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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

3280 Russell Road, 2nd Floor Quantico, Va. 22134
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Fitness Center offers massage therapy

By Pfc. Alicia Small | Recruiting Station San Diego | March 07, 2008

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO -- Service members and civilians aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego can indulge in the massage therapy offered at the Fitness Center.

 Sessions cost $45 per hour and are by appointment only from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There are two male and two female massage therapists

 available. Each therapist has more than 700 hours of experience and is also nationally certified.

 There are five types of massages available: Swedish, sports, acupressure, deep tissue and pregnancy.

 The two most common massages requested are the Swedish and the sports massage, according to Dana Vlasaty, massage therapist at the Fitness Center. Swedish massages cover the full body, and are

 designed to relieve tension from head to toe. Sports therapy repairs muscles and prepares them for extreme activity. Most Marines who get this massage do it before and after they run in marathons or take their

 physical fitness tests, said Vlasaty.

 Acupressure, or Zen touch, concentrates on certain areas of the body. It follows a holistic approach: that if a person has pain in a certain area, he is suffering from a blockage of energy, said Vlasaty, a native of

 Killeen, Texas.

 The pregnancy massage is similar to the Swedish massage and is done on women who are in their second and third trimester of pregnancy. This massage helps alleviate the back pain and tension associated

 with pregnancy.

 Deep-tissue massages are slower and more intense than the rest. They concentrate on problem areas mainly in the shoulders and back. Vlasaty said if a customer has a problem with knots, they use this kind of

 massage to slowly work them out.

 Sgt. Paul Daly, watch commander, Provost Marshall Office, injured his shoulder blades and neck in a motorcycle accident last year. Lifting weights would pinch the nerves in those areas, causing him pain.

 Massage therapy has helped reduce that pain.

 "I can complete my workout and go straight in for my massage," said Daly, native of Rockford, Ill. "It’s convenient because it is here on base, and $45 is a lot better price than what I would pay in town."

 The main reasons many people get massages are for recovery from fatigue and from minor aches and pains, but it aids in many more ways, said Vlasaty.

 Massage reduces muscle tension and affects the muscles and other soft tissues throughout the body. It loosens contracted, shortened, and hardened muscles and stimulates weak and flaccid muscles. Chronic

 muscle tension reduces the circulation of the blood and movement of lymph in an area, according to the Web site

 However, massage therapy solves both problems. After each massage, the oxygen capacity of the blood can increase 10 to 15% by indirectly or directly stimulating nerves that supply internal organs. Blood

 vessels of these organs dilate and allow greater blood supply to them.

 Increased mobility and range of motion in joints are more advantages of massage therapy, said Vlasaty. Massages provide a gentle stretching action to both the muscles and connective tissues that surround and

 support the muscles and many other parts of the body, which helps keep these tissues elastic.

 The nervous system is balanced by massage therapy, as it soothes or stimulates it, depending on which effect is needed by the individual at the time of the massage. Skin condition is also enhanced by improving

 the function of the sebaceous and sweat glands, which keep the skin lubricated, clean, and cool.

 Vlasaty also said that massages aid in digestion and intestinal function by increasing the body’s secretions and excretions. It increases the production of gastric juices, saliva, and urine as well as increased

 excretion of nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus, and salt. As a result, the metabolic rate increases.

 Today, many people, as well as large companies and organizations such as the Marine Corps, are reaping the benefits of massage therapy, said Vlasaty. For example, current research shows that people who

 receive massage treatments regularly experience fewer stress-related physical and mental problems. Also, she said many employers have found that offering massage therapy to employees increases productivity

 and morale.

 "I would definitely recommend this service to everyone from the depot," said Daly. "They provide a comfortable environment, work around busy military schedules and are knowledgeable about what they are doing. I

 am so satisfied with my results that I plan on going back every other week."

 Adding massage therapy to the depot’s health promotion program shows the Marine Corps’ commitment to health and wellness for all members here, said Vlasaty. She said massage is a holistic therapy that can

 cause many positive effects on both the body and mind.

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