Therapist uses hands-on experience | PostIndependent.com

Therapist uses hands-on experience

John GardnerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Sydney Hastings knows about healing.After a traumatic Jeep accident left her with four shattered vertebrae in her lower back at the age of 16, she did her share of healing both physically and mentally for the next four months and the years to come.”(The vertebrae) shattered like hard-boiled eggs,” she said, forming her hands in an egg shape. “It didn’t do any damage to my spinal cord, luckily.”She still bears a foot-long scar along her spine and has another shorter one on her lower back near her hip, a reminder of the pain she once endured.But that pain gave her the passion to pursue a career as a massage therapist.”Making people feel better and helping them take care of themselves is very rewarding,” she said while setting up her location at Glenwood’s Downtown Market on Tuesday afternoon.”Knowing how it feels, seeing that smiling face or hearing them say how much better they feel after the massage is so good.”After the accident, Hastings was in the hospital for 10 weeks. When she was released she started with physical therapy accompanied with a massage to alleviate the pain she was feeling. And the massages helped – they helped a lot.”I never really separated the two, physical therapy and massage,” she admitted. “To me they’ve always been complementary medicine.”

After she healed from her injury, massage was still a part of her life, due to the extent of damage to her vertebrae. Doctors fused the shattered vertebrae together in twos, with two stainless steel rods, creating two large vertebrae instead of four.When she went back to school and had to sit in a chair for most of the day, the pain was nearly unbearable.”It was killing me,” she said.Her relief came through massage; it cultivated her passion.”It’s wellness, relieving and preventing stress, it’s amazing how effective a massage can be,” she said.Every Tuesday afternoon Hastings has been relieving stress for visitors of the Downtown Market with great reception.”At first the coordinators of the market were a little reserved about it,” she said. “A massage isn’t what you think of when you think of a farmer’s market.”But it sounded good to a lot of people who attend.”It got to where I had people waiting for an hour and a half to get a massage,” she said. “I had to hire another masseuse to help me out on Tuesdays.”At the market she offers a variety of quick massages for people while waiting.

“It’s a little different,” she said. “There’s a lot of noise around here and a lot going on, but it’s a nice way for people to get a massage. It doesn’t take time away from their family or from work.”She’s also lined up a loyal following and has “regulars” that have come back each week.”Sometimes 15 minutes is all a person has or needs,” she said. “It’s been very good here. I’m glad to be a part of it.”Her healing ways don’t stop there either. Hastings donated 10 hours of her time massaging firefighters who battled the New Castle Fire, which burned 1,240 acres near Canyon Creek west of Glenwood Springs in June.”I wanted my kids to see how much work goes in to putting out a fire like that,” she said.Her two kids, Noah (6) and Savannah (3) got to see firsthand what volunteering is like. They also got to watch their mother help others heal.”It was nice to see what volunteering was all about,” she said.Volunteering: another part of the healing process for Hastings.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO


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