Students from Brooklyn Center’s massage therapy program have generously given their time providing chair massages for a variety of good causes lately, resulting in positive exposure for the school and valuable hands-on experience for the students.
In the span of a week, students provided chair massages from cancer patients at the Hope Lodge, participated at a local ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ day, and raised money for the American Cancer Society by giving chair massages for donations on campus.
A crew of six students volunteered at the Hope Lodge in Minneapolis, which provides cancer patients and their caregivers a temporary place to stay free of charge while receiving treatment outside of their own city or town. Due to their frail condition from treatment, some of the guests were apprehensive to receiving massages, but massage program chair Stephanie Petersen said the students were able to discuss those concerns with the patients and provide safe, enjoyable massages.
“Client education is a large part of what a massage therapist is expected to do, so it’s extremely beneficial for the students to practice it.” Petersen said. “It is also wonderful to get students working on special population clients as they learn about them.”
During another community engagement event, three students gave chair massages to customers at the Caribou Coffee location in Brooklyn Center as part of the stores’ ‘Random Acts of Kindness Day for Cancer’. The store was donating money from the sales of its special Amy’s Blend coffee to cancer research and asked MSB-BC to participate in the event.
“Students were able to talk about the benefits of massage and show off their knowledge of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology as they explained to their clients what they were finding.” Petersen said.
Petersen added that several clients who received massages at the event had never had one prior to their chair massage and inquired more about the benefits of massage and where they could get them.
In addition to the community events, students set up chairs in the student lounge on campus during Massage Awareness Week and offered massages for $1 per minute, with the donations going to the American Cancer Society. Over the course of two evenings, the students were able to raise $327.
“Students know that two things that will help them be better therapists and land better jobs are a lot of practice and volunteer work.” Petersen said. “Some students attend every volunteer event they can, while others attend one every other quarter. They are consistently fun and positive experiences for everyone.”