With spring comes state testing, ACTs, SATs, finals and graduation. For most seniors, this is the final few months of high school and they’re finishing out college for the fall. For the rest of the student body, the final few months of the school year are a hard time to get those grades up and finish out the year strong. All of the school work, extracurriculars and part-time jobs can pile up.
There are many ways to relieve stress, including yoga, bubble baths and candles, Netflix and, of course, massages. Whether it is a massage from a friend while eating pizza and binge watching “The Office,” or a professional massage with a masseuse, massages are effective in relaxing one’s body, muscles and mind. Replenish Spa Director for the downtown Columbus and Clintonville locations Kristi Blankenship said that massages have many benefits to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“Massages relieve mental stress by triggering the release of the hormones serotonin and dopamine, which calm the mind and improve your mood, while decreasing the stress hormone cortisol,” Blankenship said.
Massages are known to release stress, but they also affect one’s body in various ways that someone may not be able to tell.
“Massages can relieve both physical and mental stress in various ways. It relaxes tense muscles and speeds up the healing process by encouraging circulation,” Blankenship said. “Blood brings oxygen and nutrients to the tissues while lactic acid and toxins drain through the lymphatic system. It also causes the body to release endorphins, which are natural pain killers.”
Relaxation in a stressful, busy life can help relieve any symptoms of an overworked mind and body from a simple headache to severe migraines and other extreme pains.
“We live very busy, stress filled lives. Creating space to honor ourselves is so important; yet often the last thing on our to-do list. When we make time to slow down and just be in the moment, we are able to focus on what's important right now,” Blankenship said. “Massage is restoration- our breathing slows, our minds clear, then we are able to be more productive and accomplish more.”
At Replenish Spa, Blankenship mentions the most popular massages that are requested are Swedish massages and Deep Tissue restorations.
“If you're trying to choose an experience to help you relax, getting a facial, manicure or pedicure all include massage and can also be relaxing,” Blankenship said. “Plus, you get the added benefit of a clearer complexion or smoother hands and feet!”
Massages are meant to target and relieve any aches, pains, tightness and discomfort in the human body. The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of massage is exactly, “manipulation of tissues (as by rubbing, kneading, or tapping) with the hand or an instrument for relaxation or therapeutic purposes,” and junior Haley Thornborough agrees that such relaxation techniques are so important to overwhelmed high schoolers, especially.
“Massages seem to give you a moment to relax and a chance to breathe. It gives you time and thought away from school and all the stress that can pile up in just one day of classes,” Thornborough said.
Like stated in the definition, massages are used for therapy reasons, as well as other physical health treatments. Junior Brooke Benjamin goes to a weekly chiropractor to get readjusted in her neck, shoulders and head to relieve the chronic headaches she has had very frequently throughout her life.
“Now that I get massages, I’ve gone from having headaches almost everyday to having them every few weeks,” Benjamin said.
As a part of the therapeutic process, the room is typically set in a relaxing tone with calming music and occasionally burning incenses.
“It’s very soothing and it helps you focus on the massage instead of your mind wandering off to other things,” Benjamin said.