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SOMA

Society Of Massage Archives

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Announcing A New Project

I have been planning and developing this research project since November 2021 and hope it will someday be a completed nonfiction book. 

The synopsis and main question this project is thus;

In 1951, Arkansas became one of the first states to officially regulate the Massage Therapy profession. In 2015, the Arkansas State Board of Massage Therapy was abolished. How did one of the oldest institutional authorities on massage come to be dissolved with the stroke of a pen? How did it come to this? 

This project does not seek to place blame or point fingers, but to seek out the truth and preserve this unique history for future generations of massage therapists. 

Initial research will be focused on massage therapy in Arkansas from 1951-2021, with flexibility to research pre-1951 and the status of massage in other states to provide historical and regional context when/where appropriate. 

In envision this project having chapters devoted to specific decades (1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, etc.) as well as including Legacy Biographies of prominent massage therapists in the state. 

I need help! I am asking for documents, photographs/media, obituaries, articles, relics/artifacts and other archival donations to this cause. If you or someone you know would be interested in contributing to the project, please contact me to discuss your contribution to the preservation of our history. If you or someone you know would be interested and can provide relevant information in the form of being an interviewee, please fill out the attached Waiver PDF below.


Peace & Healing,

Kirby Clark, MMT, BCTMB 

Forms

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Interview Waiver

If you or someone you know is interested in participating as a Interview Subject for this project, please fill out the downloadable Interview Waiver Form and provide the completed form back to Kirby Clark, MMT by email at kirbyclark.mmt@gmail.com

This process will help by recording oral histories on tape and/or visual records.

Project Outline

Decide what you want to know.

In 1951, Arkansas became one of the first States to officially regulate the Massage Therapy profession. In 2015, the Arkansas State Board of Massage Therapy was abolished. How did one of the oldest institutional authorities on Massage come to be dissolved with the stroke of a pen? How did we come to this? *It is important to note that this project does not seek to place blame or point fingers. The goal is only to seek out the truth and preserve this unique history for future generations of Massage professionals. 

Envision the overall research project.

Initial research should be focused upon Massage Therapy in Arkansas c.1951-2021, with flexibility to research pre-1951 and the status of Massage Therapy outside of Arkansas for the purpose of establishing context when and where appropriate.

Consider possible end products.

The primary end goal of this project is to write a book with the possibility of also writing Continuing Education teaching materials and potentially a documentary film. 

Estimate how long the project will take.

Initial research and oral history interviews should take approximately 3-5 years. Founding an Arkansas Massage Therapy Historical Society, SOMA (Society Of Massage Archives), securing/accepting donations, and archiving will take an additional lifelong commitment. 

Contents

1. Forward

2. Legacy Biography 1

3. Introduction: Arkansas History/Massage & the First Half of the 20th Century (1900-1950)

4. Legacy Biography 2

5. Chapter One: 1950s 

6. Legacy Biography 3

7. Chapter Two: 1960s

8. Legacy Biography 4

9. Chapter Three: 1970s

10. Legacy Biography 5

11.Chapter Four: 1980s

12. Legacy Biography 6

13. Chapter Five: 1990s

14. Legacy Biography 7

15. Chapter Six: 2000s

16. Legacy Biography 8

17. Chapter Seven: 2010s

18. Legacy Biography 9

19. Chapter Eight: 2020s

20. Legacy Biography 10

21. Epilogue: The Current State of Massage Therapy in Arkansas

22. Acknowledgements

23. Endnotes/Bibliography

24. Index

{Book should also include map(s) of Arkansas with prominent massage institutes (Board Locations, Schools/Programs, Businesses, etc.) indicated}

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