Message events educate public on physical therapy


To educate the community on physical therapy students at South Plains College planned an evening of soothing music, relaxing massages, and a friendly atmosphere.

In honor of Physical Therapy month, the Physical Therapy Assistant Student Association (PTASA) students at South Plains College hosted a Community Massage Evening on Oct. 3 at the Allied Health Building in Levelland.

Other Community Massage evenings were held Oct. 7, in Lubbock for two hours, and again on Oct. 14 in the Cosmetology Building on the Levelland campus from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Physical Therapy Month features events, fundraisers, and programs that the PTASA holds to help bring awareness to the community about physical therapy.

“It educates the public on what [we] do and how [we] help the people in need,” said Amy McNeill, the class historian for the Physical Therapy Association (PTA) Program.

Amy also goes on to say that physical therapy is more than just exercises and massages. However, to make physical therapy more entertaining and approachable, the PTA students decided to give massages.

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Participants in a community Massage Evening enjoy a massage for fundraising event on Oct. 3. SARA MARSHALL/PLAINSMAN PRESS

“People are more likely to enjoy massages than a speech on what physical therapy is,” McNeill said.

After the interview, McNeill says that there are different types of massages such as effleurage, circulating the hands over the entire body, and petrissage, kneading the body.

McNeill explained that when she applies pressure to the knots, or pressure points, the lactic acid inside the muscle is being released.

Massages are a small portion of what physical therapy actually is, McNeill explained. Physical therapy helps to restore function, decrease pain, and increase mobility.

“By doing the Community Massage Evening, it gives us an opportunity to educate people,” McNeill said.

At the event, massages cost $10 for 10 minutes, $15 for 15 minutes, and $25 for 30 minutes. All of the money goes directly to support the PTASA’s activities of attending the TPTA Student Conclave, graduation events, and service opportunities for program students.

The Texas Physical Therapy Association is a statewide conference for physical therapy students in the profession. At the conference, the students learn more about the profession as well as networking.

Every year, the conference changes locations. Last year, it was in Galveston, and this year it will be held in Arlington. In Arlington, the students will be able to talk to people in the profession for a more first-hand description and educational experience.

“The medical field changes constantly,” McNeill said. “Going to the conferences gives us new information and keeps us on top of what’s going on in the field.”

Other than the massage evening, the PTA students hosts a golf tournament every spring, which is one of PTA’s largest events. At this particular event, the students raffle donated golf clubs and other items, with proceeds going toward the TPTA conference.

“All these fundraisers help fund Gateway,” McNeill said. “Gateway is a graduation celebration to show encouragement and reflection of the year.”

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