Massage Pro Bono
I have always done some sort of pro bono work. For many years I gave free massage treatments to economically disadvantaged clients. I was also part of a team of volunteers who gave free medical massage treatments to cancer patients at the Helen Graham Center.
Massage Therapy for Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Several years ago I discovered that massage was helpful in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For many years it’s been a well known fact that the relaxing effects of massage helps reduce anxiety. PTSD is one type of anxiety disorder. Preliminary studies suggest that PTSD responds favorably to massage treatments.
I approached the local VA in December, 2011 and offered to give free massages to veterans with PTSD. It took quite a while to iron out all of the details and get all the necessary approvals but it’s been up and running successfully since February, 2013. Since then I have expanded the program by recruiting other massage therapists to be part of the program. I have also conducted free seminars on using massage to relieve stress to the caregivers of veterans.
This experience has been incredibly rewarding for me. The veterans are quite appreciative and judging by their feedback it works!
A note to veterans:
If you are a veteran with PTSD interested in getting free massages please discuss this with your healthcare provider to see if this is appropriate for you. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.
Please note that I am not allowed to solicit any business from this program. If you go through this program I am prohibited from seeing you as a regular, paying client outside of the VA.
A note about Pro Bono work:
Giving back to your community is always a good idea. Volunteering is a good idea. However, for the professional person pro bono work is an even better idea. It’s not just for lawyers anymore. Let me explain:
It would be a good idea for me to volunteer building houses with Habitat for Humanity. However, all of my many years of massage training and experience would be wasted, and frankly, I’m not that good of a carpenter (I wouldn’t want to live in a house I built!). For me, a massage therapist, a better way to help that organization would be to offer free massages to the carpenters. If you are say, a plumber looking to do pro bono work, you might try contacting your local church or other community organizations to offer your services as a plumber for a few hours each month. There are plenty of needy families who could use a good plumber. You’ll feel great about it!