The Value of Massage

By Kim Taylor, Owner of Essence

Massage is often thought of as a special treat, something we reward ourselves with after a rough spell or when we are on vacation. Massage can feel luxurious, but most importantly, it offers a wide range of benefits such as boosting the immune system, weight loss, stress reduction, and so much more.

Essentially every illness a person can suffer is exacerbated by stress. Regular massage can play a significant role in reducing your stress level, which in turn leads to a stronger, healthier immune system. High blood pressure, diabetes, and migraine headaches have all been shown to react positively to the healing touch of massage.

How can something so simple do all that? One word; circulation. Massage in any form increases blood flow to the muscles. Muscles are made up of fibrils, threads if you will. Fibrils are bundled together by connective tissue. These bundles make up muscles. When a cell in the fibril becomes stressed, it is unable to exchange oxygen and nutrient rich blood the way it normally would. Soon there is a buildup of waste product that can’t get out of the cell. The stressed cell affects its neighbor and soon it is performing the same way.  This goes on until the whole muscle is affected resulting in the dreaded “sore spot”.

Massage increases the circulation of blood to the area.  This flushes out the built up cellular waste promoting healthy muscle tissues that are able to exchange oxygen and nutrient rich blood the way they are meant to.  By releasing the stress from the muscles, your body is able to perform in a more productive and healthy way. Stress hormones are reduced and the immune system can function more effectively. The result?  You feel better!

There are many different types of massage to choose from, and it is not always easy to know which type you need.  As a general rule, if you are getting a massage after sports or any other strenuous activity, you will benefit most from deep tissue and/or sports massage.  A well-trained massage therapist will communicate with you before, during (as necessary), and after your massage to make sure that you are receiving the best type of massage for your needs.  Some of the most requested types of massage are as follows:

Deep tissue-True deep tissue is the technique of penetrating the tissues as deeply as they will allow.  Although this requires a firm touch it should never go past that “hurts so good” feeling. This type of massage is effective for physical pain relief.

Sports– Involves active stretching of the muscles along with lengthening and flushing muscle groups.  Whether you are training for the Ironman or are a weekend warrior this type of massage can help to prevent injury and is a great addition to your training regimen.

Integrated – This is probably the most requested, most needed, and most effective type of massage you can get. After assessing your muscles and talking with you about what you are trying to accomplish through massage, your therapist will combine any or all of these techniques to customize a personal massage to meet your needs.

Lymphatic Drainage– Increases lymph flow which boosts immune function. This type of massage is very helpful to breast cancer survivors as well as those suffering from water retention issues such as swollen ankles or bloating.  Lymphatic drainage helps the body rid itself of extra fluids. This modality requires specific advanced training and is offered exclusively by Gigi Worley.

Craniosacral– A gentle touch is used to address the head, spinal column, and pelvic bones to improve functioning of the central nervous system. The goal is to release compression in those areas which alleviates stress and pain. This modality requires specific advanced training and is offered exclusively by Kevin Padgett.

Sometimes you really do just want to be pampered, and although you will still be receiving the health benefits of massage and body work, some of the more “indulgent” services that we offer include;

Swedish– Consists of long slow strokes.  The pressure is light and while very relaxing and calming to the mind and body, this type of massage is not overly effective for physical pain relief.

Sugar Body Scrub– Exfoliates and rejuvenates your skin while leaving it dewy soft.

Salt Glow Body Scrub– Draws out toxins while exfoliating, polishing, and nourishing your skin. While still enjoyable, this treatment is more aggressive than a sugar scrub.

Dry brushing –Involves gently brushing your skin with body brushes. It feels fabulous while boosting lymph flow.

All of our exfoliating body services are provided by Gigi Worley and are paired with your choice of a 30 or 60-minute body massage.

The healing hands at Essence belong to Gigi Worley and Kevin Padgett. Both are experienced, professional, and committed to providing the best treatment experience possible.

Gigi Worley has practiced massage for over ten years, doing well over 8,000 massages. Prior to working at Essence, she has worked in many arenas of massage including holistic health, chiropractic and private practice. This experience allows her to craft a personal massage that fits your special needs. Whether it is pain relief, relaxation, sports massage, or immune boosting through lymphatic drainage she will create a pleasant and healthful experience for you.

Kevin Padgett began practicing massage therapy in 2012. He appreciates that no two people are the same and customizes every massage to meet the specific needs of each client. He is passionate about his work and driven by a deep desire to help others feel better. He offers a fresh approach to healing through massage by continually learning and integrating new modalities and techniques into his treatments.

This world we live in doesn’t show any signs of slowing down; it is up to us to take the time and nurture ourselves physically and mentally. Whether you are in need of relaxation, preventative care, or therapeutic healing we are here and eager to help.