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National Massage Week Promotes Touch Therapies

Massage therapists across the nation participated in events to promote massage therapy as part of EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week, held July 15–21.

Since 1995 Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) has sponsored the week. Nora Bruner, public relations specialist for the association, said its members are very community-oriented. “We just provide them with a little bit of structure and some materials to pull together an event,” she said.

Christopher Masters, founder and educational director of the Savannah School of Massage Therapy, (left) presents a check to Bill Covington, director of the Boys and Girls Club of America. The donation came from the school’s participation in EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week, held July 15–21.
Courtesy of the Savannah School of Massage Therapy

Christopher Masters, founder and educational director of the Savannah School of Massage Therapy, (left) presents a check to Bill Covington, director of the Boys and Girls Club of America. The donation came from the school’s participation in EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week, held July 15–21.

This year the ABMP received requests from therapists in 48 states and the District of Columbia for information and materials related to EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week, Bruner said. Materials included posters, vinyl banners and coupons that could be used for event-related gift certificates or discounts.

This year, as it does every year in conjunction with EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week, the Savannah School of Massage Therapy donated the week’s student-clinic proceeds to a local charity, said Chris Masters, the school’s founder and educational director.

“Everybody wins,” he said of the weeklong event. “The school gets press, the students get their clinical hours in, everybody gets a massage and the charity gets their money for these efforts.” This year the school raised $1,350 for the Boys and Girls Club of America.

Individual therapists also participated in EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week events.

Heather Duncan, a massage therapist in Charleston, Indiana, offered chair massages at all five branches of her local library in exchange for canned goods.

Hollie Bahr and Jeanne Corrin, massage therapists at Preferred Massage in International Falls, Minnesota, gave chair massages in the lobby of their office building and took donations for a local education foundation that provides money to purchase classroom supplies and supports activities that no longer receive regular funding.

Although giving massages on a moving parade float during the 2006 EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week made Lisa Day the talk of Sheridan, Wyoming, she decided to host a two-day educational event this year.

Using the Massage Finder function on ABMP’s Web site, Day located a group of therapists who agreed to offer chair massages or a lecture, or both. She also gave chair massages at a fundraiser for an abuse advocacy and resource center that week. An experienced event planner, she did a complete media blitz, covering newspapers, radio and television, and was even the local chamber of commerce’s featured business for the week.

—Janie Franz