When CentraCare Health System and St. Cloud Hospital recently hosted a Spirit Girls Night Out® event at the Holiday Inn and Suites, Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud massage therapy students helped make the night dazzle. Billed to women as “bringing out your inner diva,” the nationally trademarked event provides “impactful, relevant, [and] easy-to-understand health education.”
Alysia Mick and Tamara McNaughton gave chair massages as part of the evening’s mini-spa event. And they were a popular choice!
“Within 15 minutes of arriving,” said Michelle Willenbring, Massage Therapy Association Advisor at Minnesota School of Business, “people were waiting in line. I could have had 10 students there all night long.”
By closing time, they had to turn people away, so the students handed out the phone number for the massage clinic at the college so that those who were disappointed could make an appointment for a full massage on campus. According to Willenbring, four women so far have called in and scheduled appointments.
The event was valuable for the hands-on experience it provided the students, but also because of the networking opportunities it offered.
“Massage is becoming more accepted in the medical community,” Willenbring stressed. “I want to get us out into the medical community and [be] recognized.”
The students were allowed a break to observe other presentations, and meet potential employers and prospective clients. It was a great learning experience that included information on breast self-exams and stroke risk assessment. Featured presentations included “Hugging Your Curves,” “Be Dazzling—Breast Health and Plastic Surgery” and “Bra Fittings for Divas.” (The last carried a caveat: “WARNING: May increase self-confidence.”)
Events like this one, Willenbring maintains, “build relationships in the community” that benefit the massage therapy students and program. “It also is a great way to let new people know about our student clinics on campus.”
The students have already been asked to return for next year’s event and to be part of the upcoming sister event, Day of Dance, in February.
According to its website, the “St. Cloud Hospital wants to inspire women to take action for better health through fun and vibrant women’s health education programs, such as Spirit Girls’ Night Out. Spirit of Women® is an elite network of American hospitals working together to achieve high standards of excellence in women’s health.”