The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) launched a new initiative with the mission to spread awareness about the positive impacts of touch therapies to consumers and medical, spa, and wellness professionals – Massage Makes Me Happy Day. The new, unofficial holiday will be celebrated this Tuesday, March 20.
GWI plans on providing a global platform to support the initiative as it focuses on elevating the work of massage therapists and promoting careers in massage and bodywork. The idea for the initiative came from wellness professionals Lynda Solien-Wolfe and CG Funk. The two developed the concept during the 2015 Global Wellness Summit held in Mexico City. One of the first projects completed for the Massage Makes Me Happy Initiative was to declare an official global Makes Me Happy Day. The date chosen to celebrate coincides with the International Day of Happiness, or Happiness Day.
Over recent years, massage therapy has experienced a large growth with more and more consumers seeking out massage to both support and enhance personal wellbeing. Despite the growth, however, there is still a lack of understanding of the facilitation mechanisms, therapeutic beliefs, and deeper impacts that massage and bodywork have on people. The initiative aims at educating consumers on those benefits and will create educational outreach that promotes the message that receiving massage creates happiness.
“The Global Wellness Institute supports a variety of industry initiatives, furthering the international conversation about wellness in its many and varied forms,” says Susie Ellis, Global Wellness Institute chairman and CEO. “I am especially delighted to be working with Lynda and CG on this initiative, which promises to provide so many benefits. Massage therapy truly does support individual happiness and this initiative will go a long way in spreading the understanding of the power of touch.”
Solien-Wolfe will serve as initiative chair, while Funk will serve as the initiative’s vice chair. Solien-Wolfe is the vice president of massage and spa for Performance Health, the makers of Biofreeze, Bon Vital’, and TheraBrand wellness products, while Funk owns and directs Funk Consulting, a boutique company specializing in spa, wellness, and franchise business operational development. Both women have over 25 years in the spa and wellness industries.
“I have been a committed receiver of massage therapy for over 25 years and can personally attest that massage makes me healthier and feel happier,” says Solien-Wolfe. “I am very excited to see the Massage Makes Me Happy Initiative come to life as I have been using this slogan for over 20 years. This movement and the official Global Massage Makes Me Happy Day will be a great celebration of the happiness that massage brings to millions of people throughout the year and throughout the globe.”
“Human beings need positive touch and I am committed to supporting the work of massage therapists and their professional growth,” says Funk. “I personally have experienced so many profound benefits from receiving massage therapy and look forward to the day that massage therapy will be fully understood and honored as the powerful healing modality it is. Everyone deserves to know that massage creates happiness.”
Tiffany Field, Ph.D., the director and founder of the Touch Research Institute (TRI) at the University of Miami will serve as an initiative member and research advisor. Field is known as a pioneer of massage therapy research and founded TRI in 1992.