Wellness program alleviates student stress with massage, yoga and other services
The Wellness On The Go program at Rutgers provides stress wellness initiative services to students, including massages, yoga classes and henna tattoos.
Dave Williams, the executive director of Recreation, said that Wellness On The Go is meant to service all different aspects of a person's health, covering the "wellness wheel" as he calls it. The program provides services meant to relieve tension from a person’s physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health.
“People tend to think about health as just a physical thing like dieting or exercising,” Williams said. “But in reality, it encompasses a whole bunch of things that should be paid attention to.”
The wellness program has five facilities at the school, one on each campus. Williams said that it is mostly known for the massage treatment that it provides, which is available all year round at two of the facilities on campus.
One of the most popular services that the program offers is "massage on the go," where massages are given to students from different parts of the Rutgers community. The services are often coordinated with a group or a club at the school and offer massages at their events. Williams said that the program serves mostly during final exam season.
“Let's face it, when you come out of an exam, a massage isn’t the worst thing in the world now is it?” Williams said.
He said that he has received very strong feedback from students about the program.
Approximately 2,400 students received the program's services at different events at the school last year. Students can find out about services that the program provides, including locations and prices, through either its Twitter account or from people in different clubs at the school. Williams said that they are always looking to get the word out about what he believes to be an important service.
Anne Finetto, the assistant director of Fitness and Wellness, schedules the variety of events that the program participates in around the University.
Finetto said the program is always involved with a wide range of clubs at Rutgers and has expanded some of its services over the last few years, adding things like self defense courses and eyebrow threading.
“We bring our services to events run by other organizations and they’ll hire our staff to come out,” Finetto said. “We’ll have organizations from across the board, from sororities to fraternities to student centers. They'll ask for things like an eyebrow threader or a yoga instructor for a couple of hours."
Recently, the program appeared at an event for Residence Life at the Livingston Apartments. Last Friday, employees from the program gave henna tattoos for the Rutgers Belly Dance Troupe on College Avenue.The program also has an ongoing deal with the Rutgers Business School, providing services to business students every Monday night.
Private sessions of the program's services run for a flat rate. A one-on-one massage is $60 for 1 hour, but after the first 2 hours the price drops to $55 an hour. Finetto said that prices can vary when the program collaborates with an organization or a club on campus.
For finals week, Wellness On The Go hosts "Yoga in the Park" on May 1 from noon to 3 p.m. The event has 1 hour of yoga followed by chair massages and henna tattoos for any student who comes down. Finetto said that the students have always enjoyed this event, as it comes right around springtime and before final exams.
“Something that students just chill out and relax to,” Finetto said. “Whether it is the yoga or the massages, it's just a nice stress reliever for anyone feeling anxious in those final days of class.”