A Healing Touch

Jasmine Anderson brings compassion and care to her customized massage therapy sessions.  

“It took me losing my eyesight to gain my vision,” says Jasmine Anderson, owner of Jasmine Reiki, a Licensed Massage Therapist and an independent contractor for Judson. She works with a variety of clients who appreciate personalized sessions that can include innovative strategies like incorporating books and music.

Every experience is tailored to members’ needs, whether that is addressing sensory issues or leading guided meditation for those who want Reiki along with massage. Jasmine is also certified in manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), prenatal therapy, comfort touch for older adults and hot stone massage.

At Judson, Jasmine establishes special connections with residents—and she literally touches their worlds, spreading kindness and compassion.

Feeling is largely how Jasmine “sees.” About fifteen years ago, Jasmine lost her eyesight because of diabetes. She underwent four laser surgeries to correct the condition and was completely blind for two months. Cleveland Clinic doctors restored a portion of her vision in the right eye. Still, she is considered legally blind—and if you ask Jasmine, being vision impaired has given her a fresh perspective and inspiration to pursue a fulfilling career—and beyond.

An Aptitude for Compassion

A positive attitude and passion for giving back are innate qualities Jasmine brings to her home and professional life as a Licensed Massage Therapist. A mother of two sons ages 19 and 25, Jasmine taught herself and her oldest American Sign Language because of his hearing challenges. “Raising my son taught me to be an advocate for people with differences,” she says.

When Jasmine lost most of her vision after a year of challenging surgeries, her resiliency and desire to tap the ability within her guided her to focus on addressing her health so she could continue giving to others. She lost 80 pounds, learned yoga through the Cleveland Sight Center, and became a nutrition, fitness and stress management coach. Additionally, she ran a low-vision support group at the Maple Heights Vision Center, where she lives.

Jasmine compares her right-eye vision to seeing underwater or waking up from a dream. But she can see more clearly now—in life. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications and public relations from Cleveland State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Walden University, but decided to pursue massage therapy at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). A professional development speaker at Tri-C encouraged her to pursue a senior living setting for massage therapy. Previously, Jasmine had helped care for her mother in hospice, which inspired her to work at Judson so she could care for others, as well.

For three years, Jasmine has developed a flourishing career as a massage therapist and began contracting with Judson in 2021. The Sight Center visited Judson Park to teach her how to get around the building—counting steps, noting elevators and more. They also helped her learn the bus route to get to Judson. Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities ordered special computer, paper and scheduler tools to help her succeed.

“When I first started here, Anthony (another massage therapist) showed me how to do things rather than just saying, ‘I’ll do it for you,’” Jasmine relates. “Judson recognizes that I can be independent. Judson empowers you.”

In fact, teamwork is one of Jasmine’s favorite parts about working at Judson. “Being visually impaired there’s a lot of situations you can be excluded from, but I am always included at Judson.” She appreciates that all of her observations are listened to and taken into consideration. “We look out for each other,” she says.

Jasmine recalls a time when she took a Judson resident who uses a wheelchair outside to see the garden. Knowing her vision limitations, the resident began describing the birds, trees, and sky to her. As such, Jasmine gave the resident the gift of mobility so he could see the garden, and the resident gave Jasmine the gift of sight to enjoy the garden.

A New Vision for Life

Jasmine works with clients in hospice, independent living, assist living, long-term rehabilitation and memory care. She relates to residents with varying abilities and her connection allows them to open up about their experiences. For example, some memory care residents have sensory issues, so they may opt to sing, read a book, walk, or listen to music during any given session.

“Once I got here, it was amazing,” Jasmine says. “I love the clients, and I love the staff, and everyone is just so supportive.” Jasmine says visual impairment allows her to tune into energy.

“I got a new vision for life,” she says of one of her mantras. The other is this: “Stay compassionate, loving and kind to everything.”

Jasmine is most proud of raising her two sons, growing a business that touches and helps others, and helping people evolve into their kind selves. When she’s not practicing massage therapy, Jasmine enjoys yoga with the Sight Center or at Edgewater Park, learning new modalities, spending time in the outdoors, and connecting with new people. She has a love for animals—and she’s a go-getter. Jasmine is a former member of the Blind Rowing Team.

“The basis of the world is compassion and kindness,” she says. “We all have the ability to be those things within us.”

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