Caring Hands Published Nov. 4, 2013 By Melanie Bulow-Gonterman 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- MacDill's Health and Wellness Center teamed up with the Florida State Massage Therapy Association to host the first annual "Caring Hands Support Our Troops" event on MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., in observance of National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, Oct. 25, 2013. The Caring Hands event was organized as a way to educate military members and their spouses on the different massage therapy options, and the physical and mental health advantages that are associated with each. Incorporated into the event were 12 specialized forms of massage therapy, which use various techniques to target specific health concerns. Lending their hands were 21 licensed practitioners and a physical therapist who volunteered their time to introduce and provide demos of numerous bodywork and massages at stations throughout the HAWC. "Our goal for the day is to increase and promote public awareness of the benefits of massage therapy as part of a healthy and active lifestyle," stated Jane Kordish, licensed massage therapist. "We will also be stressing the importance of visiting a well-trained licensed massage therapist." The turnout for the event was more than anticipated, with lines at each station waiting for their turn to relieve a little stress. "When I heard about the event I was ecstatic and couldn't wait to attend," said Chief Master Sgt. Todd Farlee, 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron superintendent. "I thought that I had a pretty good understanding of the benefits that come from getting a massage, but after visiting several stations I soon found out there was much more to learn." From start to finish, the event catered to more than 110 participants with over 140 demonstrations and instructions given. "The event was superb, exciting, and included lots of energy," said Joan Craft, HAWC health promotion director. "Due to the success we experienced and the overwhelming positive feedback we received from the attendees, we are definitely going to host this another time."