Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Massage Therapy for Sore Muscles

In my continuing quest to explore my new workplace thoroughly, I signed up for my first massage at the LIFE Center, Fauquier Health System’s fitness center off Walker Drive in Warrenton.

It took me a couple of weeks to decide to take advantage of this particular offering, because I couldn’t figure out how to have a massage while fully clothed. (I’m shy.)
A sore back finally drove me to make the appointment.

I’m glad I did. It was very relaxing, and the whole without-clothes thing wasn’t nearly as stressful as I thought it would be.

Heidi Leavell, the massage therapist seemed to understand my initial reluctance. She told me to lay face down under the sheet on the massage table, and place my head in a sort of a cradle at the head of the table. Then she left and let me get comfortable.

The bed was heated! I lay down and my resistance faded. What a nice feeling to be enveloped in warmth, with soft music playing and the lights turned low.

Heidi was gentle as she worked out the kinks. I think I could have fallen asleep.
I was curious about Heidi’s background and she told me she had been with Fauquier Health System for two years and had completed her training at the Virginia School of Massage in Charlottesville.

She has taken special classes in deep tissue massage and hot stone massage. She explained, “Some people just place the warm stones, but I was taught to use the stones themselves while doing the massage.”

Heidi said she is looking forward to taking instruction in pregnancy massage very soon. Special techniques she will learn will allow her to make the mother-to-be more comfortable while protecting the baby.

I remember being pregnant. Whatever anyone can do to make a pregnant woman happy and relaxed is a boon to mankind.

Don’t know much about massage? Here’s a quick rundown.

Swedish Massage: A form of massage using long strokes, kneading and friction applied to the superficial muscle layers to promote relaxation and circulation.

Deep Tissue: Massage that uses deep pressure and slow strokes to chronic areas of tension and contraction.

Myofascial Release Therapy: A technique that manipulates the fascia that connects and surrounds muscles.

Reflexology: Pressure point massage applied to various reflex points on the feet, hands and ears. Reflex points correspond with organs and other parts of the body. A relaxing foot scrub is included with a one-hour appointment.

Pricing for Swedish, Deep Tissue, Myofascial, and Reflexology Massage*:
30 minutes..........$33.00
60 minutes..........$66.00
90 minutes..........$99.00

Stone Therapy Massage: Uses stones of different temperatures on the body to bring about healing responses. Stone Therapy comes in two forms: Relaxing meditative form and a Deep tissue form for tired and sore muscle relief.
Pricing for Stone Therapy Massage*:
30 minutes..........$37.50
60 minutes..........$75.00
90 minutes..........$112.50

Chair massage: Neck and shoulders
Pricing for chair massage:*
15 minutes..........$16.50

*Life Center members receive a 20 percent discount on massages.

Anyone who would like to make an appointment with Heidi can call the LIFE Center at 316-2640.

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