Cartersville massage therapist lends a hand to local veterans
by Matt Shinall
Nov 28, 2012 | 1554 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Joining forces with a national program committed to serving veterans and active duty military, Wade Meldrum, owner of Nice 2 B Kneaded, has dedicated a portion of each workday to the Hands for Heroes mission.

Meldrum splits his time between offices in Cartersville and Woodstock, operating out of The Herb Shoppe on Cartersville’s Main Street several days each week. As a bodywork provider through Hands for Heroes, he will donate a one-hour session to any veteran or active duty military personnel as often as once a month.

“I’m up here in Cartersville three days a week every week and the second Saturday of the month. So I’ve set aside a one-hour session each day to work on vets. All they need to do is show me their DD2-14, their discharge papers or their military ID,” Meldrum said. “I’ve been a firm believer that veterans need to be appreciated more than one day a year and I’ve been looking for a way to do something like this. So if people are interested in coming in, I’d like to work on them.

“I see vets running into problems just from general stress and some are having trouble with post traumatic stess disorder. They’re having muscle strains and injuries from combat or just from military service.”

Meldrum personally served from 1978 to 1982 in the U.S. Navy and attested to the fact that even without seeing combat injuries are more common in military settings due to the rigors of the workplace. Hands for Heroes expands on their mission online at www.handsforheroes.net.

“The wounds of war can go far beyond what meets the eye. From mental health issues to pain and illness that persist long after they've left the battlefield, veterans face a multitude of health troubles either unique to their service or more frequent among them than the general population,” stated the Hands for Heroes website. “Some of the most common physical complaints of returning soldiers cannot be classified into a single disorder.

“They include nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue, pain and cognitive disturbances such as memory and concentration problems.”

Meldrum practices six different modalities of Asian bodywork, including techniques from China, Japan and Thailand.

“I work on people fully dressed. I just tell them to dress like you’re going to the gym, wear something loose and stretchy. I do acupressure, which is kind of like acupuncture except I use my fingers instead of needles. I do Thai message, which is stress relief and structural body work,” Meldrum said. “I help people with all kinds of issues, migraine headaches, scoliosis, sciatica and general joint pain.

“I’ve always enjoyed doing massage and I used to do it just for family and friends and then in the mid ’90s I began to learn about acupressure and acupuncture and then I came back here in ’97 ... but it wasn’t until I messed up my shoulder and my chiropractor, who I think is amazing, could not fix it. He allowed me to go to this seminar at the Atlanta School of Massage for a seminar as a demo person and in 15 minutes, my shoulder was completely fixed. He was the one that got me really focused on Chinese medicine.”

When the state of Georgia instituted a licensing requirement for massage therapy, Meldrum left his career in radiology and graduated in 2004 from the Atlanta School of Massage Therapy.

Meldrum will see his first customer through the Hands for Heroes program this week and with time would like to see the program expand to include the caregivers of wounded veterans.

Nice 2 B Kneaded operates out of The Herb Shoppe, at 19 E. Main St., Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, search for Nice 2 B Kneaded on Facebook or call 770-382-0110 or 770-823-9251 to make an appointment.