“It was our job to ensure our members were abiding by
all the local laws even in a volunteering capacity,” Karapetian
says. “Since the location for each event changed, so did the
requirements for massage therapists. We had to be very proac-
tive in our efforts.”
This year, members will need to provide their local licens-
ing information on the volunteer applications when the venue
is in a state without statewide licensure.
Also, once the partnership was announced there was an
overwhelming e-mail response from nonmembers to participate.
Since AMTA was the “official provider of massage,” only members could participate. To help minimize the influx of e-mails,
AMTA updated its Web site and news releases to specify that
only members could volunteer for the event. “It ended up being
a nice incentive for becoming a member,” Karapetian says.
To generate awareness, AMTA issued news releases while
Energizer included AMTA’s involvement in its media relations
efforts. Energizer amassed the impressions — more than 10
million — and organized local media tours, sometimes asking
AMTA volunteers to participate. Signage at the events also
boosted AMTA’s recognition and Massage Magazine and
Massage Today wrote about the effort.
“This exposure was more than we ever expected. It highlighted AMTA’s volunteering effort, the benefits of being an
AMTA member and the benefits of massage,” Karapetian says.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
According to a growing body of research, massage therapy can
be effective in alleviating side effects of cancer such as nausea,
pain and fatigue. In a July 2004 study of breast cancer patients
by Touch Research Institute, researchers found that those who
were massaged three times a week reported lower levels of
depression, anxiety and anger, while increasing “natural killer”
cells and lymphocytes that help battle cancerous tumors.
Another 2004 study showed cancer patients reported reduced
levels of anxiety, pain, fatigue, depression and nausea, even up
to two days after receiving massage therapy, according to the
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
In a Mayo Clinic study published in the August 2009
Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, breast cancer patients receiving massage therapy reported a reduction in fatigue, a general
• To find a qualified massage therapist, visit www.
findamassagetherapist.org or call (888) THE-AMTA.
• For more information about Susan G. Komen for
the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.
komen.org or call (800) GO-KOMEN.
• For more information about the Breast Cancer 3-Day,
• To learn more about the Energizer Live it Up! Lounge,
feeling of wellness, an improvement in sleep quality and an
enhanced ability to think clearly.
“Massage therapy can often help alleviate pain and fatigue,
which can make a huge difference in the overall feeling of wellness for those who are overcoming breast cancer,” says Stahl,
who in November 2009 celebrated her fifth anniversary of
being breast cancer-free. “As a breast cancer survivor myself,
I know the difference massage can make when going through
such a difficult experience.
“I worked with so many people during my own healing process — from the time of diagnosis through treatment. The
most important advice I could give is for individuals to make
sure the person providing their care is an expert therapist and
someone they completely and ultimately trust.
“I also make sure I get at least seven-and-a-half hours of
sleep a night, and have gotten rid of being the ultimate ‘multi-
tasker’ and negative stress. I pledged that I would not stress
anymore — a tall order, but a worthwhile goal. Each woman
needs to take her health care into her own hands and honor
her complexity as an individual.”
Stahl plans to do just that — honoring herself and others
who are affected by breast cancer — by walking in the San
Diego event this year and participating as a massage therapist
during the Phoenix event.
“As a breast cancer survivor and the mother of a daughter,
I am proud [AMTA] played an important role in bringing public attention to the need to find a cure for breast cancer,” she
says. “As a massage therapist, I am moved by the opportunity
to serve that this gave to all of our members who participated.
I hope our members will celebrate this partnership until we can
all celebrate the cure.”
Heather Ryndak Swink is executive editor of FORUM. She may be reached at
(312) 924-7031 or
THE APRIL 2010 SIGNATURE STORY features the Association for Operations
Management and its Future Leaders program. In the midst of its second year,
Future Leaders links the outgoing association board president as a mentor to eight
potential-laden professional members. Together technologically but headquartered
around the world, the Future Leaders attack a team project that both advances the
profession and grows them as individuals. Still known as APICS from its long tenure
as the American Production and Inventory Control Society, the group is home to
34,000 members around the world immersed in or studying for careers in production,
inventory, supply chain, materials management purchasing and logistics.