20120819-wmf-008-150pxI was inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame at the World Massage Festival last week. I was prepared to stand up and say, “I’d like to thank the Academy…” and then sit down. Unfortunately, someone beat me to it! Still, I was simply going to keep it short and sweet and thank everyone for the honor.

Yet when I stood at the podium, I was overcome with emotion. It seems like I have been in this field forever. I was massaging my family members since I was a young child. I officially became a massage practitioner in 1978. Although I transitioned from the hands-on aspect of massage, I have remained very active in this field. I’ve taught at schools, written hundreds of articles, authored textbooks, sat on school advisory boards, written test questions for the NCBTMB, and have been part of various task forces. I continue to write, train teachers, facilitate workshops, serve on the FSMTB Exam committee, am a founding member of the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (and am on the Board of Directors), and coach therapists.

I love massage! I talk about massage all of the time, particularly when I see someone in pain. Even though I don’t see clients for massage anymore, I encourage people to get massage and either refer them to a particular therapist or tell them how they can find a therapist in their area.

Over the years many people have remarked at how much I give away in terms of resources and my time. My response has been that I do it because I really want the therapists to succeed. I also know that what goes around comes around…. But, while standing up in front of my colleagues, the truth came out. Yes, I do want you to be successful, but that is just a side benefit. I stay involved in this field because of my dedication to world peace. I believe it’s very difficult to be angry, mean or violent when you feel good in your own body. The more people that get massaged the better the world will be. It truly is that simple. I realized a long time ago that I could “touch” millions more people by keeping my colleagues in practice longer, than I could ever reach with my own two hands.

And that is why I do what I do.

Regardless of what type of massage you do, please remember that you are contributing to world peace.