6 Therapeutic Hands Connect with Special Needs Children

Posted by on May 6, 2013

Minnesota School of Business-Rochester (MSB) has one of the premier massage therapy degree programs in the nation. Making that possible is our experienced staff, including Stevie Ersland, massage therapy program chair, and her fellow instructors. In her own words, Stevie shares some insight into how she stays current in her field while maintaining top-notch training at our school:

A year ago, I scheduled a three-day weekend for Tina Allen to come to the MSB-Rochester campus and teach Advanced Pediatric Massage-Oncology (a two-day continuing education course) and Advanced Pediatric Massage-NICU (a one-day continuing education course). Why did MSB-Rochester schedule Tina so far in advance? Her popularity and schedule. Because she, with her husband and son in tow, travels the United States in a motorhome for delivering trainings, we had to be sure that Rochester was on the list of places for her to stop!

massage therapy degree program

If you haven’t heard of the LiddleKidz Foundation or Tina Allen and you are in the massage therapy field, you must look her up at www.LiddleKidz.com! Tina has been working with the infant and pediatric massage population for over a decade. She’s helped many hospitals come up with touch therapy programs for their PICUs (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit), NICUs (Neonatal Intensive Care Units), as well as their main pediatric units. She’s also taught a plethora of massage therapists, nurses, midwives, doulas, doctors, and families the art of infant massage, which can be used for healthy babies as well as babies who have developmental issues and special medical conditions.

Now that you know a little bit more about Tina Allen’s work with the LiddleKidz Foundation, let me tell you a little bit about what went on during our full weekend of continuing education courses. I, along with fellow massage therapy instructors Stephanie Copeman and Crystal Narveson, were all in attendance for this three-day educational journey. There were other local massage therapists that attended the class as well as physical therapists, family physicians and nurses. 

We learned about special considerations for children receiving cancer treatments, as well as what massage has to offer premature babies in the NICU. Portions of our classes were hands-on where we were able to pretend that we were children ourselves receiving touch therapy. Additionally, for the NICU class, we learned about infant massage by training on dolls in order to teach parents how to provide massage for their own babies.

massage therapy degree programOverall, there was never a dull moment throughout our entire weekend.  We learned new techniques, expanded our knowledge on techniques we already knew (or thought we knew), and we were able to hear about Tina Allen’s personal stories of working with these special kiddos in a hospital setting, hospice setting and home setting.

All in all, three massage instructors from MSB-Rochester were able to fill some continuing education hours while enjoying a class full of great information about touch therapy for children with special needs. We continually strive to learn more about what the massage therapy field has to offer so we can better serve our massage therapy students. The most important thing that everyone in the massage therapy career field “kneads” to remember is that we never stop learning. There is always a new modality or technique to learn and use in our own practices or in other healthcare settings.

Ready to get in touch with your softer, gentler, massage side? Contact MSB-Rochester at 507-536-9500 to speak to a representative.


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