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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

Participate in a Survey on Massage & Mental Health

The general public and medical community are becoming more knowledgable about the effects of healthy touch on mental and emotional health.

MassageNet members may participate in a survey to gauge massage therapists knowledge of massage and mental healtlh, “Massage Therapists’ Attitudes and Knowledge about Mental Health: An Explanatory Sequential Mixed Methods Study.”

MassageNet, the Massage Therapy Foundation-supported practice-based research network (PBRN), is a member-driven community of massage-focused clinicians, researchers, and allies that allows massage therapists to engage in research at various levels.

The survey should take about 20-30 minutes to complete.


The percent higher prevalence of pain experienced by bisexual adults compared to straight adults. A study that analyzed data from the 2013-2018 National Health Interview Survey found the number of people who report being in pain is significantly higher among LGBTQ+ adults than straight adults. Gay and lesbian adults had a 47% higher prevalence of pain and a 33% higher prevalence of chronic pain, bisexual adults had a 105% higher prevalence of pain and an 88% higher prevalence of chronic pain.

EMMA, an AI-powered massage robot

Meet Your New Colleague: EMMA

In the very near future, some hospital patients’ next massage could be provided by EMMA the robot. Singapore robotics firm AiTreat has embarked on a new product evaluation for their massage robot powered by artificial intelligence (AI) at Mayo Clinic.

Concurrently, a randomized controlled trial comparing the efficacy of the massage robot with manual Tuina, a type of massage used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is being conducted in Singapore. The two research projects are using a robot called Expert Manipulative Massage Automation (EMMA).

“EMMA aims to alleviate the manpower shortage of skilled massage therapists and possibly to augment the work of physiotherapists in managing less complex cases in Singapore and other countries, thus helping bring down treatment costs while providing consistent, high-quality treatment to every patient,” states a release from Nanyang Technical University.

Since 2019, the start-up has deployed over 19 EMMA units working in 14 locations in Singapore, China and the U.S., such as in TCM clinics, physiotherapy centers and hospitals, clocking over 41,500 treatment hours.

Using the clinical treatment results gathered through the new trials and deployments, AiTreat, the company that created EMMA, will improve the AI algorithms and performance of its robot. AiTreat intends to launch the next-generation EMMA in Singapore, the U.S. and China by 2024.

“AiTreat hopes to enroll about 180 patients for the proposed randomized controlled trial by the end of 2023,” the press release notes. “If the trial results are positive, it will pave the way for a robotic solution of an integrative East-West approach in the management of low back pain, to be accepted as part of musculoskeletal intervention in mainstream health care.”

To learn more, read “Artificial Intelligence Massage Therapy? Meet the Robot Being Studied by Mayo Clinic” at

50%: Percentage by which lavender and peppermint essential oils reduced postsurgical opioid use in hip replacement patients, in a randomized, placebo-controlled study in which the patches were changed every 12 hours and worn for 72 hours after surgery.
Source: Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Myoskeletal Massage Therapy Endowed Scholarship recipients (L-R) Alexis Fears, Kathryn Tritle, Giovonni Garrett and Nick Anzelone, and Program Instructor Charlie Peebles.

Myoskeletal Massage Students Awarded Scholarship

Four students have been selected to receive the 2023 Erik Dalton Myoskeletal Massage Therapy Endowed Scholarship at Indiana State University.

Erik Dalton partnered with the university in 2012 to create the Advanced Myoskeletal Massage Therapy (AMMT) program, the only minor degree in massage therapy offered by a major U.S. university.

To provide assistance to students and encourage other universities to follow suit, Dalton also established an endowed scholarship fund. The recipients of the 2023 scholarships are Alexis Fears, Kathryn Tritle, Giovonni Garrett and Nick Anzelone.

“I was impressed with Indiana State University being forward thinking in taking on a program like massage. Year after year, it became more popular. I wanted to encourage other institutions in higher education to take a chance on doing this, so I thought ongoing scholarships would be a great starting point,” said Dalton.

Students from this program commonly enter into graduate school programs in athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant or osteopathic medicine. The Advanced Myoskeletal Massage Therapy program gives them a solid foundation in massage and manual medicine.

“Being a part of the AMMT minor at ISU has really expanded my knowledge of the human body,” said Garrett, who plans to complete a master’s degree and become a licensed athletic trainer. “I learned how to manipulate and correct muscles to better help my patients. This class was the most fun and enthusiastic class I have ever been in. Thanks to Erik Dalton for providing this opportunity [to] me and the university.”

About the Author

Karen Menehan

Karen Menehan is MASSAGE Magazine’s editor-in-chief for print and digital. Her articles for this publication include “Massage Therapist Jobs: The Employed Practitioner,” published in the Sept. 2022 issue of MASSAGE Magazine, a first-place winner of a 2023 FOLIO: Eddie Award for magazine editorial excellence, full issue; and “This is How Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Practices Make Business Better,” published in in the August 2021 issue of MASSAGE Magazine, a first-place winner of a 2022 FOLIO: Eddie Award for editorial excellence, full issue.