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Strength of Purpose: A 2020 Recap of Resources from ABMP


A pink flower growing out of a crack in the asphalt, with a sunrise on the horizon

Strength of Purpose

A 2020 Recap of Resources from ABMP

By Karrie Osborn

Whew. It’s been a year.

What started off as a bright 2020 quickly devolved into something even the most pragmatic of us could not have planned for. Our vulnerabilities as a profession, as a nation . . . as human beings, became self-evident in an instant. Yet, what’s also become self-evident during this year of crisis is the cumulative power of our strength.

We see it in the practitioner who, after making the brave decision to shutter her brand-new, one-day-old business when COVID-19 struck her state, never gave up faith that her dream would still be waiting for her. We hear it from therapists who struggled while their doors were closed, only to be rewarded with a renewed practice plan and bigger client list when they reopened. And we witness it in so many thousands of you who have reached out to us over the last 10 months with your stories, concerns, fears, and tears. The common thread throughout it all has been your resiliency and passion.

At ABMP, our team found strength during this difficult year by doubling down on our efforts to serve our members, and the profession as a whole, as we traversed a most challenging environment together. We put our heads down and set to work, and it was a privilege to do so on your behalf.

Now it’s time to take a collective breath as we say goodbye to 2020. But there is so much more to do as our profession builds a path to recovery in the months and years ahead. At ABMP, we know how desperately your skills are needed in the world and we will be with you every step of the way as you build your way back.

Please know how grateful we are for each and every one of you, and continue to let us know how we can best serve you.

In case you’ve missed any of the resources ABMP created to support you throughout this unforgettable year, here is a look back:

• We rallied to research and create the profession’s first comprehensive guidelines for working as safely as possible in this COVID era. We then packaged those guidelines with PPE protocols and videos, and we developed client intake forms, COVID-19 health questionnaires, and even signage for your practice.

• We kept you informed every step of the way with coronavirus-related content to help you navigate your personal and professional challenges and decisions related to this virus. We enlisted the help of pathology experts, epidemiologists, and so many more to bring you the latest updates in a rapidly changing environment.

• We advocated on behalf of all massage therapists and bodyworkers when our Government Relations team educated Congress about the nature of your work and how financial relief needed to be tailored to be effective for you, and we offered interpretation of unwieldy legislation (like the CARES Act) and how it impacted you. Most recently, we delivered context to the latest 5,000-plus page financial relief bill.

• We continued to provide appropriate content for you to share with your clients during the pandemic, and created a special COVID-19 digital issue of Massage & Bodywork to offer perspective during the height of the shutdown.

• We launched The ABMP Podcast with a “Conversations in Quarantine” series to continue bringing you the best advice and information available. Today, The ABMP Podcast has an extensive library of riveting content from experts like Laura Allen, Erik Dalton, Tom Myers, Ruth Werner, Anne Williams, and many more.

• We created additional Distance Learning resources for massage and bodywork schools to help them bridge the curriculum gap when they were quickly forced to transition from in-person classroom experiences to online learning platforms.

• We launched ABMP’s Meditate & Move series of daily, now weekly, self-care videos meant to help you reclaim some sanity and healthy moments of peace.

• We offered free continuing education to the entire profession, as many practitioners were left scrambling to fulfill necessary CE requirements, or found they had the time and space to learn something new. We continue to offer free education for all ABMP members (and reduced rates for non-members) who want to explore the extensive offerings in our ABMP Education Center.

• We created community with our Friday Forums for schools and our free ABMP CE Summit for practitioners, bringing the best and brightest right to your doorstep (i.e., your computer screen).

• And we vowed to take this year’s call to equity seriously, looking to include more diversity of voices in our content, in our industry events, and in our own hallways.

We hope you’ve found these resources helpful and we appreciate you letting us be your partner on this journey. We are so proud to serve you. Here’s to a healthy 2021 for us all!

Karrie Osborn is ABMP’s senior editor, education and project management.