IMTRC 2022 Presenters

Hear leaders in the scientific community share their updates on the latest research around massage therapy’s role in managing important health issues.

Robin Anderson, MEd, LMT, BCTMB, CEAS
The Massage Therapy Foundation  

Robin B. Anderson, MEd, LMT, BCTMB, CEAS is a board certified massage therapist and the current President of the Massage Therapy Foundation. Robin maintains a private practice and is the Regional Director of Massage Education, Eastern Region at Mpower Education. As an NCBTMB-approved provider, she serves on committees with the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and the Alliance for Massage Therapy Educators, and is a site reviewer for the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation. Robin has also published research on ergonomics teaching methods for improving body mechanics in massage therapy students.


Matthew J. Bair, MD, MS, FACP
Indiana University School of Medicine

Matthew J. Blair, MD, MS, FACP is a researcher at the Indiana University School of Medicine whose primary focus is on chronic and psychological comorbidity and developing strategies to improve pain management in the primary care setting. He has an extensive background in conducting clinical trials. And, over the past decade he has led and worked with research teams to conduct 11 randomized clinical effectiveness trials.


Leisa Bellmore, MSc, ST
The Pain Management Clinic of the Stollery Children’s Hospital and the University of Edmonton

Leisa Bellmore, MSc, ST is a massage therapist with over 20 years of experience specializing in shiatsu. She has her Masters of Science in Advanced Complementary Medicine Research and Practice and has been a member of the integrative team at Toronto Western Hospital’s Artists’ Health Centre since 2010. Her research includes neurological conditions, chronic pain and self-management.


Ann Blair Kennedy, DrPH, LMT, BCTMB
International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, Executive Editor

Ann Blair Kennedy became a board certified and a South Carolina licensed massage therapist in 1999 and was in clinical practice prior to pursuing her Doctor of Public Health degree in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior from the University of South Carolina (2012-2015). Upon finishing her degree, she completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Human Performance Lab at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville prior to joining the Biomedical Science faculty at the same institution. She also holds an appointment in the department of Family Medicine at Prisma Health. Ann is also the Director of the U of SC Patient Engagement Studio and the Executive Editor/Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.


Geoffrey Bove, DC, PhD
Bove Consulting

Dr. Geoffrey Bove is a pioneer CAM biomedical researcher and has more than 30 years of clinical experience as a manual therapist. He was the first person considered “post-doctoral” by NIH by virtue of a chiropractic degree and was an appointed faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Over the last decade, he has worked closely with manual therapy professions, largely through the Fascia Research Congresses. His research is focused on the effects of inflammation on nerves and axons, musculoskeletal pain, headaches, postoperative adhesions, repetitive motion disorders, among other topics. He currently has a private home-based laboratory, funded by the NIH.


Esther Dupont-Versteegden, PhD
University of Kentucky

Esther Dupont-Versteegden, PhD is a Professor and Director of Rehabilitation and Health Services PhD Program at the University of Kentucky. She holds a BS in Movement Sciences and a PhD in Physiology from the University of Texas Health Science Center. She was previously an Assistant Professor at the University Arkansas Medical Sciences and an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at University of Kentucky.


Danielle Gentile, PhD
Cardinal Health

Danielle Gentile, PhD is a scientist on the Real-World Evidence and Insights team at Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions where she investigates the health outcomes of patients treated in real-world settings outside of clinical trials. Previously, she served as a Health Services Researcher in the Department of Supportive Oncology at Levine Cancer Institute, Atrium Health in Charlotte, NC. Her research has focused on the impact of integrative modalities on cancer patients’ pain, culturally competent LGBTQ+ healthcare and more.


Hunter Groninger, MD
Georgetown University

Hunter Groninger, MD is a Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University, Director of the Section of Palliative Care at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Scientific Director for Palliative Care at the MedStar Health Research Institute. He has also served as a Master Facilitator with the Education for Palliative and End-of-Life Care (EPEC) Program at Northwestern University. His research interests include palliative care delivery in cardiovascular medicine, innovative symptom management strategies, language and word choice in complex communication and the medical humanities.


Jolie Haun, PhD, EdS, LMT
James A. Haley Veterans Hospital

Jolie Haun, PhD, EdS, LMT has been a licensed massage therapist for over 25 years. She is a scientist at the Veterans Health Administration and has published research on massage therapy outcomes and on measuring the energetic effects of massage. She is currently evaluating a program using partnered massage and meditative strategies to manage veterans’ pain and PTSD symptoms.


Niki Munk, PhD, LMT
Indiana University

Niki Munk, PhD, LMT is a licensed massage therapist, an Associate Professor of Health Sciences in Indiana University’s School of Health and Human Sciences, and a member of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH) research work group. Dr. Munk is one of 13 international fellows in ARCCIM’s International Complementary Medicine Research Leadership Program. Her research explores real-world massage therapy for chronic pain and associated factors, trigger point self-care, massage for amputation related sequelae and more. She has been on the Massage Therapy Foundation’s Board of Trustees since 2017.


Douglas Nelson, LMT, BCTMB
Massage Therapy Foundation- Immediate Past President

Douglas Nelson, LMT, BCTMB is the Massage Therapy Foundation’s Immediate Past President and has over 40 years of experience in the massage therapy industry. He is the President of BodyWork Associates, a massage therapy clinic in Champaign, IL. He also leads a teaching institute, NMT MidWest, Inc., which provides about 100 trainings annually in Precision Neuromuscular Therapy™ across the USA. He has authored three books: Table Lessons: Insights in the Practice of Massage Therapy (two volumes) and The Mystery of Pain. His interests include the role of soft tissue in performance, serving as a neuromuscular consultant to teams in the NBA and NFL, dance companies, and high level musicians.


Irina Todorov, MD
Cleveland Clinic

Irina Todorov, MD is the Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine and is board certified in Family Medicine and Integrative Medicine. She uses treatment modalities such as nutrition optimization, exercise therapies, acupuncture, mind-body and manual therapies to enhance the body’s healing process, and to achieve optimal physical, social and mental health.


Samantha Zabel, LMT
Indiana University-Purdue University

Samantha Zabel is a massage therapist and a Health and Rehabilitation Sciences doctoral student at Indiana University-Purdue University. She is currently involved in the revamping of MassageNet, a practice-based research network (PBRN) intended to build massage therapist research participation and literacy. She strives to help build the evidence surrounding massage therapy in order to bring it in line with other allied health professions.