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Take a load off and treat yourself to a massage

Roberta Althiser
The Broadside

With Central Oregon Community College’s Massage Therapy program, one student’s educational requirements can be another’s much needed relief.

This spring term, the college is offering massage therapy clinics, which are staffed by students in the massage program and available to everyone in the Central Oregon community over the age of 17.

The clinics are designed to give students hands-on experience in their future profession.

Stephanie Manriquez, who has been the department head of the COCC Massage Therapy program for the last two years, said that the program has been available at the college since 1995.

“It’s a learning classroom, it’s a learning clinic,” said Manriquez.

During a massage, students are practicing communicating fully with their clients, making sure that they are not only comfortable, but that their needs are being met.

“As a student, you gain hands-on experience and a chance to work on complete strangers,” said Mary Molony, a 2006 graduate of the COCC massage program. ”And people in the community can get an affordable massage.”

While the clinic is available for everyone to use and is in a professional setting, Manriquez said it is important to keep in mind that it is a learning experience for the students performing the massage. While privacy will be afforded to everyone, attendees should keep in mind that an instructor will most likely be checking in on how students are doing, offering tips and encouragement, she said.

This is not the only opportunity for people to partake in massage therapy clinics.

Clinics will also be available in winter and fall terms of next year, and there is talk of a potential summer Massage Therapy Clinic starting this year, pending approval.

The Spring Massage Therapy Clinic is available through May 27.

The cost is $5 for current students and $15 for the general public. Prenatal massages are free.

“It’s not a cheap massage, it’s priced for students to be able to afford,” said Manriquez.

Students can call 541-318-3756 for appointments, or go to the website at for more information.

Roberta Althiser can be reached at




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