Photo by Benjamin Hurst, Staff Photographer
Feeling stressed? Does your back crumple under the weight of all those textbooks in your bag? Need a little relief from the stress of midterms, work, and athletics? Not to worry. A solution awaits you right on campus–and her name is Terri.
Many may be familiar with Terri Anton, the massage therapist who helps dozens of students a week during her sessions. Anyone who walks through the Student Resource Building, Davidson Library, or the UCen from 12 to 2 p.m. Monday through Wednesday will see students sitting in comfortable chairs, eagerly awaiting their free three- to five-minute massage. They will also witness those same students, approximately three- to five-minutes later, departing with a dreamy look in the eye as their now stimulated lymph nodes drain away excess fluid in their muscular tissue, allowing them to momentarily forget the many worries that plague college students.
A University of California, Santa Barbara alum herself, Anton is happy to return to her alma mater to help students push through the stresses she once experienced herself as a Gaucho. After graduating from UCSB, Anton worked in New York until she realized life as a saleswoman wasn’t her calling.
“I did a lot of sales jobs and things that I hated, and realized what I didn’t want to do,” Anton said. “It was kind of like an epiphany one day when a friend of mine went to massage school, loved it, and talked me into it. I went and loved it. That was 14 years ago.”
Since joining UCSB’s then-infant Health and Wellness program in 2007, Anton has helped hundreds of students with her massage stations all around campus. Second-year psychology and Spanish double major and Health and Wellness student employee Cynthia Giron reveals exactly how many students Terri helps.
“Stats on average show that Terri attends to about 23 people per day,” Giron says. “We have three massage centers plus two other times she attends, so that’s over a hundred students per week.”
Giron also stresses the importance of Terri’s services, as well as the symbolic nature of other Health and Wellness programs on campus.
“I think that even if people don’t get a massage with Terri or they don’t go to CAPS, these services stand there very symbolically,” Giron says. “If students can’t make it to a massage, they know CAPS and these other services will be there for students seeking advice.”
Anton says that being around UCSB students makes her job all the more enjoyable.
“One of the things I hated about sales was nobody wants to see you,” she said. “They’re all grumpy and angry and close the door in your face. Here, everyone’s happy to see you, they’re happy when they leave, and it’s nice to make people feel good. And it’s different–everybody has different things going on. And because I went to school here, I feel like I’m at home.”
Anton’s sunny disposition will put anyone in a good mood even before their free massage. In addition, healthy snacks, pens, buttons, and pamphlets filled with helpful information on wellness tips or campus organizations lay on the adjacent Health and Wellness table, free for anyone’s taking. No matter how stressful your week has been, you can be sure a short trip to Terri’s Massage Parlor will make any tough day a little bit brighter. Terri Anton can be found at the SRB on Monday, Davidson Library on Tuesday, and the UCen on Wednesday, all from 12 to 2 p.m.