Practice Makes Perfect: Students Give 200 Massages to Seniors and Veterans

Massage therapy program students in Globe University-Green Bay’s Pregnancy/Special Populations class provided 200 massages to senior citizens and veterans. The students collaborated with the YMCA and About Body, LLC, to help provide massage services and education as an applied learning project.
massage therapy program

The Globe University-Green Bay students provided chair massages and general massage information to patrons about health concerns such as poor mobility and arthritis. The 10-minute chair massages were free to the patrons.

This applied learning project provided a basis for students to practice the massage skills they are learning in the classroom. Globe University integrates applied learning projects into the curriculum that allow students to get out of their comfort zone and develop their massage and interpersonal skills before entering their careers. After completing the project, massage students were able to:

  • Demonstrate how to adjust techniques for special population requirements.
  • Identify contraindications/indications for special populations.
  • Describe how to communicate with someone who is hearing or visually impaired.
  • Perform a minimum of 8 hours of massage on outside clientele during lab hours.

Danelle Mortenson, the students’ instructor, explained that at the Greater Green Bay YMCA health fair, “Over 100 seniors approached students for chair massages, [which demonstrated] a need for this type of service in the community. They were the most popular station at the event! Students very much enjoyed talking with patrons as well as being able to utilize their skills.”

massage therapy programThe class also partnered up with About Body, LLC. LeeAnn Laes, Owner of About Body, LLC, and a licensed massage therapist, said, “The goal of what we do here is for the whole person to be healthy. The integral part of what we do to release pain from the body, some is emotional, most is physical and we refer people out to a natural path doctor or something for other alignments.”

About Body works with everyone from atheletes, including a 5-year-old gymnist, to people in their 80s.

Laes enjoys working with and educating Globe University massage students because she is able to share her experience as more of a medical massage therapist instead of the traditional spa route. She helps students see more of the real world situations when it comes to massage and helps students better understand the concept of understanding the source of an issue rather than the symptoms.