2024 CMTA Conference Hosted by RMTBC

September 6-7 at the Vancouver Convention Centre Sponsored by jane.app

Coming Together: Moving the Profession forward

This conference welcomes all healthcare professionals and encourages the exchange of ideas across disciplines.


The Canadian Massage Therapy Association (CMTA) in partnership with the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of BC (RMTBC) is pleased to present a two-day conference dedicated to evidence informed research on the benefits of registered massage therapy and what the future could hold for Massage Therapy in Canada. Internationally recognized presenters will speak on such topics as rehabilitation, diversity, pain management and other areas of practice. The conference will stimulate dialogue between colleagues to:

  • Promote the exchange of experiences and new ideas
  • Start and continue a network around scientific and evidence-informed practice

Participants are encouraged to spend each day at the venue. Breakfast, coffee breaks, lunch will be provided Day one and two. A social reception will all take place in the exhibition area on Friday after the plenary sessions.

For speaker bios, more about the venue, and accommodation, please scroll down.


The conference encourages networking and idea sharing in a stimulating environment. Your registration includes:

  • Access to 2 full days of presentations and exhibitors
  • Breakfast, lunch, coffee & refreshments on both days

General Public
Non Member Earlybird (available until July 31, 2024): $625.00 + GST – Register Now

Members of a CMTA affiliated association
Members of the following associations qualify for a reduced fee.

  • Association of New Brunswick Massage Therapists / Association néo-brunswickoise de massothérapeutes
  • Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan Inc.
  • Massage Therapists Association of Nova Scotia
  • Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba, Inc.
  • New Brunswick Massotherapy Association / Association de Massotherpie du Nouveau-Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Massage Therapists’ Association
  • Prince Edward Island Massage Therapy Association
  • Registered Massage Therapist Association of Ontario
  • Registered Massage Therapists’ of British Columbia

Please contact your association for registration details.



Agenda Friday Sept. 6

7:00 a.m.
Registration and Hosted Continental Breakfast
8:15–8:45 a.m.
Opening Remarks & First Nations Welcome
8:45-9:15 a.m.
Dr. Paul Zehr Ph.D 
Inspirational keynote: Science & the Superhero in You
9:15-10:45 a.m.
Dr. Amanda Baskwill Ph.D.
Charting the Course: Leadership and Innovation in Health and Wellness
10:45-11:00 a.m.
Refreshment Break
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Richard Lebert RMT
The Power of Massage Therapy: Exploring the Effectiveness of Massage for Musculoskeletal Conditions
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Hosted Lunch
1:30-3:00 p.m.
Dr. JoEllen Sefton Ph.D., ATC, LAT
Massage Research: Building a Better Future
3:00-3:15 p.m.
Refreshment Break
3:15-4:45 p.m.
Dr. Michelle Johnson-Jennings Ph.D.
Indigenous Embodiment of Trauma and Love: Addressing Healing through Reconnecting to Land, Ancestral Teachings and Self.
4:45 p.m.
Hosted Reception

Agenda Saturday Sept. 7

7:30 a.m.
Hosted Continental Breakfast
8:30-10:00 a.m.
Marcus Blumentsaat BSc., RMT
The Cornerstones of Modern Musculoskeletal Health Care
10:00-10:15 a.m.
Refreshment Break
10:15-11:45 a.m.
Dr. Paul Hodges DSc, MedDr, PhD, BPhty(Hons), FAA, FACP, APAM(Hon)
Understanding Pain: Does the Mechanism Influence How We Treat the Patient?
11:45-1:00 p.m.
Hosted Lunch
1:00-2:30 p.m.
Dr. Tracy Gaudet MD.
The True Transformation of Healthcare Shifting from Disease Based to Purpose Driven Aligning with the Integrated Value of Massage Therapy and Future Opportunities.
2:30-2:45 p.m.
Refreshment Break
2:45-4:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Coming Together: Moving our Profession Forward
Moderated by Gordon MacDonald, RMTBC
Monty Churchman, Canadian Sports Massage Therapy Association
Garry Lavis, Massage & Myotherapy Australia
Christian Vulpe, Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation
Brandy John, Canadian Council of Massage Therapy Schools
Tricia Weidenbacher, Canadian Massage Therapist Association
4:00-4:15 p.m.
Closing Remarks


  • Dr. Amanda Baskwill Ph.D.

    Dr. Amanda Baskwill is an educator, administrator, researcher, and advocate with a PhD in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University.  Amanda holds the positions of Interim Senior Vice President, Academic, and the Dean of Health, Human and Justice Studies at Loyalist College where she champions health, wellness, and social innovation, inter-professional education, and academic integrity.  She has been a registered massage therapist since 2003.

    Amanda is the Executive Editor and Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.  Her research interests include innovative teaching and learning strategies in healthcare education, the professional identity of healthcare providers, the application of evidence-informed practice, and the safety and effectiveness of massage therapy in the treatment of various conditions.

  • Richard Lebert RMT

    Richard Lebert is an educator and health care professional with a focus on digital literacy, interprofessional collaboration and person-centered care. In addition to his training as a Registered Massage Therapist, Richard has certification in Medical Acupuncture from McMaster University and a Certificate of Online and Open Learning from The University of Windsor. Recently his paper Massage Therapy: A Person-Centred Approach to Chronic Pain was published in The International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

  • Dr. JoEllen Sefton Ph.D., ATC, LAT

    JoEllen Sefton, Ph.D, ATC Ret. is the Director Auburn University’s Warrior Research Center (WRC) which serves as a point of collaboration and a catalyst for change between researchers, the military and tactical athletes to develop and implement new knowledge in human factors. Her research focuses on reducing injury and improving health, wellness and performance in our military, firefighters, and law enforcement. Sefton collaborates with academia, military research laboratories and Tactical Athlete units.  She developed and organizes the biennial WRC Tactical Athlete Summit, an international event that brings together researchers and tactical athletes to share problems and provide solutions. As the Director of the Auburn Neuromechanics Research Laboratory, Dr. Sefton studies neuromuscular and physiological effects of orthopedic and neuromuscular injury; and the rehabilitation and therapeutic methods used to treat these injuries.  Sefton was certified and licensed as a Massage Therapist in 1995, and has been a Certified Athletic Trainer for 26 years.  She has worked with high school, college, Olympic and professional athletes, Broadway performers, professional musicians and Military and other tactical athletes.

  • Dr. Michelle Johnson-Jennings Ph.D., Ed.M.

    Dr. Michelle Johnson-Jennings, a Choctaw Nation-enrolled tribal member, joins the faculty on June 1, 2021, as professor and director of the division of environmentally based health and land-based healing at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute. She holds a joint appointment at the University of Colorado School of Public Health.

    Johnson-Jennings received her doctoral degree in counseling psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in education from Harvard University where she specialized in human development and psychology and contemporary Native issues.

    Johnson-Jennings holds the Canadian Research Chair in Indigenous Community Engaged Research. She was an associate professor in community health and epidemiology in medicine and associate professor in Indigenous studies as well as the scientific director of the National Indigenous HIV/AIDS Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. In 2020, she received the Faculty Presidential Award from the University of Saskatchewan. Earlier, she was on the faculty at the University of Minnesota and an affiliate with the University of Colorado School of Public Health.

    Her therapeutic expertise lies in working with Indigenous communities and decolonizing healing while rewriting narratives of trauma through land-based healing. She has partnered with many international and national Indigenous nations, organizations and communities to prevent substance abuse, food addiction and obesity. She co-developed health interventions rooted in ancestral guidelines to encourage a renewed commitment to health and the revitalization of medicine, food and land-based practices.

    Johnson-Jennings founded and directed the Research for Indigenous Community Health Center at the University of Minnesota and was awarded a U.S. Fulbright scholarship to conduct research in New Zealand. She has been invited to present her research at numerous professional conferences held in the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. She is on the editorial board of the Indigenous Policy Journal.

  • Marcus Blumensaat BSc, RMT

    I am currently in my 18th year of clinical practice as a registered massage therapist in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I also work in high-performance sport alongside Canada’s premier Olympic athletes. This branch of my career is highlighted by working at three consecutive Summer Olympic Games from 2008-2016.

    Over the past 18 years I have been blessed to work with and learn from some of the world’s leading experts in musculoskeletal health care. I also continue to build my database from hundreds of case studies I see in clinical practice.

    I am so passionate about moving musculoskeletal health care forward that I decided to start sharing all the great information and knowledge that I have compiled over my career. I spent several years putting everything into a presentable format and subsequently launched my continuing education courses in 2021. The reviews for my courses have been phenomenal and I have another fantastic year of courses and conference appearances lined up.

  • Dr. Paul Hodges DSc, MedDr, PhD, BPhty(Hons), FAA, FACP, APAM(Hon)


    Paul W. Hodges DSc MedDr PhD BPhty(Hons) FAA FACP APAM(Hon) is an National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Principal Research Fellow, Professor and Director of the NHMRC Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health at The University of Queensland (UQ). He is lead chief investigator on an NHMRC Program Grant that includes colleagues from the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney. Paul is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, which is a Fellowship of the nation’s most distinguished scientists, elected by their peers for outstanding research that has pushed back the frontiers of knowledge. He is also a Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists and was made an Honoured member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, their highest honour.

    Paul is a recognised world leader in movement control, pain and rehabilitation. His unique comprehensive research approach from molecular biology to brain physiology and human function has led to discoveries that have transformed understanding of why people move differently in pain. His innovative research has also led to discoveries of changes in neuromuscular function across a diverse range of conditions from incontinence to breathing disorders. These observations have been translated into effective treatments that have been tested and implemented internationally.

    Paul has received numerous national and international research awards that span basic and clinical science. These include the premier international award for spine research (ISSLS Prize) on four occasions; three times in Basic Science (2006, 2011, 2019) and once in Clinical Science (2018). International awards in basic science include the SusanneKlein-Vogelbach Award (2010) and the Delsys Prize for Innovation in Electromyography (2009). National medical research awards include the NHMRC Achievement Award (2011). He has also received national community-based leadership awards including the Young Australian of the Year Award in Science and Technology (1997), Future Summit Australian Leadership Award (2010), and Emerging Leader Award (Next 100 Awards, 2009).

    Paul is a past president of the International Society for Electrophysiology and Kinesiology and has been the Chair/Co-Chair for several major international conferences. He has led major international consortia to bring together leaders from multiple disciplines to understand pain.

  • Dr. Tracy Gaudet MD

    Tracy Gaudet, MD is a leader in the development of Whole Health through decades of radically re-envisioning and implementing new approaches to address health outcomes and costs.  She is co-founder of a new organization called the Cornerstone Collaboration for Societal Change.  Prior to this, she served as the founding Executive Director of the Whole Health Institute.  Dr. Gaudet was also the Founding Executive Director of the Veterans Health Administration’s National Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation. This Office led VHA’s transformation to Whole Health, an approach to healthcare that empowers and equips people to take charge of their health and live their most meaningful life. Under her leadership, VA health care delivery has been re-envisioned and is being implemented nationally.

    Previously, Dr. Gaudet was with Duke University Health System, where she served as Executive Director of Duke Integrative Medicine until 2010. Under her leadership, Duke Integrative Medicine created a state-of-the-art healthcare facility dedicated to the transformation of medicine through the exploration, demonstration, and research of new models of patient-centered care.

    Prior to her work at Duke, Dr. Gaudet was the Founding Executive Director of the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine, leading the design of the country’s first comprehensive curriculum in this new field and launching the distant learning fellowship. In addition, Dr. Gaudet co-founded the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health.

    Dr. Gaudet, a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist, was featured in the PBS nationally acclaimed special entitled “The New Medicine,” and named by Shape magazine as one of the eleven women who shape the world. Dr. Gaudet has been recognized as one of the “Top 25 Women in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare and featured as a Game Changer in Fortune Magazine.  She was honored with the Bravewell Leadership Award for her significant contributions to advancing the field of medicine, recognized for her significant leadership that benefited our Nation’s Veterans with the Exemplary Service Award, and most recently was honored with the Visionary Award from the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine for her leadership in transformative healthcare.  Dr. Gaudet is also the author of Consciously Female, a book on integrative medicine and women’s health, and Body, Soul, and Baby.

  • Dr. E. Paul Zehr Ph.D

    Dr. E. Paul Zehr Ph.D., is a sensorimotor neuroscientist, a martial artist of Okinawan, Japanese, and Chinese traditions, and an award winning author with a very particular set of skills. When he was a kid his mom got him interested in comic book superheroes. Comic books got him into martial arts and these ancient ways of peace brought him to science. His books use superheroes as foils to explore the science of human potential and include Becoming Batman, Inventing Iron Man, Project Superhero, and Chasing Captain America.

    Paul has been interviewed and made media appearances around the globe including Men’s Health, Popular Mechanics, Scientific American, Red Bulletin, Men’s Fitness, CBC, CTV, CNN, NPR, and the BBC, and a fun evening with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. Paul once convinced Tommy Chong that he was actually Batman.

    Paul’s translational research program at the University of Victoria was grounded in rehabilitative applications of the quadrupedal nature of human locomotion in stroke recovery. Paul has numerous awards for science communication including the Science Educator Award from the Society for Neuroscience. His musings can also be found in his blog “Black Belt Brain” at Psychology Today and Scientific American magazines.

Thank You to our Sponsors!

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsors:

Bronze Sponsors:

The Venue

  • About Vancouver Convention Centre West Building

    1055 Canada Pl | Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3

    Community, Accessibility

    Located on Vancouver’s waterfront with a dramatic mountain backdrop, the award-winning Vancouver Convention Centre West offers one of the most beautiful settings in the world and convenient access to all the major visitor amenities in the downtown core. As British Columbia’s flagship convention centre, the facility hosts more than 500 events and welcomes hundreds of thousands of attendees each year, while generating significant economic activity for the province.

  • Location
  • Parking Information

    The Vancouver Convention Centre offers secure parking through independent operators within both buildings.

    Please refer to the Vancouver Convention Centre website parking page for details.


  • Sandman Hotel Vancouver Downtown

    A block of rooms have been reserved for delegates to the conference. Please see the rates and information below.


    180 West Georgia Street

    Just a 20-minute walk or 5 minute Skytrain ride from the Downtown Sandman Hotel, the Vancouver Convention Centre is easily accessible from the Sandman.

    Sandman Hotel room

    Booking Details For Conference Rates

    By Phone

    Reservations can be made by contacting our team at 1-800-SANDMAN (726-3626). Kindly quote the following details to ensure our team can pull up the correct rates:

    Hotel Sandman Hotel Vancouver Downtown
    Group Name RMT BC 2024
    Block ID 319240


    Use the following link: Sandman Conference Rates

    Conference Rates

    Room Type Nightly Rate Offered
    Corporate King Room $289.00
    Standard Two Double Room $289.00

    Rates are per room, per night
    * Rates are based on single/double occupancy
    * Rates do not include taxes
    * Taxes are subject to change without notice
    * Complimentary Parking is included

Exhibitors & Sponsors

Want to get involved? Contact maureen@rmtbc.ca for for current sponsor & exhibitor opportunities.

About CMTA

The CMTA is the national association for massage therapy in Canada. The CMTA is composed of nine (9) provincial massage therapy associations.

Officially constituted in 1991, the CMTA works collaboratively to promote massage therapy. We strive to ensure the highest standards in education and practice are met by member associations. Assuring safe, competent and ethical care is provided to the public.

We advocate on behalf of the profession to both federal and Provincial Government, to insurers, and to the public in order that the profession of massage therapy is recognized as an integral partner in the delivery of health care services to Canadians.

Member Associations

Registered Massage Therapist Association of Ontario

British Columbia
British Columbia
Registered Massage Therapists’ of British Columbia

Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Massage Therapists Association of Nova Scotia

Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan Inc.

Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island Massage Therapy Association

Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba, Inc.

Newfoundland / Labrador
Newfoundland / Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador Massage Therapists’ Association

New Brunswick
New Brunswick
Association of New Brunswick Massage Therapists / Association néo-brunswickoise de massothérapeutes

New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick Massotherapy Association / Association de Massotherapie du Nouveau-Brunswick