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The Pioneer

Did you know CSUEB offers massage therapy?

Photo courtesy of Hotel Costa Calero - Talaso & Spa via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Hotel Costa Calero - Talaso & Spa via Flickr

Jocelyn Jensen,
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Finals week perfect time to destress

I filled out a questionnaire, checked in for my Nov. 6 massage appointment, entered a brightly-lit room and disrobed. I put on the open back gown and laid under a sheet on top of a massage table. As instrumental music played in the background, certified massage therapist, Trung Le, entered the room and dimmed the lights to create a comfortable atmosphere. I entered into a state of pure bliss as my stiff shoulders and back relaxed.

Le and two other massage therapists offer massage therapy to Cal State East Bay students in an effort to provide relaxation and wellness. The massages cost $15 for 30 minutes. To promote the service, Le passed out cards at the Nov. 2 farmer’s market on campus. He’s massaged students at both the Hayward and Concord campuses for more than 10 years.

“Massage therapy at CSUEB is often overlooked or forgotten because it is not heavily advertised,” Le said. “There are students who have been attending here for two years before they find us, and then it’s too late, they graduate.”

Massage can improve relaxation, the reduction in stress and release of stress chemicals in the body can help lower blood pressure. “All major blood vessels are connected to these sheathes of fascia, so if the fascia is properly aligned and healthy, your circulatory and nervous systems will benefit,” according to the National Institute of Massotherapy in Cleveland.

Heavy backpacks, hour-long commutes and stress from studying for finals may be reasons for getting massage therapy, according to Stephanie Jimenez, an assistant coordinator at the Recreation and Wellness Center on Hayward campus. Besides fitness, the RAW center has a whole section devoted to relaxation, nutrition and selfcare.

“If you were to get a massage off campus, it would be around $50 for a thirty minute massage,” said Jimenez. “It’s pretty pricey, but students can utilize this resource on campus to de-stress.”

Massage can also greatly help body circulation and relieve tension and stress, which are known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, as Le mentioned during our session. Increased blood flow leads to good health because blood carries oxygen and important nutrients. Massaging sore muscles promotes optimum blood flow.

Student Health Services offers students relaxation at RAW Wellness. There’s also a Relaxation Room with bean bags and a quiet sound machine in a dim-lighted room. A student snored as the hum of white noise calmed his stress, or he was simply napping as I peeked in during Dead Week, which is when final examinations take place. The quiet room is a relaxing treatment prior to or after a commute.

“The week prior to midterms and finals is our busiest time,” said Janice Bulayo, wellness services coordinator. “We have no appointments available during the week before finals, and only a few openings during finals week.” Massages are not offered after finals, but resume the following school term.

Thirty minute appointments are available to CSUEB students by calling 510-885-3735, making in-person appointments at RAW Wellness with an educator or at Student Health Services. Rescheduling and cancellations must be made at least 24 hours in advance or the full cost of the appointment is charged.

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