ISU Headlines

Idaho State University Massage Therapy Student Clinic seeks clients

Posted October 13, 2013

Idaho State University has numerous supporters throughout the region but what many may not know is how beneficial supporting the ISU Massage Therapy Student Clinic can be. Not only will the students have the opportunity to train in their field but clients will also see the benefits of relaxing, inexpensive massage therapy.

Staffed by students working for their Massage Therapy technical certificates and Associate of Applied Science degrees in ISU’s College of Technology (closely supervised by teaching faculty), the clinic will enter its seventh year when it begins the week of Oct. 21. Except for campus vacation periods, the clinic will then continue two nights per week through the fall and spring semesters. 50-minute massages are offered to the public at the cost of $25 (any additional tips go to the ASISU Massage Therapy Club).

“Clinic is essential for our students,” said Susan Beck, director of ISU’s Massage Therapy program. “It gives them the experience of working with a variety of people with a variety of real-life problems. It helps them hone their communication skills and practice in a professional setting.”

Early in the year, students focus primarily on relaxation techniques. As their skills develop, work with such modalities as deep tissue, pressure point, hot stone and other clinical techniques is also offered.

This year’s cohort is a large one, with nearly 20 students. It is also diverse, ranging in age from 19 to 66. Some of the students are recent high school graduates seeking a rewarding career in the health professions; others are retirees looking to give back as volunteers.

Though all are devoted to promoting their clients’ health and wellness, their specific areas of interest vary also. One young student finds the potential to work with clients recuperating from surgery “very satisfying,” based on her experience helping her mother after a series of operations. Another, an accomplished rodeo athlete, is interested in sports medicine, especially in working on a medical team that travels to rodeos. One older student, recently retired from a 31-year career as a social worker, is delighted to revisit the massage skills she learned as a young woman and is eager to apply them to hospice work.

“It’s a real honor to be able to put your hands on people and to care for them,” she says.

Several students add very personal motivations to their altruism. A mother of five and grandmother of one who has worked for 19 years as a CNA in nursing facilities, hospitals and with in-home care reports that “this is for my own personal healing.” An ex-Marine notes that learning massage therapy means for him a “transition from tense, dark emotions to the placid and calming—to promoting positive energy in me and in other people.”

Massage therapy offers many well-documented potential benefits, including relaxation, relief of stress, relaxation of the muscles, relief of cramps and spasms, increased metabolism, support of the healing process and reduced fatigue. Therapeutic Massage is now fully acknowledged as one of the health professions.

The ISU Massage Therapy Student Clinic is held on the second floor of the Owen Complex, which is Building 42, behind Reed Gym, on campus. Appointments for massages at either 5:15 or 6:30 p.m. may be reserved online by going to the Massage Therapy site at www.isu.edu/ctech/massagetherapy and clicking on the “Massage Clinic” tab.

During the first week of November, a special clinic for pregnant women will be held. Reservations for that week must be made by leaving at telephone message at 282-2988 or via becksus2@isu.edu.

Payment by cash or check is due at the time of the appointment, and clients should arrive a few minutes early to fill out a health intake form.

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