Therapeutic Massage for Adults Touched by Cancer


Stephanie Parker
Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation
This grant is sponsored in part by a gift from Biotone.

The Caring Place, a program of Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation, is dedicated to easing the journey of adults diagnosed with cancer living in Southern Nevada. Since 2009, The Caring Place has provided over 25 programs and services, at no cost to patients, including educational classes, activities, and hands on therapies intended to decrease the stress and anxiety of fighting a daily battle against cancer. Massage therapy is the most popular service provided at The Caring Place and positively impacts and contributes to the reduction of pain, anxiety, and depression in cancer patients.


Monday Massage for Veterans


Char Marx
Clear Path for Veterans Wellness
Chittenango, New York

Recognizing the responsibility of communities to help those who serve, Clear Path for Veterans empowers service members, Veterans, and their families through supportive programs and services in a safe, respectful environment. Clear Path for Veterans is fully accessible for Veterans with mobility limitations.

The Massage Therapy Foundation funding will facilitate a demonstration project to help Veterans who have participated in programs at Clear Path for Veterans to take the next step, and access services in their home communities.  Massage Monday for Veterans will offer a package of two one hour massage experiences to Veterans in Central New York to address issues of stress, pain, anxiety and/or difficulty sleeping.  Massage Monday for Veterans participants will be identified through outreach efforts from the existing Clear Path Wingman, Peer Mentor and Dogs2Vets programs.

Massage Therapy for the Treatment of Chronic Pain and Opioid Use in Military Personnel and Families


Sheila Cannon
Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville, North Carolina (NC) ranks the 15th highest in the nation for opioid addiction; 18th when you include heroin. . Our Collaborative Institute for Interprofessional Education & Practice (CI-PEP) is already providing massage services to military personnel, veterans, and families. Under our current infrastructure, we have measured pain levels before and after services; however, we have not exclusively targeted the chronic pain and opioid use population, nor have we researched to explore chronic pain and opioid use against therapeutic massage.

In our CI-PEP, therapeutic massage was the inroad to most soldiers and their families seeking other holistic services offered for free. The aim of the study is to test the effectiveness of massage treatments for chronic pain and opioid use. The holistic model proposed here focuses on the integration of therapeutic massage services to clients who endorse chronic pain and concurrent or prior opioid use for pain management. The focus of massage will be to relieve pain, reduce muscle tension, reduce the frequency of narcotic use, and reduce the number of visits to the doctor’s office. Twenty-five military affiliated participants who endorse pain and opioid use for at least six months to 12 months, ages 18 years and over, will be enrolled in the military massage therapy opioid patient services (MM-TOPS) program and receive free massages, counseling, and other complementary and alternative services. We limit our MM-TOPS enrollment to 25 participants to ensure the quality and rigor of the research and ensure the trustworthiness of data collected.

Massage Therapy for Medically Fragile Children


Shawn Pickett
Maryville, Children’s Healthcare
Des Plaines, IL

The Maryville Children’s Healthcare Center (CHC) treats medically fragile, technology-dependent infants and children who need hospital-to-home transitional care or palliative and hospice care. The CHC offers individualized care and crucial parental training of specialized child care in a homelike environment that combines traditional medical care with alternative medicine approaches to relieve pain, enhance comfort and facilitate healing. The Massage Therapy for Medically Fragile Children program is designed to improve the overall well-being of CHC pediatric patients as well as adjunct the traditional allopathic medical and nursing care. Specific objectives include employing massage therapy to relieve pain and reduce the need for pain medications; enhance physical comfort; facilitate healing/recovery from wounds and orthopedic surgery; increase tolerance to chronic therapies such as ventilator, gastric feedings and IV nutrition, and increase socio-emotional engagement through the positive sensations generated by human touch. These outcomes are documented in patient case notes, which include data on vitals, medication and other medical services delivered, and measurable data reflecting stress levels and other quality of life indicators.

The alternative therapy program was implemented in the spring of 2014 with an initial grant from the Oberweiler Foundation. The impact of stress and how it it’s addressed continues to be revealed in growing numbers of physiological and health and community health research. The use of alternative therapies to complement traditional western medicine has grown alongside the increase in the numbers of medically fragile children with special health care needs. According to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 11.6 percent of the more than 10,000 children aged 4 to 17 included in the survey had used or been given some form of complementary alternative medicine (CAM) during the past year. More than half of children with chronic medical conditions use some form of CAM, usually along with conventional care. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), one of the National Institutes of Health, reports the beneficial effects of massage therapy on pain and other symptoms associated with a number of different conditions. Much of the evidence suggests that these effects are short term and that people need to keep getting massages for the benefits to continue.


Massage Therapy for Immigrant Torture Survivors


Carol Gomez
Program for Torture Victims
Los Angeles, California

The Program for Torture Victims (PTV) is a 501c3 non profit organization that was founded in 1980 to address the complex psycho-social and health needs of survivors of political torture. For the past 35 years PTV has provided comprehensive services to immigrant survivors of political torture living in southern California. Torture survivors we see have mostly experienced complex trauma (sexual violence, physical assaults, prolonged periods of detention and/or isolation, psychological persecution/intimidation/threats, community/state violence, trafficking, domestic violence) and arrive from over 70 countries across the globe.

PTV will offer therapeutic massages services to help bring relief to the suffering of torture survivors. The provision of massage therapy will help to alleviate pain, reduce muscle tension, decrease stress and help survivors regain connection with their body.


Massage for Survivors of Human Trafficking


Willie Martin
New Orleans Community Outreach, New Orleans, LA

New Orleans Community Outreach is a non-profit organization that provides access to programs and services offered by the New Orleans Healing Center to the under served in the community.The grant will be used to provide massage to women in Louisiana who are survivors of human trafficking. After years of exploitation, this population has developed a negative association with physical contact and we are working to change that. Since starting the program in September, massage therapists have been meeting regularly with these women and providing massage while talking about different techniques for relaxation. The women live at Eden House, a residential home in New Orleans that provides two years of housing for the women as they rebuild their lives.

Massage as a Treatment Choice for People Coping with Chronic Pain and Mental Health Issues


Katherine Bubar
Maine Behavorial Healthcare
This grant is sponsored in part by a gift from Biotone.

The project we have proposed is to look at the value of massage therapy as a treatment option for patients with chronic pain. With the epidemic in opioid use and misuse leading to addiction, it is imperative to investigate any and all other avenues to manage pain. We are partnering with the pain clinic in our area in Southern Maine. The behavioral health clinician working in that clinic will refer patients who she believes will be receptive to trying another approach to managing their pain. We believe that pain management does not mean the absence of pain, but the patient’s ability to manage the pain that they have. We have evidence that pain can be better managed when an individual feels relaxed within their body and calm within themselves.

We will use the PHQ-9 to evaluate depression over the time of the therapy, the GAD-7 which will let us evaluate anxiety and the SOAPP-R which will predict possible opioid abuse in patients with pain. Additionally, we will interview every client who participates and will also hold focus groups to discuss the effect of the therapy from the client’s point of view. This is a small study. However, we hope that if the results prove positive, we will be able to find additional funding to increase the scope of the project.

Massage and Burn Scar Therapy for Burn Survivors in the New England Area


Brecken Chinn, PhD
Hand Reach
East Falmoth, Massachussetts

HandReach is a network of compassionate professionals dedicated to improving quality of life for burn
and trauma survivors. HandReach works at the acute, reconstructive, and psychosocial levels to help
individuals debilitated by severe burns and amputations return to full function and a productive future.

The objective is to provide massage and burn scar therapy to underserved burn survivors in the New
England area who might otherwise not be able to afford treatment. Financial hardship may be due to being out of work during their recovery; not being able to return to work; or permanently disabled.

Improving the Quality of Life for Children with Cerebral Palsy in Central America


Liliana Urias
Christian Blind Mission

Established in 1908, CBM is the world’s oldest development organization focused exclusively on the needs and the rights of person with disabilities. CBM’s mission is to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and those at risk of disability in the poorest countries of the world. They currently work in 68 low and middle income countries with a network of local partners in those countries. The grant, combined with what individual donors will match will provide essential massage and physical therapy services to 250 children with cerebral palsy. It will provide training and support through parent support groups to parents of these children It will also provide essential new skills in massage and physical therapy techniques as well as supportive supervision to 14 CBR workers who will receive necessary training and supportive supervision. The project has the potential of being the spark to improving massage and physical therapy access to people with cerebral palsy and their families in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Free Massage Therapy for Cancer Patients


Cancer Family Care
Carol Huber

For 44 years, Cancer Family Care (CFC) has served the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky community as a non-profit social service agency offering a comprehensive array of programming that provides well-rounded support to children, adults, and families coping with the often devastating and overwhelming impact of cancer-related illness. As part of its Waddell Family Healing Hands Program, CFC offers free oncology massage to cancer patients. With this grant, an estimated 39 cancer patients will receive four free massage therapy sessions. The outcome of the program is to reduce cancer patients’ physical symptoms of  pain, stress, soreness, fatigue, muscle tightness, and spasms. CRC also hopes to enhance cancer patients’ sense of well-being and improve their quality of life.
This grant was sponsored in part by a gift from Biotone.

Family Caregiver Support Program Supplemental Therapeutic Massage


Melissa Johnson
Rural Resources

The Rural Resources Family Caregiver Support Program serves a large portion of Eastern Washington (Whitman, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens and Ferry Counties). We work with unpaid, informal family caregivers and create personalized self-care plans for each caregiver. Self-Care Plans consist of services that empower the client to take care of their own health, too. With support from the Massage Therapy Foundation, we can now offer increased Supplemental Therapeutic Massage for unpaid caregivers on their Personalized Self Care Plans. The ability to offer this service is valuable for these caregivers, who are often stuck in a pattern of neglecting their own in needs and focusing on their ill family member. Rural Resources case managers were so thankful to learn they could increase offerings of therapeutic massage to their clients. Caregivers in our community are grateful for the service, and wouldn’t otherwise be able to engage in massage therapy services if it was not for the support of the FCSP and the Massage Therapy Foundation.

Chair Massage for Low-Income Female Domestic Violence Survivors


Marjorie Goran
Howard Area Community Center

Domestic violence clients receive case management, counseling, legal advocacy at the domestic violence court, rental assistance and energy assistance, assistance with other emergencies, transportation, referrals to shelter or support identifying affordable housing, connection to employment services, referrals for assistance with U-VISA and other legal and law enforcement interventions. All services to domestic violence victims are bilingual (English/Spanish). The Domestic Violence program is an ongoing, year round program. Children who have witnessed domestic violence are also able to participate in support groups that improve their awareness of related emotions, techniques in managing anger, and problem solving.

The goal of the massage program is to offer a therapeutic service to women who have had violent experiences with human touch. The massage will help with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. It is a needed respite for women who sometimes struggle to just feed their children.