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This selection of massage news articles will help you keep on top of what’s happening in the massage therapy industry

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MTs Sought for Study on Mental Health

A research study will measure what massage therapists know about mental health and mental illness; how they perceive mental health and mental illness; and what their clinical, educational and personal experiences are with mental health and mental illness.

Indiana University researcher Samantha Zabel is recruiting massage therapists to participate in “Massage Therapists’ Attitudes and Knowledge about Mental Health: An Explanatory Sequential Mixed Methods Study.”

To participate, you must:

• Be a current MassageNet member

• Be currently practicing massage therapy

• Have at least one year’s practice experience

What you will do:

• Take a 30-minute survey about mental health knowledge and attitudes. (Survey respondents will be entered into a drawing for one of three $25 Amazon gift cards.)

• Participate in an optional 30- to 45-minute virtual interview about your experiences with mental health in your practice, education, and personal life.

Recruitment for this opportunity closes on April 30. For more information, send an email to info@massagenet.org. Watch a video about this study here.

Massage Championships Begin in May

For the first time, three states’ massage therapists—from Colorado, Montana and Wyoming—will meet for a tri-state competition as component of the United States Association of Massage Championships. That competition as well as single-state competitions will take place across the U.S. beginning in May.

“I want therapists to come together for the competition to show their massage skills, learn from other massage therapists, make connections with other therapists, and share talents—to bring those talents back to your office and clients,” Lyla Keeler, LMT, NMP, MMP, PKT1, director of the Rocky Mountain Tri State Massage Championships, told MASSAGE Magazine.

Each state’s winner gets free registration for the World Massage Festival and can compete there in the American Massage Championships, plus a medal and, said Keeler, “bragging rights.”

Scan a QR code for an interactive map that will tell you where and when your state’s Massage Championship will be held.

Study Finds Massage Benefits Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Patients

A newly published study has found that children, adolescents and young adults with cancer or sickle cell disease (SCD) treated at a pediatric academic medical center reported clinically significant reductions in pain, stress, and anxiety in response to massage therapy.

In this retrospective study conducted between October 2019 and December 2021, a Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist provided 3,015 massage therapy sessions to 243 patients across 1,494 encounters at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, making this one of the largest investigations of the real-world effectiveness of massage therapy within pediatric hematology and oncology to date.

“The massage therapy program at Rainbow is unique in that we have a certified pediatric massage therapist with strong skills in clinical integration,” said David W. Miller, MD, LAc, medical director of Pediatric Integrative Medicine at UH Connor Whole Health and co-senior author of the study, in a press release. “The massage therapy work does not stand disconnected to the other care received, but rather is an integral part of it. This relationship allows us to see how massage performs in a real-world setting, and how this intervention offers a safe means of providing effective, non-pharmacologic treatment for pain, anxiety, and stress,” he added.

Hospitals are mandated already to provide non-pharmacologic options, Miller added, “but what these options should include remains poorly defined. The work through Connor Whole Health and Rainbow demonstrates that massage therapy should be integral to clinical services in this domain.”

The findings of this study from University Hospitals (UH) Connor Whole Health were recently published in Pediatric Blood & Cancer, a journal focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of youth with hematologic and oncologic conditions.

5.9/10: The score massage therapy received on U.S. News & World Report’s 100 Best Jobs 2023 report, which ranked massage therapy #11 in Best Jobs Without A College Degree, #14 in Best Health Care Support Jobs and #81 in 100 Best Jobs.

—Source: U. S. News & World Report, money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/massage-therapist.

Help Enact the Interstate Massage Compact

Massage therapists could be allowed to practice under one license in any U.S. state that enacts the Interstate Massage Therapy Compact (IMpact). Model legislation is now available for states to consider enactment of the compact.

States are starting to introduce legislation to adopt the Interstate Massage Therapy Compact (IMpact)—through which massage therapists could be allowed to practice under one license in any U.S. state that enacts Impact.

• To see which states have introduced or enacted legislation, view a map updated by the Council of State Governments: massagecompact.org/compact-map

Read the full text of the model legislation here.

Massage therapists may participate in getting IMpact enacted in their state:

• Read the full text of the model legislation here: fsmtb.org/media/2789/interstate-massage-compact-model-legislation-final.pdf

• Contact your state legislature to advocate for IMpact.

• Get involved in the stakeholder review process and learn more about advocating for IMpact here: compacts.csg.org/compact-updates/massage-therapy.

38%: Percentage of U.S. consumers who say they are embracing a more natural lifestyle, which could, the source says, translate to increased use of such holistic beauty techniques as facial massage.

—Source: ClassPass & MINDBODY’s “5 Trends to Watch in 2023.”

NCBTMB Announces Election Results

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB; ncbtmb.org) recently announced the  results of its latest election.

Matthew Gavzy, LMT, PTA, BCTMB, and Nicole Zeger  were  voted through by certificants to join the NCBTMB Certification Board, as Practitioner and Public Member, respectively, effective March 1, 2023. Dolly Wallace, LMT, BCTMB was also re-elected as the organization’s president.

The NCBTMB Certification Board is responsible for all aspects of Board Certification and the Approved Provider program, as well as the strategic direction of the organization.  The Certification Board ensures that NCBTMB maintains its status as an accredited certifying body within the massage therapy profession.

About the Author

Karen Menehan

Karen Menehan is MASSAGE Magazine’s editor in chief–print and digital. Her articles for this publication include “This is How Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Practices Make Business Better,” one of the articles in the August 2021 issue of MASSAGE Magazine, a first-place winner of the national 2022 Folio Eddies Award for editorial excellence.