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Each month, we'll provide a list of easy actions you can take today to advocate for yourself and your profession. We all need to get involved in creating positive change. Scroll on for monthly actions and to download our advocacy toolkit to help you on your way.
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness, and the month when the Susan G. Komen foundation sponsors Race for the Cure. The pink ribbon symbolizes breast cancer awareness. Wear a pink ribbon this month and spread the word about how massage can help breast cancer survivors and those receiving treatment. Each year in the United States, about 264,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,400 in men. About 42,000 women and 500 men in the U.S. die each year from breast cancer. Find more information about the safety of massage at Breast Cancer Now and get more information about the Susan G. Komen foundation and Race for the Cure.
Have you ever encountered a client with unexplained bruises, cuts, or scratches on their body? Or a client who insists on having her husband in the room during her massage or vice-versa? How about a client who bursts into tears on the massage table in response to safe, therapeutic touch for no apparent reason? All of these could be signs of domestic violence abuse, so, keep your eyes open. 31% of all women in America report being abused by their husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. That’s 1/3 of all women in the country. Learn more about Domestic Violence and Massage and find ways to help in this article from Integrative Massage.
Today’s massage therapist needs to be trauma informed. Mental illness and suicide rates have been steadily rising since the pandemic, along with the number of deaths from drug overdose, deaths from violent crime, and the homeless population in the United States continues to rise.
The problem is that there hasn’t been an increase in health benefits to cover mental illness, there haven’t been more suicide prevention campaigns, and there hasn’t been any real movement to help those in the depths of suicidal ideation, to increase services available to the homeless, or reduce the rates of violent crime in the United States – not to mention we’ve all been through three years of collective trauma.
One in five American adults experience mental health issues, and one in 20 adults’ lives with a serious mental health issue such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. It’s also affecting our children. One in six young people have experienced a major depressive episode, and the anxiety rates in children and adults is rising. Learn the myths and facts about mental illness and discover how massage therapy can help from the Mayo Clinic.
One easy way to get involved in the global Massage is Therapy movement is to begin using the hashtags above. To find out more about the movement, please visit the following sites:
Join the Massage is Therapy Facebook group
Join the LMTs for Zero Tolerance Facebook Group
Visit Massage Changes Lives
Visit Look Before You Book A Massage (This original North Carolina resource has gone national!)
Big thanks to our leaders on this project! Deborah Kimmet (LMT Body Politic) - Montana, Julie Onofrio (Massage Changes Lives) - Washington, Kristie Williams (Owner of Alabama Therapeutic Massage) - Alabama, Sandy Fritz (Director at Health Enrichment Center) - Michigan, Marsha MacArthur (Owner at Asclepieion Massage Therapy) - Arizona, Theresa Gorski (Bodyworker at Theresa Gorski Bodyworks) - Ohio, Priscilla Fleming (Recent author for Massage Magazine & Founder of LMTs for Zero Tolerance) - North Carolina, Kimberly Austin (Owner at Massage Kneads) - California, Jimmy Gialelis (Owner of Advanced Massage Arts & Education) - Arizona, Diane Mastnardo (Founder at BAAM - Body Literacy Education) - Ohio, Jackie Wolf (Owner at Stillpoint Massage Center) - Ohio, Melanie Stover (Owner at Miraculous Massage) - Alabama, and Stephanie Rodriguez (CEO of USOLMT) - Arizona. We love it when a group comes together to take collective action!
October 23-29 is AMTA’s National Massage Therapy Week. It’s a week to promote the benefits of massage therapy to the public. AMTA has some great resources, available to you for free here.