Free massages offered in Pius during finals

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Massage Therapists from Indigo Massage and Wellness will be on campus from Monday, Dec. 5 to Friday, Dec. 9, offering morning, afternoon and evening appointments for students at no charge. The program is funded by the Wellness Fund, which all University students pay into each semester.

Students are eligible for one free massage during the week of final exams, and can choose between a chair massage or table stretching. All massages will take place on the lower level of Pius Library, in room LL6. The room is located at the bottom of the staircase next to Eienstein Bagels. Students must schedule an appointment using the links provided in this week’s SGA-Weekly Update email.

Anne Childers, owner of Indigo Massage and Wellness, which is the company that will be providing the massages to students, says that “There is recent research that shows that massage therapy is more helpful then medications for back pain, especially low back pain.” Anne also notes that, “A common misconception with pain is that where you feel the pain is where the problem is. This isn’t always true. There are referred pain patterns and we look at the body as a whole when assessing pain.” Students are encouraged to let the massage therapist know of any pain or tension before their massage. Not all students are aware of where they carry stress, but those that do should let the therapist know beforehand.

Anne recommends getting the most out of a massage appointment by “engaging in deep, slow breathing and entering into a state of stillness.” She notes that the proven benefits of massage include: “relief of muscle tension, reduction of stress, improvement in blood and lymphatic flow, soft tissue relaxation and over-all mental and physical well-being.”

Anne believes that students should actually consider regular massage therapy since, “Students experience periods of time dealing with high levels of stress and pressure.” Massages, in fact, “can provide a release of para-sympathic chemicals (seratonin, endorphins) and reduce the chemicals released by the sympathic nervous system (adrenalin, epinephrine).” These very chemicals can affect overall performance and self-awareness, according to Anne.

Other tips of getting the most out of a massage are drinking a lot of water both before and after the massage, eating wholesome foods, exercising regularly, resting as much as possible, drinking alcohol only in moderation and not overeating.

Appointments begin at 10 a.m., Monday through Friday, and end at 3 p.m., before picking up again at 7 p.m. and running until 9 p.m. Spots are available for 42 students each day, and will serve 210 students throughout finals week. Students should have their SLU ID ready to show the therapist at their appointment time.