After Superstorm Sandy, Massage Therapists Reach Out

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, massage therapists are already beginning to offer healing touch to disaster workers and others in need.

Massage therapists have, over the past decade, developed teams and procedures for deploying to disaster-stricken areas. In the wake of floods, storms, fires, earthquakes and other events, therapists can be found providing massage to disaster-aide workers, including firefighters, police officers, search-and-rescue teams and others.

In New York, New York, one of the cities hit hardest by Sandy, massage therapists Shannon and Darren Pollack, who own DASHA wellness & spa, are offering discounted spa-and-massage sessions to volunteers, rescue workers and others in need of relaxation.

The duo “consider it their duty and privilege as New Yorkers and business owners to give back to a struggling city in a time of need,” according to a company press release picked up by and published by mainstream press.

Thirty-eight people in New York City died in the storm, according to a report in The New York Times, which added in its coverage today of Sandy, “The extent of the storm’s destructive force was reflected in government briefings that addressed a sweeping range of loss that included the human toll, power failures, homes sucked into the ocean, ruined businesses, and broken infrastructure and housing that put millions of people out of work and shelter.”

A total of 80 people throughout more than a half-dozen states were killed by the superstorm, the Times reported.

Today, a spokesperson for the Emergency Response Team International (ERMI) told MASSAGE Magazine she has not yet received information from massage therapists involved with ERMI deploying in stricken areas, but anticipates being contacted by ERMI teams, including those in Massachusetts, another state affected by the storm.

A reporter also spoke to the American Massage Therapy Association‘s (AMTA) communications manager, Ron Precht, who said that due to power outages and other communication problems, the AMTA’s national office does not yet have information about efforts by state AMTA chapters’ Massage Emergency Response Teams.

According to a report from NBC News, “Hundreds of thousands of people in New York City, Long Island and New Jersey may not have power restored for up to 10 more days.”

MASSAGE Magazine will continue to bring news about outreach efforts related to the storm.

—Karen Menehan

Related articles:

• Massage for First Responders

• Remembering 9-11: Massage Therapists Sought for World Trade Center Visitor Center

• Massage to the Rescue: Volunteer Organizations Provide Relief from Pain and Stress