OPINION: WKU’s best-kept secret is its massages


WKU’s Preston Center is home to the offered student massages.

Christina West, Commentary writer

As a member of the S-shaped spine club, I am always looking for ways to reduce tension in my back and shoulders. I went to get a massage over the summer, tentatively so, as I had never gotten a massage before other than those questionable chairs in the mall. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. 

The Health and Fitness lab claims to have the most competitive rates in town, which seems to be true based on the rates listed online for other services in Bowling Green. 

There are several massage options, including Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone and prenatal. Of course, Covid-19 precautions have been implemented for the safety of all parties involved.  

I got the Swedish massage, which has a student rate of $25 for 30 minutes. The massage was extremely relaxing, but I wish I had paid $10 more for 60 minutes; it went by much faster than I anticipated. 

The room has a soothing atmosphere with some white noise and a comfy place to lie down. Whether you want to relax quietly throughout or engage in casual conversation with the massage therapist is entirely up to you. I ended up chatting with my massage therapist about our majors and all kinds of random things, much like getting a haircut and conversing with the stylist. 

As I was getting the massage, I could feel the soreness dissolving out of my back, neck and shoulders. I was able to tell the massage therapist spots that were particularly sore on my upper back so that she could focus on them. This made the experience feel very personalized to my needs. I wanted to go straight to sleep afterward, but instead, I went about my day feeling lighter and more at peace with the universe. 

According to the WKU website, Swedish Massage involves a “collection of techniques designed primarily to relax muscles, by applying pressure to them against deeper muscle and bones, and rubbing the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart.” 

Another great option is a deep tissue massage that provides direct pressure to relax muscles and help relieve chronic muscle tension. 

While much of the research on physical benefits has been inconclusive, there is some evidence of improved blood and lymph circulation and short term pain relief. 

One study found that massage application on the lumbar region decreased the participants’ fatigue level compared to when at rest, suggesting that massage therapy helped the subjects overcome the feelings of fatigue. 

Another study reports that several weeks of massage treatments yielded short-term reductions in neck dysfunction and pain. Along with de-stressing, massages may be viable options for physical upkeep as well.  

On the day of my appointment, the massage therapist described massages as one of the best-kept secrets of WKU. I was a bit saddened by this statement, though, because I think more people should know about these services and try them out at least once. 

You deserve to have some time for yourself to unwind and destress. We are in the final countdown of the fall semester, arguably the most stressful time of the year, and it is perfectly acceptable to take a break to tend to your physical and mental health.

Commentary writer Christina West can be reached at [email protected].