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Massage: For Improved Health, a Sense of Well-Being And Improved Physical Appearance

separator Television shows can have you believing that pretty much everybody is having facelifts and other surgical procedures that can improve your appearance. That’s one way to go, but surgery isn’t for everybody. It isn’t for most people, actually. Many people don’t even have a desire for surgery because it’s expensive, takes a lot of time and let’s face it, who wants surgery if it’s not necessary?

People need to remember that there are many ways to improve your appearance. Good nutrition, drinking plenty of water and getting regular exercise are some of the keys. But another way to improve not just your appearance but also your health is to have regular massages.

Massage therapy can cleanse, purify and hydrate your skin. It enhances the appearance of your facial skin by improving your complexion, giving your face a fresher look. Massage is also very relaxing. When you’re able to relax, some of the worry lines aren’t so obvious; you may not feel worried enough to make those lines appear! Many massage therapy advocates also say that massage is good for the immune system. And they may be onto something. When you’re able to relax and forget about the stress in your life, your body does function better overall.

Late winter is a wonderful time to take advantage of the relaxing environment of a spa. We’re all getting a little tired of the weather, and dry winter air can wreak havoc on your skin.

CHP offers spa services at St. Mary’s Health and Fitness Center in Knoxville and in Cincinnati fitness centers in Anderson, Fairfield and Western Hills. The types of massage services they offer include:

  • Relaxation massage Uses long, slow strokes to enhance relaxation.
  • Deep tissue massage Flushes out deeper levels of toxins in muscle tissue and smoothes out kinks and wrinkles in connective tissue.
  • Sports massage This is especially beneficial for “regular exercisers and weekend warriors.” Therapists remove post-sports toxin build-up during vigorous stroking.
  • Medical massage Specific techniques are used to help people who have certain medical conditions. Massage can help relieve fibromyalgia symptoms, for example, and many other symptoms as well.
  • Pregnancy massage For women past their third trimester who have medical clearance from their doctors.
  • Chair massage If you’re trying to save time, you can dash in for quick chair massage. No disrobing is necessary. Chair massage therapists can even come to you.
  • Cooling moonstone facial massage Uses a combination of facial massage techniques and cool stones.

Herman Bryant, Manager of Massage at the Fairfield Mercy HealthPlex, explains the various ways massage can help you.

“Most people think of massage as just for relaxation,” he says. “But there are many purposes of massage. We do Swedish massage, for example, which provides tranquility, comfort and a release in tension from everyday life. We also do medical massage. Let’s say you have an injury, such as a pulled muscle, and your doctor recommends massage for it. We can do a massage that will be especially beneficial for that particular injury.”

Bryant performs massage for different types of medical conditions as well. “We assess the needs of each client and then determine exactly what it is they need,” he says. “For our fibromyalgia patients, for example, deep tissue massage works well for some and not for others, so we make that determination on an individual basis.”

Bryant has also studied myofascial and myoskeletal release massage. Initially, he learned the myofacial techniques, but then decided to learn myoskeletal as well because, he says, “Everything’s connected in the body, so I can offer a total package.”

Bryant says that his study of massage has taught him to be able to look at a person and see where they’re holding their tension just from their posture or gait. In general, says Bryant, “massage helps body fluid move through tissues and muscles. It releases endorphins, which provide pain relief. Gentle massage strokes can release toxins and tightness. Very often, people become so relaxed on the table and get into such a tranquil state that they fall asleep.”

Looking for ways to get a massage at lower cost?
It can cost a lot of money to go to a spa and get a professional massage on a routine basis. If you can afford it, that’s nice, but there are other ways.

Massage for couples You and your spouse or partner can take a massage workshop together. After that initial cost, you then know how to give yourselves massages at no cost at all. Often, massage schools give these kinds of workshops. Visit the American Massage Therapy Association to find the school nearest you. Don’t forget the other benefit of massage for couples—it’s a wonderful way to connect at the end of a long day.

Massage schools: Many times, students of massage offer reduced rates via programs at their massage schools.

Negotiating lower rates: Sometimes, if you agree to have a certain number of massages, a therapist will agree to lower the rate.

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