For more than 40 years, Dean and Dudley Evenson—founders and musicians behind the popular Soundings of the Planet record label—have held tightly to the vision of creating a nonprofit foundation to spread peace through music. Now that vision is realized with their aptly named Peace Through Music Foundation.
“For over four decades we have created our own version of peace through music through the many relaxation recordings we have produced,” Dudley Evenson told MASSAGE Magazine. “We are grateful that our music has found such appreciation among massage therapists and other healers.”
Their label specializes in New Age, Sound Healing and Meditation titles and its more than 90 albums have featured artists including Scott Huckabay, Singh Kaur, Daniel Paul, Peter Ali and many others, often collaborating with the Evensons.
The husband-and-wife team encourages anyone who appreciates music to sign up on the foundation’s website—peacethroughmusic.foundation—to stay up to date on ways to participate.
“Music is an international language that crosses cultural and genre boundaries,” said Dudley Evenson. “We hope to inspire more people to use music to lift the spirit and bring more peace to our world.”
Stress is known to have negative consequences for health and disease—but our bodies have an inbuilt regenerative system, the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), to ward off stress during times of threat, according to researchers at the University of Konstanz in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, who recently completed a study on massage and rest to mitigate stress.
This study, with findings published in Scientific Reports, showed that 10 minutes of either resting or receiving massage resulted in psychological and physiological reduction in stress. All participants reported they felt more relaxed and less stressed, compared with before the treatments, noted a university press release. Further, all participants showed significant increases in heart rate variability, which demonstrates that the PNS was activated and the body physiologically relaxed just by resting alone.
The physiological effect was more pronounced when participants received a massage. It was, however, not important whether the massage was soft or moderate; tactile contact in general seemed to improve the relaxation of the body.
“To get a better handle on the negative effects of stress, we need to understand its opposite—relaxation,” said Jens Pruessner, head of the Neuropsychology lab at the University of Konstanz. “Relaxation therapies show great promise as a holistic way to treat stress, but more systematic scientific appraisal of these methods is needed.”
The Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) is planning its International Massage Therapy Research Conference (IMTRC), which will be an in-person event, on May 12–13, 2022, in Alexandria, Virginia.
Since 2010, MTF brings together massage and manual therapy practitioners, educators, thought leaders, researchers and allied health professionals triannually.
The conference provides an opportunity to contextualize and evaluate scholarly research findings as well as disseminate and discuss current research and groundbreaking innovations to facilitate a learning environment about the latest science that can be applied in practice.
The Florida Chiropractic Association (FCA) presented its 2021 Licensed Massage Therapist of the Year award to Crystal Howard, LMT, who practices in Orlando, Florida, at its annual convention in Orlando in August.
In massage practice since 1999, Howard specializes in therapeutic Swedish and deep tissue massage, and myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy and manual lymph drainage. She has volunteered for the Florida Massage Therapy Association for several years and is the association’s current president.
Speaking on behalf of the FCA, Jen Porro, officer of conventions & program development, told MASSAGE Magazine Howard was given the award for her achievements in the massage industry combined with her expertise and willingness to educate clients on the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to health care.
“Working with chiropractors and establishing a successful referral network provides LMTs greater opportunity to offer better overall patient care,” said Porro.
Howard said that learning and networking—both within the massage field and with allied health professionals—is at the core of her success. Her volunteer work at the state level, she said, has led to understanding more about related health care practices, especially chiropractic.
“As massage therapists, we have to be connected to all other health professions—and the one we are most connected to is chiropractors, whether they have a massage therapist on staff or their office rents to a therapist—because we support so much what they do in their work with patients,” said Howard. “For years I have referred clients to them … because there’s only so far we can go and so much we can do, and health care needs to be a whole-person type of thing.”
Howard suggests that any massage therapist add volunteering to their professional activities.
“You have to get involved,” Howard said. “There’s so many opportunities that will evade you if you aren’t connected with other health care professionals and other massage practitioners.”
And what does she think about being awarded by the FCA?
“Recognition from outside the massage profession is so powerful— it means people know of you and are talking about [your field of health care],” said Howard. “That’s the kind of talk you want about you. It’s definitely a huge honor and I’m super grateful.”
The International Consortium on Manual Therapies will take place May 6–8, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona, and online. Billed as “a science-based interdisciplinary research symposium for practitioners and researchers,” the consortium is being shepherded by leaders from the A.T. Still University, a college of osteopathy.
Keynote speakers include Helene Langevin, MD, director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; and Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Dr. Med., PhD, Founder & Director, Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction. Session topics include those on manual therapy procedures, physiological theories, and measuring physiological effects. For more information, click here.
For Stacey Shultz, the challenges and grief kept piling up. In 2017 her mother died from a heart attack. Her beloved 17-year-old nephew died in an ATV accident a year later. Then in August 2021, her husband Russ died of pancreatic cancer at age 60, just weeks before their 25th wedding anniversary.
The weight of those losses was a heavy burden for Shultz. As a longtime believer in the benefits of massage and a customer of MassageLuXe franchise day spa (massageluxe.com) for eight years, she has turned to massage therapy regularly for relief from the side effects of grief—and because of her story of loss, the MassageLuXe community of customers, employees and franchisees voted for Shultz, 53, to be the MassageLuXe Member of the Year and receive a year’s worth of therapeutic massage. (MassageLuXe has 70 locations across 16 states.)
“I hope sharing my story helps people understand the benefits of massage physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually,” Shultz said in a MassageLuXe press release. “People tend to think of massage as a luxury. It’s so much more than that. It’s therapy.”
Read more: “Practice Being Present with Grief.”
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