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Nice to be kneaded

By Staff | Feb 19, 2017

by Amy H. Peterson

Staff Writer

Zen Wellness Massage Therapy &?Naturals occupies a natural seafoam and sand-colored space at 119 6th Street next to Forsyth Law Office in Estherville.

Owner Nicole Rosfjord said, “The first time I?went to college, I?majored in business and worked in offices for quite a few years.”

Rosfjord decided to go back to school for massage therapy at Iowa Lakes Community College, and graduated last summer. After getting her children settled back in school, she opened her own massage therapy clinic in the historic building.

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a massage, and that’s almost the same thing

The client fills out a health intake form, so Rosfjord can find out any contraindications for massage, or what she calls “local contraindications.”

“If someone has varicose veins on their legs, or something like that, I can avoid or adjust for that area, so we don’t exacerbate a condition,”?Rosfjord said.

As a licensed massage therapist, Rosfjord considers information about the client’s physical condition, medical history, lifestyle, stress, medications and areas of physical pain that could affect the massage therapy outcome.

The client is also able to indicate if they need a light touch or wish for full-on, deep tissue massage.

Rosfjord leads the client into the massage room, which is dimly lit, and says, “Go ahead and undress to your comfort level.”?

Once that’s done, the client goes face down on a cushioned, heated massage table, and pulls up the cover.

During the massage, the client is draped at all times, except for the part the therapist is working on.

Rosfjord played unobtrusive, soft, meditational music in the room for a 30 minute massage.

Rosfjord combines massage techniques, including gliding, direct pressure, pumping, friction, vibration, compression, and stretching.

A common fear in getting a massage is, “what if I’m embarrassed about my body?”?

Rosfjord said, “Remember massage therapists are professionals who are sensitive to possible client issues with touch, and will not judge your body weight, amount of hair, skin conditions, scars, disabilities, medical conditions or personal history of trauma.”

A tranquil experience, through caring hands

At the end of the massage, the therapist will leave the room so the client can dress in private. It’s advised to wait a few minutes on the table, especially if you feel light headed.

The therapist will offer a glass of water. It is a good idea to drink some water to help the body flush waste products.

If possible, allow some quiet time after the massage.

How one feels after the massage will vary based on the style of massage used, the length of the session, and the demands you place on the body afterward. Feelings range from being relaxed, renewed and centered, to invigorated, excited or experiencing a rush of clarity or new energy and insight, to recognizing one’s true level of fatigue, and wanting only to rest.

Clinical types of massage may leave the body free from chronic tightness or acute pain patterns, but may replace it with a mild soreness from the pressure applied. After this type of massage, it may be adviseable to rest the area before jumping back into the activity that produced the soreness.

Come in stressed, leave revitalized

The benefits of massage tend to be cumulative, so typically, the client begins feeling better with additional massages.

Rosfjord said massage therapy is indicated for “almost anyone.”?

Exceptions include people with certain medical conditions, which is why the initial medical intake sheet is important, Rosfjord said.

Look good, feel better, live longer

We all know what a restful night’s sleep feels like compared with one that is restless:?sleep supports physical, emotional and mental functioning.

Studies have indicated sleep disturbance is associated with obesity, depression, cardiovascular risk factors, and neurological disorders.

Can massage therapy increase a person’s ability to fall, and stay asleep, on a regular basis??

So far, research indicates the potential for massage therapy to benefit sleep, a benefit especially related to massage therapy’s ability to reduce stress and effect the relaxation response-outcomes that have been studied more than massage and sleep have been.

The effect of stress on sleep has been investigated, with researchers having looked at insomnia impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder, for example.

Various studies seem to agree that massage reduces levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, which interferes with deep sleep.

Zen Wellness Massage Therapy &?Naturals is by appointment at (515) 230-5320.