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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at OK State chapter.

Classes are back in session and the assignments are already stacking up for me which means my stress levels have been climbing.  I, like many people, tend to carry my stress in my shoulders and neck.  On top of that, I’ve had 2 shoulder surgeries in the past year and a half and deal with chronic migraines.  My migraines have been out of control recently and none of the prescriptions that usually help have worked and my shoulder has been bothering me.  I’m usually a fan of foam rolling or using tennis balls to release pressure around trigger points in my shoulders and neck, but that can only do so much and I decided it was time to see if a massage could help. I’ve had physical therapists and athletic trainers who have massaged sore muscles or injuries, but I had never actually gotten a massage from a massage therapist.

I called the Seretean Wellness Center on Tuesday about scheduling an appointment and they were able to get me in by Thursday.  As a new client, I had to show up to my appointment 15 minutes early to fill out some paperwork over general information like where I’m having pain and if I have any relevant medical conditions.  I opted for the one hour massage which cost $65.  When I have a migraine, though, I would do literally anything or pay literally anything to not be in pain.

During the massage, the massage therapist made some small talk at the beginning and then just let me relax.  He occasionally would just check in to make sure the pressure was okay or that he wasn’t inflicting any pain.  I had decided to get the full body massage and just have him focus on the upper body, but he was always making sure I was comfortable and asking before moving on.  He made sure to ask if I wanted him to work on my hips and glutes or if I wanted him to also do a scalp massage (which,  duh, of course I did). 

Overall, the experience was very relaxing from the minute I stepped in the room.  The massage tables were even heated.  I felt great when I was leaving, my pain levels were down and I wasn’t stressing about my classes.  About an hour later I began to feel my migraine returning, but not quite to the same intensity.  Now, I don’t know if it was because I was so relaxed and haven’t been sleeping well or because of the type of medication I took for my migraine, but I was passed out asleep by 7:30(!!).

Today, I noticed that my shoulder has been doing a lot better. I have a greater range of motion than I’ve had since the surgeries and it hasn’t been achy all day. I do have a little bit of tenderness to the touch (it feels like I have a bruise, but it doesn’t look bruised) along my traps, but nothing that’s crazy. Unfortunately, it didn’t help completely get rid of my migraine, but it did ease some of the pain. I definitely won’t be getting regular massages, but I now know that it is an option that could help me in the future.

Ann is a senior at Oklahoma State University majoring in nutritional sciences. She is also a personal trainer and in her free time likes to relax and watch movies.