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Massage Today
January, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 01

Planting Seeds for Success

By Peter W. Crownfield

In mid-2000, MPA Media decided to provide something unique to massage therapists: a monthly, independent news publication designed to facilitate communication and information exchange within the profession. As the first managing editor, my monumental task in preparing for the January 2001 launch of MT was to immerse myself in the profession in every manner possible - a profession about which I had little or no prior knowledge. To accomplish that, I turned to Cliff Korn, former NCBTMB chair, former president of the New Hampshire chapter of the AMTA, and founding editor of Massage Today.

Cliff solicited nearly all of MT's original columnists, including current contributors Whitney Lowe, Dr. John Upledger, Erik Dalton and Dr. Leon Chaitow. In doing so, he ensured MT would be able to consistently deliver solid content from the best in the business. Cliff also provided much of the news we've reported, especially in the early years. Between visiting trade shows and other events as editor of MT, to just keeping himself "in the know," Cliff served as a rich resource of information - information that would, either by his hand or an in-house editor's, end up on the front page of the publication. Our dedication to covering the news and events of the profession is one of many reasons MT always has been so different from other massage publications.

However, Cliff did much more than lay the foundation for the success of Massage Today. Through his eyes, I learned that reporting on the politics, the issues and the debates was no more important than providing a forum to share the wonderful qualities embodied by the massage profession. In short, I learned that reporting the news had to be tempered with an appreciation for the giving, caring spirit of the massage therapist. That's why we've done our best over the years to provide a variety of perspectives in every issue.

What does it mean to be a massage therapist? Cliff explained it poignantly in his May 2002 "From the Editor's Desk" column, "As massage therapists and bodyworkers, we likely have an impact on the world that even we cannot fathom. We may introduce many who have never had positive touch to the beneficial aspects of touch and acceptance. We probably help ourselves by touching as much as we help our patients and clients by having them receive touch. I believe the positive touch my grandchildren receive will be a big factor in their development as healthy, happy, well-adjusted individuals. I only wish that everyone had more positive touch."

As Cliff ends his tenure as editor of MT and devotes more time to his practice, his grandchildren and loved ones, among other worthy endeavors, we begin our eighth year of publication as the news and information source for the massage therapy profession. And we do so in large part due to Cliff Korn. We thank him for his outstanding service to the publication and the profession. But more than that, I thank him for his friendship and for giving me a profound appreciation for the power of touch.


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