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Massage Today
April, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 04

Olympic Research Projects Focus on Form, Function

By Editorial Staff

Nine research projects were conducted in a joint venture by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Pfizer, a research-based pharmaceutical company, during last month's Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The research studies focused on health, nutrition and biomechanics, with specific projects tailored to investigate the following:

Health and Nutrition: Anorexia and low body weight in ski jumping; nutrition issues and inadequate diet during preparation for the Games by speedskaters, skiers and bobsledders; and prevalence of menstrual dysfunction in elite athletes preparing for the Games.

Biomechanics: Pacing patterns in speedskating; Klapskate hinge position in speedskating; quadruple revolutions in figureskating jumps; double and triple twists in figureskating; success in competitive figrureskating performances; and flight trajectories and takeoff characteristics of ski jumpers.

The sponsors of the research projects hope that results from these nine studies will provide valuable data to health care professionals, athletes and the public regarding injury prevention and natural performance improvement.

National Board Certifies 50,000th Practitioner

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) reached a milestone recently by certifying its 50,000th practitioner.

To obtain national certification, massage therapists must complete a minimum of 500 in-class hours of education and training, pass the National Certification Exam (NCE), and pledge to follow the NCBTMB's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Commenting on the milestone, NCBTMB Executive Director Christine Niero, PhD, said: "Massage therapy is one of the fastest growing segments of alternative medicine, and with this comes an increased demand for qualified practitioners... as more Americans come to understand the benefits of massage therapy and bodywork, it is increasingly important to have a certification body that provides consumers and employers with a national standard."

Another Benefit of Massage

In November of 2001, the American Legion, Post 291 in Costa Mesa, California received a check for $1,000 from the American Institute of Massage Therapy. Instructor and Chancellor Dr. M.K. Hungerford and her students provided 15-minute massages for $5 to raise money for the disaster victims of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.

Overall, the combined effort raised $16,000; the money will be sent to the families of the New York City firemen who gave their lives trying to save lives on that horrific day.

Transatlantic Massage

Students from Phoenix Therapeutic Massage College (PTMC) made a trip to London, England recently to study massage therapy at the London School of Massage and the U.K. College of Complementary Health Studies. As part of their experience, the 21 students were given the opportunity to provide massage to the staff of St. Charles Hospital in London.

As part of this unique exchange program, 12 students from London visited Phoenix to study neuromuscular massage, hot rock therapy and other massage techniques at PTMC. To find out about the next exchange opportunity, contact PTMC at (480) 945-9461.

Insurance Plans Continue to Include Massage as Discount Option

Another sign of the growing acceptance of massage and other complementary and alternative therapies comes from the South, where Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) recently introduced a discount program for a variety of services, including massage therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture. The program, called "Blue Complements," also includes discounts on vitamins and minerals, herbal supplements, and books and videos relating to health and wellness.

This continuing trend has sparked widespread debate within the massage profession in recent months. Supporters of the trend believe that making massage therapy accessible to the public through health insurance will expand the profession and bring its benefits to a wider audience; opponents claim that such programs discount massage therapists' services and bring unnecessary organizational control to the massage experience.

 

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