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.


Oregon Proposes External Pelvic Floor Massage Rules

The Oregon State Board of Massage Therapists proposed new massage therapy rules that would allow licensees to perform external pelvic floor massage. Submit your comments in support of, or opposition to, the rules before October 31, 2022.

Maryland Implicit Bias Training Resources

Maryland massage therapists must complete implicit bias training by October 31, 2022, to fulfill their continuing education requirements. View a list of approved training resources.


Keeping Massage Fresh for Longtime Clients

As much as we want massage therapy to be a routine, we also want it to be an intentional choice every visit because of the client’s love of the service and our care to always meet the client’s (changing) needs.

Blood, Lymph Get Pumped Thanks to Massage

Massage therapy has become a wildly expansive net that has caught, and continues to catch, a slew of methods of bodywork. You can be an authority in all sorts of approaches, spanning from myofascial release to trigger point therapy to cupping to manual lymphatic drainage. And that’s a good thing! 


2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—MLD: Basic Techniques for the Neck and Face

Gain an understanding of manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) movements and the location of important lymphatic structures as you watch Nicola McGill’s dynamic demonstration of three MLD techniques and MLD sequences for the neck and face. Learn about this important modality that, when provided effectively, can support and enhance the movement of lymph fluid through the lymphatic vessels and eventually back to the cardiovascular system.

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—Introduction to Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a gentle, rhythmic form of bodywork that enhances and supports the movement of fluid through the lymphatic system to support health and well-being. Developed by Danish therapists Emil and Estrid Vodder in the 1930s, MLD is now practiced extensively by health and wellness practitioners and is used within the medical community to treat lymphedema and post-surgical and post-traumatic edema. Join Nicola McGill in this engaging course to learn the benefits, indications, and mechanics of this gentle, effective modality.

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—Lymphatic System: An Essential Guide to an Underrated System

Join us for a fascinating look at the underrated lymphatic system, with special emphasis on its structures and functions. Learn the vital role each of the system’s components plays, including lymphangions, nodes, trunks, ducts, and the glorious cisterna chyli. We’ll also look at various lymphatic-related pathologies, including lymphangitis, lymphoma, cardiovascular and traumatic edema, and lymphedema.

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