The Canadian Touch Research Center has named Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O., as the latest recipient of its Ashley Montagu Award. The award is given every other year to a distinguished member of the massage and bodywork profession “whose devotion leads to the advancement of touch in the world,” according to an announcement letter sent by the center.

Chaitow ( is an educator, author, creator of CD-Roms including “A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Treating Headaches and Neck Pain” and “A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Understanding, Locating and Treating Myofascial Trigger Points, and editor of the Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies.

The award’s first recipient was Touch Research Institute Director Tiffany Field, Ph.D. ( Other awardees include Hans Axelson, founder of Axelson Gymnastiska Institut ( in Stockholm, for the development of a program in which schoolchildren provide &ldquo peaceful touch &rdquo to one another; and researcher Dan Cherkin, Ph.D. (

The center’s mission is “research aiming at the prevention and relief of pain and muscular tensions, as well as the improvement of quality of life,” according to its website (, and it works to implement pilot projects and conduct research in collaboration with hospitals, universities and public enterprises.

Ashley Montagu (1905–1999) ( was a British anthropologist who wrote the seminal book “Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin”; as well as “The Human Connection”; “Coming into Being”; and “The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity,” which inspired the movie of similar title. He wrote many additional books.


—Karen Menehan