Veterans Day is Friday, Nov. 11, a day to commemorate the women and men who have served the U.S. in the armed forces.
Massage therapy has been shown to benefit both active-duty military personnel and veterans, especially in the area of stress relief.
Prevalence of PTSD
As reported in MASSAGE Magazine’s October issue, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects many thousands of U.S. military veterans; according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA), between 11 and 20 percent of veterans who served in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom suffer from PTSD.
PTSD and other emotional and physical problems are implicated in veteran homelessness, opioid abuse and self-harm, according to the USDVA. An Aug. 3 report from the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs of the USDVA shows that 20 U.S. veterans commit suicide every day, and suicide by veterans has increased by 32 percent since 2001.
Massage therapy and other complementary therapies are frequently offered to veterans’ groups as a way of addressing PTSD and other stress-related problems.
Massage for Military Veterans
Now, two entities have partnered to offer the massage profession’s first Specialty Certificate in Military Veteran Massage. Crouse Hospital Massage for Veterans Program and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) announced in July the creation of the certificate.
The 80-hour program is available to massage therapists licensed in the state of New York only, and is offered at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York, and at the Clear Path for Veterans Resource Center in Chittenango, New York. Upon completion of the program, students must pass an 80-question multiple-choice exam.
“NCBTMB is proud to partner with Crouse and its many affiliates through our Specialty Certificate Program to empower therapists with the necessary education and experience to provide veterans and their families with superior care—and with the credentials to prove it,” said Steve Kirin, NCBTMB chief executive officer, in a press release.
“We are thrilled to contribute to the advancement of therapeutic massage care for our veterans as we support their journey home,” he said.
Karen Menehan is MASSAGE Magazine’s editor in chief. Her articles for MASSAGE Magazine include “Body Image: Massage Creates Healthy Self-Connection,” “Massage Therapists Launch Fair Workplace Campaign” and “New Continuing Education Plan Met with Opposition.”