Relaxation Club Mission Statement
We are a group of students who believe in the importance and power of healing touch. In a society where touch has become eroticized and taboo, we wish to bring this ancient method of physical and emotional healing back into peoples’ comfort zones and within their easy grasp. We aim to provide a unique relaxation and stress-reduction program comprised of students dedicated to helping each other relax! Our goal as a club is to promote, provide, and share various relaxation services which studies show can facilitate stress reduction, release of muscle tension, and general feelings of well-being and relaxation, among other benefits.
New members are welcome to join at any time and can sign up during drop-in hours at the Wellness Center or at club workshops.
A core element of the club is the use of back rubs for relaxation. During the academic year, trained members of the club will offer regular Monday-Friday drop-in hours for students who join the group. All club members are welcome to stop by for a free 15 minute seated back rub.
Being a trained, back rub giving member is a commitment. At the beginning of Fall or Spring semester, members of the club who express interest will have the opportunity to participate in at least three hours of training in chair massage techniques under the supervision of a professional massage therapist. Trained members then commit to providing at least one hour of back rub services a week, for a minimum of one semester, in addition to attending monthly group meetings. Once a member is trained, at the beginning of any semester they can offer to give a one hour time slot that fits their schedule through finals. If a member is sick or otherwise unable to come in, they are expected to find another trained member to cover their hour by emailing the group with as much advance notice as possible. These hours can be put towards fulfilling CEL 1 or 2 requirements!
The group will explore other relaxation techniques to augment the physical touch component of the services. These may include the use of music/sound, aromatherapy, mindfulness exercises, herbs, crystal healing, etc.
Regular monthly meetings of the group will be restricted to trained members and will be dedicated to sharing skills, planning events, and discussing the services we provide.
Members who have not been trained will have the benefits of
• Receiving back rub and other relaxation services
• Attending relaxation workshops offered by other current group members
• Participating in the annual training session required to become a “provider” member.
• Participating in whole group meetings, in order to discuss the introduction or use of other relaxation strategies.
How to get a back rub
Come receive a free, 15-min back rub from one of our trained volunteers!
Where to find us
Enter the Wellness Center (upstairs from the center for feminisms), Look for the sign on our door!
- If a volunteer is in and the door is open, go on in, sign a waiver, and enjoy your back rub!
- If a volunteer is in, but the door is shut, plunk down on a couch and enjoy some tea, practice breathing, or read a new book.
Please be patient, we may not have time to provide back rubs to everyone before drop-in hours are up. If we can't get to you, come back soon and try again!
Steps for receiving a back rub: What to expect
- Sign in: The volunteer on duty will ask you to sign in, and check that you have signed a group waiver. We need a new one of these every year, so please go ahead and fill one out. If you're not sure if we have one on file for you, ask the volunteer to check. We keep all of our waivers in a binder, alphabetized by last name (to the best of our ability).
- Keep your shirt on: Our back rubs are performed by fully clothed people on fully clothed people.
- Have a seat: The volunteer will invite you to sit in the chair. If you've never sat in a massage chair before, feel free to ask for directions! Get comfortable. We'll do our best to adjust the chair to your specific dimensions, but you are the only one who knows for sure if you are comfortable. Let us know what you need! Relax, breathe, feel yourself supported by the chair.
- Get started: Back rubs should be just what they sound like: relaxing, physical touch to the back. Volunteers are trained to work on your back, neck, head, and shoulders. Some more experienced volunteers also have training to work on your arms and hands. If you have concerns about contact on any of those locations, please let us know. A back rub is really all about relaxing you.
- Communicate your needs: The volunteer will likely check in with you about the amount of pressure you would like applied. Honesty is key here: if it feels good to you, it's probably helpful. If it's painful in a bad way, it's probably not helpful. As you receive more back rubs, you'll get a sense of what works for you and what doesn't. Feel free to ask for what you want! The more information your volunteers have, the better they can tailor your back rub to fit your needs. Every volunteer has a different style. Try back rubs from different people at different times!
- Finishing up: At the end of your back rub, take a little time to check in with your body. Sit up slowly in the chair, feel your spine, your shoulders, your jaw. This is a good time to stretch, to yawn, and to ask your volunteer questions. On your way out, pick up a feed back form, fill it out, and drop it in the box on the door.
- After-Care: As you re-enter the real world, remember to drink lots of water and get plenty of rest. You'll need them.
When to get a back rub
Please try to come around 15 minutes before the end of the day, so we can wrap up our drop-in hours promptly. Thank you!
Monday: 4 to 7
Tuesday: 4 to 8
Wednesday: 5 to 7
Thursday: 5 to 8
Friday: 4 to 7