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Langara RMT program to offer cheap massages for students

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Langara registered massage therapy student Jeff Gabert is looking forward to using his skills to at discount massage therapy sessions beginning May 8. RMT students use a variety of techniques from classical Swedish massage to hydrotherapy on clients as part of their student practicum.
Langara registered massage therapy student Jeff Gabert is looking forward to using his skills to at discount massage therapy sessions beginning May 8. Photo By Mike Hodder. 

Langara’s registered massage therapy program is taking its hands-on learning approach and applying it to the backs of cash-strapped, stressed-out students.

Starting next semester, students in Langara’s registered massage therapy program will be offering discounted sessions every Thursday and Friday at their new campus on West Broadway.

An hour-long session with a registered massage therapist, or RMT, can run upwards of $100, but Langara RMT students will be offering them at a far lower price starting on May 8.

Discounts for students 

“We’re going to have the students working on the public. We’ll have about six rooms and it’s only $40 to get an hour-long treatment,” said RMT student Jeff Gabert. “And if you’re a Langara student it’s half off.”

The clinics could provide some relief for those on a fixed budget.

“I use a standing desk at home, but my back still feels the stress during exam periods. Unfortunately, as a student the regular cost of a massage is too expensive,” said science student Breanna Messerschmidt. “A student discount would make it far more accessible.”

The RMT program is offering the discount sessions as part of an in-house practicum, which program instructor Dae Backus said is one of the ways its students get the best possible professional training.

Building relationships 

“We’re making relationships with the hospitals and health care facilities,” said Backus.  “We’ve got an agreement with Vancouver Coastal Health and we’re hoping to get the students into VGH, GF Strong [Rehabilitation Centre] and some of the other long-term care and brain and spinal institutes.

“When Langara started offering this program, the massage therapy community was actually quite excited because they knew a quality program would be educating their future colleagues,” said Backus.

The students hope they can take all the technical skills they are learning in the program and put them to practical use.

“We’re all here because we want to help people. Some of us have a more holistic spiritual approach, some of us are more physiological, but the emphasis is on the physiology side and there’s real science behind what we’re doing,” Gabert said.

Reported by Mike Hodder

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