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MTF 2010 Community Service and Research Grants

Sept.20, Evanston, IL – The Massage Therapy Foundation is proud to announce that four community service projects and one research study have been funded for the 2010 granting cycle.

September 21, 2010  By Massage Therapy Canada

Community Service

AlisherSharipov of Tigard, Oregon was granted $5,000 for her work with Medical TeamsInternational.  Through this grant, this program (now in its third year)will provide bodywork to Uzbekistanian orphans as well as bodywork training totheir caregivers. Ranging from ages 4-18 years, these children have a broadrange of abnormalities from central nervous system disorders to cerebral palsy.Through the previous grants, practitioners provided bodywork to 320 orphans andreeducated 30 caregivers about the benefits of massage therapy. After the 2008and 2009 trips, 80 children who were previously confined to their beds can nowwalk. Thanks to this grant, two additional massage therapists will travel tothe area in 2010 to train local caregivers and empower them to share theirtechniques with others making this initiative sustainable and available formany more children. This grant is funded in memory of Kathie King.


LeslieKorn with the Center for Traditional Medicine in Olympia, WA was granted $5,000for her work on “Massage Therapy for Indigenous Women of Cabo Corrientes,Mexico”. Since 1977 the Center for Traditional Medicine (CTM) has directed asmall public health clinic in rural Mexico. Founder, massage therapist, andresearcher Leslie Korn, Ph.D., has hosted volunteer health professionals andmade massage therapy available to impoverished locals. This grant providesfunds to expand the clinic’s efforts into additional villages to providetreatment for those suffering from chronic pain as well as untreated or insufficientlytreated injuries. Two massage therapists will give one-hour massages in therural clinic or travel overland as necessary to reach immobilized clients. Manyof these clients work in the fields, tend their families in inadequateconditions, travel rough terrain by foot, and correspondingly suffer fromosteoarthritis of the elbows, hands, and knees. Massage therapy is meant toenhance their indigenous solutions for pain resolution and mobility, andpromote self-care.  This grant was sponsored in part by Biotone.



ShayBeider of Tucson, AZ was granted $5,000 for her work with “Integrative HealthCare Solutions/Integrative Touch for Kids”.  She has designed this no-costhealing retreat getaway at an Arizona ranch that serves as a haven for childrenwho have developmental disabilities, genetic conditions, chronic, acute, andlife-limiting illnesses. More than 60 healing arts practitioners (including 15–25 massage therapists) blend their expertise to provide access to therapies toassist in pain management, improve quality of life, and empower the children tobe part of their own healing processes. This grant allows for two days oftailored training for 15 massage therapists prior to each healing retreat. Theylearn massage techniques especially for these special needs children, uniquecommunication methods, additional skills for relating to family members andcaregivers, safety guidelines, and specifics to help them adhere tolimitations. By the end of the grant reporting period, an additional 20 massagetherapists will be eligible to provide massage to these children and 14children with special needs and their 44 family members will have benefitedfrom a Healing Retreat.

JohnDuke of Portland, OR was granted $5,000 for his project “Outside In”. OutsideIn provides primary health care to more than 7,400 homeless and low-incomepeople in Portland, Oregon. For more than 40 years, center staff has providedcare on a sliding scale; those unable to pay are still treated. Servicesinclude substance abuse and mental health treatment, and chronic disease andmedical case management. The center has had intermittent volunteer massagetherapy available for clients receiving care for physical trauma in theorthopedic clinic. This grant will allow the center to hire a part-time massagetherapist to provide four hours of 50-minute therapeutic massages a week to atleast 200 clients over the course of a year. The staff massage therapist willalso integrate and coordinate the work of additional volunteer massage therapistswith that of other health care providers. This first year of funding from theMassage Therapy Foundation will help strengthen the existing business model andallow Outside In to sustain and grow the program in subsequent years. Thisgrant was sponsored in part by Biotone.





Nina C.Franklin, LMT, Ph.D. (Cand) from the University of Illinois at Chicago wasgranted $30,000 for her study “Efficacy of Massage Therapy in AttenuatingVascular Dysfunction after Exertion-Induced Muscle Injury. Exertion-inducedmuscle injury is a recurrent problem that most frequently results fromstrenuous physical work or exercise involving eccentric contractions andclinically presents as pain and discomfort lasting up to seven days. Research suggests that muscle injury triggers a local inflammatoryresponse.  Production of pro-inflammatory mediators by neutrophils, duringthe early phase of this response, may initiate systemic inflammationcharacterized by enhanced adhesion of neutrophils to the endothelium, excessreactive oxygen species production, and consequently, vasculardysfunction.  Currently, there is no universally accepted treatment forexertion-induced muscle injury, however, massage therapy is often recommendedfor reducing associated symptoms. 


Thepurpose of this research project is to determine the efficacy of massagetherapy in attenuating vascular dysfunction in healthy sedentary young adultsfollowing acute exposure to exertion-induced muscle injury.  Individualswho meet inclusion criteria will be assigned to one of three groups: 1) massagetherapy treatment following exposure to exertion-induced muscle injury, 2) acontrol condition of exertion-induced muscle injury without massage therapy, or3) a control condition of massage therapy without exertion-induced muscleinjury.  Our studies will employ an integrated approach with in-vivo andin-vitro physiologic methods to address independent and dual effects ofexertion-induced muscle injury and massage therapy treatment on vascularfunction.  The hypothesis to be tested is that massage therapy treatmentperformed after acute exposure to exertion-induced muscle injury will protectagainst vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress.  


TheMassage Therapy Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity, with a mission toadvance the knowledge and practice of massage by supporting scientificresearch, education, and community service.  For more information on theFoundation, please visit



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