$1,000 in tuition reimbursement offered

The Boulder College of Massage Therapy (BCMT) has announced the introduction of “Operation: We’ve Got Your Back,” which offers $1,000 in tuition reimbursement to U.S. military veterans and their families. Coupled with armed services education benefits, this program enables a veteran to become a certified massage therapist in as little as nine months, often without incurring any out-of-pocket tuition expenses.

According to Dirk McCuistion, vice president of business operations at BCMT, more than half of veterans deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan return home with mental or physical health issues. The most common condition is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) followed by musculoskeletal problems.

Massage therapy can play a vital role in breaking the cycle of PTSD hyperarousal, the activation of the fight-or-flight response that causes stress in the brain and muscles. As a result, it can help diminish anxiety and invigorate immune systems compromised by the condition. In addition, massage therapy can provide relief from the aches and pains, muscle tension, physical numbness and reduced range of motion that often result from rigorous service on the battlefield.

Sgt. Brian Garcia, a recent graduate of BCMT, summarized his experience this way: “Attending BCMT was the best move I’ve made since I left the military. I make good money, work on my own schedule and bring true relief to my clients. For fellow veterans, I offer a discount. That’s my way of giving back to those who have given so much to this country.”

“Massage therapy sessions with vets can be very intense,” Garcia says. “I understand what they’ve been through and can relate. As I work on them and get them to relax, it often loosens them up mentally and they can let it all go. The tension and anxiety that has built up inside them is released, which makes them feel a lot better, more like themselves. That’s really gratifying to me.”

Overall, massage can help our fighting men and women return to healthy, productive lives, both as an occupation and as a method of therapy. By offering a discount to those who have served, BCMT hopes to help military families build meaningful careers as well as bring comfort to their brothers and sisters in arms.

Registration for the winter quarter closes Dec. 22, 2011. For more information, students can visit www.bcmt.org/vets or reach the admissions department at (303) 530-5933.

About Boulder College of Massage Therapy

The Boulder College of Massage Therapy (BCMT) is the only fully accredited, nonprofit massage therapy school in the western U.S. BCMT offers the most complete, most rigorous Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) curriculum in the country. Students are taught by distinguished faculty whose innovative techniques and medical research keep them at the cutting edge of the health services field. Financial aid and graduate placement services are available. For more information, visit www.bcmt.org.

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