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Ready, Set, Relax! Students Give Massages for Good Causes

Published on July 19, 2013 by Staff Writer

The word “massage” tends to evoke a sense of calmness and relaxation. Visions of tranquility accompany the word as we imagine our stress melting away at the hands of a skilled massage therapist. With this in mind, it’s only fitting that an entire week be dedicated to the practice of massage therapy, right?

Inspired by EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week—July 14-20 this year—Broadview University–Orem hosted an event on July 16 called Massages for Good Causes, where everyone was invited to donate canned goods to the Utah Food Bank in exchange for a free, 15-minute chair massage by a massage therapy program student. Broadview University

Karen Newmeyer, campus librarian and massage therapy student, was busy giving chair massages for almost the entire evening as students and staff members eagerly awaited their turn in the massage chairs.

“It was a great experience to see people donating canned goods in exchange for massages,” Karen said after the event. “My hands are tired, but it was worth it to get almost 30 cans of donated goods in only two hours!”

Massage students ReAhna Dobson and Terri Vasquez also volunteered their time and talents to the event, using what they had learned in class (from massage therapy program chair Vicki Bant) to help give massages for good causes.

But even if there is nothing to donate in exchange for a massage, there are still plenty of reasons to make an appointment with a massage therapist. Recent studies reveal that the benefits of massage therapy extend well beyond simply soothing aches and pains. Here are some great reasons to make time for a massage:

1. Reduce Headaches: Before taking another painkiller, consider trying a more holistic (and relaxing) method. Just like muscle pain, headaches can be alleviated by a thorough massage. A 2009 study cited in a recent Huffington Post article found that a 30-minute massage decreased pain for people with tension headaches, and even curbed some of the stress and anger associated with those pounding headaches.Broadview University

2. Manage Anxiety and Depression: Massage therapy students at Broadview University know that giving their clients massages will help to reduce cortisol levels and boost serotonin and dopamine, resulting in improved mood.

3. Improve Sleep: If you’ve ever dozed off on a massage table, you don’t need to be convinced that a massage can improve sleep. Recent studies attribute it to massage’s effect on delta waves, which are the kind of brain waves connected to deep sleep.

4. Improve Looks: I know what you’re thinking—that cannot be true. It is! Massage to certain areas of the face and scalp help to increase blood flow, stimulate slack skin and encourage lymphatic drainage (the shuttling of toxins out and away from cells so that more nutrients can travel in). Facial massages can also add vitality to a dull complexion.

Whether to reduce headaches, improve sleep, add vitality to your complexion or simply celebrate the fact that it is EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week, there are plenty of reasons to enjoy the benefits of massage therapy. Make an appointment today and start getting massages for good causes.

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