Massage: The What, The Why, and The Who (Summer 07)

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When one asks people why they receive massages, the common answers are “it feels good” or “it helps me relax”. These are good reasons to see a massage therapist on a monthly basis but WHAT exactly is massage therapy? Massage therapy improves overall physical and mental well being via different techniques applied by a licensed massage therapist. Swedish style massage is the most popular with its’ long flowing strokes, slower rhythm, and scaled pressure to the clients preference. Therapeutic massage is similar to the Swedish style but with more stretching in localized areas of the body (i.e.: shoulder/neck pain from an injury). Deep tissue massage focuses on maintained pressure on trigger points that are located all over the body and can be done at a faster rhythm. This style is best for clients who overexert their muscles on a regular basis. Sports massage consists of stretching and compressions to move lactic-acid build-up (congestion) from overworked muscles. This technique is done with a much deeper pressure and range-of-motion exercises. This can be applied to localized areas (i.e.: legs) and is best for athletes like runners and swimmers. WHY should people get massage on a regular basis, you ask? Massage can alleviate problem conditions resulting from stress/anxiety and muscular tension that may be limiting everyday life functioning. It re-energizes energy flow, improves circulation of blood and lymph, increases immune system function, supports sports programs, and combats the negative effects of aging. So WHO is the ideal client for massage? EVERYONE!! But caregivers (parents, teachers, nurses) and physical workers (construction workers, truck drivers, painters, plumbers, musicians, electricians, and men/women in our Armed Forces) can benefit greatly from a massage. Gift certificates are available and make great thank you gifts to the people in your life who matter the most!