The holidays can be a stressful time with all the hustle and bustle around
shopping, cooking and commitments. This holiday season, consider giving
the gift of relaxation to yourself or a loved one. The Washington Wellness
Center is offering massage specials that can make the holidays brighter
– and more relaxed – for everyone on your shopping list, including yourself.
“Giving the gift of a massage is a great way to say I care about
you and your well-being,” said Laura Constantine, RN, coordinator
of the Washington Women’s Center. “It’s also a great
way to take care of yourself during this hectic time. And how many more
things do people really need anyway? A massage is the perfect gift, and
it’s an excellent way to take a break from your busy holiday schedule.”
Starting Dec. 1, the price for a 50-minute massage at the Washington Wellness
Center is $60 instead of the usual $75. You can save even more by buying
a six-massage package for $330. To purchase gift certificates or make
an appointment, call (510) 608-1301.
The Wellness Center is a comfortable place to enjoy a personalized massage.
It features a spa-like setting where you feel pampered. Special touches
include a fresh cotton robe to slip into and your own private dressing
area with individual lockers for personal items. With different entrances
for men’s and women’s massage areas, privacy is assured.
“Pampering is something we associate with women, but massages are
beneficial for both men and women,” Constantine said. “Besides
just feeling amazing, massage offers a number of health benefits.”
Massage can calm the nervous system and reduce stress and anxiety, she
said. It can also help improve blood circulation, stimulate the lymphatic
system – which aids the immune system, and prevent and relieve muscle
cramps and spasms. Studies show it can lower your heart rate as well as
insulin and cortisol levels, she added. Cortisol is a hormone our bodies
release in response to stress.
“A massage really is about your health, which is why a lot of people
like the idea of having a massage at a hospital where your health is the
number one priority,” she said. “Some of the people who come
in regularly have health issues, so they feel more comfortable and confident
getting their massage here. It’s a trusted environment.”
Massages are performed by licensed massage therapists with years of experience.
To be sure you gain the maximum benefit from your session, you will first
be asked to fill out a brief medical and physical history and then your
therapist will discuss your expectations for the massage. There are a
variety of massage styles available.
Swedish massage uses long, fluid strokes and a number of muscle kneading techniques. It
improves circulation, reduces tension and relieves sore muscles.
Sports massage is similar to the Swedish massage, but is more for people who work out
frequently or are involved in sports. It helps athletes improve flexibility
and prevent injuries, and it speeds recovery time.
Deep tissue massage works deep into the muscles to help ease and release long-held patterns
of muscular tension. It uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the
deeper layers of the muscles and connective tissue.
Prenatal massage is for expectant mothers. It helps alleviate back pain and aids circulation,
providing some relief from the discomfort of pregnancy.
Therapeutic massage integrates neuromuscular therapy and reflexology with Swedish strokes
to help relax and restore balance to the body.
Hot stone massage uses water-heated, smooth, flat stones that are placed on key points on
the body. It promotes deep muscle and tissue relaxation, alleviates stress
and releases toxins. It also relieves pain, improves circulation and calms
Foot reflexology is a gentle massage of the foot that helps to relieve tension and reduce stress.
“There really is a massage style for everyone,” Constantine
said. “Massage is not only a wonderful gift, it can also be a special
holiday outing. Get your girlfriends together for a massage, and then
go to lunch and shopping before or afterward.”
The Washington Wellness Center is located at 2500 Mowry Ave. (Washington
West), suite 150. For information about other Washington Hospital services
that can improve your health and well-being, visit www.whhs.com.