From mandatory seminars to assemblies, school constantly makes an effort to help students relieve stress. Unfortunately, these efforts are tedious and rather take a toll on students’ physical and mental state. From December 5th to 6th, however, High Schoolers at Singapore American School were given a new opportunity to relieve stress, thanks to the Catalyst Project planned by a senior student.
Hours of massage therapy sessions took place at the school’s presentation room called the iTheater. Singapore American School was able to incorporate SAVH (Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped) into this event by inviting visually handicapped masseurs. They travel in mobile teams and are in high demand, especially at hotels and resorts, government agencies, hospitals, and educational institutions. Learn more about them at https://savh.org.sg/mobile-massage-team/ .
|[Photo taken by me - flyer on cafeteria door]|
The massage sessions were an instant hit among the upperclassmen, who were under hectic schedules with final exams and SATs. Around three students were led into the dimly lit iTheater each session, and seated with an assigned masseuse.
|[photo taken by me - massage sessions]|
To see if the massage therapy sessions were actually effective in relieving stress, I interviewed junior Sofia Sigismondi, who signed up for two sessions.
Q: Why did you sign up for the massage sessions?
A: I signed up because I’m really stressed about my grades right now, and especially with SATs coming up, I am exhausted and anxious.
Q: Were the massage sessions effective? What can you say about it?
A: It (massage) hurt quite a bit, but it was really effective. I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. And it really isn’t that common for our school, or any school to have massage sessions for students, so I really wanted to take advantage of this. I don’t know if it completely helped my stress since my stress is all from academics, but I felt a lot more relaxed emotionally and physically.
Q: What do you think about this whole event? Would you recommend it to other schools?
A: I think that it was so meaningful because the masseurs were visually handicapped. It really isn’t common. I would definitely recommend it to other schools, especially during final weeks because that’s really the only way students can de-stress in a healthy way.
It was clear that the massage sessions had a positive impact on the stressed out high schoolers. Not only did they help students, but also spread awareness of the visually handicapped community, and their way of contributing to society in a unique way.
Stress is a prominent issue among high schoolers these days, especially for upperclassmen who are applying to colleges, or taking tests every week that determine their future. According to the 2018 American Psychological Association’s survey, “teens reported worse mental health and higher levels of anxiety and depression than all other age groups.” This stress cannot be permanently removed from students, however, schools can implement ways like the Catalyst Project to help students put their minds at ease. Every bit will help them.
Yoon Seo Kim
Singapore American School
Yoon Seo Kim firstname.lastname@example.org
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