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Healwell is seeding change!

January 25, 20243 min read

Healwell will turn 15 this year. It has been my honor, my inspiration, and my adventure, since 2009, to serve as Healwell’s Executive Director. As we head into this, our 15th year, it’s clear that the next chapter for Healwell will be one of growth and continued nourishment of a growing movement to make specially trained massage therapists an essential part of serious illness care.

I’m thrilled to share with you a new Healwell logo that will carry us into the next 15 years. You have come to know our logo as a pair of hands emerging from a deep well, rippling outward and that image has served us well. (hold on to you soon-to-be-vintage merch, my friends!) We love your hands and the sacred work they’ve done and still do everyday… and it’s time for the hands to go, my friends.

Massage therapy and massage therapists are so much more than hands.

healwell touch teach advocate logo

The new logo is based on dandelion imagery which, I think you’ll agree, is deeply fitting.

Healwell has earned a bit of a reputation as a friendly nuisance. When people in healthcare administration, massage therapy policy, massage therapy education and other realms where we work to spread the seeds of change see us coming, they can’t help but smile… and sometimes they still want to pull us up. Our insufferable brightness, optimism and seeming ubiquity is a challenge to those who want to maintain the status quo in massage therapy and in healthcare.

Dandelions are often called “pioneer plants” because they are the first plants to grow in soil that has been disturbed. Now, it’s true that we often are the ones to disturb the soil, but we do it to create new, strong, and nourishing growth in those places where we have asked the questions and challenged assumptions, so we can collaborate in solutions.

A single dandelion head consists of up to 300 rays flowers (those are petals for the less botanically inclined) and each of those can spread its seed for many miles, creating an ever-expanding garden of care. Every massage therapist, every hospital, every clinic, every provider who is touched by Healwell’s work, every paper we publish, every conference where we ask the hard questions, represents one of those flower heads and the far-reaching impact of our love and commitment to change the experience of chronic and serious illness.

Dandelions, like massage therapists, have long been a source of healing for so many of the things that AIL human beings. Our deep roots pull other nutrients from the soil in which we grow, sharing it with others and fertilizing the ground where we grow.

We take root in places that seem nothing short of miraculous. We push through the gravel and cement of “the system” and bring our light, generous spirit, and unique skills to the most unlikely habitats.

And listen, dandelions are just plain fun! Their irrepressible brightness is hard to deny.

Our new logo is just the beginning of an exciting new future! I hope you’ll join us and help us scatter the seeds of love, community, and this new way of caring for people affected by chronic and serious illness.

See you out there! 

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Cal Cates

Cal is one of Healwell’s founders and its Executive Director. Cal speaks around the world on a variety of topics related to integrative medicine, emotional self-care for practitioners and the mechanics and politics of introducing massage therapy into clinical settings. They have been participating in research, teaching and developing curriculum for massage therapy courses focused on hospital-based practice, oncology massage and end of life care since 2007. Cal is passionate about elevating the profession of massage therapy and also about broader and more seamless integration of massage therapists into mainstream healthcare.

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