In her more than 20 years as a certified massage therapist at Urban Oasis, Sallie Mowles has seen massage become mainstream. She emphasizes that “People have found [the benefit] of taking care of themselves in a preventative way, keeping their minds calm and their bodies relaxed.”
Though she studied art and fashion and worked in retailing and advertising sales, Sallie always enjoyed giving massages to friends and family members. In the early 1990s, she decided to enroll in a year-long massage certification program at the Chicago School of Massage Therapy. After graduation, the school’s owner recommended her to Urban Oasis owner Peter Rubnitz for her first job in massage and she’s been there ever since!
If you’re new to massage, Sallie recommends starting out with a Swedish massage. If you’d like to focus more on specific muscles, ask about Deep Tissue massage.
Sallie is certified in prenatal massage, a specialty at Urban Oasis, where prenatal massage tables allow pregnant women to lie face-down with their stomachs supported. “Once women experience it, they love it,” she says. “It helps with aches and pains and all the changes her body is going through.” Sallie recommends massage for women right through the ninth month of pregnancy. “That’s the time many women need it the most”.
While massage frequency varies depending on what clients can afford, Sallie recommends getting a massage at least once a quarter, when the seasons change. “Once a month is ideal, and very doable for the majority of people,” she says. During the recession after 2008, she notes, people still came in for massages. “It’s so beneficial, clients realized they’d rather get a massage than go out to dinner. They made it a priority rather than skimping on taking care of themselves.”
Beyond the physical aspects, Sallie says massage provides many mental and emotional benefits. “For that hour on the table, [you] don’t have to worry about your outside life.” To ensure you keep the positive results going, she suggests making a return appointment right after your massage, just like you do for a dental cleaning. After all, once you experience the benefits, you’ll realize massage is just as essential to your health as taking care of your teeth.