“These people give so much of themselves and they have to put on a smile, be strong, and often be the emotional support for the hospice patient and their family,” said Isaac O’Keefe, a student in the massage therapy school at Globe University-Eau Claire. “I can’t imagine the strain this puts on the caregivers.”
Isaac is one of six massage therapy students at Globe University who recently hosted a Hawaiian luau-themed massage clinic for hospice care workers from St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls, Wis. The clinic was a brief getaway and stress reliever for these caring professionals.
These students proved that they really know how to put the “ahhh!” in massage.
The students prepared a relaxing spa area on campus for the hospice care workers. The workers were treated to fresh fruits and a refreshing massage.
Kara Bemis one of the massage students, performed three different and effective massages on caregivers. She stated, “It was great seeing people with caring personalities just like mine. Performing a simple massage took a little bit of stress off them. It was great to prepare the fruit and set the mood for them to try to lighten up their stressful day and I think it worked! They all left smiling and giggling and one was ready for another massage!”
Laurie Karcz has aspirations to continue treating this very group to massage therapy in the future. Laurie said, “After graduation, it is my goal to work with this exact population, both the patients and their caregivers. I see massage as a way to relieve much stress in their daily lives. For the person living with end-of-life illness, massage is a form of peacefulness they cannot get from another source.”
Isaac was quick to point out the value of the Hawaiian luau massage and spa night for these special workers. He stated, “I’m glad I had this opportunity to do a service to those who serve others selflessly. They need to know that they’re appreciated and that their work is very self-giving and noble in my opinion.”
Kara also was pleased with the results of the spa night. “It’s great to know that a set of hands can really make a difference to someone traumatized on a daily basis due to their professional status,” she said. “I know going through the massage therapy program at Globe University will help me in the future to help others in need—even if it’s only an hour massage.”