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New initiative aims to gather data on massage efficacy on Paralympic athletes

jason-griffin-for-amta.jpgThe American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has announced a new partnership with Team Roger C. Peace to co-sponsor the paracycling team and fund the gathering of data on the impact of massage therapy on the conditioning and performance of these professional athletes. The athletes will prominently display AMTA’s name and logo as they compete, and massage therapy will be closely associated with their training and conditioning in this first of a kind study, the association said.


November 25, 2014
By Massage Therapy Canada staff

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“We are excited about our partnership with Team Roger C. Peace and what
it can mean both for the support of this competitive paracycling team
and for the massage therapy research data that will be gathered as they
train and race,” said AMTA president Nancy M. Porambo. “This will help
shed new light on the efficacy of massage therapy for elite athletes.”

The
team includes amputees, para- and quadriplegics, and a cyclist with
traumatic brain injury. These 11 inspiring and highly motivated athletes
are working toward competing in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil. As they train and compete throughout 2015, they will
receive regular massage from massage therapists and data will be
gathered on the effects of massage therapy on their physical
performance.

Working with the Greenville, South Carolina Health
System’s Human Performance Lab, Team Roger C. Peace athletes participate
in clinical research designed to:

• improve the quality of life for other individuals with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and amputations

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• enhance the education of medical students, providing direct access to
studying the unique population of elite-level paracyclists.

“This
information will be documented in data collection for AMTA of the
effects of massage on sports performance with disabled athletes, and is a
key piece in our research into how to positively affect athletes’
performances through the consistent and medical application of the best
practices in massage therapy,” emphasized Jerry Page, Team RCP manager.

As
the only independent team competing on a global para-cycling schedule,
the 12-member squad was organized as a partnership between the
Greenville Cycling Center and Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital,
part of the Greenville Health System. Athletes will compete in more than
90 events this season in preparation for the Para-Cycling World
Championships in 2015 and the Paralympics in Brazil in 2016.

Roger
C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital has three goals: To provide the latest
rehabilitative and technological services with compassion and
encouragement, to help motivate patients, and to assist them in
re-entering the community as smoothly and as quickly as possible. Roger
C. Peace is the only facility in South Carolina approved by the
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

The
American Massage Therapy Association is the largest nonprofit,
professional association for massage therapists in North America. It is
directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct
member-involvement through its 51 chapters.  AMTA works to advance the
profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and
consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public
education on the benefits of massage.


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