By Jeanne Drennan
Moving at the speed of light seems to have become an art form in this age of instant gratification, endless to-do lists, and multi-tasking. Many people are overworked, over-committed, over-tired, and just plain worn out. Seldom, if ever, do we take the time to slow down and take care of ourselves.
With the busy holiday season upon us, there’s no time like the present to slow down, rest, and rejuvenate. To that end, why not treat yourself or someone close to you to the gift of health—a massage! Once thought to be an extravagance reserved for the spa, massage has become, for many, an integral part of their overall wellness program.
Therapeutic touch is beneficial on so many levels and is essential to a balanced, healthy life. Each area of bodywork is unique and may focus on areas such as structure, musculature, fascia, energy, and/or balance. It’s important to find a practitioner with whom you feel comfortable, and a style that is appropriate for you.
Massage and other natural therapies, like those offered at Body Dynamics Studio in Cedar Crest, are designed to release blockages, bring more awareness to the breath and body, lessen pain, improve health, and harmonize the body’s own natural healing processes. The benefits of massage are numerous and include stress and tension reduction, increased circulation and oxygenation, excretion of toxins, relief from chronic pain patterns, and a strengthened immune system. The types of massage are plentiful as well, ranging from deep tissue and Swedish massage to medical, sports, and pregnancy massage.
Anytime is a great time for a massage, and, as Lee Ann Lajoie, owner of Body, Mind and Spirit in Cedar Crest says, “this is the perfect time of year to experience a massage—it offers a reset point for your body physically and emotionally.” Lee Ann says that massage should always be relaxing and it should never hurt. It should be a pleasurable experience that leaves you feeling better than before your massage.
Regular massage allows your body to maintain homeostasis by not engaging the stress hormones, thus improving your overall health. Roughly 80 percent of massage clients seek out their first massage because of an injury. They continue coming, however, because of the calmness and relaxation they receive from the sessions. Most massage therapists suggest getting a massage at least once a month. With costs for a one-hour treatment running $60-$80, it’s truly an invaluable investment in one’s health and well-being. Sonya Cooper, owner of End of the Rainbow Massage in Edgewood, urges people to obligate themselves to that time to slow down and receive the massage.
Some therapists use essential oils as a part of the massage experience to promote emotional and physical health; others, like Sonya Cooper, will use steam towels on the hands and feet and warm stones along the spinal muscles to further increase relaxation. If the client has a specific need that calls for a specialty modality such as myofascial release, cranial sacral therapy, or trigger point, for example, those treatments can be incorporated into a massage session.
The primary intention for the therapist is the safety and comfort of the client in the massage environment. Lee Ann Lajoie ensures that her clients are modestly covered at all times and stresses “safety with no agenda.” It’s all about how the therapist can best serve the client.
Cassie Christensen says her goal at 4 Essential Balance is to help her clients feel better when they are at home and work. As part of her practice, she identifies what might be causing their pain, and provides long term solutions which can include massage therapy, stretching, Thermotherapy, heat packs, Cryotherapy, cold packs, and even self-massage techniques.
With several experienced practitioners in the East Mountains from which to choose, today is the perfect day to schedule your appointment—or buy a gift certificate for a friend or a loved one to enjoy during the holidays.
Some Local Massage Therapists
4 Essential Balance
Elizabeth Cassie Christensen
Massage & Spa Therapies
Edgewood - 980-3599
BACK TO HEALTH
Anna M Gurule, D. O. M.
Acupuncture & Massage Therapy
Tijeras - 286-8432
Body Dynamics Studio
Christell Marie Thomas
Massage, Body Work, Pilates, Yoga
Cedar Crest - 239-7585
Body, Mind and Spirit
Lee Ann Lajoie is not taking new customers
End of the Rainbow Massage
Sonya A. Cooper
Therapeutic & Specialty Massage
Edgewood - 217-5168
Hands of the Maven massage
Karen J. Blemel • 505 307-5250
MAJIK FINGERS HAPPY TOES
Cedar Crest - 286-0060
Medical Massage, Swedish Massage, Reflexology
Moriarty - 832-6804
Virginia Henderson, Lmt, CMnTPT
Edgewood - 363-4753
Neuro-Muscular, Swedish, Thai, & Heated Stone Massage
Edgewood - 239-7648
Suzanne Hruschka, LMT
Tijeras - 286-1887
Tanglz Color Bar Salon
Massage and Body Wraps
Cedar Crest - 286-0909
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