What Massage is Really Like: Disabled Community Gets Healthy Touch Therapy

massage therapy school

Massage Therapy students from Globe University stop for a picture at the Appleton Public Library.

If you’ve never had a massage before, there’s a chance you are scared of what the experience might be like. Students in the massage therapy school at Globe University calmed these fears for some ARC Fox Cities participants by giving them free massages at the Appleton Public Library.

ARC Fox Cities provide services and programs to promote the general welfare of individuals with developmental disabilities. These participants may not have wanted to pay full price for massages when they weren’t sure if they would enjoy the experience.

Students in the Prenatal & Special Populations class at Globe University-Appleton used massage techniques learned in the classroom to give massages to ARC Fox Cities participants. This is just one of the massage therapy classes that give students hands-on learning before they earn their certification.

While giving massages to the participants, students were aware that working with special populations can trigger emotional responses for some people – both positive and negative. The massage therapy students learned that they must be able to explain directions in more depth with some populations. They also learned that sometimes, due to limited physical abilities by participants, it may be easier to work together with massages when helping special populations.

Globe University Massage Program faculty member Wendy Wettengel-Perrigoue said that the students enjoyed providing the massages to the ARC Fox Cities participants.

“I always enjoy working with ARC Fox Cities,” Wettengel-Perrigoue said. “I feel the students learn a lot about gaps in their communication with people.”

The ARC participants were glad to receive the free massages from the students. And the students were just as glad to give them—they were able to provide a massage for a population that is rarely given the opportunity to receive massage and healthy touch as a form of therapy.