Wounded Warriors Recover Through Massage Therapy
By Marine Corps Sgt. Justin Boling
Defense Media Activity – Marine Corps
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 15, 2013 Her hands heal and relax ill, injured and wounded veterans competing at the 2013 Warrior Games here.
Zach Blair, Marine Corps team member, gets a massage before a wheelchair basketball game at the 2013 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 12, 2013. Jeanette Falu-Bishop, the founder and executive director of Structure for Wounded Warriors, has offered body work to all competitors at the games. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Justin Boling
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Jeanette Falu-Bishop, the founder and executive director of Structure for Wounded Warriors, is not new to helping out. She has been working for nearly a decade helping veterans with massage therapy.
“I wanted to start a nonprofit to help our wounded veterans,” she said. “We help veterans' physical and emotional recovery through massage and body work.”
The Warrior Games competition puts added stress on some already tested bodies. Wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans from the United States and Britain are competing 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 18 months in the Marine Corps. His injuries included a shattered femur and knee. Falu-Bishop provides hours of service before, during and after events here to military veteran athletes like Blair.
“Just living can cause wear and tear on the body,” said Falu-Bishop. “The military lifestyle 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 Falu-Bishop. In 2002, she provided more than 1,000 hours of care to troops and their families at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany while stationed there with her husband, an active duty airman.
“We specialize in injury recovery, but we can also perform relaxation massages, like Swedish massage and medical massage, if needed,” she said.
Falu-Bishop also assists the American Red Cross, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Fisher House Foundation. In 2006, she received the 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,” she said. “I have been able to help a lot of soldiers and other veterans to help with their recovery.”
Blair said the Warrior Games athletes are grateful for Falu-Bishop’s healing hands.
“A massage really gets the muscles loose and gets you ready for the games,” he said. “We all really appreciate it.”