By Lara Evans Bracciante
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, October/November 2005.
Massage therapists and bodyworkers are a giving profession by trade and are often ready to donate their talented touch whenever and wherever needed. Relief activities in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi are no exception. Of course, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA; www.fema.gov) is advising against reporting directly to the affected areas unless directed by a voluntary agency. Instead, FEMA is recommending that those wishing to volunteer contribute by sending donations to the American Red Cross at 800/HELP-NOW or www.redcross.org. Practitioners can also help by contacting a local disaster relief center to see if periphery assistance is needed, as well as coordinating local charity events in which cash donations and nonperishable food may be donated for seated massage.
“Every one of us has something to offer the survivors of Katrina,” says trauma touch specialist and author Stephanie Mines. “No one is impotent to help. If you are too far from the survivors to touch them physically, touch them with your heart and prayers. Let them know they are not alone. This nation, this world, is one family. Love heals all loss.”