By Mary-Justine Lanyon
To some people, the idea of getting a massage seems like a luxury.
While it can be, there are also many benefits to therapeutic massage, ranging from improving the quality of a person’s sleep to easing muscle pain.
Kimberly Rodgers, a holistic health practitioner and owner of Liberation Therapies in Crestline, detailed the benefits of massage at a recent meeting of the Crestline-Lake Gregory Rotary Club.
Rodgers is trained in a number of massage modalities, having begun her practice in 2005. She had found that she was developing neck and thumb issues by doing traditional massage so she has switched her focus to ashiatsu – literally foot pressure – in 2018.
When you learn this modality, Rodgers said, there is a whole sanitation process as the therapist is using their feet. Ashiatsu massage is defined as “a deep tissue compression massage through the use of the therapist’s feet. …this technique manipulates the deeper layers of soft tissue to help loosen the tissues, which helps in chronic pain reduction.”
“Clients gravitated to me who needed deep work,” Rodgers said. Sometimes she puts her full weight on the client but not always.
Many of her clients book appointments a year out, coming on the same day at the same time. Her preference, she said, is for clients to not come every week as they can become too reliant on the body work and are not doing the self care she prescribes for them.
So what are the benefits of therapeutic massage? It can improve sleep quality and enhance circulation. It’s very good, Rodgers said, for stimulating the movement of lymphatic fluid, which “has no pump behind it – it relies on physical movement.”
Because massage can improve joint mobility, it’s great for people who are bed ridden or can’t move around on their own. “Massage can help keep them as mobile as they can be,” Rodgers said.
Massage relieves stress and can take someone from a state of high stress to low. It may improve mental alertness. “But not right after a massage,” Rodgers quipped, noting how relaxed people are following a treatment.
Having a massage boosts the immune system and can reduce tension in the muscles, Rodgers said. It is known to speed the healing of soft tissue injuries and eases muscle pain.
In her treatments, Rodgers uses Himalayan salt stones and includes CBD, known for its healing properties (there is no THC in the product she uses). She includes facial work as well.
“Every smile, every frown activates muscles,” she said. “I can relieve emotional tension by massaging a person’s face and scalp.”
Rodgers shared testimonials from several clients. One woman said having a therapeutic massage helps her handle anxiety better. Her mood, she said, is always better after getting a regular massage. Rodgers has been able to pinpoint the root cause of the pain she was having. Instead of taking some ibuprofen, she instead does some stretching or gets her husband to rub the area where the pain originates from.
Another woman, an avid runner, was training for a marathon and suffered multiple issues from running and weight lifting. After having a regular series of massages, her body felt better and her training improved.
A third woman said having a massage quiets her mind and body.
Sometimes, Rodgers said, it’s hard to figure out what going on in your own body. “It’s like a dripping faucet you just don’t hear anymore.”
As for how a person should prepare for a massage, Rodgers reminds people that it is work. Clients should arrive early to prepare for their session. Be clean, be quiet, try not to think about your problems, she said. Be aware of the work that is being done.
Liberation Therapies is located at 23794 Lake Drive in Crestline. Call (909) 338-6900.