In a 2021 study by the Touch Research Institute on the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown, it was revealed that 68 percent of those polled reported feeling touch deprived. Wanting to celebrate touch and its impact on happiness, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) is inviting the public to celebrate “Global Massage Makes Me Happy & Healthy Day” on March 20.
As part of its massage initiative, GWI will host an hour-long online event, on March 20 at 12pm EST, featuring experts who will share 2022 wellness and massage trends and highlight the scientific reasons that the ancient practice of massage is beneficial for mind and body. The experts include:
- Susie Ellis, founder, Global Wellness Institute & Global Wellness Summit
- Tiffany Field, Ph.D., founder and director, Touch Research Institute
- Jeppe Tengbjerg, founder and CEO, The International Massage Association
- Karen Short, CEO, Universal Companies
- Luke Massery, CEO, Scrip Companies
- Jim Chenevey, CEO, Earthlite
- CG Funk, senior vice president culture & industry Relations, Massage Heights
- Lynda Solien-Wolfe, chair, Massage Makes Me Happy Initiative (MMMH), president, Solwolfe Resource Group
To join the event via Zoom, please visit www.massagemakesmehappy.com/zoom-event/.
According to GWI, research shows that massage supports physical and emotional wellbeing, which leads to happiness. In a time when people have been purposely physically distancing, single-person households are on the rise, the #metoo movement has made many wary of touch, and most of the population gives more attention to their screens than to connecting with people around them, the time is right to give healing touch the attention it deserves.
Providing people with a chance to connect in a healthy way, March 20 is designed to give spas and massage centers an opportunity to celebrate massage with special offers honoring the day.
“After 40 years of research, we have yet to find a chronic or systematic human malady that massage does not aid,” says Field. A sought-after expert for media interviews during the isolating months of the COVID-19 lockdown, Field became a public advocate for massage after visiting orphanages in Romania and discovering that the children’s stunted physical and emotional growth was directly related to a lack of touch. Since then, her Touch Therapy Institute has completed more than 100 studies on touch and massage. Some of the benefits documented include:
- Enhancing growth and development of preterm infants
- Reducing depression, attentional disorders, and pain syndromes
- Increasing immune function in chronic illnesses
“We created a toolkit on our website with 50 ways to celebrate on March 20,” says Wolfe. “We’re recommending things as simple as getting a massage, purchasing a massage gift card for someone else, or even having a foot massage party with friends and family. It’s all about connecting and finding ways to make everyone feel happy and healthy.”
The GWI Initiative, which formed in 2017 and celebrated its first MMMHH Day in 2018, is also inviting businesses to arrange for chair massages for their staff in honor of the day. Massage therapy schools are being encouraged to host open houses on March 20 or conduct an online class to teach members of the local community tricks for at-home massage.