methods of Surripulation® Massage. Attendees will utilize their very own body weight, bones and a flat expansive floor to obtain a very sophisticated full-body clinical-style massage while never stretching or tasking hands and forearms in any way. We will explain, demonstrate and perform approximately 10 floor maneuvers that target, treat and often resolve conditions and symptoms commonly associated with compromise which essentially afflicts everyone. And finally, we will talk about the contraindications, concepts and physiological effects of performing each leisure maneuver.

All attendees should bring to class: a Yoga mat and shorts. Females will need to bring a sports bra. Fully dressed attendees are encouraged to attend but they will not actualize truly noticeable profits of a rescue regime on a floor during today’s class.

9:00am – 4:30pm

Fijian Massage: Basic Concepts of Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage, with Joan Cole (6 CEUs)

Fijian Massage is a unique technique in which the therapist uses his/her bare feet versus hands to do the work while their client relaxes on a floor mat. Using gravity, leverage, and body weight the broad surface of the therapist’s foot (or feet) can deliver the deepest of pressure and amazing tissue engagement causing quick endorphin release for a wonderfully relaxing effect. Because of the size of the tool being used (the foot) therapists are able to access more muscles at the same time enabling them to deliver depth like no other massage with relatively low effort on the therapist’s part. 

You will be amazed how perfectly your foot will form with your client’s body. And often even half way through the massage clients ask if feet are being used, as the feet feel as familiar as hands with far more pressure and covering a larger area. No walking on clients is involved – two footed techniques are done only when sitting. Other than floor mats (of which there are many options, including regular pillows) no special equipment is needed.

This short class will give you a feets-on taste of giving and receiving Fijian Massage. Obviously, in six hours we will not learn the full-body routine taught in the 16 hour class, but we will learn some of the strokes and positionings that can be found in a full massage session and show the promise of Fijian massage for working with clients with musculoskeletal pain conditions.

Attendees should bring to the class:

  • Yoga mat (or other appropriate mat – Thai massage mat, Shiatsu mat, Exercise mat)
  • 5 bed pillows (or body support cushion set and 2 bed pillows)
  • Flat sheet
  • Face-rest from your massage table (with its frame, not just the cushion) and cover

Attendees should wear comfortable athletic clothing as we will work through the clothing. Please do not wear jeans or other heavily structured garments.

9:00am – 12:00pm

Research: Correlation, Causation, and Common (Non)Sense, with Jason Erickson (3 CEUs)

This irreverent research class looks at real life examples of statistics and scientific research and how they may be (mis)used to make (in)credible connections and (non)sense of the world around us. We will also do some science together. Bring your sense of humor and critical thinking skills!

Participants will need something to sit on, clothing, and a sense of humor. Handouts will be provided. If visually impaired, please contact the instructor in advance about accommodations.

9:00am – 4:30pm

Get Your Stretch On! Thai-based Stretching and Compression Techniques for the Table, with Paul Fowler (6 CEUs)

This hands-on class will explore many creative and joyful ways that Thai-style compression, stretching and movement can be incorporated into your massage practice. Although Thai massage is traditionally done on a floor, it’s adaptation to the table allows for even more opportunities explore this three dimensional practice. Whether your client is a top performing athlete or a sedentary office worker, these dynamic techniques will be appreciated and welcomed.

1:30pm – 4:30pm

Thalassotherapy – Dry Room Body Wrap with Cassandra Stratton (3 CEUs)

Thalassotherapy is the use of Seawater for healing purposes. This course will identify the features and benefits of offering a detoxifying Seaweed Wrap in a massage practice and how to perform it safely and successfully without the use of a shower. Let the wrap do the work and increase revenue and guest experience with a results-driven seaweed body treatment.