Licensed Massage Therapist Twanna Jackson tells us everything we need to know about massage…and then some! Working girls will love her ‘keep calm (count to three!) and carry on’ approach to de-stressing in the workplace.
LILA: What are the benefits of massage therapy?
TJ: It’s great for wellness. If you have a sore muscles, it can help to calm and decompress. For anxiety, the therapeutic touch can help soothe and provide comfort. Your session IS what you make of it. This is your time to just relax, fall asleep, let go of the stress.
LILA: To whom would you recommend massage therapy?
TJ: Anyone and everyone! Typically though, I see a lot of corporate types who are stressed and overworked… whose back and shoulders hurt because they’ve been behind a desk all day. Bad posture, like sitting hunched over a computer, can cause stiff muscles and a lot of back and neck pain. I see all walks of life though, and would recommend it to anyone. Massage is like a workout. The therapist manipulates the muscles. We work you from head to toe. We help you decompress and flush out toxins from the body. We go deep into the muscle, so by the end of a session, you might leave feeling a little sore. But that’s a good thing! Massage releases endorphins. It gives you energy. You leave feeling uplifted.
LILA: Is there a limit to how often someone can come in for massage?
TJ: One to two times a month would be my recommendation – too frequently can over-manipulate the muscle. Sometimes a client will come in with back pain, and I’ll recommend followups. As a massage therapist, I encourage people to embrace a wellness program – stretching and exercise in the home can be very beneficial, and a good way to supplement a massage session. You can’t just rely on a therapist to fix you once or twice a month. It’s a lifestyle. Often, I’ll show my clients a few simple moves and stretches that they can do at home. It’s all about maintaining that positive level of wellness in their day-to-day.
LILA: Does massage therapy hurt?
TJ: Before getting started, it’s important to learn about a client’s sensitivities. The session is about what YOU want from it – what areas you want to focus on. If you choose to go with deep tissue, you may be a little uncomfortable to begin with and leave feeling sore, but that’s because the session is all about slowly breaking down the muscle. I like to compare it lasagna – we’re digging in, layer by layer. And sometimes, it takes multiple sessions to break down the muscle. Soreness can also result from not drinking enough water. You need to hydrate your muscles. That’s how they eat. That’s why we say drink a lot of water. It’s not just spa thing. Hot baths, Epson salts. This should all become part of your personal wellness program.
LILA: If I’ve pulled a muscle, how can massage therapy help?
TJ: We’d get started with some soft tissue manipulation to help the muscles calm down. No deep work – not yet. Then a series of follow up visits would help determine what condition the body is in, and how to progress from there.
LILA: Do I have to remove all my clothing for massage therapy?
TJ: Not at all! Some people feel comfortable taking it all off, but what it comes down to is your own comfort level. For massage therapists, draping is very important. We only undrape the muscle we’re working on.
LILA: What is your favorite type of massage therapy?
TJ: I love deep tissue, because you can just get in there, and work the muscle and really break things up. I love the end result – seeing the positive effects it can have on clients, and hearing from them how it has lessened or eliminated their pain. It’s gratifying!
Twanna specializes in Swedish, deep tissue, sports, hot stone, prenatal, tai herbal and chair massage. To request a home session, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 215.843.2234 to schedule a visit with her at Mellow Massage.
Catch up with Twanna next Sunday for instruction on some quick & easy moves and stretches for de-stressing on the job – whether you’re office bound or on-the-go!