Massage & Bodywork


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10 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k n ove m b e r/d e ce m b e r 2 0 2 3 2023 AWARD WINNERS ABMP's Massage Is for EveryBody Shining a Bright Light on the Profession INTERCULTURAL HEALING: MASSAGE IN LGBTQ+ AND BIPOC COMMUNITIES By Ihotu Ali My name, Ihotu, means "love" in my father's language of Nigeria in West Africa. My mother is Polish-American. As a mixed- race woman, I have always been drawn into diverse communities. I spent my 20s living in Harlem in New York City and working with the United Nations, traveling across Africa and the Caribbean as a public health researcher alongside Western doctors and local traditional healers and midwives. In 2016, I returned to my hometown in Minnesota as a massage therapist and birth doula, committed to creating more spaces for Black people and African immigrants to thrive, reduce health disparities and racism in health care, and honor our own cultural ways of healing and birthing. After the murder of George Floyd in my neighborhood in 2020, a health center two miles away invited me to open a bodywork clinic that would be run by and for people of color and LGBTQ+ communities in the center's new integrative health wing. Today, the Oshun Center for Intercultural Healing hosts eight practitioners of color, all who offer sliding-scale prices. We are a place where White people and people of color connect to receive and practice Western, Eastern, and indigenous approaches to heart, soul, and womb healing. We imagine what US health care would look like if it had developed evenly and fairly, acknowledging the inf luences of folk medicine, midwives, and homeopaths. By telling the history of medicine's colonization, and imagining its reintegration, we hope to bring new medicines to everyone. We believe no one should have to choose between broken hearts or broken bones, or between Western, Eastern, or indigenous healing. Our pain and illnesses are varied, and we deserve options, informed choice, and affordable access to our own cultural ways of healing. BEYOND WORDS: MASSAGE AND CANCER TREATMENT By Josh Casey To promote the importance of bodywork, we asked you to share your stories demonstrating the Massage Is for EveryBody Week guiding principles— and you delivered. This year's contest was diffi cult to judge; there were so many inspiring submissions. Thank you to everyone who submitted their stories. READ: "MASSAGE IS FOR EVERYBODY GUIDING PRINCIPLES" 1. Open your camera 2. Scan the code 3. Tap on notification

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