Staff and students of Central Penn enjoy seven minutes of free massage therapy to relieve midterm blues
By Sarayuth Pinthong and Fontaine McClure
Knightly News Reporters
There’s a strange pressure building on your shoulders and there’s just not enough time to think, much less continue studying for that exam. You feel like you’re about to explode with information overload.
Ugh! You say: “I just can’t stand it!
Calm down, take a breath and try to relax.
That’s what students, faculty and staff members did during free chair massages offered in the Advanced Technology Education Center during the midterm, and briefly during finals preparation.
Campus counselors Megan Cline and Candace Johnson arranged for Ian Thomas, a licensed massage therapy with The Roots of Health Central Pennsylvania Center for CranioSacral Health & Therapeutic Massage, in Susquehanna Township.
A chair massage is one in which a person sits in a chair, usually face-down, so a massage therapist can work on the person’s neck, shoulders and back.
The massages offered anyone who signed up an option to destress and relax from the tensions of projects, exams or activities of the day during the midterm.
“Usually three times a week during week 5 or 6 is when I try to offer the massage therapy,” Cline said. “Then again at week 10. That’s usually the time when I notice the most stress (in students) because students may have a lot of tests, or projects due.”
Some students may not recognize that they have built up stress or may not have an outlet to release stress. A person may be on edge and react quickly to things that normally wouldn’t bother him or her if the person weren’t stressed out, according to Cline.
Students speak about stress
“I worry about grades, work, scheduling conflicts and life outside of campus and work,” Angel Carrion, business management and human resources student, said. “Everything just piles up.”
Cline says studies back up the benefits of massage.
“Research shows that massage therapy is stress and anxiety reducing,” she explained. “That’s the number one reason I have this as an event for students.”
Along with massage therapy, there are other ways to manage stress.
“A student has to figure out what is relaxing to them,” Cline said. “It’s different for everyone. It’s finding out what those coping skills are for you.”
Ian Thomas, the licensed massage therapist from The Roots of Health, who volunteered to provide the chair massages, said.
“I think that it’s really helpful,” he said. ”There are definitely some stressors here and sometimes self-care takes a backseat.”
Listening to music, going to the gym and taking naps are some coping skills that could help to relieve stress, according to Cline.
Any student experiencing stress needs to find someone or something to use as a positive outlet. Holding stress inside could be a negative and dangerous situation for a person. Also, stress released the wrong way at the wrong time can cause problems – an increase stress, in the long run.
“For anyone that doesn’t really use stress management or have any strategy to cope with stress, you notice that they may not be doing well in class,” Cline said. “It can be a snowball effect to not do well in school. We’re offering them an opportunity to help relieve that stress and focus better.”
If you are experiencing stress or want more information about stress and how to deal with it, contact Cline at 717-728-2416 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
To comment on this story or to suggest a story, contact the KnghtlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.
Edited by media club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.