Sister Linda Reicks
The Heart that Understands, The Hand that Soothes
For Sister Linda Reicks, the heart of Presentation mission includes hands of Presentation mission. Sister Linda ministers as a massage therapist. Certified by the State of Iowa and the National American Massage Therapy Association, she has a clinical practice known as “Touching Humanity-Therapeutic Massage” in Stone City, Iowa. Her clients range from 10 to 101 years of age and benefit from her training in Swedish massage as they experience stress reduction, health promotion, pain management, relaxation and injury recovery.
By way of background, Sister Linda Reicks grew up in Carroll, Iowa, the daughter of Rita and Raymond Reicks. She graduated from Kuemper High School in 1972 and attended Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa. Sister earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Clarke College (University) in 1978. Over the years, she taught second grade in Catholic schools in Epworth, Key West, Storm Lake and Waukon, all in Iowa; and St. Paul, Minnesota.
Sister Linda graduated from Carlson College of Massage Therapy located in Anamosa, Iowa, in 1995. As a full-time student there, she completed 775 hours of instruction. Her classes focused on massage as both a healing art as well as a science. She acquired a balance of academic and technical knowledge, clinical skills, dexterity, sensitivity and awareness. She was then prepared to minister to individuals as a certified practitioner.
“I move into a partnership with my client so that he/she can learn that body, mind and spirit are each important parts of his/her very being. It is important to learn that pain is a friend. It announces that something is wrong,” comments Sister.
Sister Linda demonstrated expertise during her certification program at Carlson College and was invited to join the faculty in 2000. She is now the lead instructor at Carlson and accompanies students through such classes as Anatomy/Physiology/Pathology, Hot Stone Massage, Hydrotherapy, Reflexology, Soft Tissue Release, Wellness, Swedish Massage, Myofascial Massage, and Pregnant/Side Lying Massage.
“I am privileged to be a teacher-mentor who empowers in students the freedom to discover who they are,” says Sister Linda who sees herself as living the charism of Nano. “I will be a teacher all my life. Through the teaching of massage, I can help students tap into their own healing center so that they can bring healing to others. I can teach them to be more compassionate. I can affirm them as they discover their own personal gifts that surface in the client-practitioner relationship. Growth has happened in me and I am delighted when I observe growth occurring in my students.”
Massage therapy may be the oldest and simplest form of medical care. Egyptian tomb paintings show persons being massaged. The Chinese culture from 2700 BCE recommends “massage of skin and flesh, and exercises of hands and feet” as appropriate treatment. Massage offered pain relief for Greek and Roman athletes. The medicine of India places great emphasis on the therapeutic benefits of massage with aromatic oils and spices. Most familiar to Western culture, the 19th century Swedish doctor, poet and educator, Per Henrik Ling, developed a system of physiotherapy based on the study of gymnastics and physiology. Today therapeutic Swedish massage is recognized as a wellness and healing component.
Sister Linda has served her professional colleagues by acting as treasurer of the Iowa American Massage Therapy Association for 11 years. This organization establishes and maintains professional standards for both individual practitioners and massage training programs. Sister remarks proudly, “Graduates from Carlson College are held in high esteem because of their excellent training in neuromuscular rehabilitation to treat chronic or acute muscular dysfunction.” Carlson College of Massage Therapy is the only school of massage in Iowa that is recognized by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.
Sister Linda’s 12 years as an instructor at Carlson College have brought her in contact with many students. She summarizes, “Students bring their personal gifts to this profession. As their instructor, I have the privilege to help them develop their skills. Because of their growth in their personal and professional skills through the Carlson program, they will never be the same.” One student affirmed her Carlson experience in this way, “As I came to learn the trade of massage and during the program I also came to know myself in greater depth.”
Sister Linda holds the following quote from poetess Maya Angelou as a favorite describing the art and science of massage therapy: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
The walls of Carlson College of Massage Therapy are covered with many artistic and poetic gifts from graduating classes. One reads, “It’s the heart that understands…and the hand that soothes.” And thus, Sister Linda uses both her heart and her hands in her mission of healing.
Left Photo: Sister Linda Reicks ministers as a massage therapist.
Right Photo: Sister Linda Reicks enjoys the beauty of her surroundings.