Special Population Massage: Something to Feel Good About

massage therapy class
On May 2, 2013, our Pregnancy and Special Populations massage therapy class at Globe University-Wausau had a couple of special visitors. Former student Lori and her brother Dan came into the massage lab to show us a few techniques many students at other schools may not have an opportunity to see firsthand.

You see, Dan has a spinal injury and is paralyzed from the waist down. “So what,” you say? “Just massage his shoulders, while he is in his chair.”  Sorry, I can’t do that. I’m going to be a trained professional and I’m going to do the job right. 

Globe University gives us these opportunities to learn, to ask questions, and take it a step further if we want, so I did.

Lori showed the class how to transfer a client from their wheelchair to a massage table, and discussed the safety precautions that need to be taken for both the therapist and the client. She demonstrated how to flip a client over while on the massage table so they can receive massage on both the front and back sides of their body, and also talked about different massage and range of motion techniques she uses when clients lack feeling and muscle tone in part of their body.

This last summer a very dear friend of mine was in a car accident. He almost lost his life. He spent four months in the Marshfield hospital, recovering from massive head and spine injuries which have left him paralyzed from the waist down. His medical bills are beyond what I can imagine, and he is under a great deal of stress.  The one thing he used to do for stress was get massage. However, now with his new circumstance, he feels that he can’t; the place where he went is in a basement and the therapist doesn’t travel.

Imagine his delight when I told him about my experience last week in class. I have many friends who volunteer to be my guinea pigs for massage, but none have been quite so excited.  I look forward to studying this technique in more detail. Thank you Lori and Dan, for coming into our class and sharing your time with us.

By Nikki Kassien, massage therapy student, Globe University-Wausau