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River Valley students raise money for massage therapy for hospital patients

CLAREMONT — River Valley Community College massage therapy students will be raising funds in June to support a new massage therapy program at Valley Regional Hospital.

The River Valley Community College massage therapy certificate program is offering 50-minute full body massages for $20 on selected dates throughout June.

The money raised will go to a scholarship fund for the Valley Regional Hospital massage therapy program. The scholarship fund was created to cover the cost of massage therapy for hospital patients unable to afford the therapy.

“This is a brand new program at the hospital. This is going to be startup funds,” said Sue Prasch, director of the massage therapy certificate program at River Valley Community College.

“The new president of the hospital has been very supportive of this program and has given the go-ahead to have in-patient massage,” Prasch said.

Prasch has a decade of experience as a massage therapist in the oncology department at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

“Hospital-based massage has found its time and now its found it place in Claremont, New Hampshire,” she said.

“There have been studies that show massage decreases pain, anxiety and depression in people who are seeking treatment for cancer.”

In general it can help anyone experience pain or anxiety, she said.

“Somebody that’s sick and in the hospital is usually pretty sick and they are not feeling good in their bodies,” Prasch said.

The mission of the River Valley College Community College massage therapy certificate program is to expose more people to massage therapy, provide more massage therapy jobs and to raise funds to organizations that provide massage therapy to under-served populations, Prasch said.

The new program at Valley Regional Hospital is set to launch in September in collaboration with River Valley Community College. The program will offer massages to inpatients and chemotherapy patients.

Massages for the fundraiser will be offered at River Valley Community College in Claremont from 3 to 8 p.m. June 2, June 4, June 5, June 9, June 11, June 12, June 18 and June 19.

To schedule a massage, email or call (603) 542-7744 ext. 5511.



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