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June 5, 2012 > Real Men Get Massages

Real Men Get Massages

Washington Wellness Center Offers Father's Day Special

Massages aren't just for spa day, they are also for real men who work hard and want to relax. Whether you sit at a desk or lift heavy objects, a good massage can make stiff muscles feel so much better. This Father's Day, treat yourself or a special man in your life to a massage at the Washington Wellness Center.

"A lot of men don't think of pampering themselves with something like a massage," said Laura Constantine, clinical coordinator at the Washington Women's Center. "A massage is more than just an indulgence. It offers a number of health benefits."

In addition to feeling absolutely fantastic, massage can calm the nervous system and reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help to improve blood circulation, stimulate the lymphatic system, which aids the immune system, and prevent and relieve muscle cramps and spasms.

Regular massage can help to prevent sports injuries and improve flexibility for better athletic performance. It also triggers the release of endorphins, which help with pain. So if you experience back pain or a stiff neck, massage can help in a lot of ways.

"So many men sit in front of a computer all day, which can really take a toll on your neck and back," Constantine stated. "Massage can help you feel better after a long day at the office. Research also indicates that regular massage can help to lower blood pressure."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in three adults have high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.

"If you have a stressful job or you are a busy dad, massage is a very enjoyable way to do something for your health," she added. A 2010 study from Sweden showed that even hand and foot massage can significantly lower your heart rate, cortisol level, and insulin level, which lowers stress.

Relieving Pain and Stiffness

Massage involves kneading, pressure, and fluid strokes on different areas of the body. It works on the soft tissues, relieving pain and stiffness in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

A number of massages are offered at the Washington Wellness Center, including Swedish massage, which uses long, fluid strokes and deep, circular motions to reduce tension, improve circulation, and relieve muscle tension.

The sports massage is great after a workout. It is similar to the Swedish massage but is tailored for men who work out frequently or are involved in sports. It helps improve flexibility, and prevent or treat injuries.

Deep tissue massage works deep into the muscle to help ease and release muscular tension. It uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of the muscles and connective tissue.

Therapeutic massage integrates neuromuscular therapy and reflexology with Swedish strokes to help relax and restore balance to the body.

The hot stone massage helps the muscles relax, relieve pain, and improve circulation. Water-heated, smooth flat stones are placed in key areas like the neck and spine.

If you stand on your feet all day, the foot massage may be for you. The foot reflexology is a gentle massage of the foot that helps to relieve tension.

The Father's Day special is a 50-minute massage of your choice for $45 (regularly $70). Massages are offered by appointment at the Washington Wellness Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For your convenience, the Washington Wellness Center is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Washington Wellness Center is located at 2500 Mowry Avenue, Suite 150 (Washington West). To schedule a massage or learn more about the Father's Day special, call (510) 608-1301.

To learn about other wellness programs at Washington Hospital, visit

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