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

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

Touch Research Institute Marks 30 Years

When the Touch Research Institute was founded at the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1992, there were few high-quality research studies examining the benefits of massage. With a focus on infant massage, oftentimes for premature babies, TRI and its founder, Tiffany Field, PhD, were soon seen as leaders in massage research.

Tiffany Field
Tiffany Field

Soon, massage therapy caught the attention of the medical field, mainstream media—and potential clients. Field began to be contacted by physicians curious about the potential of massage to address various conditions. Many magazines began writing on the benefits of massage, not only for infants but for those experiencing eating disorders, and for pain relief. Public interest in massage therapy grew.

Today, TRI has been put on pause due to the double whammy of the COVID-19 pandemic and loss of funding. Field is still working at the university, now conducting studies on such topics as isolation and lack of touch during the pandemic.

TRI’s research database is available online—and Field suggests you utilize it.

“We’ve done so many studies in so many different areas that are causing people pain and depression and so forth,” she told MASSAGE Magazine. “I think it would be really good if therapists would use the literature to pass out to their clients. If someone came in for lower back pain, give them a low-back pain study to show them that there’s documentation that this works. I think that way massage therapy might spread more than it has.”

Massage Makes Me Happy and Healthy

Celebrate Massage Makes Me Happy & Healthy Day

Massage Makes Me Happy Day has taken place each year since 2018, spreading awareness about the positive impacts of touch therapies to consumers and medical, spa and wellness professionals.

New for 2022 is a name change. Now known as Massage Makes Me Happy & Healthy Day, the March 20 event, an initiative of the Global Wellness Institute, will spread the word about the whole-body benefits of massage therapy.

“Massage works because it changes your whole physiology,” said Massage Makes Me Happy & Healthy Day Advisor Tiffany Field, PhD, founder of the Touch Research Institute, in a social post. “Massage creates a happy and healthy life.”

Massage therapists can click here for videos and links to information that may be used in marketing materials to tell clients why massage can make them happy and healthy.

5: The number of funding programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (, which include loans, investment capital, disaster assistance, surety bonds and grants.

Is Your City Among the Healthiest?

For the third consecutive year, Miami, Florida, took the number-one spot on The Top 10 Healthiest Cities in America list. The list was created by Mindbody (, an experience technology platform for the wellness industry, as part of its 2022 Mindbody Wellness Index.

Miami ranked highest in residents who exercise at least once a week and residents who exercise for 90 minutes or more per week. Miami residents also ranked as the least stressed, most well-rested and most connected to their community.

The rankings take a holistic look at well-being, factoring in various dimensions of wellness: how much residents exercise, how stressed they are, the amount of rest they get, smoking-and-alcohol consumption rates, body mass index, closeness to friends and family, community connection and spiritual fulfillment.

The 10 healthiest cities in America, according to those criteria, are:

1. Miami, Florida

2. Los Angeles, California

3. San Diego, California

4. Atlanta, Georgia

5. Washington, D.C.

6. San Francisco, California

7. San Jose, California

8. Austin, Texas 

9. Seattle, Washington

10. Raleigh, North Carolina

outside the room podcast logo

New Podcast Supports MTs

Massage Heights recently announced the launch of its Outside the Room podcast, hosted by massage industry veteran CG Funk, the company’s Senior Vice President of Culture and Industry Relations.

The purpose of the podcast is to support the work of massage therapists and estheticians and increase awareness of the purpose and value of these wellness careers, according to a company release. Each 30-minute episode features special guests and covers such topics as industry news, research, real-life massage and skincare stories, Massage Heights brand innovations and inspirational messaging.

“I deeply believe in the healing power of therapeutic touch and have such high regard for massage therapists and estheticians,” shared Funk. “I’m honored to be a part of this inspiring industry and invite all massage therapists, estheticians and wellness professionals to become a part of the community we are building through Outside the Room.”

The podcast version will be available on the Massage Heights website (, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Audible. Videos of the interviews will be housed on 

Third Layer of Masseter Muscle Identified

In the first detailed study of the third layer of the masseter muscle, researchers have determined “an anatomically distinct, deep third layer of the masseter muscle was consistently demonstrated, running from the medial surface of the zygomatic process of the temporal bone to the root and posterior margin of the coronoid process.”

This demonstration was achieved through dissection of 12 human cadaver heads, analysis of 16 cadavers, evaluation of data from a living subject, and examination of histological sections using methyl methacrylate embedding of one formaldehyde-preserved head.

The arrangement of the layer’s muscle fibers suggest that it is involved in stabilizing the mandible by elevating and retracting the coronoid process, the researchers noted. They suggest using the name M. masseter pars coronoidea (coronoid part of the masseter) for the layer.

—Sources: Anatomical Institute, Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Switzerland; and University Center for Dental Medicine Basel UZB, Department of Oral Health, University of Basel, Switzerland, via ScienceDirect.

New App Benefits Texas MTs, Instructors

Texas by Texas (TxT), a new app provided by, lets Texans complete transactions with multiple state agencies using one personal account. For the state’s massage therapists and massage instructors, this means easy renewal of a massage or massage instructor license. Sign up here:

16 Million

Number of U.S. adults who live with chronic back pain

—Source: Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University

Legislative Updates

Arizona: In mid-February, an Arizona house panel approved HB 2438, a bill that would require more online transparency, specifically related toactions taken against a licensed massage therapist. This means that advisory letters, letters of reprimand, probation and any other disciplinary or non-disciplinary action taken by the board must be posted online in a searchable format. The bill also requires massage therapists to obtain fingerprint clearance cards, which Arizona requires from members of several professions as a condition of licensure, certification or employment. (Sources: Arizona Legislature Bill Status Inquiry and The Arizona Republic.)

Indiana: In 2017 Indiana passed its Massage Practice Act. Now, the Indiana State Board of Massage has indicated certain rules are needed to get licensure up to speed. Among the rules: changing the term “certificate” to “license” and “certification” to “licensure”; defining on-site massage therapy; introducing a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education in each four-year renewal period; extending the time needed to maintain client files from four to six years; and allowing client consent to be made electronically rather than via written or verbal communication. (Source: -IR- Database: Indiana Register, Title 847 State Board of Massage Therapy.)

Minnesota: Legislation introduced in the state would mandate licensure of both massage therapists and practitioners of Asian bodywork. Since 2000, most of Minnesota’s practitioners of complementary health care have been governed by the Minnesota Complementary and Alternative Health Care Freedom of Access Act, signed into law in 2000. Currently, a Senate File and a House file have been introduced to license massage therapists. If SF 1074 and HF 1275 are passed, the new law would set education and qualifications for new practitioners and establish a statewide scope of practice. According to the files, “Massage therapy means the manual manipulation of the soft tissues of the body to promote, maintain, and restore health and well-being” and “Asian bodywork therapy means therapy based upon Chinese medical principles with the intent of promoting, maintaining, and restoring health and well-being by affecting the body and emotions.” (Sources: Minnesota SF 1074 and HF 1275.)

New Mexico: Massage therapists, nurses, counselors and others could move from out of state to New Mexico and have their former state’s license cover them in their new job after just 30 days if House Bill 191 is signed into law. New Mexico follows Arizona in viewing reciprocity—allowing licensed professionals to practice in the state with an out-of-state license—as a way of getting people to work faster.In mid-February, members of the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee voted unanimously to move the bill forward. (Source: Los Alamos Daily Post.)

2022: The Year of Integrative Health

With patient interest in integrative therapies on the rise, and more clinicians embracing such techniques, The Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM), a professional organization for health care practitioners, has declared 2022 the Year of Integrative Health and Wellness. 

“We envision a day when it is no longer acceptable to treat illness using mainstream modalities alone, but rather a synergistic approach that integrates modern medicine with therapies that take into account each individual’s mind, body and spirit,” said AIHM Executive Director Tabatha Parker, ND, in a press release. “Integrative health brings together traditional and alternative therapies in a coordinated and complementary way.” 

AIHM did not respond to a request for a comment from this publication on massage therapy’s role in the Year of Integrative Medicine.

According to a ValuePenguin survey of Americans (not related to AIHM) in mid-2021, 55 percent of Americans report using at least one form of integrative medicine, including herbal medicine, supplements, essential oils and chiropractic—and 66% of consumers want to see integrative therapists covered by insurers, while 43% of respondents spend between $100 and $499 on integrative therapies and products annually.

“Forward-thinking health insurance companies are already covering the costs of such treatments as acupuncture, chiropractic therapy and massage,” said Parker. “They have discovered the value in allowing members to take a truly integrative, whole-person approach to their health, which benefits the patient and the health care industry. We anticipate this trend gaining more traction in 2022.”

About the Author

Karen Menehan is MASSAGE Magazine’s editor in chief–print and digital. Her reporting on COVID-19 for this publication includes “This is How Hand Sanitizers Help Stop the Spread of Viruses & Bacteria,” and “As Clients Return, Massage Therapists Vanquish Touch Deprivation.”