As part of the Sports Massage course, massage school students have the opportunity to provide post-event massage at Sports events in the Capital District. Past events have included the Freihofer's Run for Women 5K Championships, The Adirondack Marathon, Brueggers Bagel Run, and the Ironman USA Triathlon in Lake Placid, NY These events give students the opportunity to work with amateur and professional athletes, applying hands on massage skills acquired in the classroom.
Community Service offers massage therapy students the opportunity to work within the medical setting. Students learn about the impact of their healing touch within the hospital environment, while patients learn how therapeutic massage can help ease the pain, trauma and other symptoms associated with acute and chronic illness and hospitalization. Community Service has provided a tremendous learning experience for everyone involved. The Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy is currently working at St. Peter's Hospital and Hospice, Teresian House, Van Rensselaer Manor, Albany Damien Center, and Albany Medical College. Students have said that working with patients at the hospital has given them a chance to integrate the knowledge they have gained and to transform it into a confident practice. The impact on the community that CNWSMT serves has been profound, and filled with positive and rewarding feedback.
The CNWSMT student clinic is a valuable resource available to the community. CNWSMT offers one-hour massages at a reduced rate, with appointments available on a first come first served basis. Full-time and part-time students perform massages on clients from the community Monday through Friday and an occasional Saturday, under the supervision of clinic staff.
CNWSMT prohibits students from accepting tips, so it was decided in 1999 that CNWSMT would use the generous gifts of its patrons to support a fund that would honor cultural diversity and help strengthen self-reliance. The Heifer International fund has been in operation for six decades and has helped 7 million families in over 125 different countries to become self-reliant through generous gifts. Its philosophy is, “Strengthening community,” which is the core of its foundation. It encourages people to make their own decisions about how to improve their lives, which develops skills and confidence in building strong communities. “Peace begins when hunger ends.”