Students from the Massage Therapy (MT) program at the Carrington College Sacramento campus had a busy month in October. In addition to their busy school schedule, they also gave up two of their precious Saturdays to give back to the community at two prominent local events.
The community reaches out with invites so regularly that Courtney Payton, the Massage Therapy Program Director in Sacramento, has to be selective about which ones they attend. But, as she explains, it’s important that students take advantage of the opportunity to work at these kind of events:
“The biggest positive for the students is the ability to talk about what they’re learning. When they’re in the classroom working on one another, they don’t have to tell their “client” what a particular stretch is doing for them. The “client” already knows because they’re also a student! These events allow students to think critically, and apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real clients.”
Family Wellness Event
The first event was the annual Kaiser Permanente Family Wellness Event on October 4 at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. This is the third year that students from the Sacramento MT program have been invited. Their chair massages were definitely the most in-demand activity of the day.
Susan Countryman, the event coordinator for Kaiser Permanente was grateful for the students’ efforts:
“Thank you for being part of our Family Wellness Festival! As always your activity was a huge hit and I believe the signup sheet filled up very quickly. I hope the students were able to practice their skills and hopefully enjoyed themselves as well. I look forward to working with you again at our 2015 Festival.”
Pampering Our Military Women
The next event, held on October 18, was the second annual Pampering Day for Military & Veteran Women at the B.T. Collins Army Reserve Center in Sacramento. Organized by the VA, the day was all about spoiling the brave servicewomen and veterans who have served, or continue to serve, our country.
Attendees were treated to makeup makeovers, attended yoga classes, reflexology sessions, and enjoyed stress-busting chair massages from Carrington students. There were also classes where they could learn stress management and meditation techniques for their emotional well-being.
An Opportunity To Gain Real Clients
While the opportunity to think critically and enhance communication skills are good benefits of attending events like these, it can have another advantage, as Courtney Payton explains:
“Massage therapy students can often pick up (non-paying) clients at these events; it’s something we really encourage. I’ve had quite a few calls long after an event asking for a particular student. It helps them start to build a client base before they get out of school. Of course, they’re not able to take payment until they are certified, but they can fulfill some of their classroom assignments on these non-paying customers. Then, once they get out of school, if the relationship is there, they may become paying clients.”
Courtney knows that it’s also important to the community that students attend these kind of events:
“We bring awareness of holistic healing to the world. A lot of the people we see may have never had a massage, they’ve maybe seen it as a luxury. We can show them the harm that stress does to the body, and that even a 10 minute chair massage can relieve a lot of that and change their day. When people feel better, they’re usually nicer to the world around them, so it has a domino effect. Maybe these people will seek out a full table massage in the future, and not feel embarrassed by it.”
If you’re considering a career as a massage therapist, take three minutes to watch the two informative videos on our Massage Therapy program page.