Road Weary?

An Affordable Respite.

Sometimes the paths we take in life though fun and interesting, can leave us feeling a bit weary.  My adventure today has restored my energy and made me realize how fortunate I am to live in this amazing place we call the Upper Valley. 

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Several weeks ago, the director of the River Valley Community College Massage Therapy Program, Sue Prasch, reached out to Daily UV and asked if they might have a blogger who would be willing to write about their program in exchange for a free massage.  The planets were aligned in my favor that day and I was the first responder to the call out. 

Massage means many things to different people, both the practitioners and the recipients.  River Valley Community College covers all the major forms of massage in both the Eastern and Western modalities, and it is science based, as you can see. One can complete their degree in a year if they go fulltime, and in in a little less than two years if you are half-time.  One of the interesting things I learned is that internships are required, before graduation. And of the eleven who graduated this spring from the program, all were employed in massage before they graduated.  Vermont does not require licensure for massage therapists, but New Hampshire requires 750 clinical hours prior to licensure being granted. And, you can translate your massage therapy classes towards an associate’s degree with the college.

RVCC has had a Massage Therapy certificate program for many years, though it was originally based on their Claremont campus.  But, with the purchase of the Lebanon College campus, the program has now been split, between Lebanon and Keene, NH.  The clinic is located downstairs to the left, shortly after you walk through the doors from the Lebanon Mall entrance.  Be sure to look at the variety of student artwork prominently displayed throughout the campus.

Kevin Clark, the Clinic supervisor and adjunct professor with the program does the scheduling for community massages.  Now here is the good part.  A fifty-minute massage only costs a community member $25.00.    I have long been of the opinion that massage should be covered by insurance the same way physical therapy is, but it is rare to find an insurance company that will cover it, even with a doctor’s prescription.  RVCC’s program works with people who are chronically ill to offer low cost or no-cost massages in exchange for providing their students the ability to develop a case study on the effects of massage on a patient they have seen multiple times.  They have recently started an affiliation with the Good Neighbor clinic and hope to develop one with the VA hospital in White River Junction in the future. 

The students I met prior to my massage all had different plans of where they wanted to take their talents post-graduation.  Megan wants to work in Oncology Massage, and Sue mentioned that the very popular Hand to Heart program for cancer patients was developed by an RVCC graduate. Deb, a veteran, would like to work with Hospice patients, or offer her services to women who are being supported by WISE.  Julie is interested in pursuing massage from a functional movement, sports massage perspective.  Barb, who gave me my massage, is a physical therapist who wants to enhance her skills and provide additional relief to her patients. 

Now for the good part.  Each participant was assigned to a student.  As you can see there are several massage tables in this room, but we have privacy curtains to allow us all to have our own unique experience.  Once we were all on our respective tables, we were treated to some quiet finger-style guitar tunes softly playing as we received our massage.  Although there were quite a few of us in the room, everyone spoke in hushed tones, and very little was said during the massage.  I was reminded once again, at the conclusion of mine, how necessary massage is for me, to reset, and relax, and provide my tired muscles some relief.  Barb you rock!

So, what are you waiting for?  Consider a massage, this is a win-win for you, and for the program.  Keep in mind that RVCC does not offer this all the time, and that there are some who have known about this program for a while.  But go ahead and email: As spots open up, someone will contact you to schedule you for fifty minutes of relaxation.  And if you are considering a new career, or just want to see the college, you can.  There will be an open house with massages by donation, on July 13th from 5:30-7:30.  All donations for your massages will go to the student’s scholarships.  I for one am envious of a career that pays enough that I may only need to work twenty hours a week.

If you are hungry after your hour of relaxation, you can always refuel at the Lebanon Farmer’s market.  I believe this little road trip will be repeated several times by me in the future.


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