News: Wounded athletes recover through massage therapy
Story by Sgt. Justin Boling
COLORADO SPRINGS-Colo.—Her hands heal the ill, injured and wounded veteran competitors at the 2013 Warrior Games.
She is not new to helping out. She has been working for nearly a decade helping veterans with massage therapy.
“I wanted to start a non-profit to help our wounded veterans,” said Jeanette Falu-Bishop, the founder and executive director of Structure for Wounded Warriors. “We help veterans' physical and emotional recovery through massage and body work.”
The Warrior Games puts added stress on some already tested bodies. Wounded, ill, and injured veterans from both the United States and Britain compete in a multitude of athletic events for the gold and glory.
“After four to five hours of practice or playing it is great to be able to relax,” said Zach Blair, a Marine Corps team member competing in several events at the Games. “It really helps increase your range of motion and makes action easier.”
Blair was in a car accident, after only being in the Marine Corps for eighteen months. His injuries included a shattered femur and knee. Falu-Bishop provides hours of service before, after and during Warrior Game events to veteran athletes, like Blair.
“Just living can cause wear and tear on the body,” said Falu-Bishop. “The military life style can put a lot more physical and emotional stress on the body.”
“Our program helps veterans cope with that.”
The workload is nothing new to her in 2002, she provided over a thousand hours of care to troops and their families at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, while stationed in Germany with her husband, an active duty Airmen.
“We specialize in injury recovery, but we can also perform relaxation massages, like Swedish massage and medical massage if needed,” said Falu-Bishop.
She also assists the American Red Cross, Susan G. Komen Foundation and The Fisher House that cares for wounded troops.
“Eighty-five percent of all illness is caused by stress,” Falu-Bishop said. “Massage therapy works to brings stress levels and blood pressure down and increases serotonin to help them sleep.”
In 2006, Jeanette received the prestigious Presidential Volunteer Award from president George W. Bush.
“I have been a military spouse for more than 14 years, and it wears on my heart because I know a lot of what these families go through,” said Falu-Bishop. “I have been able to help a lot of soldiers and other veterans to help with their recovery.”
Falu-Bishop and her associate’s healing hands help warrior athletes from every team at the Warrior Games continue competing despite the physical obstacles they face.
“A massage really gets the muscles loose and gets you ready for the games,” said Blair. “We all really appreciate it.”