Despite the less-than-positive news from around the world, there is so much to give thanks for.

I am grateful for my family and friends, for my health and the opportunities available to me as a member of a first-world society. I am thankful for my job, for the gift of working with, and for, the massage therapy profession.

I feel blessed by life itself; just to be here and make a positive difference in people’s lives.

The news tells us the U.S.  economy is shaky. But that means your gifts are needed by that many more Americans. According to the American Massage Therapy Association’s 12th annual consumer survey, stress relief and relaxation are the leading reasons clients turn to massage therapy.

Another study shows that nearly half of Americans report that their stress level has increased over the past year, with as many as 30 percent rating their average stress levels as extreme. Key factors in stress levels include the worsening economy and health concerns.

So, while fiscal frugality might be part of your holiday season this year, never doubt that your skills are needed. Keep the faith in your profession, continue to advertise and market your services, and know that healing touch is vital to the health of us all.