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Posted: Monday, October 26, 2015

The Benefits of a Massage

For a lot of people, simply hearing the word “massage” is likely to prompt an instant reaction. The lungs exhale, the eyes narrow and the mind goes to a place of relaxation if only for a brief moment. This is because, if you’ve ever had a massage, you know how good it can be for both the mind and the body. October 25-31 just happens to be National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, so it’s a good time to consider all that a massage can do for you. Relaxation aside, massages also can increase circulation, combat muscle soreness and fatigue, and help with stress and pain management. But, also, they’re relaxing – very, very relaxing.

“The benefits of massage range far and wide,” said massage therapy supervisor Emily Piercy from the Blount Memorial Wellness Center at Springbrook. “Virtually anyone can benefit in some way, whether you’re a tired and stressed-out mother, an athlete or a business person. Massage has been shown to reduce blood pressure, improve sleep and boost immune response, but there are some things you should remember if you’re getting a massage for the first time. You always should arrive early for a first appointment in order to fill out a health history form and meet with your massage therapist to discuss your needs. Tell the therapist any issues you’re having, and what areas you’d like to focus on. He or she also will go over any medications you’re taking, as well as any past injuries you may have,” she explained. “Be sure to let him or her know any information you think is relevant, or that might help him or her help you,” she added.

“There are, of course, some situations in which you should take caution before seeking out a therapeutic massage,” Piercy said. “It generally is agreed upon that people with uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart disease, recent surgeries or fractures, phlebitis, fever and other problem conditions should consult their doctors prior to receiving a massage. In some cases, these situations can result in some limited restrictions for massage. As always, when in doubt, you should first consult your physician,” she added.

Piercy says people often are treated with therapeutic massage for a specific issue. “For people with a particular problem area, weekly massages can be very beneficial. However, if you’re just seeking general relaxation, we recommend a massage every four to six weeks. Some people like to tie in a massage to their workouts. We typically recommend a massage after a workout to ease the muscles, but if you’re looking for increased flexibility during the workout, we also can do them beforehand,” she said.

“At the Blount Memorial Wellness Center at Springbrook, we offer deep-tissue massage, relaxation massage and hot-stone massage, as well as myofascial spreading and body treatments such as sugar scrubs and hot wax treatments for hands and feet,” Piercy said. “Massage sessions can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours depending upon the type of service you want,” Piercy explained. “You also do not have to be a member of the Wellness Center to receive a massage, as we offer member and non-member rates. And if you book a massage this week, you can receive 10 percent off just by mentioning National Massage Therapy Awareness Week,” she added.

For more information, or to schedule a massage appointment, call the Blount Memorial Wellness Center at Springbrook at 865-980-7100.

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