Massage Student Teach Pregnant Women and the Aging Community
Massage students in Globe University-La Crosse’s Special Populations Massage class were able to connect with two very special groups of community members. Shelly Shaker, Instructor of the Special Populations Massage class, coordinated two service learning projects to reinforce the objectives of the class, offer students opportunities to apply the skills they were learning in the class with the community, and to provide two groups of special community members terrific experiences with massage.
Touching both old and young, the massage students taught the benefits of massage and demonstrated massage techniques at one of Gundersen Lutheran Healthcare’s Lamaze classes. The class was attended by seven couples, all interested in learning how the soon to be mothers, and soon to be born children, could benefit from massage.
To bring massage to another special population, the class invited residents from SpringBrook Assisted Living Center on campus. In addition to learning the benefits of massage for the aging community, the residents received therapeutic shoulder, hand, and feet massages.
“The most amazing part of the projects was how the students interacted with each of these groups,” Shelley Shaker explained. The students applied the massage techniques they were learning in the classroom and they used their communication skills with the clients to discuss and accommodate their diverse needs, a course objective in the Special Populations Massage class.
“The students saw how massage reduced stress in the new parents that were anxious entering this new phase of their life. They also saw how massage can reduce stress in the senior populations,” Shaker said.
Both of the massage events were beneficial to the students and the community participants. “The project was successful due to the fact that the massage techniques in the Lamaze class helped break the ice with seven couples who had never met. The seniors from Springbrook laughed, talked, and truly enjoyed the attention and interaction that they may not receive on a regular basis,” Shaker said.