April 2022 Newsletter


#amtaiowa #iloveamtaiowa


In reflection of my time in office as Board Member 2, I learned a lot about this organization and the massage profession. Some highlights include: dealing with human trafficking allogations in Iowa and throughout the nation and its effect on the massage industry, followed closely by attending city council meetings to combat the city ordinances, working with National AMTA to provide letters of support to send to city governments about the city ordinances, attending online meetings with our lobbyist, writing letters to Iowa senators and representatives, providing a crisis communication plan for our Iowa AMTA Chapter board, attending CVOP and following through with their suggestions for volunteer recruitment, seeking donations and grants for Iowa conventions, providing support to fellow LMTs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, directing how to apply for unemployment benefits, PPP loans, and EIDL grants, researching free and on-line continuing education credits to keep up licensure credentials, providing support to fellow LMTs living through the devastation of the 2020 derecho, and updating sources for sanitation and options for returning back to work during various stages of the pandemic.

In the last six months I have focused on recruiting volunteers for the AMTA Iowa Chapter. The Iowa AMTA Chapter is a strong organization who believes in supporting its members, providing opportunities and education to enhance the field of massage therapy and protect the integrity of this profession. I am honored to have been a board member for this organization during these tumultuous times.

Respectfully Submitted,

Karen A. Sindelar, MA, LMT, R-DMT, HTSM-CP, CCA



Hello! I’m excited to act as both a Board Member and as Delegate for this AMTA term for the Iowa chapter. I’m really looking forward to be more involved with the issues that shape our industry going forward. I would like to focus on the reducing the need opioids for pain management. Specifically by making sure that other healthcare professionals view LMTs predominantly for healing and recovery, not as a last resort. It’s been fascinating to watch massage professionals grow in the last 20+ years. And I want that to continue as our time, talents and continuing education is so valuable to each of our communities we serve.

I look forward to getting to know more of the members that make of this organization in the upcoming conventions, online and through classes. However it can’t be all work and no play. When it’s time to relax and rejuvenate, you may run into me traveling, painting, kayaking or at any hardware store as like to remodel older homes.

best wishes ~ Melissa Horstmann ( boardmember2.amtaiowa@gmail.com )


Ken Swensn

WOW! It was SO great to see 120 massage Therapists at our recent spring convention in Cedar Falls, IA. It has been two long years since we were together and seeing all the familiar faces, renewing old acquaintances and making new friends felt like the “good old days” as I remember them! If you were unable to be with us this spring look for the announcement regarding our September Convention which will be coming soon. Plan to join us!

Massage Therapy is alive and well in Iowa and in the entire country as we are gaining more and more creditability for our work in the Health Care sector. Other health care providers are seeing the benefits of our work and referring their patients/clients to us. This makes it even more important to continue to study and learn new and more effective treatment protocols as we work with people referred to our care.

Our AMTA Iowa Chapter officers and committee volunteers are working harder than ever to get us caught up from time lost due to the pandemic and provide each of us with the latest and newest information and education to help all of us grow and improve our working skills.

I encourage you to consider getting involved with Chapter work. It is rewarding both on a personal level and on the entire AMTA Iowa Chapter level.

Ken Swenson
President AMTA Iowa Chapter




Hello Iowa AMTA members! I am Hannah Buffington, your newest Secretary on your AMTA board. I am very excited and honored to be in this position and look forward to helping each of you in any way I can. I have been volunteering on the board for a year now as the Social Media Chair, so most of the posts you see on social media have come from me. I was also in charge of the online elections this year and enjoyed all the ins and outs of the election process. I attended Lobby Day in February of 2020 and found a love of being involved with the AMTA board, so here I am! Some of you might have seen me helping at this past convention in Cedar Falls. That was a very fun event to be a part of.
I have been doing massage therapy for 10 years now, and love to volunteer as much as I can. I currently reside in Spirit Lake Iowa and have been working in a chiropractic office for 6 years. I have taken several different training courses over the years and have found a love of deep tissue. I am looking forward to being in this position and keeping us as a chapter as organized as possible.

Kind regards ~ Hannah Buffington ( secretary.amtaiowa@gmail.com )




My name is Erika Dohrer-Smith, your new Awards Chair. Some of you may have seen me around giving a helping hand at our conventions.
So on that note…if you know of a AMTA -IA member that is deserving of a Helping Hand Award or to be recognized in our profession for going above and beyond, I will have a box on the Awards table at the fall convention to fill out.


Respectfully submitted,
Erika Dohrer-Smith
Awards Chair ( awardschair.amtaiowa@gmail.com )




Convention Events Chair:
Robin Markus


Hello! I hope you are having a great day! Robin Markus Here, Convention Events Chair for AMTA-IA. I support Holly and the other board members with the Conventions. My main task is working with Vendors that are going to come to convention, soliciting vendors for donations for the giveaways at our educational events, and help with the behind the scenes tasks that take place and registration so our conventions go off without a hitch! If you have any suggestions for vendors you would like to see at our conventions or have an interest in helping, please reach out to me!

I have been a massage Therapist for over 20 years. Part of AMTA-IA for over 15 years. I love learning new things to help my clients. I love what AMTA-IA does for our Profession. I appreciate the opportunities I have had to serve as Delegate to Nationals. There are so many wonderful people to work with and connect with at conventions and on the Board. I hope we can connect soon!

Robin Markus ( conventioneventschair.amtaiowa@gmail.com )






Hello all!
Hope you are doing well. I sure missed you at the Spring Convention. I knew you were in great hands with this board we have! I need to send a shout out to all of them for being there when I was not able too. Now I can finally announce that we will be back in Cedar Falls for the Fall convention. The date is September 10-11, 2022. We will have James Mally as the presenter. Have a great summer and see you all in the fall.
What our FB page for all updates regarding the convention.
Thank you all
Holly Rasmusson