Evanston, IL – September 20, 2010 – The Massage Therapy Foundation is proud to announce that four community service projects and one research study have been funded for the 2010 granting cycle.

Community service

  • Alisher Sharipov of Tigard, Oregon, was granted $5,000 for her work with Medical Teams International. Through this grant, this program (now in its third year) will provide bodywork to Uzbekistanian orphans as well as bodywork training to their caregivers. Ages 4 to 18 years, these children have a broad range of abnormalities from central nervous system disorders to cerebral palsy. Through previous grants, practitioners provided bodywork to 320 orphans and re-educated 30 caregivers about the benefits of massage therapy. After the 2008 and 2009 trips, 80 children who were previously confined to their beds can now walk. Thanks to this grant, two additional massage therapists will travel to the area in 2010 to train local caregivers and empower them to share their techniques with others making this initiative sustainable and available for many more children. This grant is funded in memory of Kathie King.
  • Leslie Korn with the Center for Traditional Medicine in Olympia, Washington, was granted $5,000 for her work on “Massage Therapy for Indigenous Women of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico.” Since 1977, the Center for Traditional Medicine (CTM) has directed a small public health clinic in rural Mexico. Founder, massage therapist and researcher Leslie Korn, Ph.D., has hosted volunteer health professionals and made massage therapy available to impoverished locals. This grant provides funds to expand the clinic’s efforts into additional villages to provide treatment for those suffering from chronic pain as well as untreated or insufficiently treated injuries. Two massage therapists will give one-hour massages in the rural clinic or travel overland as necessary to reach immobilized clients. Many of these clients work in the fields, tend to their families in inadequate conditions, travel rough terrain by foot and correspondingly suffer from osteoarthritis of the elbows, hands and knees. Massage therapy is meant to enhance their indigenous solutions for pain resolution and mobility, and promote self-care. This grant was sponsored in part by BIOTONE.
  • Shay Beider of Tucson, Arizona, was granted $5,000 for her work with “Integrative Health Care Solutions/Integrative Touch for Kids.” She has designed this no-cost healing retreat getaway at an Arizona ranch that serves as a haven for children who have developmental disabilities, genetic conditions, chronic, acute and life-limiting illnesses. More than 60 healing-arts practitioners (including 15­ to 25 massage therapists) blend their expertise to provide access to therapies to assist in pain management, improve quality of life and empower the children to be part of their own healing processes. This grant allows for two days of tailored training for 15 massage therapists prior to each healing retreat. They’ll learn massage techniques especially for these special needs children, unique communication methods, additional skills for relating to family members and caregivers, safety guidelines and specifics to help them adhere to limitations. By the end of the grant-reporting period, an additional 20 massage therapists will be eligible to provide massage to these children and 14 children with special needs and their 44 family members will have benefited from a healing retreat.
  • John Duke of Portland, Oregon, was granted $5,000 for his project “Outside In.” Outside In provides primary health care to more than 7,400 homeless and low-income people in Portland. For more than 40 years, center staff has provided care on a sliding scale; those unable to pay are still treated. Services include substance abuse and mental health treatment, and chronic disease and medical case management. The center has had intermittent volunteer massage therapy available for clients receiving care for physical trauma in the orthopedic clinic. This grant will allow the center to hire a part-time massage therapist to provide four hours of 50-minute therapeutic massages a week to at least 200 clients over the course of a year. The staff massage therapist will also integrate and coordinate the work of additional volunteer massage therapists with that of other health-care providers. This first year of funding from the Massage Therapy Foundation will help strengthen the existing business model and allow Outside In to sustain and grow the program in subsequent years. This grant was sponsored in part by BIOTONE.


Nina C. Franklin, LMT, Ph.D. (Cand) from the University of Illinois at Chicago, was granted $30,000 for her study “Efficacy of Massage Therapy in Attenuating Vascular Dysfunction after Exertion-Induced Muscle Injury.” Exertion-induced muscle injury is a recurrent problem that most frequently results from strenuous physical work or exercise involving eccentric contractions and clinically presents as pain and discomfort lasting up to seven days. Research suggests muscle injury triggers a local inflammatory response. Production of pro-inflammatory mediators by neutrophils, during the early phase of this response, may initiate systemic inflammation characterized by enhanced adhesion of neutrophils to the endothelium, excess reactive oxygen species production and, consequently, vascular dysfunction. Currently, there is no universally accepted treatment for exertion-induced muscle injury; however, massage therapy is often recommended for reducing associated symptoms.

The purpose of this research project is to determine the efficacy of massage therapy in attenuating vascular dysfunction in healthy sedentary young adults following acute exposure to exertion-induced muscle injury. Individuals who meet inclusion criteria will be assigned to one of three groups:

  1. Massage therapy treatment following exposure to exertion-induced muscle injury,
  2. A control condition of exertion-induced muscle injury without massage therapy, or
  3. A control condition of massage therapy without exertion-induced muscle injury.

Our studies will employ an integrated approach with in-vivo and in-vitro physiologic methods to address independent and dual effects of exertion-induced muscle injury and massage therapy treatment on vascular function. The hypothesis to be tested is that massage therapy treatment performed after acute exposure to exertion-induced muscle injury will protect against vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress. 

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, visit www.massagetherapyfoundation.org.