(BLOOMINGTON, Minn.) Students from the School of Massage Therapy at Northwestern Health Sciences University visited the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, recently to provide chair massages to medical school students and employees. Northwestern has signed a clinical education partnership agreement with the Mayo Clinic and the field trip was the first step in developing the relationship between Northwestern and Mayo.

“We’re in the early stages of evolution but I’m very excited about the collaboration between Northwestern and the Mayo Clinic,” said Dale Healey, D.C., dean of the School of Massage Therapy. “This is the first step toward additional clinical education experience for massage therapy students at Northwestern and fosters our relationship and discussion with the Mayo Clinic.”

“We want to form relationships with Northwestern to establish universal best practices for massage therapy and massage in the Mayo health system,” said Ryan Eastman, operations manager at Mayo’s Healthy Living Center. “Our ultimate goal is to establish standardized massage therapy at Mayo and integrate massage therapy with the School of Health Sciences at Mayo.”

Throughout the day Northwestern students gave chair massages to more than 150 medical school students and employees in the Mayo health system and were supervised by Valerie Johnson, N.C.T.M.B., instructor. The chair massages took place in the Healthy Living Center and at the Mayo Medical School.

“We were very excited to have Northwestern students here because we’ve never had anything like this before on campus,” said Lauren Jansons, a medical student at the Mayo Medical School and coordinator of the complementary and alternative medicine student group. “We’re hoping to educate people about massage and want medical students to learn about its benefits in the realm of integrated medicine.”

Northwestern’s students were excited to be part of the first step in the budding relationship with Mayo. “An extra benefit of working with the Mayo employees and students is that their frame of reference is from the health benefit standpoint,” said Carol Mathewson, massage therapy student at Northwestern. “The opportunity to work in a setting like the Mayo Clinic affords students of any discipline experience with a broad spectrum of conditions in a single setting.”

Photos from the Mayo Clinic can be viewed on Northwestern’s Facebook page.

Northwestern Health Sciences University offers a wide array of choices in natural health care education including chiropractic, Oriental medicine, acupuncture, therapeutic massage and human biology. The university has nearly 900 students on a 25-acre campus in Bloomington, Minnesota.