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Massage Today
July, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 07

Orlando Gets Even Hotter!

By Angie Patrick

In 2009, Orlando, Fla. is the hottest place to be to see all the new and exciting products, modalities, and cool new gadgets for massage therapy! Two great conventions will be held in this beautiful city: the Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) convention and the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) convention.

Once again, Sanctuary will be at both of these exciting events. A philanthropic event presented by Massage Warehouse in conjunction with their event partners, Sanctuary brings greater awareness and creates funding for the furtherance of massage therapy research.

The FSMTA event on July 8-12 at the Omni Orlando Resort is earmarked for the research of Dr. Tiffany Field, the world's foremost authority of the benefits of massage on prematurely born infants. As the facilitator of the event, this particular research hits close to home as my own daughter was born severely premature at only 24 weeks. It is my belief that my daughter would not be thriving to the extent she is currently without the advent of infant massage begun at such a delicate and young age. The power of touch is never more apparent than when shared with the smallest of clients, these beautiful preemie babies. Additionally, the AMTA event on Sept. 23-26 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort will benefit the Massage Therapy Foundation to award grants to deserving researchers all over the nation.

Partners in the Sanctuary project are manufacturers and organizations dedicated to the growth and sustainability of the massage therapy profession, and are committed to contributing time and resources back into the massage industry they serve. Our prestigious partners in our Sanctuary project are: Massage Today, Bon Vital, Spot On Energy/Mend Right, Sa-Wan, Soothing Touch, Unique Skincare, TH Stone, Performance Health, Massage Magazine, AMTA, and FSMTA.

AMTA Convention - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Sanctuary has raised nearly $40,000 to benefit the massage industry through greater research, quantifying through science what we all know in our hearts: that massage heals. We have raised this money through the support of our partners, and through the donations of therapists like you. This is not your ordinary donation however. When you see Sanctuary at an event, you have the unique opportunity to test new products and protocols from the client perspective.

For your $10 donation, you will be treated to a relaxing, spa quality treatment while relaxing in our Zero Gravity chairs and listening to beautiful music, blocking out the sounds and excitement of the trade show floor for 10 minutes. You will relax your tired and aching trade show feet with any one of our signature protocols. Chocolate Peppermint Foot Exfoliation, Tidal Toe Tingler, Hot Beach Stone Therapy, Lava and Frost Hot/Cold Contrast, Thai Herbal Ball Bliss, or Basic Reflexology. A service bay is also set up for those of you who would like to have a mini facial at the show, teaching you the basics of a Rejuvenating Facelift Massage. All of the protocols used in Sanctuary are designed with the therapist in mind, allowing the therapist to adopt these protocols easily into their own practice.

These events benefit everyone involved. First, the therapist who gets to slow down for a moment and enjoy a little bodywork, learn about and experience a new product, learn a new protocol, and walk away with an education on mini-spa treatments they can add to their own practice. Second, the partners who have a wonderful opportunity to have the therapists enjoy their products from the client perspective, as well as have the opportunity for them to learn how to use them. Third, researchers who have more funding to facilitate their research as well as the greater awareness of the need for more. And lastly, the massage profession as a whole, which benefits when people come together for a common cause, and are able to take away positive experiences and a greater understanding of the professional products they use and companies who supply them.

The popularity of this event has grown such that in events past, we have completely sold out of appointments by the middle of the second day. This has caused Sanctuary to undergo a few changes, and the biggest would be the addition of more treatment bays. Appointments will still be required, so plan ahead and make your appointments early. Take the opportunity to book several treatments back to back for an incredibly relaxing experience!

The only program of its kind, Sanctuary has grown into a wonderful success story. It is a project I am delighted to be a part of, and one I am certain will be around for years to come. It is only through the support of our partners and those wonderful therapists and students who give of their time to provide these incredible treatments that allows us to present this worthwhile event year after year. We hope to see you there!

Click here for previous articles by Angie Patrick.


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