Alliance for Massage Therapy Education American Massage Therapy Association Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards Massage Therapy Foundation National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork
Entry Level Analysis Project supporting organizations

Meet the ELAP Work Group

We view this project as an important, early foundational step. We have no illusion that successful completion of this project will by itself transform massage education and the quality of massage being provided to clients. Other important work, most notably strengthening the teaching abilities of all instructional personnel, commands parallel attention if this Entry-Level Analysis Project (ELAP) is to have an opportunity to have meaningful impact.

We work group members also understand that our group has no permanent standing. Our job is to produce a thorough, defensible final report that is sufficiently compelling to motivate diverse national and local massage therapy organizations to rise to the challenge to ensure the massage profession embraces and implements the report's recommendations.

Accepting these caveats, and acknowledging both the opportunity and need for improvement throughout the massage profession, we believe this project comprises one important foundational step upon which additional curriculum, teacher preparation, and regulatory standards can build.

The animating spirit of this project is not to criticize, but rather to contribute to the construction of a more solid and consistent educational foundation that will help those entering the profession to thrive in their massage therapy careers while ensuring the practice of massage is safe and beneficial for all clients.


Pat Archer

Pat Archer is a teacher, therapist, author, and new massage school owner in Seattle, Washington, with a combined 35 years of experience in the education, therapeutic massage, and sports health-care fields.  As a certified athletic trainer, licensed massage therapist, and clinical massage specialist, her experience working with collegiate, Olympic, professional, and recreational athletes has provided her with a rich and diverse perspective on the effective integration of therapeutic massage into standard treatment protocols, and the role of massage therapists as respected members of the sports health-care team.  She has authored several workbooks, manuals, and journal articles on a wide array of massage and sports health-care topics, the most recent being “Practicing Sports Massage: “What Massage Therapists Need to Know” in the MTJ (Summer 2011) and “A Light Touch,” an article on lymphatic facilitation in the Training & Conditioning magazine (October 2010). Her first textbook, Therapeutic Massage in Athletics, was published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins in 2007. Her second textbook, Applied Anatomy and Physiology for Manual Therapists, (coauthored with business partner Lisa Nelson), was released by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins in February 2012. Pat has been honored to serve both her athletic training (National Athletic Trainers’ Association) and massage professional (American Massage Therapy Association) associations as chairperson for several different committees, and as a presenter at multiple state, regional, and national educational conferences.


Clint Chandler

Clint Chandler is a recognized leader in the field of massage therapy education, receiving the Jerome Perlinski National Teacher of the Year award in 2002. He has developed, implemented and taught core and advanced curriculum for some of America’s leading programs, publishers, and educational institutions, where a number of his courses continue to be taught. His extensive experience spans more than 22 years of both clinical practice and teaching experience in massage and manual therapies - with an additional eight years concentrating on physical rehabilitation. An active researcher, Clint has coauthored and published papers examining the effects of massage therapy on chronic tension headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, and low-back pain. As coprincipal of Sante Learning Systems, an educational DVD company, Clint has several video titles addressing palpatory anatomy and tension-type headaches to his credit. He has also served as a volunteer on numerous professional and scientific committees. Clint’s most recent projects include the creation and launch of two mobile apps, MyoQuiz and MyoFinder, which serve as musculoskeletal resources for both students and professional therapists. His dedication to, and enthusiasm for, excellence in the professional massage therapy community are the prime motivation for his seminars that help teach the advancement of research literacy, teacher development and technique application. As full-time owner and operator of Corrective & Restorative Massage Therapy Services in Boulder, Colorado, Clint is engaged daily in the advancement of the art and science of massage therapy and in bringing health and well-being to his clients.


Rick Garbowski

Rick Garbowski, 2013 Jerome Perlinski National Teacher of the Year award winner, is a state-licensed professional massage therapist who has held the positions of lead instructor, director of education, division director, and school owner during his 21-year career as a massage therapy educator, the past 19 of which have been on a full-time basis. His responsibilities have included developing curriculum, managing/training/scheduling a teaching staff, and providing student instruction and clinic oversight, in addition to managing institution-wide standards of accreditation and development of self evaluation reports. Rick is an innovative curriculum architect who has developed both linear and modular program designs for numerous massage therapy and esthetics programs. He has experience with all levels of massage curriculum development including updating existing programs, expanding program hours to meet federal financial aid guidelines, merging multiple programs, and building programs from start to finish. He has a gift for massage education, and has the unique ability to tailor his presentation style to meet the specific needs of his students.


Tom Lochhaas

Tom Lochhaas has held editor and author roles in educational publishing for more than 20 years following a successful academic career including college teaching of writing, most recently at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His bachelor’s and master’s degrees are in writing, and he is ABD (all but dissertation) in a PhD program in English. As a developmental editor for both academic and association nonprofit publishers, he has guided several dozen authors through the design and writing of textbooks and educational courses within varying instructional designs. As named author, he has written several books, most recently College Success (Flat World Knowledge Publishers), and as a ghostwriter, he’s authored more than a dozen books and courses. He also has considerable experience working on courses and publications from nonprofit and trade associations, including the American Red Cross, the American Health Care Association, and the National Safety Council. He has helped plan and design educational and training courses in which participants master material through a variety of media (video, workbook, instructor-led activities, and reference and text books), as well as online courses and components. His research-based approach to instructional design has led to significant improvements in learning effectiveness in several association-based health-care training courses.


Jim O’Hara

Jim O’Hara began his career in education as a math instructor at the high school and college levels. After graduate studies in both math and education, he took on a variety of administrative roles, including the coordination of cross-cultural studies. Eventually, he found his way into the massage field and established a private massage practice in Berkeley, California. As a massage instructor, and later as the curriculum coordinator for the campuses of National Holistic Institute (where he has been for 20 years), Jim has developed massage instructional material, trained teachers, and has always been “excited to see the continued evolution of the field of massage therapy.”


Cynthia Ribeiro

Cynthia Ribeiro is the Immediate-Past President of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). She came to the U.S. from Brazil, where she earned an undergraduate degree in Physical Education and studied Surgical Nursing. Once in the U. S., she graduated from two massage school programs. She later founded and was the initial owner of Western Institute of Neuromuscular Massage Therapy. In 2003, she was appointed Honorary Clinical Professor at the University of California-Irvine Medical School. She currently is Program Training & Curriculum Specialist at the National Holistic Institute in California, where she also is Advanced Program Developer and an instructor. She was the recipient of the American Massage Conference-One Concept Educator of the Year Award for 2012.


Anne Williams

Anne Williams is a licensed massage therapist, esthetician, certified reflexologist, clinical hypnotherapist, registered counselor, aromatherapist, author, and educator. Before joining Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) as director of education, Anne worked as a massage instructor, CE provider, spa consultant, and curriculum specialist with a focus on program start-up and implementation. In 2004, she became Ashmead’s director of education and ran the education program at the Tacoma campus for three years. Since joining ABMP, Anne has developed ABMP’s Student Success Program and a wide range of resources for schools and instructors. She writes the curriculum and implements the Instructors on the Front Lines massage teacher training program for ABMP, and served as project coordinator and editor for a joint book project between ABMP and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Teaching Massage: Foundation Principles in Adult Education for Massage Program Instructors, which was published in October 2008. Anne is in charge of developing the program for ABMP’s School Issues Forum each year and for the presentation of ABMP’s Instructor 101 Webinar Series. She published Spa Bodywork: A Guide for Massage Therapists (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006) and Massage Mastery: From Student to Professional (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012). In her free time, she loves rock climbing, ice climbing, hiking, camping, running, biking, skiing, kayaking, and anything that gets her out into Colorado’s beautiful landscape with friends.