The director of the Community College of Rhode Island’s Therapeutic Massage program spent 14 days in four orphanages in Vietnam in July exploring the outcomes of therapeutic massage on children with compromised health.
Regina M. Cobb joined with 11 other massage therapists from around the United States, Malaysia, China, Australia and Japan who are also interested in the benefits of pediatric massage on physical health, such as improved mobility, and its immune system-strengthening effects on these children.
They spent their days working together in orphanages with children ages 4 months to 18 years old in a pediatric massage volunteer program called Buds to Blossoms that brings international teams of volunteers to Katmandu, Nepal and Ho Chi Minh City several times a year. Cobb said she was most impressed by how receptive the kids receiving treatment were to making connections with outsiders.
“One-on-one nurturing, attention and touch helps meet the children’s emotional and developmental needs as well as provide relief from their constant pain and anxiety. Massage also improves the mobility of children with perpetually contracted muscles by relieving tension,” Cobb said.