Merit Health Wesley offers alternative form of healing

Merit Health Wesley offers alternative form of healing

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg is spreading the word to the public that it is putting the "person" in personal care. This new individualized style care earned the hospital Gold Certification for Excellence in Person-Centered Care.

Arielle Testa is an important part of this new care.

"Being here has helped me be clinical, but not in the traditional sense," Testa said.

Testa has been with Merit Health Wesley for more than a year.

"I've always wanted to help people, and I've always been drawn to the natural side of things," Testa said.

Testa is a licensed massage therapist for Merit Health Wesley, offering patients an alternative to relief and healing.

"Just see if they want massage therapy in any kind of form. You know, their shoulders, their hands, their feet," Testa said.

Testa said whatever a patient needs is right at her fingertips. She said she gives each patient an individualized, personal touch.

"Some people want their shoulder's massaged, some want their feet massaged. It just kind of depends," Testa said. "The new mothers like their feet {massaged} because they are swollen, and they just want to relax."

She said her skills aren't a replacement for medical attention but they compliment the care the doctors at the hospital offer patients. And, it offers a break from whatever is ailing a patient.

"With massage, it helps lower your blood pressure," Testa said. "It just kind of puts patients at ease. It gives them something else to think about, and they are not worried about getting blood drawn or anything like that. Or, what tests are coming up. It's just relaxing for them."

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