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Massage Today
January, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 01

Dichotomy of Emotions

By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB

Massage Today is having a birthday! The premier issue of Massage Today rolled off the presses and into your mailboxes in January 2001. As we enter our fourth year of publication, I can say with all honesty that working with Massage Today is one of the most enjoyable things I do! I am delighted that it has become a real force in the massage industry, and I'm most proud when I meet readers who tell me that they "love Massage Today!"

That said, still has a long way to grow into the superior trade publication I envisioned three years ago! There is a huge backlog of wonderful articles that may never see the light of day because there is no space to print them.

As you know, is provided at no cost to each and every massage therapist who wants it. Since nothing is free, advertising makes it possible for your issue to arrive each month. The quantity of advertising determines the number of pages of "content" that can be printed on a monthly basis.

There is a dichotomy of emotions here. While I think that Massage Today is the very best of all the publications currently serving the massage industry, I know we can do even better! So help me out here! E-mail me at and let me know what you want to see more of in Massage Today.

Equally as important, let me know what companies you would like to see advertise with us. I would really like to bring you the benefit of more articles, surveys, research and columnists. It is, after all, designed to meet your needs! I'm planning on doing my part to see that it continues to be a serious force for the advancement of the profession for years to come!

Speaking of dichotomy, you are reading this in January; however, as I write this, it is still several weeks before Christmas. Psychologists will confirm that this is traditionally a time of emotional turmoil for many. Those of us celebrating the spiritual aspects of the holiday suffer from the dichotomy of the joy of the Savior's birth with the sorrow of turmoil in the world. Those of us celebrating the secular aspects of the holiday suffer from the dichotomy of the delight in spending time with family and friends versus the need to delve into the commercialism and hustle of crowded stores and mall parking lots.

I typically and historically see only the good parts of the holiday season. I enjoy decorating my treatment room in traditional Christmas decorations and playing "relaxing" Christmas carols when in session. I look forward to having both children and grandchildren close at hand to help us celebrate.

This year, however, I also experienced the feeling of loss and tragedy that brings a hollow ache, and causes introspection and scrutiny of feeling. The massage world lost one of its best on the evening of November 30th, when the life of Cheryn McGillicuddy was tragically cut short. Private tragedy is an occurrence affecting thousands of families everyday in the United States, but that knowledge does not help one bit. Police in Florida are still searching for her killer.

I knew Cheryn as energy, capability and compassion all rolled into one. Her positive energy, enthusiasm, spirit and willingness to pitch in to make things happen made me, and many others, feel significant and truly cared for. She and her husband, Massage Today Sports Massage columnist Michael McGillicuddy, owned and taught at one of the country's premier massage schools, the Central Florida School of Massage. She was instrumental in the development of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association's code of ethics and a patient's bill of rights.

Cheryn's students always found her knowledgeable, helpful and patient. As a friend, I'll dearly miss her counsel, her laugh and her hugs. As a massage educator, Cheryn exhibited tireless devotion and enthusiasm, and an obligation to provide quality education. What a wonderful world it would be if all massage schools had someone like Cheryn directing their educational programs! At only 39 years of age, she had so much more to give. We, as a profession have lost much.

This blue rock does keep spinning, however. Our clients need us. Our friends and families need us. It is up to us to make 2004 another year of growth in our profession. We all need to come to grips with our losses, and use the lessons we have learned from those we have lost for progress. I urge all of us, no matter how we see our role in massage, no matter how we feel about the politics of the field, no matter how successful or unsuccessful we think we are - to be a little bit better and a little bit more client-focused in 2004 than we were in 2003.

Thanks for listening!

Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to or by regular mail to:

Massage Today
P.O. Box 4139
Huntington Beach, CA 92605

Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.


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