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REAL MASSAGE CAMPAIGN:
The Massage Awareness and Involvement Network is the Chapterís integrated and state-wide communications program. MAIN significantly expands the number of ways the Chapter communicates both to its members and to the public, and how we listen to the needs and good ideas from the massage community, our corporate supporters, and governmental institutions. In addition to improving the mechanics and effectiveness of communications, MAIN expands ways in which members and stakeholders can work together to advance the profession in Washington State.
MAIN expands the good work started many years ago by Chapter Units. While local meeting groups continue to be an important element, they are also just one small facet of a large scale communications plan that endeavors to increase internal and external involvement and awareness through networking, outreach, and communications. MAIN strives to expand the opportunities for massage therapists to come together for mutual support, continuing education, and collective action. MAIN offers its support to anyone interested in starting a group, project, or initiative to support LMPs and share the good story about the benefits of massage. We hope that the versatility allowed through the MAIN program will encourage practitioners to work together on activities of mutual interest and passion.
Types of MAIN groups
MAIN groups refer to groups of massage therapists who join together, consistent with the mission of The AMTA-WA, and who wish to collaborate and support the AMTA-WA programming. MAIN allows for a variety of group structures to fit varying levels of sophistication and formality. MAIN groups typically fall into one of the following categories.
Local and Regional Massage Groups: Local and regional groups are the most sophisticated group structures under the MAIN group categories. In their most developed state, these groups will have regular in-person meetings, elected leaders, and possibly a bank account in the name of the group for fund-management. Like former AMTA Units, local groups may feature continuing education seminars and cooperative marketing opportunities.
Local and Regional Clubs: Clubs are the least formal of all types of groups, and may be purely social. Generally, "clubs" would be organized as an unincorporated organization, which can be as simple as having a name for the group of people who have decided to work together. It can be a one-time project, or an ongoing group that meets regularly or when it suits them. One example of a club could be a group of LMPs whose main activity is a weekly walk around Greenlake in Seattle. For this type of activity, there is usually no need for any banking, business, or organizational sophistication.
Online networks: Online networks are increasingly popular. They bring people together who have interests in common, but who may live far enough apart that getting together is just too difficult or expensive. These kinds of groups include any group that meets virtually around massage-related topics and issues. MAIN encourages LMPs to use the social network site, GroupSite (http://www.GroupSite.com) to help create some consistency amongst online groups. This is not a requirement, however.
Projects: have a more action-oriented focus than on-going groups. To the extent projects require an organized group of people it may be useful to create a name and group to get the project accomplished. In most cases, though, more likely than not, the group can be administratively set up in as simple a means as possible. If money is being raised or collected as part of the project, a separate bank account may be needed. One example of this is a member who recently raised funds amongst the massage community for the Breast Cancer three-day walk.
Initiatives (a project with a longer-term focus): Any project or event that aligns with the MAIN principles of awareness and involvement for the massage community, with a longer-term focus (more than just a one-time event). One example of an initiative would be Massage Awareness Day, which is held every year at the legislature to share the story of massage with elected officials and their staff.
Click here to download the application for becoming a MAIN group. More details about group requirements can be found in the field guides, linked below.
Local and Regional Networking Groups
Bellingham -North Cascade Massage Connections
Bremerton - Massage Network Solutions
Port Angeles - Olympic Peninsula Massage Practitioners
Seattle - Seattle Networking Group
Renton - The Get in Touch Group
Covington - South King Massage
Tacoma - LMPs Around Tacoma (LATs)
Vancouver - Vancouver Massage Society
Washougal - Columbia Gorge Massage Practitioners
Kennewick - TriCities Touch