Support group members welcome stress reduction techniques, chair massages
Six massage therapy students in a Pregnancy and Special Populations class at Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud brought the classroom to the community by teaching kinship caregivers about the benefits of massage.
Resource and referral agency Child Care Choices sponsors monthly support meetings for relatives parenting children who are not their own. The students presented self-massage and stress reduction techniques to attendees and offered stress relief by giving chair massages.
“I really made a big impact on someone’s life and I hope I can keep that going in my future career,” said student Morgan Woods. “To see the smiles on their faces was absolutely amazing and I will never forget the feeling I got from that.”
According to the Pew Research Center,* nearly three million children are cared for primarily by one or more grandparents.
While willing in spirit, many kinship caregivers find the role to be physically, financially and emotionally exhausting. In addition, they sometimes face legal difficulties related to guardianship, as non-custodial parents may try to regain legal custody.
“They seemed to enjoy the double stress relief of talking about their home life and also receiving the massages,” said student Adam Dolney. “They all appeared to appreciate the massages and our time, but we also benefited greatly from this experience.”