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Massage therapy makes for a good winter warm-up

by on January 11, 2018 1:02 PM

STATE COLLEGE — Holistic health refers to the entire body being in balance and things moving along as they are intended. When winter temperatures plummet, the body often becomes stiffer and moves more slowly. A deep, relaxing massage can help.

“Massage, in general, provides a way of being aware how things connect in the body," said Lynne Warner, a licensed massage therapist at ESSpa, at the Carnegie Inn and Spa, 100 Cricklewood Drive in State College. "A massage can ease tension and loosen muscles, which in turn increases circulation and metabolism.”

Massage may vary from light stoking to deep pressure. Some of the common types include Swedish massage, deep massage, sports massage and trigger point massage. Each includes different length and depth of strokes or circling movements.

Massage is increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for numerous medical conditions and situations. While more research is needed to confirm some benefits, studies have found massage may be helpful for anxiety, digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, headaches, insomnia related to stress, myofascial pain syndrome, soft tissue strains or injuries, sports injuries and temporomandibular joint pain.

The rooms at ESSpa have dim lighting, warm table pads and soft music. “Clients should remember that this is their time and they are in control," said Warner. "It’s OK to tell your therapist what you need, such as more pressure, or that you prefer not to talk while relaxing for your massage.”

Because massage increases blood flow, there is some benefit to the brain. Many people claim they feel more focused and happier when they have regular massage appointments. Increasing blood flow leads to clearer thinking.

Warner said she is also a Reiki practitioner. Reiki is a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical well-being.

“I can feel the disturbance in the energy field of clients in some cases," said Warner, "and, if they are open to it, I can offer that treatment, also.”

Many conditions, such as sciatica, can be helped by regular massage, Reiki and other noninvasive methods of treatment. If you free up the muscles, you relieve pressure on the nerves that are sending out the pain signals.

Anything done to prevent problems before they arise leads to a happier, healthier life. There are many who schedule regular massage appointments, even though they are feeling well, to maintain smooth operating systems that, in this case, are their bodies.


Connie Cousins covers Centre County for the Gazette.
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