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Massage Today
August, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 08

ABMP Celebrates Eighth Annual Massage Week

By Editorial Staff

Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) held its eighth annual International Massage Week, July 14-20. The event is designed to "raise public awareness of the benefits of therapeutic massage and encourage people to take the extra time to care for their health through massage."

This year, ABMP encouraged its 39,000 members, nearly 200 member schools, and nonmembers to donate their time, money and skills by offering free, on-site massage at local health fairs, sporting events or shopping malls; volunteering time at women's shelters or senior centers; soliciting canned goods from clients to donate to a local charity; or offering discounted or free services to postal workers, firefighters, police and other community agencies.

When Medicine and Massage Meet

Students at Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI) in Washington, DC and Georgetown University Medical School will share classroom time this fall as part of a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative.

The partnership between PMTI and GU School of Medicine is the result of an initiative funded by the NIH that will create programs and opportunities for incorporating complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into 10 medical schools across the United States.

Massage therapy and medical students will work together in gross anatomy labs and massage therapy classrooms, and PMTI faculty will teach medical students about the principles of massage therapy and recent research findings.

One of the goals of the NIH initiative is to foster relationships between CAM and medical providers and to encourage student and faculty cross-institutional interaction. If successful, the project could become an educational model for nationwide partnerships between medical schools and massage therapy programs.

AMTA MERT Recognized in National Competition

The American Massage Therapy Association's Massage Emergency Response Team (AMTA MERT) captured the "Award of Excellence" in the 2002 Association Advance America Awards. The national competition, sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in Washington, DC, recognizes associations that "propel America forward with innovative projects and community service."

AMTA MERT provides massage and other supportive services at the national, regional and state level during emergency situations. Several AMTA MERT chapters played prominent roles following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. (Editor's note: See "Helping Hands: More Stories from the Disaster Relief Efforts," Massage Today, December 2001. Available online at

The Spirit of Giving

Massage therapist John Jackson Jr. just opened his practice in Starkville, Mississippi in late May, but already he's making a difference - and not just to his clients. Jackson is donating half of his profits from Shiatsu chair massage, hydrotherapy table treatments, and gift certificate sales for July to the county chapter of the American Red Cross.

But his giving nature doesn't end there: one day each month thereafter, Jackson will contribute half of the same proceeds to the chapter. According to Oktibbeha Country Red Cross Director Cerese Teel, this is the first time a local company has offered to contribute its earnings on a regular basis.

While Jackson was training as a massage therapist last fall, his class volunteered their services at a local mall to raise money for the September 11 Red Cross fund. "[That's] what sparked this idea for me here in Starkville," Jackson enthused. "This has always been my home, and I wanted to do something out in the community when I opened here."

Take a Ride on the Massage Train

Travelers of India's railway system may have something new to look forward to in the coming months - on-board massage services. The announcement by officials in the southern Indian state of Kerala (which boasts of being India's massage center) comes on the heels of Indian Airways' recent announcement that it will provide head and neck massages during flights.

As we go to press, Padmaja Venugopal, chairwoman of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) is preparing to present her idea to Railways Minister Nitish Kumar, with high expectations. "Many [people] skip rail travel to save time and avoid cramps and unease," said Ms. Venugopal. "But we can use the time for short-duration rejuvenation therapy."


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