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The Interdisciplinary Clan of Mystery

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Healthcare Everywhere: The Role of Massage Therapists in Community Health Promotion


March 17, 2019 at 8:00PM (Eastern)


spiderman on a massage table

This episode: Every health professional knows that the information they actually need in the real world exceeds the basic knowledge they learned in school. Massage therapists often find themselves navigating conversations about self care and health advocacy that we weren’t prepared for in our business classes, and that often skirt the edges of our scope of practice. This happens because many people see their massage therapist more often than they see their doctor. This puts massage therapists in a unique position to engage in conversations about health promotion in the community.


With this great power comes great responsibility.
How do massage therapists stay within their ethical boundaries and scope of practice in health promotion conversations?
What can we do to educate ourselves with credible sources and the latest information?
What, exactly, is a credible source?
Join Ann Blair Kennedy and Robin Byler Thomas for this discussion about the role of massage therapists in promoting health in every community. Find out what massage therapists may have in common with birth attendants in Tanzania and barbers and cosmetologists in the United States.

Panelists: Ann Blair Kennedy

Ann Blair Kennedy, LMT, BCTMB, DrPH teaches in the division of Behavioral, Social, and Population Health Sciences in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at USC School of Medicine Greenville. She became a board certified and a South Carolina licensed massage therapist in 1999 and was in clinical practice prior to pursuing her Doctor of Public Health degree in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior from the University of South Carolina. She completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Human Performance Lab at the USC School of Medicine Greenville in April 2017. Dr. Kennedy’s specific research interests include: patient and stakeholder engagement in research, stress and wellness particularly in families with children special needs, behavioral change interventions, implementation monitoring and process evaluation, integrative medicine, and investigations of the massage therapy profession.


Robin Byler Thomas, LMT, DrPH has been a massage therapist since 1995. She joined the University of Arizona South as an adjunct instructor in May of 2017 where she designed, implemented and instructs Integrative Health and Human Services Advocacy in Applied Science: Human Services. She has taught Sociocultural and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health for UA graduate students in the College of Public Health since 2013. Robin’s undergraduate degree is in Health Sciences. Both her Master’s and her Doctoral degrees are in Public Health with concentrations in Health Behavior, Health Promotion, and Maternal and Child Health. While a graduate student, Robin completed a predoctoral fellowship in the College of Medicine and a Certificate in College Level Instruction. Dr. Byler Thomas’ research interests include integrative health, massage therapy, stress and pain management, social determinants of health, perinatal mood and anxiety, family health, service learning, and health promotion.

This webinar is open to anyone and everyone who is interested in integrative medicine, healthcare, or other humans.

$100 for 12 episodes (September 2018 – August 2019) $20 for a single episode

Tuition for the Interdisciplinary Clan of Mystery is non-refundable.

During this 12-month journey, Healwell’s fearlessly inquisitive, critical thinking mastermind, Rebecca Sturgeon, LMT will host a live monthly webinar with a different guest or guests each month. Mystery panelists will include a palliative care physician, an integrative nurse coach, an RN and an NP who team up to specialize in providing care to the geriatric LGBTQ community, researchers, authors, a palliative care social worker and more. These people think about things that you think about and they are thinking about them in new ways that will challenge you and invite you to consider how you can deepen your service to the humans you care for (personally and professionally) and broaden your perspective to invite collaborations, curiosity and plain old increased clinical knowledge.


*All episodes are recorded. If you have subscribed for the series and miss an episode (or just want to see it again) you may request access to view a recording at a later date.

Upcoming Episodes:

  • Episode 8: April 28, 2019 at 8:00PM (Eastern) – Silent, Stoic, and Suffering: Managing Pain When the Patient Can’t Speak with Emily Clore, DVM
  • Episode 9: May 19, 2019 at 8:00PM (Eastern) – Disenfranchised Grief and Vicarious Trauma in Healthcare Providers with Regina Tosca LICSW

Past Episodes:

  • Episode 6 – Balance and the Brain: Adapting Motor Learning for Individuals with Dementia with Julie D. Ries, PT, PhD, Marymount University
  • Episode 5 – Can’t We All Just Get Along? Medication and Massage Therapy with Diana Stewart, PharmD, Palliative Care Pharmacist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center & Lauren Cates, LMT, massage therapist and Executive Director of Healwell
  • Episode 4 – Treating the Whole Kid: How Integrative Therapies Support Pediatric Cancer Patients and their Families with Shana Jacobs, MD Oncologist at Children’s National Medical Center & Amanda Leland, mother of a child with chronic healthcare needs
  • Episode 3 – Caring for LGBTQ Elders with Suzanne Dutton, MSN, RN, GNP-BC, NICHE coordinator/geriatric advanced practice nurse & Clare Madrigal, RN, LGBTQ Resource Nurse at Sibley Memorial Hospital
  • Episode 2 – Re-imagining the End of Life: Old Wisdom and New Innovations with Janet Booth, RN
  • Episode 1 – Creating an Interdisciplinary Team that is Truly Interdisciplinary and a Team with Hunter Groniger, MD and Anne Kelemen, LICSW

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