NHPC 30th Anniversary Timeline
1988: The First Year
The In Touch Massage Club was incorporated on September 30, 1988!
The Board of Directors consisted of 12 members who were responsible for all administrative work.
1989: First Committees
The In Touch Massage Club formed its first committees, which included advisory, education, personnel, finance, and membership.
1990: New Member Benefits
The In Touch Massage Club announced new benefits for its members:
- membership certificates
- Costco membership discount
- health care benefits for members
- malpractice insurance
1991: Advocacy Efforts Begin
The In Touch Massage Club began reviewing its constitution to better serve its members.
The Association began advocating for the benefits of massage therapy at many different public events.
1992: First Name Change
While the organization had fewer than 100 members, it was still influential in advocating for massage therapists in Edmonton and surrounding areas.
On February 11, 1992, the organization changed its name to the Association of Massage Therapists and Wholistic Practitioners (AMTWP).
1993: Government Relations Begin
The AMTWP formed a goal-setting committee in order to set and achieve ambitions for the Association. The committee focused on the need for a unified body, public education of massage therapy, and social activities for membership.
In 1993, the Association faced challenges with the government. AMTWP massage therapists are forced to renew their massage licenses with the City of Edmonton due to changed legislation.
1994: Modality Catalogue Started
This was a big year for the Association. The AMTWP met with all massage therapy groups in Alberta to discuss areas of mutual interest to determine the best way to further the profession.
The first Code of Ethics is established. The Association also began cataloguing holistic health modalities.
Lifetime membership was granted to six members for their outstanding contributions to the Association.
1995: Office Staff Hired
The AMTWP hired its first full-time staff member. Previously all work was done through volunteers and the Board of Directors.
The Association passed 550 members.
1996: 1000 Members
The Association reached 1,000 members.
The AMTWP began establishing programs to educate the public on the benefits of massage and holistic health practices.
The Association partnered with the Government of Alberta to conduct a survey of massage therapists in the province regarding their work schedules and history of practice.
1997: First Executive Director
The AMTWP identifies that, in order to continue developing as a professional association, it needed to hire an executive director. Adrian Bonach became the first.
The Association passed 2,000 members, establishing more marketing initiatives, membership awards, and professional development for members.
1998: First Email Address
On its 10-year anniversary, the AMTWP moved into the 21st Century with the creation of its very first email address.
The Association also moved into a new office.
1999: Website Launches
Despite worries about the dangers to electronic communications related to Y2K, the AMTWP launched its first website in 1999.
The Association began expansion to become national, welcoming new members from British Columbia and Manitoba.
The Association begins helping the Reflexology Association of Canada with some of their administrative work.
2001: Association Goes National
The AMTWP gained members from all provinces and territories in Canada. It also launched the first public referral list, allowing the public to refer their therapists and browse for new ones.
MentorTree was created. The program was a practitioner-to-practitioner mentorship opportunity that encouraged collaboration in the holistic health community.
2002: Membership Milestone
The AMTWP reached 4,000 members. The Association provided even better service to members by updating the website frequently.
2003: First International Trip
The Association makes its first sponsored international trip to Thailand for the Thai Massage Study Tour!
The AMTWP began advocating for its members in Saskatchewan. Members were asked to contribute opinions in order to help shape regulation.
2004: Survey Drives Policy
A survey of massage therapists was conducted by the Association. This led to the development of an AMTWP policy of using the established Canadian standards of massage therapy.
2005: Combined Advocacy Efforts
In September 2005, the AMTWP, ARMTS, RMTA, and MTAA joined forces to create the Motor Vehicle Accident Insurance (MVAI) Task Force.
The feedback from this committee was essential information for developing insurance legislation.
2006: Recognition and Awards
The AMTWP is officially recognized by the City of Toronto as a "Professional Holistic Association."
AMTWP Outstanding Volunteer Awards were presented to seven members for their incredible work with the holistic health community and the Association.
2007: Second Name Change
2007 was another exciting year for the Association. A new mission statement was launched, and the National Conference was held in Winnipeg for the first time.
The Association engaged in an exercise to develop their "brand" and changed its name and logo for the second time.
On August 15, 2007, the Association became the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada Association (NHPCA)/Association des Praticiens de la Sante Naturelle du Canada (APSNC). The updated brand conveyed a more professional national image and enhanced the credibility of all modalities.
2008: 20th Anniversary
The NHPC celebrated its 20th anniversary and surpasses 6,500 members across Canada.
The first Natural Health Awareness Week was hosted by the Association, garnering media attention.
The mandatory Continued Competency Program was launched on May 1, 2008, supporting the high professional standards of the Association.
2009:Insurance Advocacy Focus
The NHPC placed greater emphasis on insurance advocacy on behalf of its members, ensuring they are represented fairly in all insurance relations discussions relating to holistic practitioners.
2010: New Products and Services
The NHPC moved to an email newsletter along with a digital Connections magazine.
The redesigned website was launched and included a learning centre, a marketplace with business services and products, membership discussion opportunities, and expanded social media networking links.
2011: CEE Created
The Competency Equivalency Exam (CEE) was offered to massage therapy members who did not meet the 2,200 hours of classroom training required by Sun Life Insurance, Alberta Blue Cross, and Manulife.
2012: Complaints Process Review
The Complaints Process Review Task Force was created to evaluate the processes of sanctions, jurisdictions, and statute of limitations.
Member benefits, including a holistic health and fitness tax credit, natural health practitioner certification, and sustainable wellness plans, offered a variety of options for all NHPC members for the first time.
2013: NHPC Volunteers
Over 30 practitioners volunteered to set up an emergency holistic health centre for the victims of the Calgary flood, providing free treatments for three days.
The NHPC celebrated its 25th anniversary. Members completed a member satisfaction survey and the NHPC developed a vision to outline its goals to 2020, called Vision 20/20.
2014: Awareness Week Officially Proclaimed
The NHPC's efforts made it possible for the Natural Health Awareness Week to be proclaimed in Red Deer, Edmonton, and Whitehorse from January 12 to 18, 2014.
NHPC members and their clients began using TELUS Health eClaims for their treatments.
The Association partnered with the Kids With Cancer Society to provide treatments at its annual self-care evening.
2015: Massage Therapy Regulation Progresses
The NHPC made progress on massage therapy regulation in the prairie provinces. An Alberta regulation survey was sent to massage therapy members by NHPC, MTAA, and RMTA.
In Saskatchewan, NHPC members begin advocacy work by writing letters to their MLAs about the dangers of moving forward with a massage therapy proposal without NHPC consultation.
2016: Disaster Relief Alliance
In 2016, an immense wild fire affected thousands of people in the Fort McMurray area. The NHPC collaborated with the MTAA and RMTA to provide free holistic treatments to these victims.
The NHPC launched a new website with a more modern look and a number of new features. Significant information was added for the public, and members could now perform a number of membership tasks through their account.
The Holistic Health Guide was published in print and on the NHPC website.
2017: Increased Public Awareness
The NHPC launched its partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern Alberta (RMHCNA) in the Rejuvenation Program. NHPC members provided complimentary treatments to families staying at the House.
The NHPC was a sponsor and vendor at the Ronald McDonald House Fifth Annual Block Party.
The Association began television advertising. During the year the NHPC was featured in 10 five-minute segments on City TV Edmonton and Calgary.
In Saskatchewan, the NHPC began increasing its advertising efforts with airport ads, radio, television, and print media to dispel rumours surrounding regulation of massage therapy.
2018: Membership Fees Lowered
The NHPC lowered its membership fees at the beginning of 2018 in order to be more accessible to members, yet still providing all of the same services.
The NHPC made economic changes to support the sustainability of the Association, including the move to a smaller office outside of the downtown core and an effort to go paperless.