General Health · Student Life

Massage away the Madness

As college students, the combination of midterms, partying, and hauling heavy backpacks throughout campus are just few of the many factors that tighten our backs and shoulders. Massage therapy can help reduce pain and ease tension by manipulating muscle tissue to release toxins and corporal discomfort.

According to Emily Haberek, massage therapist in Syracuse, NY, getting a massage is a holistic, mind, body, and soul activity that by no means require you to have a physical ailment to make it worth your while.

You must note however, getting a massage is not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. There are various forms of massage therapy, Swedish, deep tissue, sports and trigger point, being the most popular.

Swedish Massage is a general massage that typically comes to mind when thinking about a rubdown. Its purpose is to relax the body and remove toxins.

Deep Tissue Massage incorporates strong slow strokes to reach the deepest layer of the muscle, feeling more forceful than Swedish.

Trigger Point Massage is similar to a deep tissue, where deep motion pressure is applied to specific areas in need of extra attention. According to UMM health, “pressure is applied to trigger points, which are tender areas where the muscles have been damaged, to alleviate muscle spasms and pain.”

Sports Massage comes in two forms. Event sports massages comprise of crisp flow movements to warm up the muscle. Athletes are often rubbed down before a sports event to prep the muscle, and are also rubbed down after with quick motions to increase circulation and prevent tightness in the upcoming days. The second form of a sports massage is similar to trigger point, with focus on areas that may build up as a result of physical activity.

After a massage, it is crucial to drink water to help maintain muscle flow. While the general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water, Haberek warns that you don’t want to overwhelm your body with excess water, and instead suggests drinking approximately 4—6 16 oz. glasses of water.

Haberek also advises that people react differently to massages since muscle composition is unique to the individual. “Some people feel really sore after a massage,” says Haberek. Post-massage soreness is the result of tapping into deep muscle layers. In that case, it might take two—three days for your body to balance back to its comfortable state. “Others don’t feel anything when they first walk out of a massage,” says Haberek. “Instead, they feel fabulous the next day because it takes a little longer for their body to react.”

If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, a heart condition, or any blood-related medical condition, it is crucial that you speak to your doctor and notify your massage therapist prior to any form of massage therapy.

While a massage is certainly a luxury, one that college students often can’t afford, if you feel like splurging and recentering, try one of these spas near Syracuse University’s campus:

The Spa at 500 – The Art of Massage ($$)

500 W. Onondaga St., Syracuse, NY


Armory Massage ($ – Special Student Discount w/ Valid ID)

327 W. Fayette St., Suite 100 (Mill Pond Landing), Syracuse, NY


SpaZend ($$$)

719 East Genesee St., Syracuse, NY


By Arielle Frankllin