massage championship event details

Purpose Statement

The Pennsylvania Massage Championship is a FUN gathering of licensed massage therapists and students who want to learn new techniques, be inspired by the work of other therapists, showcase their talents, and network with like-minded professionals in a friendly atmosphere. We’ve chosen a contest environment to challenge therapists to do their individual best and as a way of evaluating basics within standard categories that all therapists can excel in, given any chosen modality. 

 
The Pennsylvania Massage Championship is a recognized member of the U.S. Assoc. of Massage Championships and is supported by the World Massage Festival and the American Massage Championship (licensee of the International Massage Association).

Who can enter

  • Any Pennsylvania state-licensed massage therapist may enter and be eligible to win overall medals. Out-of-state therapists can win categories but are not eligible to win overall medals and must declare that they are out-of-state at registration.
  • All participants are required to receive massages, as well as give massages. If necessary PMC will arrange for suitable candidates/massage recipients in particular cases.
  • A strong esthetic presentation is highly encouraged. You may promote your style, schools, businesses, etc.

How does one compete?

  • You must fill out a registration form with PMC. Once PMC reviews your application, license, liability insurance, and ID, and determines that you are eligible, you will receive an email with instructions on paying your registration fee. You are registered once your non-refundable fee is paid in full.
Location Details

Academy of Massage Therapy and Bodyworks

141 East High Street Pottstown, PA 19464

jamfunk@comcast.net

Entry Fees:

Early registration (before February 1, 2024): $150

Standard registration (February 1, 2024 to March 31, 2024): $175

Entry fees are non-refundable. Registration is closed on 03/31/24.

 

Insurance:

​All participants must be fully insured with ABMP, AMTA, Massage Magazine, etc.

Your own insurance covers both you and the participants you treat during the competition. All participants must be fully insured during the competition and list “Pennsylvania Massage Championship” as an “additional insured.”

Participant Expectations and Dress Code:

  • Each Massage Therapist can participate in 1 or 2 categories. Each participant has 2 massages to give but can choose the same category twice.
  • Non-English speaking participants can bring their own translator for briefing speeches and general communication.
  • Dress Code: Participants are allowed to wear personal sponsorship clothing. Participants are recommended to wear sports shoes, sports pants or yoga pants, T-shirts, etc.
  • The participants are free to use their own tools and oils. The participants are obliged to bring their own materials for covering the table, mat, and massage chair as well as the client.
  • The recipient of the massage must always wear underwear and have covered their chest (if female presenting). Any area which is not being worked on must be covered/draped.
  • No cameras are allowed during the rounds and the final. Unauthorized use of cameras and recordings can result in expulsion.
  • There is an absolute zero-tolerance policy concerning inappropriate behavior. Any massage of sensual/sexual nature will result in immediate disqualification and expulsion from the Championship.
  • All participants are required to receive massages, as well as give massages. If necessary the PMC will arrange for suitable candidates/massage recipients in particular cases.
  • No chiropractic and osteopathic manipulations are allowed during the competition.

 

Competition Area and Time:

  • The competition area is a 9,000-square-foot massage school with multiple classrooms. In the preliminaries, there will be a maximum of 10 massage tables/massage chairs (per category) set up across three rooms with three participants per table (a giver, a receiver, and an observer). This may change depending on the number of entrants. Massage tables will be provided. Please bring your own massage chairs, sheets/tools/supplies needed to perform your massage.

  • The location of each participant’s table/chair and receiver will be chosen at random by judges/organizers. Participants will be given placards with their table numbers, name, and category.

  • Judges who may be instructors or employers will not be allowed to judge their own students/employees, etc.

  • Spectators are allowed in preliminary and final rounds. Please note there are no shower facilities. Championship coordinators decide which music will be played during the championship.

  • The duration of each round is 75 minutes (This includes a 60-minute treatment and 15 minutes for a quick assessment of your partner).

  • The winner of the final is the one with the highest points.

 

The Judges:

The Judges are all highly skilled within their categories and have all taken the IMA Judge’s Course or been coached by the Pennsylvania Massage Championship Director who has taken the IMA Judges Course.

  • Judges will evaluate the participants in the following areas with a point system:
    • Techniques: Innovative and effective techniques for both therapist and client.
    • Ergonomics: How do the therapists use their own bodies (work environment) and their remedies
    • Flow: means a continuous non-stop movement and variation of techniques performed by the therapist.
    • Innovation and Development of new methods
    • Client Contact
    • Recipient feedback
  • Participants are informed that the judges at the competition are capable of evaluating the individual treatment.
  • The participants cannot expect score results from the judges either during or after the competition. Judges will give feedback to participants on a case-by-case basis. Final scores will be posted at the end of the competition.
  • All decisions regarding the competition are made collectively within the group of Judges to ensure the competition is as fair as possible. In the event of a disagreement among the judges, the head judge will make the final decision.
  • Participants cannot be judged by their family/friends, business partners, or instructors. If PMC faces this conflict, the participant will be given a weighted score (average) from remaining eligible judges.

 

The Final:

  • The Duration of the Final is 75 minutes which includes 15 minutes to meet any new judges and assess your client.

Spectators will not be allowed on the competition floor. They may remain in the spectator area either seated or standing.

  • Massage recipients (Professional and highly educated Massage Therapist Judges) hand up to 6 points depending on their experience of the massage they receive.
  • The remaining judges can hand out 3 points each to only one finalist.
  • The Winner of the final will be the Licensed PA Massage Therapist who gets the most points during the final round, and they will be appointed as the Overall Pennsylvania Massage Champion in Massage for that year.

NOTE! Lectures, the preliminary rounds, the final, and the prize giving will be recorded and used for future marketing on social media. This goes for pictures as well. By participating in Pennsylvania Massage Championship, you are allowing us to do so.

 

Categories:

Participants may enter two categories.

  • Swedish
    • No tools and must be a full-body treatment. We are looking for beautiful flow, seamless transitions, combinations, and variations of effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, and range of motion. We are also looking for excellent body mechanics, calm, focused intention, and completeness of strokes.
  • Freestyle Massage (Western Inspired)
    • Combination of Western massage and bodywork modalities; The inclusion of tools including but not limited to stones (hot, cold, salt, etc), cupping, muscle scraper, wood therapy tools, etc. May be a full body or single treatment area. We are looking for confidence, advanced techniques, flow, and ergonomics that make sense for the modality.
  • Freestyle Massage (Eastern Inspired)
    • Combination of Eastern massage and bodywork modalities; the inclusion of tools including but not limited to cupping, bamboo, gua sha, Thai herbal balls, etc. May be a full body or single treatment area. We are looking for confidence, advanced techniques, flow, and ergonomics that make sense for the modality.
  • Wellness massage
    • It includes all services that are provided in spa and wellness centers such as hot stones massage, salt stones, bamboo, and other wellness techniques. Stretching is allowed. We are looking for confidence, advanced techniques, flow, and ergonomics that make sense for the modality.
  • Sports
    • Sports massage Sports massage is very similar to Swedish massage and should include Deep-Tissue massage, MFR, MET, neuromuscular techniques, stretching, etc.

 

Winners/Prizes:

Gold, silver, and bronze winners will receive medals & certificates in each of the five categories

Overall Finals Champions: gold, silver, and bronze medals & certificates*

  • 1st place/Gold Overall Champion gets a FREE entrance into the World Massage Festival ($400 value) and the American Massage Championship ($250 value) held in Cherokee, NC, in July 2024 at the Harrah’s Resort.

  • A single double certificate will be produced for those winning in a category and in the finals. Ex.) Sally Smith: “1st place/Gold in Swedish Massage and 2nd place/Silver Overall in the 2023 Pennsylvania Massage Championship”