Precise and professional hand movements, relaxing music, concentration and hardly hidden excitement – this was the mood at the international massage competition held in Kaunas by Kauno kolegija/University of Applied Sciences on March 8, 2013. Nearly two dozen future physical therapy specialists from the colleges of Vilnius, Kaunas, Utena, Panevežys, Šiauliai and from Latvia‘s Daugavpils University were taking part in the contest.
It was the second such student massage championship organized by the faculty of Medicine of Kauno kolegija/University of Applied Sciences. The winner this time was Arminas Dziadaravičius, a graduate of Panevėžys College. The second place went to Agne Griniūtė from Utena College, the third to Rūta Smolskaite, a student of Kauno kolegija/University of Applied Sciences. The winners were awarded valuable gifts from the sponsors and will be granted a special opportunity to further improve their skills by participating in the training courses organized by the ISPADO Academy.
The future massage professionals demonstrated their excellence by mastering tasks of the mandatory and optional programmes. Under the mandatory programme, the students were given 20 minutes to show their classical massage skills. A commission of experts evaluated the different types of massage movement techniques: stroking, friction, kneading and vibration.
According to Milda Gintilienė, head of the Rehabilitation Department of Kauno kolegija/University of Applied Sciences and one of the main organizers of the event, the creativity displayed by the students during the 30 minute optional programme was remarkable: A. Dziadaravičius, the winner, surprised the audience by a professional etno-massage. A. Griniūtė performed therapeutic massage, R. Smolskaitė won the third place by doing a wrapping massage with honey. Other participants demonstrated buckwheat, royal massage, ayurvedic traditional massage, Indian head massage, treatments using stone, coffee beans and nuts as well as holistic, hemolymphodrainage massage and other techniques.
The students‘ performance was assessed by a committee of experienced professionals, among them Rūta Stratkauskienė, a winner of Lithuanian and international spa massage contests, Diana Rėklaitienė, head of the department of Applied Biology and Rehabilitation at Lithuanian Sports University and Elena Bartnikienė, the owner of Sauleja, a network providing spa services.
The massage championship took place in the facilities of the company “Pirmas žingsnis” (“The First Step”), a maker of orthopedic products. According to doctor Algimantas Astrauskas, the company‘s director, cooperation with the faculty of Medicine, Kauno kolegija/University of Applied Sciences, especially with future professionals of physical therapy, is very important because physiotherapists and orthopedists must combine their efforts to improve patients’ well-being and health, therefore a dialogue is indispensable. “It is an honour for us to contribute to this event,” – said Mr. Astrauskas, who in 2012 was nominated “Metų privataus verslo lyderio” (“Private Business Leader of the Year”) by the magazine “Lietuvos sveikata” (“Lithuania‘s Health”).