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ABMP Member Wins Gold Medal in Swedish Massage Taking home gold this year at the International Association of Massage's World Championship in Massage is none other than ABMP Professional member Melissa Strautman, founder of MassageFIX in Bowling Green, Kentucky. In June, Strautman competed against 56 therapists from 50 countries for the Swedish massage title. Strautman, who also won silver for facial massage in this year's American Massage Championship and gold for Swedish massage in the 2022 American Massage Championship, was also inducted into the 2023 Massage Therapy Hall of Fame. Her values—and the concepts around which she bases her practice— include an emphasis on clean, meticulously accurate technique through education and training combined with a heightened awareness of client needs. Strautman is also an advocate for balance when it comes to practicing different modalities, emphasized by her recent wins in both the Swedish and facial massage categories. "Facial massage was an important modality to showcase for me because as I get older (24 years in practice), I need to have less strenuous modalities to break up my day," she says. In developing her unique offering, PowerFace, which targets stagnant fluids and deep, fine lines, Strautman found powerful illness-prevention benefits the modality offers her clients. But the excitement for innovation doesn't stop there. "This [competition and win] is a golden opportunity to highlight several things in our industry," Strautman says. She mentions several benefits of massage competitions like the World Championships, including increased awareness of "licensed massage therapy in our communities [being] overrun by unlicensed and often illicit businesses (human trafficking); the need for more students entering the profession; and the return of knowledge in the dying art of classic European Swedish massage versus the hybrid American Swedish seen today." Strautman also notes that Clinical Massage is now a category in several state championships as well as the 2024 American Massage Championships. "America will bring legitimate medical/clinical massage to the forefront and hopefully encourage more therapists to dig deeper clinically when treating clients. As you can tell, I am so excited about the massage revival happening in our industry right now." ABMP is proud to be represented by therapists like Strautman, who are dedicated to excelling in their craft and sharing their knowledge and expertise in their communities and on a global scale. Congratulations, Melissa! 16 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k s e p te m b e r/o c to b e r 2 0 2 3 KNEAD TO KNOW

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