Massage therapy program students taking a Thai and Energy Work class this quarter recently took to the gym. This gym isn’t what you’d picture a typical gym to be, but rather what looks like an industrial space turned gym. The students from Globe University-Appleton laid out their mats and received the opportunity to get some real, hands-on experience by working on clients at CrossFit Appleton. The students were able to provide Thai massage, or “lazy man’s yoga,” on the clients, most either before or after their work-outs.
From the classroom to the CrossFit gym
Instructor Inna Mazur shared with me her thoughts on the students’ experience with the athletes from CrossFit. She stated, “It was their first time doing Thai massage on ‘real’ clients. At the same time, it was in a very laid back, fun, relaxed setting. In addition, their clients were athletes who had a good knowledge of the muscular system.”
Inna also shared that this was a great experience for them to quickly take what they learned in the classroom to the field. “The students needed to apply their knowledge of anatomy, physiology and Thai massage. They had to be prepared to quickly come up with a solution for each client’s unique needs in a short amount of time.”
These students had the unique opportunity to introduce the art of Thai massage to community members who may not have otherwise known about this modality.
Ryan Dart, owner of CrossFit, said the experience was a win-win. “We were all very pleased with the experience from the massages. We beat our bodies up pretty good on a daily basis so we were very appreciative of the opportunity to get massaged. And, we know it is good experience for the students as well.”
Students reflect on the experience
Instructor Inna commented that the students felt more relaxed and comfortable as the afternoon went on.
Samantha Amador, a student in the massage therapy program, shared her experience with me.
“I enjoyed the ability to apply the techniques we learned in class to an actual athletic setting. Not many programs allow their students to go out into the community and practice on clients. I also enjoyed the sample workout we were blessed to try out!”
Massage therapy student, Bradley Langkau, enjoyed working on real clients.
“What I enjoyed most about this trip was getting a chance to practice what we have been learning on people who work out often and could really use a Thai massage. It was a good chance to use what we know about the body and muscles to address client concerns. This was a good challenge. Even the workout at the end was a good change of pace.”
Pushing themselves to a new level
Did you catch that? The students, in return for their massages, were allowed to partake in a real CrossFit workout! They were doing lunges, burpees, push-ups, box jumping and more. The determination they all had to complete the short workout was truly motivating!