Massage programs offers comforting touch and conversation
At Saint Therese we are dedicated to the well-being of each individual. Whether that individual is in our transitional care unit recovering from an illness or living in one of our apartments, we are here to support them in all their needs. As an organization we offer a variety of services focusing on the wellness goals of the individuals we serve.
A more unique way Saint Therese supports individuals and their families is by providing the opportunity for massage. Ascend Rehab offers a massage therapist as part of their Wellness Programming.
Ascend Massage Therapist Colleen Roskowiak sees an average of five people a day offering massage in the form of a light chair massage to a deep tissue massage with aromatherapy and oils on a massage table.
“I offer a variety of massages and it really just depends on the needs of the individual,” said Colleen. “I will speak with families to offer solutions for their loved ones and explain the options available.”
Before the massage Colleen speaks with each individual asking them what their comfort level is with massage and what they want to receive from the massage. Individuals can choose from a hand massage sitting in their wheel chair or a full body massage lying on a padded table.
“Many individuals are starving for touch and connection,” Colleen said. “Often times in a care center, the only person who touches an individual is a nurse. Massage relaxes people and then tend to open up and talk about how they are feeling.”
Massage reduces stress, offers relief from chronic conditions and increases energy. When an individual is stressed massage calms the nerves and allows the body to slow down. It can relieve the pain of tensed muscles and alleviate sleeplessness.
The Ascend Massage program offers a variety of massage including relaxation, deep tissue, comfort touch and aroma therapy massage, as well as more specialized massage available upon request.
For individuals with chronic conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia or tendonitis massage can assist with increasing the blood and lymphatic flow. Massage has been shown to relieve anxiety, as well as aide in the treatment of muscle and joint pain.
“The benefits of massage go well-beyond a ‘spa’ treatment at the salon,” said Colleen.
Each spring the Saint Therese of Oxbow Lake campus holds an Angel Dinner to recognize the everyday “angels” that support the lives of tenants. The “angels” are treated to a special three-course dinner by the person that nominated them and a program is held that shares the stories of each angel.
Oxbow Lake tenant Mary Lou Nelson chose to recognize Colleen.
“Colleen is my savior,” said Mary Lou Nelson.
Mary Lou has a medical condition that tightens the muscles around all of her joints and makes every day actions such as opening a jar more difficult. Collen tailors Mary Lou’s weekly massage to how she is feeling that day.
“It’s wonderful…sometimes my massage is only 45 minutes…just to loosen me up, other times it can be an hour and a half because I’ve been active and my muscles are so tight. Colleen will tell me she needs more time to loosen me up,” Mary Lou said with a smile.
For Colleen the satisfaction of supporting individuals with their needs and relieving physical or emotional pain makes her day.
“Working with seniors just brightens my day,” she said. “Their wisdom and advice just makes my heart melt. It’s just wonderful.”