Evanston, IL- We know massage therapy can help manage everyday pain and stress, but can it also be harnessed to address wider social problems? The Massage Therapy Foundation believes so, and has put its money where its mouth is with its 2012 Community Service Grants, funding five unique programs that aim to take massage out of the spa and into the world of social good.

So who earned these $5,000 grants, and how will the funds be used?

  • The Reid Massage Therapy Senior Outreach Program in Richmond, Indiana, will reach out to seniors in rural Indiana and Ohio who often lack access to life-improving therapies like massage. This program, led by Donna Bever, will benefit 350 to 400 seniors who would not otherwise be able to experience the benefits of professional massage therapy.
  • Cause (Comfort for America’s Uniformed Services), has offered massage therapy to aid returning soldiers as part of the Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program in Fort Hood, Texas, since 2010. Their grant from the Massage Therapy Foundation, which was sponsored in part by a gift from the American Massage Therapy Association Massachusetts Chapter, will fund a coordinator position to help the program respond to increasing demand for its services. This project is being led by Brianna Broad at Cause.
  • The Respite and project leader Aimee Taylor in Charlotte, North Carolina, will train qualified massage therapists in the specialty of grief massage, in order to offer free massage therapy services to people who have suffered the recent loss of a loved one.
  • Free Fulfillment, located in Brooklyn, New York, will help former prison inmates reintegrate into society with a combination of massage therapy and counseling. A former Massage Therapy Foundation grant recipient, this program led by Mateen Flores boasts a 97-percent stress reduction rate in the people it serves. This grant was sponsored in part by a gift from BIOTONE.
  • Family of Woodstock and Healthcare is a Human Right have been partnering since August 2011 to provide services to families affected by the severe flooding that devastated parts of New York State following Hurricanes Irene and Lee. The Massage Therapy Foundation grant, also sponsored in part by a gift from BIOTONE, will enable project leader Susan Weeks to administer a the program that provides massage and other bodywork to more than 150 homeless individuals in these still-suffering communities.

Community Service Grants are awarded annually by the Massage Therapy Foundation to charitable organizations that provide massage therapy to people who currently have little or no access to such services. This grant program is designed to promote working partnerships between the massage therapy profession and community-based organizations.

About the Massage Therapy Foundation

The Massage Therapy Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity, with a mission to advance the knowledge and practice of massage by supporting scientific research, education and community service. For more information on the MTF, visit www.massagetherapyfoundation.org.