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8 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j a n u a r y / f e b r u a r y 2 0 2 0 EDITOR'S NOTE "My goal is to help more people access the stress-relieving benefits of massage regardless of their socioeconomic status." "My ultimate goal is to . . . help older adults and individuals with chronic health issues." Whether you're a grizzled veteran with hands of steel or a newbie earning your stripes, you can't help but relish the optimism these students exude. Do you still think big like them? What's your "ultimate goal" as an MT? Have you already accomplished what you set out to do when you took your first steps on this bodywork path? Or do you have miles to go? Like these students, we at Massage & Bodywork believe in dreaming big. We're an ever-changing, never-sitting- on-our-laurels, type of crew. And that's why we enlisted the help of Allissa Haines and Michael Reynolds and their new Mind Your Money 2020 Financial Literacy Series to help get your money in order (page 18); their column is complemented by a new website ( where we'll be collecting resources and ultimately offering continuing education. We also sought out the assistance of author Lauren Cates, this time to take on the tough question: Is massage therapy health care? And let's welcome Sasha Chaitow, from the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, who will serve as our new Somatic Research columnist moving forward. I wish the students and future massage therapists the best of luck in succeeding in this profession and in spreading the value of massage. Their answers are simple, yet profound. We hope this issue of big ideas stimulates your 2020. DARREN BUFORD Editor-in-Chief Big Ideas Whether you're a grizzled veteran with hands of steel or a newbie earning your stripes, you can't help but relish the optimism these students exude. Need a healthy dose of New Year optimism? Look no further than the Successful Hands Grant program. Established by Performance Health and Massage Envy in 2014, the program this year asked current massage therapy school students (or those who have recently graduated) to write a 200-word essay on the following topic: What is your ultimate goal as a massage therapist? Finalists win a $1,000 grant for tuition, continuing education, books, or equipment (and schools win a $500 grant and a $500 product package). The committee I was on read 30 essays (whittled down from hundreds of submissions) and took on the difficult task of choosing the best of the best. Eight winners were ultimately selected. Let me just say that in an incredibly jaded world, judged by a very skeptical journalist (ahem), I was humbled by the responses. These were no small goals; rather, they were large ambitions. "My goal as a massage therapist is to work with infants in the pediatric and NICU sectors of hospitals." "My ultimate goal as a massage therapist is to bridge the gap within the special needs community." "My ultimate goal is to . . . work therapeutically with children suffering from congenital disorders such as cerebral palsy, autism, and scoliosis." To read the essays of this year's finalists, visit

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