(Golden, Colo., July 9) – Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) will celebrate its award-winning, 16th annual EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week, highlighting the benefits of massage, July 18 through July 24. As in years past, ABMP members will hold grassroots events nationwide to give back to their communities and spread the word about the value of professional massage therapy.

“There’s no better time than now to tell the world about the value of legitimate, professional massage therapy,” said ABMP president and nationally certified massage therapist Les Sweeney. “It’s clear from recent events in the news that there are still a few folks out there—including some in the media—who aren’t clear about the code of conduct followed by massage therapists and the therapeutic value of professional massage therapy. It’s professional work that calls for significant training, adherence to a code of ethics, and professional licensing in 43 states.”

ABMP this week issued an invitation for a free one-hour massage session to co-hosts on ABC’s The View, and Joe Scarborough of NBC’s Morning Joe, after some stories with disrespectful comments about massage therapy were aired on their shows.

On behalf of the 293,000 massage therapists in the U.S., ABMP pointed out the following to hosts and producers at these media outlets:

  • Professional massage therapists complete anywhere from 250 to 1,000 hours of training in order to work legally in regulated states.
  • ABMP therapists are required to follow a strict code of ethics.
  • Massage therapy is the most-requested service in spas.
  • The most typical session length for a table massage is 60 minutes. The next-most-frequent request is 75 to 90 minutes.
  • At a massage session, a client undresses in private, only to his or her level of comfort, and is carefully draped at all times during the session, so that only the area being worked on is exposed.
  • Any inappropriate remarks or actions by a client result in immediate termination of the massage session with no refund.
  • There are numerous health and relaxation benefits from receiving massage therapy.

Consumers can find out more at www.massagetherapy.com. The site includes the ability to search for links to qualified therapists.

“Unfortunately, massage terminology is used as a cover by some for illegal activities that have nothing to do with the work our members perform,” Sweeney said. “This puts legitimate professionals at unnecessary personal risk, and damages a profession that has made great strides in public recognition and acceptance in recent decades.”

Independent consumer research shows 42 percent of American adults have received at least one massage during their lifetime. Interest in and acceptance of massage therapy has grown significantly in the past two or three decades, thanks to ongoing education and the quality of work that’s being accomplished. The rise of spas and the aging of baby boomers have contributed to this trend.

Grassroots events for EveryBody Deserves an Massage Week this year include a contest giving away a massage to a deserving member of a community, fundraisers for a children’s hospital and the Muscular Dystrophy Association and complimentary 30-minute massages for veterans.

ABMP is the nation’s largest massage membership association and serves the profession by promoting ethical practice, fostering acceptance of the profession and protecting the rights of legitimate massage and bodywork practitioners. Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Golden, Colorado, ABMP has more than 72,000 massage therapy professional and student members nationwide.