Massage Champion Award

Zeel, the on-demand wellness app, is the recipient of the second annual Champion Award presented by Massage Magazine Insurance Plus (MMIP).

The award was made for Zeel’s dedication to improving the health of U.S. military veterans by making massage therapy services available through the Veterans Administration’s Community Care program.

“We chose Zeel as the 2023 Champion Award winner because we respect and appreciate the work the organization has done through its Massage for Veterans program, and we want to help Zeel further drive its mission of providing the benefits of massage therapy to those who have served our country,” said Associate Director of Marketing Hannah Young, speaking on behalf of MMIP. “With this award, MMIP is donating to a charitable organization related to veterans on the behalf of Zeel.”

Zeel is a wellness app that connects individuals with wellness professionals, including massage therapists and assisted stretching professionals, for on-demand, onsite services.

Through its program with the VA, veterans can easily and quickly book massage therapy sessions with a Zeel-credentialed massage therapist. Benefits to these veterans, according to a survey of 2,249 patients, include pain relief, improved sleep and activity levels, and more (see graphics, below).

“We could not be more honored to receive this award,” said Zeel Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer Alison Harmelin. “It is truly humbling to know that a company like MASSAGE Magazine Insurance Plus recognizes the years of work we have done to deliver safe, non-opioid pain relief to our nation’s veterans.

“There is no population of Americans more deserving of our care and no mission closer to our core values at Zeel,” Harmelin continued. “As we continue to expand our massage therapy program to VA Medical Centers across the country, we are so grateful to the team at MASSAGE Magazine Insurance Plus for their continued support of this ground-breaking program.”

Almost 4,000 veterans have received massage through Zeel, which works with 35 VA Medical Centers nationwide and anticipates expanding to at least 50 centers by the end of this year, according to Samantha Merley, Zeel’s vice president of brand and marketing, who added that the program is growing roughly 10% month over month.

“I’m a proud supporter of Zeel and the company’s mission to reduce chronic pain in the veteran population,” said Ray Mabus, former Secretary of the Navy, and an advisor for and investor in Zeel. “Zeel brings much-needed pain relief to those who need it and deserve it most—those who have served our country.”

More than 1,000 massage therapists are credentialed in this program, with 300 therapists signing up in 2023 alone.

“For so many of us at Zeel, from engineers and salespeople to massage therapists and our clinical team, the mission is very personal,” said Harmelin. “This important, non-opioid, non-surgical program has been growing rapidly, and we’re proud to have served more veterans this month than ever before. It’s our goal to reach every single veteran in chronic pain and in desperate need of relief.”

How has your pain level changed following massage?
33.49% moderate improvement
32.79% mild improvement
25.20% significant improvement
5.95% almost no improvement
1.75% no improvement
0.82% total improvement

How has your stress level changed following massage?
33.14% mild improvement
31.39% moderate improvement
22.52% significant improvement
8.28% almost no improvement
3.62% no improvement
1.05% total improvement

How has your sleep changed following massage? 
33.61% mild improvement
27.77% moderate improvement
17.04% significant improvement
11.32 almost no improvement
9.22% no improvement
1.05% total improvement

How has your activity level changed following massage?
38.51% mild improvement
30.57% moderate improvement
15.52% significant improvement
10.74% almost no improvement
4.08% no improvement
0.82% total improvement

How has your mood changed following massage?
33.26% moderate improvement
30.92% mild improvement
22.05% significant improvement
7.58% almost no improvement
3.97% no improvement
2.22% total improvement

Disclosure: Zeel and Massage Magazine Insurance Plus are in partnership whereby Zeel’s wellness professionals have access to liability insurance for an exclusive rate.