By: Kayla Calhoun (Guest Writer/Intern from Towson University, Class of ’19)
Let me set the stage for you. I walk down to the first floor of the Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM) building, which is a part of the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine, and down the hallway off to the right of the main entrance until I make it to a sign that says, “Well Room”. The room is the size of a normal office, however, instead of a set of desk and chairs, there is a seated massage chair in the middle and yoga mats laid against the opposite wall. There is an aromatherapy diffuser emitting a soothing lavender scent, soft music coming from a speaker resting on a cabinet, and dim light, gently illuminates the area. I am standing in the doorway of CIM’s brand-new Well Room.
Massage Session Impressions
The first thing to notice when you walk into one of these sessions is that the massage therapist is very welcoming and accommodating. As soon as I walked through the door, she greeted me and introduced herself, which instantly made me feel more comfortable. Even during the massage, Cassondra Smith, LMT, BCTMB, a licensed massage therapist, was open to talking to me and answering all my questions, of which I had plenty. Whenever she would massage a part of my back or stretch out one of my arms she would check in to make sure that I was comfortable and that what she was doing wasn’t hurting.
Coming out of the session was like walking on clouds. I felt more relaxed than when I went in and would have more than willingly gone back for another massage. Overall, it was a nice way to relax and wind down at the end of my day. I would truly recommend giving this a try if you have never had a massage or if you just want a way to feel relaxed during a busy day.
Q&A Session w/Cassondra Smith, LMT, BCTMB
Cassondra Smith is a licensed massage therapist who has been practicing for 15 years. In addition to learning about Swedish, Deep Tissue and Myofascial Release massage in school, she has also been trained in sports massage, prenatal massage and many other techniques. She worked at a day spa for 13 years, as a freelance massage therapist, and was faculty at a massage school for a number of years. Now, she does both home and office visits and is a “traveling” massage therapist.
Right after my massage session, I was able to sit down with her and ask her about the benefits of massage and why she enjoys her job. Check it out:
What is your favorite thing about giving massages?
Being able to make people feel good and happy after they have received the service.
What is your favorite thing about seeing a client after giving them a massage?
How relaxed and appreciative they are; they just feel better. I never had anyone be angry or upset. It’s nice to make people feel good and happy, and it’s healthful.
Why do you think getting massages is beneficial?
It increases blood flow, releases serotonin (a feel-good hormone), and relaxes your muscles. With the fast pace of everyone’s lives, it’s nice to take just a little bit of time, decompress and just let go so that you can move on with your day.
Is the aromatherapy and the mood-lighting a part of relaxation?
Yes. Lavender is very calming and relaxing, so just inhaling it while you’re getting a massage adds to the relaxation. When you do corporate massage, you want to come into a space that is nice and dimly lit, so you can take that time to relax and feel like you are stepping out of that work area.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I think that this is a great space. Christine has done a great job. I would love to see this program flourish and grow. I think that the more we can offer these services, the more people we will be able to see and help.
What I think is great about the University of Maryland promoting the Well Room here is that they are taking care of their employees. Offering massages is going to improve their employees’ productivity, and their employees are going to feel more appreciated, and it’s going to make them feel better.
Launch Your Life
These massage sessions are offered through a partnership between CIM and University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Launch Your Life Program. This voluntary program provides the faculty and staff of the University of Maryland, Baltimore with events dedicated to improving their health and wellness while at work. Along with massage sessions twice a month, this program also offers yoga, financial wellness, guided meditation, tai chi, and creative sessions for their members to take part in. This year, UMB’s Launch Your Life Program won the Silver award for the Healthiest Maryland Business for offering many health and wellness programs. For more information: http://www.umaryland.edu/launch-your-life/
About the Author: Kayla Calhoun
Kayla Calhoun is a senior at Towson University and is majoring in Mass Communication (track in Journalism) with a minor in Creative Writing. When she finishes school, she hopes to either write for a newspaper/online website or become a book publisher/editor. In her free time, she enjoys watching Netflix, reading and playing online videogames. Her favorite author at the moment is Sarah J. Maas and has been following her books since she was in tenth grade and her favorite movie is Titanic.
Be in the know
Support our programs
Learn with us!
We have great classes for health professionals throughout the year.
Learn more here.
Yoga Teacher TrainingLearn more here.
From the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School: