Brown University Relaxation Project (burp)

Brown University Relaxation Project

What is burp?

The Brown University Relaxation Project, affectionately known as burp, is a group of student volunteers dedicated to promoting stress relief and relaxation to the Brown community. Student volunteers are trained by a licensed massage therapist to give stress-relieving shoulder rubs.

What burp Is and Isn't

The goal of burp is simple: we are relieving stress. We are helping you get a different perspective for your day. We are giving you permission NOT to think about your stress for a few minutes. It is important to recognize that we are not there to solve problems and we are not there to provide any type of physical therapy or counseling.

Check morning mail for the time and location of our weekly  sessions. No appointment is necessary, it's a first-come, first-served basis and each shoulder rub lasts 6 to 8 minutes. burp is also available for events, meetings, RETs, etc. 

Contact burp ( for more information.

Requesting a burp Event

To make a burp event a positive experience for everyone involved, we ask that you abide by the following guidelines:

  • Each burp request must be received a minimum of 2 weeks before the event is scheduled to take place. Please note that burp events are not held during reading period or semester breaks.
  • burp events are scheduled for 1 hour. If you would like to request more than 1 hour, please email the burp coordinator ( for special consideration.
  • To accommodate each request, we ask that you give an estimate of the number of people you expect to attend the burp session. This will determine the number of burpers we send to the event. If your numbers increase or decrease significantly, please notify the burp coordinator, by email at or by calling 401.863-2794.
  • Please inform the students, staff and/or faculty that will be attending the session what burp is about. People have a range of different experiences with touch -- both positive and negative -- and we have found that it's important to give people the space to make the choice of whether or not they want a burp session. Although a noble intention, please do not surprise your residents, colleagues or staff with a burp session.
  • You are responsible for promoting the event. We have generic posters you can print, fill in your event details, and use to advertise.  If you would like to use our posters, please let the burp coordinator know when you request the event.
  • Please be on time. The burpers are volunteering their time and we ask that you respect this and start and finish according to the times you requested. burp sessions last about an hour in length.
  • Each burp shoulder rub lasts between 6 to 8 minutes. The burpers will have a sign-in sheet for attendees to sign. Please make the environment as comfortable as possible. For example, do not have the session in a high traffic or noisy area. We ask for at least 2 straight back desk chairs and we will play relaxing music. Please have your residents, colleagues and/or staff refrain from holding conversations while the burp session is in progress.
  • Please fill out an event evaluation form. The burp team leader will give you this form to fill out. We value all feedback - help us make burp even better! If you didn't receive the evaluation form, please contact the burp coordinator.
  • If you need to cancel the event, notify the burp coordinator as soon as possible, at least 1 business day before the scheduled event. 
  • We make every attempt to fulfill all event requests, but please remember that burp is a group of volunteer students with busy lives. As a result, it is not always possible for us to staff events and we will sometimes not know if we will have enough volunteers until the day before the event.

To request a burp event, please e-mail with the following information:

  • Name of group
  • Contact name
  • Contact e-mail
  • Contact phone
  • Event date (must be at least 2 weeks from today)
  • Start/finish time
  • Location
  • Number of people expected
  • Are chairs available?

Please note that burp does not do events during reading period or semester breaks.

Interested in becoming a burper?

To learn more, email ( the burp coordinator or visit our tips, suggestions and general expectations page.


  • 401.863-2794
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