Toasting Samuel

By Leslie Young
[Editor's Note]

Happy Birthday, Samuel Wong—ABMP Certified member. Thank you for being a delight and inspiration!
Readers, Sam is a perfect representative of our 80,000-plus loyal members: dedicated to the profession, hard-working, leads with his heart, talented, and well-intended. But let’s go back to the talented part. Since he was a youngster, Sam knew there was something special about his touch, but it wasn’t until he was a student at Northern Virginia Community College that his massage career found its wings. He describes himself as a research massage therapist, and he loves teaching and writing about the work.
In 2013, I was delighted to meet Sam and his charming wife, Mercedes, at the International Massage Therapy Research Conference in Boston. It was April 2013—the week after the Boston marathon bombings—but Sam was keen to connect with the researchers and practitioners who’d gathered from around the globe. He had a poster presentation on display about using massage to address symptoms of fibromyalgia.
A year later, we published his Massage & Bodywork feature “East Meets West: Yin Yang Touch” in the March/April 2014 issue. The piece mirrors not only Sam’s rich Asian heritage, but also his knowledge about, and dedication to, Eastern and Western modalities. While reading the article, I was impressed with his succinct command of the English language. He also writes in Chinese, and speaks Mandarin (Putonghua) and Cantonese.
Sam was born in Singapore. He had a fascinating career working in various capacities for the US government. The Wongs have traveled around the world—all across Asia, in particular. He retired from service in 2004, and they make their home in Virginia.
I can’t wait to see how he’s going to dazzle me next. On May 22, Sam turns 76 years young. Last week, he
emailed me, so excited to show me the site he’d just built with his ABMP Website Builder member benefit
( He’s quick to point out that he will continue to embellish it, but ta-da,
it’s live!
If you’d like to learn more about Sam and his path, you’re in luck. Check out New Products on page 112, where we feature Sam’s new book, Becoming a Massage Therapist at Age 70. (I had the honor of writing the foreword.) This isn’t his first book. Also on the shelf are A Diplomat in Guangzhou, A Chinese from Singapore, and Intimate Witnesses: Coping with Challenges.
Clearly, Sam is the poster child for the descriptor “lifelong learner.” Please join me in toasting him, learning from him, and wishing him Happy Birthday—and mannnny more!

Leslie A. Young, Editor-in-Chief