FOR IIMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Evanston, Illinois, August 12, 2022) The Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) announces five community service grants for the 2022 grant cycle. MTF Community Service Grants bring the benefits of massage therapy to people who otherwise would not have access to it. To date, MTF has awarded more than $500,000 to nonprofits across the country and internationally. The beneficiaries are:
Free massages for cancer patients and caregivers
Family cancer care
Cancer Family Care (CFC) provides mental health counseling and support services to children, adults and families dealing with cancer in Greater Cincinnati. The CFC serves an average of 3,000 cancer patients and family members per year, including children ages 4 to 18. As part of its Waddell Family Healing Hands program, CFC offers free oncology massage to cancer patients (up to four free massage sessions per patient) and low-cost massage to caregivers. The demand for free oncology massages is higher than ever due to cancer patients and caregivers/families dealing with increased stress and anxiety caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The result of the program is to reduce the physical symptoms of pain, stress, body aches, fatigue, muscle tension and spasms of cancer patients. The CRC also hopes to increase cancer patients’ sense of well-being and improve their quality of life. CFC also received an MTF Community Service Grant in 2015.
Increase access to therapeutic massage
For more than 20 years, Bridgeport Hospital’s Integrative Medicine and Support Services Program has provided massage therapy to patients in need, regardless of their ability to pay. The program serves uninsured and underinsured patients in Greater Bridgeport, Connecticut, a low-income community that is over 70% people of color. The poverty rate in the area is 22%. Registered massage therapists participating in this program are certified in massage oncology. The goal of the program is to help patients by alleviating the side effects of cancer treatment such as insomnia, muscle aches, anxiety and depression. Because underserved and high-risk patients are less likely to participate in the program due to perceived language, cultural, and financial barriers, this MTF-funded project uses three approaches to increase access: multilingual group education on benefits of massage, meeting the patient, and one-on-one massage information given to patients by knowledgeable medical providers.
Moral Center Massage Therapy Program
Rochester Veterans Awareness Center
The Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) in Rochester, NY serves veterans with compassion and stands up for all who have worn our nation’s uniforms so they can live their lives to the fullest. The VOC Moral Center is dedicated to facilitating personal care, for mental, social and physical health. The massage therapy offering encourages the veteran community to come to the Outreach Center and utilize other VOC resources like counseling, job placement/training, VA insurance and benefits assistance, and more. Visits to the center create stability for veterans struggling with basic life skills, and the more services the VOC can offer, the more repeat visits it can make. MTF funds will be used to provide veterans with a series of massages instead of the 1-2 times per year offered by current volunteer services. Massage therapy encourages a regular self-care routine for veterans who may be dealing with PTSD, opioid addiction, mental illness, or simply trying to make a successful transition to civilian life.
Folk medicine project
The People’s Medicine Project (PMP) will use MTF grant funds to provide on-site massage therapy to immigrant farm workers in Western Massachusetts, as part of a larger project and collaboration with the Center for Franklin County Community Health. Although their work is essential to feeding the world, agricultural workers face dangerous working conditions and face many barriers to accessing health care. Farmworkers served by this program may be domestic or international workers, including guest workers who participate in the H-2A program.
Over 2,500 immigrant/seasonal agricultural workers live and work in Franklin and Hampshire counties. The PMP finds the most common health problems, resulting from trauma, stress, isolation, overwork, unsafe work environments including chemical exposure, substandard living conditions, lack of access to healthy food and lack of access to health care. The benefits of massage therapy for chronic pain and injuries have been proven. Likewise, several studies document the benefits of massage for its effects on mood and stress reduction. PMP hopes that a strong on-site massage therapy program will prove supportive and accessible to Latinx immigrant farm workers.
SHE Retreats: Trauma-Informed Massage and Personal Care
Divas who win the freedom center
This grant will support SHE Retreats: Trauma-Informed Massage and Personal Care, offered to women who have survived sex trafficking and/or are overcoming addiction and trauma to help them successfully reintegrate into society. This therapeutic method has proven to be a healthy and healing link between the various therapeutic life skills development services and the gift of massage. The goal includes: strengthening peer-to-peer connection, cultivating healing relationships, healing traumatic tissues within oneself through the massage modality, decreasing return to use and/or return to sex work by developing a bond mentoring with the therapist and peer coaches, as well as emphasizing and exploring new modalities of personal care through massage. The clients served are often from the lower socio-economic class and have faced the aforementioned traumas. Many have not had the economic power to indulge in massage, so the introduction of the healing modality expands their tools in their self-care and self-esteem toolbox. Divas is a 3rd Winner of the MTF Community Service Grant of the Year.
About the Massage Therapy Foundation
The Massage Therapy Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity supporting scientific research, education, and community service for the profession of massage therapy. The Foundation founded and publishes an open-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal and provides educational resources for massage therapists, educators, and students. MTF is an independent organization that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, resources, training and services.
For more information contact:
Gini Ohlson, Executive Director, 847.905.1520, [email protected] or
Marla Gamze, Communications/Development Manager, 847.905.1635, [email protected]