By Beth Howard/Around & About editor

If classes are stressing you out and walking all over campus is leaving you tired and tense, the Richmond Telford YMCA may have the answer. The YMCA has just hired two new massage therapists to relieve you. Michelle Kelley and Matt Branstetter are both graduates of the Lexington Healing Arts Academy. The average massage lasts about an hour and usually costs $45, however, Kelly said she is willing to give a $10 discount to all Eastern students and faculty upon their first visit.

Kelly usually performs the basic Swedish massage, ranging from a light tissue massage to deeper treatment, according to the client, and energy healing, which is drawing energy from the universe into your body. Kelly says this is “very powerful physically and spiritually.” Kelly also performs cranial sacral massages used to circulate the flow of cerebra spinal fluid and to work with the plates in the head.

Kelly and Branstetter’s training also includes shiatsu, acupressure, reflexology and many other modalities. The variety in the training allows Kelly and Branstetter to customize a therapeutic massage for each customer. The massages are suited according to the client’s needs.

Fred Krump, program director of the Richmond YMCA, said the difference in massages is the depth of the massage. Some messages may be simply a surface massage or they may focus on a specific area of pain.

“The biggest thing is, it relaxes the muscles,” Krump said. “It improves circulation.”

Krump said many clients combine their massage with the sauna or spa to intensify their treatment.

Clients are advised to drink lots of pure water after their massage in order to recuperate muscles and prevent soreness. Kelly also encourages stretching during her massages.

Kelly said she has noted a positive response about her clients increased well being.

“People seem happier in general when they receive massages regularly,” Kelly said. Kelly recommends once a week.

Krump said the YMCA has offered massage therapy for the past four years and they hope to make it a permanent part of the program.

“People who get involved in massages make it a part of their week. For those people who do it, all I can say is they feel a lot better.”

To set up an appointment or find out more information you can call the Telford YMCA at 623-9356.

If you are interested in becoming a massage therapist you may contact the Lexington Healing Arts Academy.