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Massage therapists target body, spirit

Massage therapists Liz Hovland and Kelly Baarstad have joined the staff of Brigid's House, located on Highway 71 south. Hovland is a graduate of Riverland Community College. She performs Swedish, prenatal and deep tissue massage and is trained in...

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Massage therapists Liz Hovland and Kelly Baarstad have joined the staff of Brigid's House, located on Highway 71 south.

Hovland is a graduate of Riverland Community College. She performs Swedish, prenatal and deep tissue massage and is trained in infant and Reiki massage.

Reiki, Hovland explained, targets the body's electrical system to balance energies.

"It's a great stress reliever."

Baarstad, a graduate of the Minnesota School of Business for massage therapy, St. Cloud, also employs Swedish and deep tissue massage techniques, as well as offering sports massages and myofascial release therapy.

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Myofascial release therapy is a gentle form of treatment suited to chronic and acute pain conditions, addressing restrictions in connective tissue.

And Baarstad will dish the dirt - mud wraps, that is. A mud body wrap promotes circulation by increasing the supply of oxygen to the skin while removing the toxins, toning and firming skin tissues.

Reflexology on feet is also available, the therapeutic massage corresponding to parts of the body.

Hovland and Baarstad join masseuse Beth Jenkins at Brigid's House.

The massage therapists confer with clients to determine problem areas to be addressed.

Research in massage therapy has been ongoing for more than a century, with numerous benefits cited.

Massage benefits mind and body. Not only relieving stress and aiding relaxation, it fosters peace of mind and promotes a state of mental alertness.

Medical school students at the New Jersey Medical School who were massaged before an exam showed a significant decrease in anxiety and respiratory rates, as well as a notable increase in white blood cells, suggesting a benefit to the immune system.

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Studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found massage beneficial in facilitating recovery for patients who undergo abdominal surgery.

At the University of Miami School of Medicine's Touch Research Institute, researchers found massage is helpful in decreasing blood pressure in people with hypertension, alleviating pain in migraine sufferers and improving alertness and performance in office workers.

An increasing number of research studies show massage reduces heart rate, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion and increases endorphins.

It's an hour of euphoria.

Massage appointments are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Call 732-5347.

For more info, visit the Web site at brigidshouse.com.

jeanr@parkrapidsenterprise.com

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