Licensed massage therapists are invited to take part in a groundbreaking UA study to combat the No. 1 preventable cause of disease and death in the United States: smoking.
The massage therapists will collaborate with Myra Muramoto, MD, MPH, a tobacco-cessation expert with the UA Department of Family and Community Medicine, on the study, called Project Reach.
Participating massage therapists will take part in training sessions and receive follow-up support to give them new knowledge and skills to help clients quit tobacco.
Project Reach, funded by the National Cancer Institute, teaches communication skills that encourage and support behavior change – more effective than threatening or lecturing the smoker. Project Reach also provides essential information about quitting techniques and local resources for extra support.
Smoking and other tobacco use are the direct cause of many forms of cancer, as well as heart disease, respiratory disease and other health problems. Tobacco use also interferes with disease treatment and recovery.
This study is named Project Reach because it teaches “concerned others” how to reach out and help someone quit tobacco. Participating massage therapists will be better equipped to help tobacco users.
“Massage therapists are in an excellent position to help clients improve their health by supporting them through the process of quitting tobacco,” Dr. Muramoto said. “Tobacco use has been linked with chronic pain, problems with healing and a host of other serious health conditions. Massage therapists can talk with their clients about how quitting can improve their health and increase the benefit they derive from massage, with the emphasis on wellness, for which this discipline is so well-known.”
PLEASE NOTE: The Project Reach team will provide ongoing assistance to participating massage therapists. Those interested can call 626-9895 for more information.