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Massage is for EveryBody—The Evolution of a Movement


Woman on a massage table receiving a back massage

Massage is for EveryBody

The Evolution of a Movement

By Lara Evans Bracciante

As we began the road back from the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABMP team was excited to relaunch EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week, a program we first initiated more than two decades ago as a means to celebrate massage therapy and the philanthropic efforts of our members. Massage therapists and bodyworkers are key to recovering from a year largely absent of human touch and connection, and we were thrilled to support practitioners and clients ready for massage.

But, besides the pandemic, there was another element of last year that captured our full attention:  2020 laid bare the pervasiveness of racial inequity and systemic racism in our culture.

So as the pandemic eased and we considered the relaunch of EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week, we viewed the campaign through new eyes. And in the context of inclusion—and among this tribe who passionately believes massage is key to wellness and that everyone should have access to bodywork—the “deserve” part felt . . . off. Wellness isn’t something to be earned, and massage isn’t just a high-end spa treatment for the privileged. Quite the contrary, massage is for everybody.

And so, we evolve.

In addition to giving the celebration a new name, we created guiding principles (see below) to define the values of the movement. And we are giving ten $1,000 awards to practitioners who live these values in their communities. Submit your entry here. 

We invite you to join us in celebrating Massage is for EveryBody Week, July 18–24, 2021. ABMP will provide posts for you to share on your social media, and we look forward to hearing your Massage is for EveryBody stories. ABMP will continue sharing content throughout the year as we embrace these guiding principles.

Guiding Principles

Because Massage is for EveryBody, we will:

  1. Serve as advocates for the powerful physical and emotional benefits of massage and bodywork.
  2. Support and advocate for efforts that bring massage and bodywork to underserved populations.
  3. Spread awareness of career options in the massage and bodywork profession.
  4. Honor the healing role practitioners play in our communities.
  5. Emphasize the importance of self-care, including receiving regular bodywork, for massage therapists and bodyworkers, and their clients.