LaDusta “Dusty” Sonnier, LMT

Message From the President
Dusty Sonnier, LMT

I hope this newsletter finds all of you peacefully preparing for the gathering of family and friends we all hold near and dear to our hearts.  However, if you are like me. you are running around trying to get it all done; clients, shopping, wrapping…the list goes on and on.  I remind myself its not about the perfect gift or who has the nicest or prettiest Christmas tree,  it’s about family, friends and the reason for the season, the Birthday of Jesus.  Take a breath, look at the blessings  you have around you big and small, that’s what the season is all about-blessings.  As our New Year draws near, we make more lists of goals we want to reach for this time next year.  Let the first goal be to start each day being grateful for all things.  Take care of yourself, because if you cannot give of yourself,  there is nothing to give.

Taking care of you, our members, is our goal for the new year of  2020.  To Kick it off with our Louisiana State Convention January 31-February 2, 2020, we welcome back James Waslaski for Upper Body Training.

We are doing things a little different this year for our convention as noted below:

FRIDAY, January 31, 2020

12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Upper Body Training:  James Waslaski

5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Free Time

5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Keynote Address:  James Waslaski

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Business Meeting
Finger Foods will be served

SATURDAY, February 1, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Upper Body Training: James Waslaski

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Mexican Fajita Bar in Vendor Area
Provided Courtesy of AMTA-LA

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Upper Body Training: James Waslaski

5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Free time

6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Saturday Night Social,
“Dress As your Favorite Decade”
Join us for a sit down meal and dancing (in the vendor area).

Sunday, February 2, 2020

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Upper Body Training:  James Waslaski

1:00 p.m.
CE Certificates Awarded

12:00 Noon 
Hotel Checkout Time

Your Continuing Education Presenter, James Waslaski

Join World Renowned Massage Therapist Instructor, James Waslaski as he Presents Integrated Manual Therapy & Orthopedic Massage for Upper Body Conditions.

James Waslaski has a proven background of Orthopedic Massage.

  • Author and International Lecturer who teaches approximately 40 seminars per year around the globe
  • Presents at state, national and international massage, chiropractic, and osteopathic conventions, including keynote addresses at the FSMTA, World of Wellness, New England Regional Conference, the World Massage Festival, and Australian National Massage Conventions
  • Developed eight Orthopedic Massage and Sports Injury DVDs and authored manuals on Advanced Orthopedic Massage and Client Self Care
  • His book, Clinical Massage Therapy: A Structural Approach to Pain Management, was published by Pearson Education in 2011
  • Certified Personal Trainer with NASM
  • Served as AMTA Sports Massage Chair and FSMTA Professional Relations Chair
  • Received the 1999 FSMTA International Achievement Award and was inducted into the 2008 Massage Therapy Hall of Fame
  • His audience includes massage and physical therapists, as well as athletic trainers, chiropractors, osteopaths, nurses and physicians

About This Year's Convention

Based on revolutionary clinical research, participants will learn new techniques that will forever change the way they approach myofascial, trigger point, and tendon pain. These innovative structurally oriented routines, offer pain-free multi-modality methods for achieving immediate results from the following clinical conditions:

  • rotator cuff injuries
  • shoulder impingement
  • bursitis
  • pectoralis minor strains
  • bicipital tendinosis
  • rhomboid pain
  • carpel tunnel syndrome
  • thoracic outlet
  • cervical sprains and strains
  • whiplash, atlas/axis and C1/C2 mobilization
  • facet joint dysfunctions
  • trigger finger
  • migraine headaches
  • bulging discs
  • medial and lateral epicondyle pain
  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  • joint arthritis

Ground-breaking Frozen Shoulder and Hip Capsule Adhesion techniques will highlight this dynamic interactive workshop.

This incredible multimedia presentation, consisting of assessments, treatments, and client self-care for chronic pain and sports injuries, will facilitate permanent results; even in the most complicated clinical conditions.

AMTA Louisiana
Elected Chapter Volunteers
Dusty Sonnier, President
Dawn Hedgpeth, Board Member
Jennie Purvis, Board Member
Dionne Maricelli, Financial Administrator
Candy Welch, Secretary
Kathie Lea, Delegate 
AMTA Louisiana
President Appointed Positions for 2019-2020
Kathie Lea, Government Relations
Jenna Laitinen, Convention Coordinator
Candy Welch, Convention Registration
Dawn Hedgpeth, Convention Goodie Bags & Exhibitors

Dionne MaricelliAwards Chair
Marie Humphries, Newsletter Chair
Lisa Bennett, Chapter Photographer

Tyechia Gayfield, Membership Chair
vacant, Website Chair
Allyson Johns, Community Outreach
Diane Navarre, Online Elections Chair 

Questions Regarding Convention?



(504) 487-6617 


Embassy Suites Hotel – Baton Rouge

(225) 924-6566

4914 Constitution Avenue
Baton Rouge LA 70808

AMTA-LA has contracted with Embassy Suites in Baton Rouge again this year for our convention. Here are the details for you; if you have any questions, please use the Contact Form at the bottom of the page. Either Jenna, our Convention Coordinator, or another volunteer will respond to you shortly. Thanks!


  • Room rates noted below are for single or double occupancy:
    Double: $133 Per Night
    King: $123 Per Night
  • An additional charge of $10 per person over age 18 will apply for the third and fourth person per guest room
  • Rates are subject to state and local taxes, which are currently 15.45% and may be subject to change without notice
  • To cancel a reservation, individual guests must call 48 hours prior to arrival to avoid charges to card on file. Otherwise, the card will be charged for one night
  • Check-in is at 3pm; check-out is at 12noon
  • Guests arriving prior to 3pm will be accommodated as rooms become available
  • All rooms are non-smoking


Dress as your Favorite Decade
Here are some shots from last year…

Be on the lookout for your Ballot to vote on the following positions:

2-year term

Professional Member in good standing for at least one year.

2-year term

Professional Member in good standing for at least one year.

2-year term

Professional Member in good standing for at least one year.

2-year term

Professional Member in good standing for at least one year.


Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy requires us to acquire a minimum of 12 CE hours to maintain our license. Attending a state convention is a way to acquire your continuing education and an excellent massage networking opportunity.  It is a great opportunity to meet and interact with old and new colleagues.  It is a place where you can interact with seasoned massage therapists with a variety of knowledge and experience.

May your Christmas sparkle with moments of love, laughter and goodwill.  And may the year ahead be full of contentment and joy.
From all of us…Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

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