Aloe Foundation 2019 Community Service Grant
Posted:Thursday, December 5, 2019
The Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) is pleased to award The Aloe Foundation of Austin, Texas, with a 2019 MTF Community Service Grant for their project entitled Loves Heals: Integrative Holistic Wellness for Women Experiencing Trauma. The Aloe Foundation is one of five 2019 MTF Community Service Grant recipients which were originally announced in September of 2019 and which are currently ongoing.
This $2000 grant provides funding for 8 scheduled wellness events at SAFE emergency domestic violence shelter in Austin, TX. Each three-hour event provides 15-20 women with massage treatments in a group setting. Women at SAFE are a diverse population. In Austin, these women are primarily African American or Hispanic, ranging in age from older teens to 40+. Over the grant period, the project’s goal is to serve over 120 women.
Survivors of domestic and sexual violence face overlapping and complex factors that inhibit their health, recovery, and wellness. Many deal with elevated levels of anxiety and/or depression and exhibit symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The free wellness events not only decrease stress and ease trauma symptoms but they serve a community that would not otherwise have the means or methods for such therapy.
The Aloe Foundation’s skilled massage therapists use gentle, restorative massage techniques to provide comfort, care, and healing to a population that may have in some cases never received compassionate touch — only experiencing violence. Trauma and illness impact individual and community health. Emphasizing self-care and empowerment through the hands-on treatments provided by Aloe Foundation’s massage therapists serves those in need in innovative and transformative ways that can positively impact the health of their community.
Massage therapy for survivors of trauma is rooted in scientific research that demonstrates the ability of massage therapy to increase dopamine and serotonin levels and reduce cortisol levels and anxiety. The importance of body work for survivors of traumatic abuse is emphasized through the work of Cynthia Price, who showed that massage for victims of sexual abuse saw reduced levels of trauma symptoms when massage therapy was coupled with psychotherapy, a modality which is also provided at SAFE. Massage therapy has also been shown to improve sleep quality in those with PTSD.
Therapeutic massage along with counseling and additional supportive services help to prepare SAFE clients for moving beyond the emergency shelter, and further their healing journey. The Massage Therapy Foundation is honored to provide funding to this program, which increases the well-being of survivors and their communities through the benefits of therapeutic massage.
Learn more about the Aloe Foundation at aloefoundation.org.
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