Community College of Rhode Island

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Therapeutic Massage students take their skills to the community at clinic, local events

July 5, 2013

CCRI's Therapeutic Massage students perform community service across the state every year. This photo was taken at the CCRI Wellness Fair in April. CCRI's Therapeutic Massage students perform community service across the state every year. This photo was taken at the CCRI Wellness Fair in April.

If you’re feeling a little tense – or nursing an old sports injury – the Therapeutic Massage program at CCRI’s Newport County Campus may have just the thing you’ve been looking for. Home to the college’s associate degree and certificate programs in massage therapy since 2000, the Newport campus has been offering a donation-supported community massage clinic since 2002, said program director Regina Cobb.

“The clinic started as a requirement from the accreditation agency,” Cobb said of the mandate from the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.

Each year, the clinic sees more than 400 clients – neighbors, community members, students, faculty and staff. It opened in May and just wrapped up its work for the season. But Cobb said the students' work in the community will continue this summer.

The massage practitioners in this case are the students, who fulfill part of their field work requirements in-house before they go out to different settings around the state. The Newport campus clinic is only part of the community service that students are required to complete as part of their field work, said Cobb, who noted that both the associate and certificate programs will offer massages at events such as the Special Olympics, the Boston Marathon, the Save The Bay swim and more. The students are, at this point, well along in their studies, having completed many of their degree requirements before being able to work with the public.

“Our students are very highly skilled at interviewing and assessing the clients’ needs. And clients who take advantage of this [clinic] program can get a full hour dedicated to whatever they need,” said Cobb, adding that the program’s rehabilitative focus is helpful for clients concerned with achieving wellness.

Typically, clients of the clinic will donate $20 for their hour-long appointment, a substantial savings over the $50 to $75 an uninsured patient would be expected to pay for a massage in either a rehab or spa setting. Donations are used to offset costs for supplies, said Cobb. Clients can receive one of many types of massage treatments: “Swedish, deep tissue, sport, Shiatsu – a combination of different modalities, all based on client need,” said Cobb.

The massage therapy program itself offers well-rounded training to its students in both the associate and certificate programs. Cobb noted that students will gain a strong scientific background for understand the applications of various soft tissue techniques, as well as holistic massage therapies including both Eastern and Western approaches. After completing the program, students go on to work in home offices, rehab clinics, wellness centers, chiropractic offices, health clubs, hospitals, spas and more, said Cobb.

As one might imagine, there often is a waiting list for appointments, so to sign up for next year's clinic, call 401-851-1672. When it is open, the clinic runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays. To learn more about the Therapeutic Massage Program, visit the program’s website.


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Last Updated: 1/31/14