“Would you like a foot massage while you’re waiting?”

The answer to that question is always, “Yes!” But last week in pre-op it was an emphatic “Absolutely!” from my friend who was waiting to have her knee replaced.

I was hanging out with her at OrthoColorado, a plush, cutting-edge orthopedic hospital. The pre-op experience is a couple hours long and the surgeon was running a little late, so the nurses were plying her with ice chips (yummy?!) and TLC. Then, they asked her if she’d like to have a foot massage. At first, she thought the nurse was joking. But in walked massage therapist Alice! And we were delighted to learn that Alice is a longtime ABMP member.

I’d love to have Alice’s portrait pictured here, but she’s a self-described introvert. She was so welcoming, I found that difficult to believe. I watched as Alice introduced herself to my friend, took her feet, and began her massage—Alice simply blossomed. She smiled when I questioned her about being shy and said, “Oh, yes, but I’m in my own element today.” Was she ever—hostess, therapist, caretaker, and guardian angel all in one! Thanks to an inspiring awareness of integrated medicine at OrthoColorado hospital, Alice delivers massage therapy in pre-op in the mornings and post-op in the afternoons.

Alice is one of many therapists who embraced the massage profession later in life. After a career in medical records, she retired to help take care of her mother. The time and flexibility of her new life opened up time for her to attend massage school at Colorado School of Healing Arts (CSHA) in the Denver area. She smiled and laughed remembering that she graduated in 2000, the same time her son graduated with his bachelor’s degree from the prestigious Colorado School of Mines. She pursued continuing education at CSHA, got her certificate in neuromuscular therapy, and now teaches anatomy there, too. She says teaching and practicing keeps her from “getting in a rut.”

Clearly, she loves the hands-on work. She credits her position at the hospital with “being in the right place at the right time,” but I’d wager that her background in medical records and her resulting familiarity with the medical profession make her a natural fit in the hospital environment. OrthoColorado Hospital is a specialty hospital, but attached to St. Anthony’s, which is also a progressive hospital, so there’s more than enough work for Alice. Her warmth and openness with my friend was heartwarming to see, and it definitely made the pre-surgery wait fly by as we embraced conversation and laughter.

“Would you like a foot massage?”

“Why, yes!”

What a great way to make you forget you’re in pre-op!

—Leslie A. Young, ABMP Vice President Communication

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