In May of 2019, I had the pleasure of leading the International Massage Therapy Research Conference in Alexandria, VA. This conference happens every three years and is a gathering of researchers, therapists, and allied health professionals from around the globe. It was a tremendous gathering to explore the latest scientific understanding of massage therapy and network with other health professionals who share similar interests.
Speaking at the conference were leaders in the field of health care, such as Dr. Helene Langevin, the director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), Nancy Cotter, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and the Physician Lead for Integrative Health at the Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System, Dr. Hunter Groninger, the Director of the Section of Palliative Care at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and Lt. Gen. Dr. Eric Schoomaker, the 42nd Surgeon General of the United States Army.
I share this with you because forty years ago, I could have only dreamed that massage therapy would become so well-received by leaders in the armed services, major medical centers, leading university research centers, and medical schools. While I was listening to these presentations, I could not help but think back to my early days in the field and savoring how far we have come.
There is much work to do, so much to explore and understand how massage therapy can be most effectively applied. As president of the Massage Therapy Foundation, I am working at a national level with leaders in health care to deepen our understanding and serve the public in the best way possible.
I also feel BWA is a dream realized; I never thought in 1982 that the office would be so large and serve so many people in this community. Thank you for being part of the BWA family. It is an honor to serve you.