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Massage Today
February, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 02

Arizona MT Aids in Tsunami Relief

By Rebecca J. Razo

On Dec. 26, 2004, a tsunami with waves measuring up to 30-feet high violently slammed into the shores of Southeast Asia, India and Africa following a 9.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked the Indian Ocean.

Back in Benson, Ariz., massage therapist and yoga instructor Karen Beeley was finalizing arrangements for an excursion to India that she and a small group of other yoga instructors had been planning for over six months.

The group, scheduled to depart Jan. 12 [four days prior to this issue's press date], was to study yoga therapy in Chennai, which is located on India's southeastern shores where tsunami damage was particularly devastating.

Ocean waves. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark When word came through about the disaster, Beeley contacted the host school in India to confirm the status of the trip; she was delighted to learn that the group's arrival was still expected. It was then that Beeley decided she would devote her downtime between her month-long yoga studies to assist in tsunami relief efforts around the Chennai community.

At press time, Beeley was uncertain whether her efforts would involve using her massage skills or yoga expertise, or providing other support.

"I'm open-minded about what to expect," Beeley said. "Being a massage therapist, you give a big part of yourself [to others]. I'll be available for any need." Beeley said she would rely on the school, which is actively involved in community service year-round, for direction.

Beeley, a massage therapist for 14 years and co-owner of Ocotillo Integrative Health Center in Benson with her husband Jeffrey - a medical doctor, naturopath and acupuncturist - has set up a direct-access tsunami relief account for the host school. Monies will go directly to those in need in Chennai and to rebuilding the community. For more information, call 520-586-8695.


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