Therapeutic Massage alumna Rachel Hall didn’t start out with a passion for massage. She didn’t feel an overwhelming calling for the profession. In fact, in 2009, she was a home schooled student who wasn’t excited about school or college at all. That all changed after she signed up for a massage therapy class through a special Ivy Tech Fort Wayne program targeted at high school students.
“It took all of 10 minutes of the holistic healing class for me to know that this was where I was supposed to be,” says Rachel. “The hands-on labs at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne were perfect. We went from classes with textbook pictures next to us, right to lab with people on our massage tables. Being an A student isn’t hard when you love what you’re learning.”
Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s Therapeutic Massage Program also helped her discover a passion for sports and rehabilitation work. During her two years at Ivy Tech, Rachel was exposed to licensed massage therapists with specializations in prenatal massage, oncology, pediatric, rehabilitation, and more.
Now Rachel works as a sports and rehabilitation massage therapist at Aaron Chiropractic and is the staff massage therapist for the Fort Wayne Komets.
“I work with the Komets players on chronic issues. Some of these guys have skated many hours a week for 20+ years—that’s a huge amount of wear and tear on their bodies, and it takes a toll,” says Rachel. “We work on specific things to improve their game. Most of them have chronic pain from repetitive movement, like wrist and elbow trauma from twisting and extending their elbows to shoot or pass the puck.”
Rachel also helps stretch and warm up the team before every game. Pregame massages are different than what she does throughout the week. They’re fast and address any immediate problems that could hurt the player’s performance.
“I loosen up their necks and shoulders to achieve full range of motion, so they can see what’s coming. The last thing we need is a goalie who can’t rotate his head!”
In the immediate future, Rachel plans to continue working at Aaron Chiropractic and hopes to work with the Komets all the way through the playoffs. She loves what she does, and doesn’t see that changing anytime soon.