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Massage Today
September, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 09

Re-Gifting Is a Good Thing

FSMTA Attendees Show Major Generosity

By Angie Patrick

The power of positive energy was never more apparent than at the 2009 Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) Convention held in July at the beautiful Omni Championsgate Resort in Orlando, Fla.

While there, I personally witnessed the caring and gentle nature of the profession as a whole as well as random acts of selflessness and kindness on a more individual basis.

First let me share with you an event I witnessed that truly warmed my heart. During Successful Start, a program to provide new therapists with important tips to begin a successful career (sponsored by Massage Warehouse and Performance Health), prizes were awarded to attendees based on having their ticket number drawn from a hopper. Our stage was full of prizes donated by manufacturers and distributors for the benefit of the newly emerging therapists. Our first prize drawing of the night was for an NRG massage table. The name was called and the winner came forward and graciously accepted her prize. The night wore on, and many more amazing prizes were given out. At the end of the evening, the grand prize drawing for the Massage Warehouse Ultimate Business Starter package was drawn. This package contained much that a therapist needs including a table, massage chair, table cart, and much more. When the ticket number was called, incredibly, it was the same young woman who had won the first drawing of the evening for a table. Needless to say, she was absolutely thrilled! She then did something I felt was truly generous. She asked us to place the original table back in the mix so another person might enjoy it as well. We did, and then drew the ticket of a young gentleman who was elated about winning the table. After accepting, he then returned to the podium and explained he was thankful to have won a new table, but he already had one. He had been sitting next to a young woman who had fallen on some hard times in the recent year, and stated that he would like to give the table to her instead. What a tremendous gift this was for her! And she was completely and wholly thankful for the kindnesses of these two perfect strangers.

What Comes Naturally

In a world where the economy is tenuous at best, and we are all in search of alternate streams of income, these two generous and kind-hearted therapists opted for the road less travelled. Instead of taking their winnings and posting a sign stating, "Massage Table for Sale," keeping the winnings for themselves, they chose to offer kindness and charity for others. Their selflessness was humbling, and it made me proud to be a part of this industry, where having a heart is the rule rather than the exception, and where giving comes naturally.

This was just the beginning however. The giving did not stop there! Massage Warehouse hosted our fundraising project, Sanctuary, raising money and awareness for massage therapy research. At this event, a donation of $10 entitled you to 10 minutes of spa-quality treatments designed for the feet and for the face. We had the tremendous good fortune of having the talented students of Everest, under the leadership of Candy Morris to volunteer their time and hand to provide the treatments. These students were the epitome of professionalism, arriving on time, en masse, and ready to do whatever needed to be done. My arms are not wide enough to hug and thank them all for their selflessness and generosity.

Our corporate event sponsors also gave from their heart to a great cause. Our thanks to Bon Vital, Performance Health, Soothing Touch, TH Stone, Sa-Wan, Unique Skincare, Spot-On Energy Patch, Massage Magazine, and of course Massage Today for their generous donations and support of Sanctuary. Without these sponsors, Sanctuary would not be possible.

Additionally, the response to Sanctuary by the attendees was overwhelming to say the least! Donations were made in excess of the $10 because people believed in the cause. More people donated without requiring treatment because they felt the need to support the future of their industry. Our treatment bays were continually full, and when all the numbers were in, we were proud to present $6,583 to the Touch Research Institute in Miami to further the research of Dr. Tiffany Field on the effects of touch on premature infants.

I would like to personally thank each and every one of the guests who attended Sanctuary, and enjoyed the treatments of their choice. It is comforting to know many believe in the need for greater research, and choose to show their commitment through participation.

We will be back in Orlando once again presenting Sanctuary at the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Convention in September. We invite you to come and see what all the excitement is about, and to further engage each of you in the need to raise awareness and funding for research. In September, the event will benefit the Massage Therapy Foundation, and funds raised will be gifted to them. It is my hope you will be able to attend and be a part of something that benefits each and every practitioner in the industry.

The art of giving is certainly alive and well in Florida at the FSMTA convention! And it lives within us all. I urge you to take a few moments, and find a way to give back to your profession, reach out a hand to someone in need, or be the inspiration that affects positive change in those around you. We have the power to turn tides, and it is through our open hearts and healing hands we can make a difference.

Click here for previous articles by Angie Patrick.


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