Questions about the company.
Q: Do I need to be an athlete to receive services?
A: Absolutely not. We serve a wide variety of clients of all ages and from all walks of life. We simply cater to the athletic minded and hardworking individuals.
Q: Can I receive a Swedish relaxation massage?
A: Of course. While all our therapists are expertly trained in additional modalities, we were all “brought up” on the Swedish relaxation massage. We all enjoy the day to day challenge of figuring out how to help individuals on a deeper level and, “I just want to relax!”, can be just as important!
Q: Do I have to schedule online? I don’t see a time that works for me.
A: No. We provide our online scheduler as a convenience. It randomly picks start times based on other booked sessions and practitioner availability four hours or later in advance. You are welcome to call us anytime at 269-373-1000. Sometimes we can find a time that works better for you than what the scheduler is suggesting.
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: Kalamazoo Athletic Wellness was opened in 2013 by current owner Nick Garman and his former partner Amy Bradley. Amy left the company in 2015 to pursue other professional opportunities, and she still comes by sometimes to visit. The soul of KAW extends back before this however, to the days of the Kalamazoo Center for the Healing Arts and SolSpring.
Q: What happened to KCHA and SolSpring?
A: In 2010 the owner of KCHA sold the professional spa to the spa manager at the time. In 2013 SolSpring and KCHA separated and left their KL Ave. location. SolSpring continued to provide massage at the Bronson Athletic Club and operate the Workplace Wellness and Hospice programs out of a corporate office. KCHA moved to its current location at 5360 Holiday Terrace #22, Kalamazoo, MI 49009, and still provides the highest quality training for Massage Therapy in the state of Michigan as the Institute for Massage Education. In 2016 SolSpring and Kalamazoo Athletic Wellness merged. Our owner, Nick Garman, worked for 7 years with KCHA/SolSpring before branching out and creating KAW after the closure of the KL location. When the previous owner of SolSpring decided she wanted to retire, she reached out to Nick, as a trusted individual, to take over. We are excited to continue the long tradition of providing the highest quality massage therapy in the Kalamazoo area.
Q: Do you still accept SolSpring Gift Cards and Coupons?
A: As of January 1st 2017 we do not. You can however bring in your old SolSpring Gift Certificate or coupon worth $20 or more and use it as a coupon for $20 off a massage!! (we will not accept expired coupons/GC)
Q: Do you accept Bronson Wellness dollars?
A: It depends. We cannot accept them at our Sports Massage Center located on Turwill Ln. However, we do provide Workplace Wellness Chair Massage at several Bronson offices, and there we can give you a reimbursement form. If you are looking to save money on massage versus the high rates at the BAC, we recommend using them on chiropractic treatment or classes at the BAC and seeing us for your massage needs. You can save up to $21 per massage!!
Q: Do you provide on-site massage to businesses or sports clubs outside the Kalamazoo area?
A: Sure! Give us a call or shoot us an email. In some cases, we will charge a small mileage fee, but we have provided massage to the Allegan, Gun Lake, Mattawan/Paw Paw, Schoolcraft, South Haven and Battle Creek areas.
Q: Do you provide in-home table massage?
A: We work with Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan to provide massage to those in hospice care. If you are curious about getting massage provided to your hospice patient talk to their nurse. If you are looking to receive massage in your home outside of a hospice setting, please contact us and we will see what we can do! The cost for in-home massage are typically higher and include a mileage fee. (Therapists reserve the right to refuse service to any individual.)
Q: Do I have to be a business to get Workplace Wellness Chair Massage?
A: We frequently provide chair massage for one-time parties and events. We only ask that you provide us with a minimum of 2 hours of time.
Q: Do you accept insurance for massage?
A: What we do at Kalamazoo Athletic Wellness is provide you with a receipt that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Often if you are covered you will see your money return in about a month. This can be a good reminder that it is time for another massage! More and more insurance providers do cover massage as a benefit and you should call you provider directly to see if you are covered.
Questions about Massage Therapy
Q: How or why does massage work?
A: Massage is a modality of health care that has been used for thousands of years. It’s an instinct for us to rub an area that hurts to create relief, but very few of us really know why it works. Here are just a few of the effects of massage therapy:
- Pain relief - Studies have shown that massage can reduce pain in the soft tissue from stressors, such as overtraining or poor posture. This is done by distracting the nervous systems pain impulse cycle with touch, improving micro-circulation, and reducing inflammation in the tissue.
- Increasing flexibility and range of motion - Massage is also frequently proved to increase range of motion and softness in tissue. This change can last for several days or longer with frequent use. This relieves the pull on the connecting points for muscles, tendons, and ligaments, thus reducing pain and improving mobility.
- Treating musculoskeletal dysfunction - Often when the muscles and other tissues get dehydrated and become tough and ridged it can form knots or adhesions in very specific areas. This can also be caused by overactive nerve bundles, overuse, overtraining, or poor posture. If left untreated these knots can go from hard “Hypertonic” tissue, to painful tender points. If left further untreated they can even become what are called Trigger Points, causing pain in a wide spread area or referred pain into the limbs. Sometimes Carpel Tunnel or Migraine like symptoms can be the result of these trigger points. Trigger Points can often be treated in as little as 5 minutes once located, but frequently come back if the underlying issues are not corrected.
- Correcting posture - We are all guilty in some way of poor posture, whether in general or doing specific activities of our daily life. One thing massage can do is to create relief in the muscles that have become shortened from chronic overuse and poor posture. From there the weakened over stretched muscles associated with the poor posture can be strengthened to help start to correct the posture. For example, people who sit at a desk all day may find that they start to develop a hunched posture with their shoulders rounded forward. We can provide massage to open the chest, unlock the shoulder blades, and reduce the tension into the neck. From there they can work on strengthening the upper back and shoulders. With time, this will help pull their shoulders back into a position that is much more natural for their body.
- Improved body awareness - The concept of knowing where parts of your body are in space in relation to things around you and the rest of your body is called proprioception. Sometime when we have had a poor posture or a limp for a long time, it becomes “normal” to our brains. Breaking that pattern with conscious awareness of the changes occurring with massage can help to reboot those poor patterns and create a new awareness of when things start to get out of whack, and what feels better in our bodies. Allowing you to get ahead of dysfunction in the tissues and prevent further problems.
- Improved mental focus - Several studies done in the workplace with massage have shown improvements in focus and productivity. This can also transfer into the world of sports. Any athlete will tell you that 90% of any sport is mental. If frequent massage can improve focus in the workplace, that may lead to quicker reaction times and better object tracking in sports.
- Reducing stress - This is kind of a blanket term in the case of massage. We are reducing stress in the tissue and in the mind. A good massage can make you forget about that deadline or upcoming performance for a while and bring you back to focus with fresh eyes.
- Enhancing moods - Massage feels good! It literally triggers the body to produce more mood enhancing hormones. So, it makes you happy!
- Improved quality of life - Imagine how much better life would be with regular massage! Less stress, less pain, more focus, and improved moods. Why not get regular massage!?
Q: Are there any side effects to massage?
As with any health care option there are some side effects. The most frequently reported side effect is soreness after the massage, sometimes into the next day. This can often be described like the soreness you get after a good workout. It is usually mild, but some people can get it worse than others. It usually depends on the massage modality used. But this is often followed by several days of relief! Other side effects may include: short period of dizziness or fogginess immediately after the massage, an acute awareness of pain or tension in areas of the body not treated during the massage, flushing or mild bruising in the tissue, and in very rare cases, an increase in pain of the dysfunctional area.
During the massage we use oils and/or creams to create better glide on the skin, in some cases these products can contain allergens like soy, nuts, or fragrances. Please let your therapists know ahead of time if you have any allergies or sensitivities.
Q: How often should I receive massage?
A: If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me this, I’d have a 463 and a half nickels. This all depends on your activity level and whether you are treating an acute condition or are just looking for preventative maintenance.
- For the average individual who works a mild to moderately physically demanding or stressful job, we would recommend once per month to every 6 weeks.
- For people who are active, hardworking, high stressed, off-season athletes, looking for treatment of mild mental emotional or physical dysfunction, we would recommend every 2 weeks.
- For people who are extremely active, over worked, in-season or over-training athletes, actively treating acute mental emotional or physical dysfunctions, or recovering from injury, we would recommend once per week.
Q: How will I know what Massage Therapist will work for me?
A: We understand that everyone has approaches that do and don’t work for them. “Every body” is different, we like to say. Visit our About Us section of the website. It provides detailed information about our specialists’ background and specialties. If you are still not sure, try someone out. We are all flexible in our approach, so if what you are receiving is not what you are looking for, say something! None of us will be offended; we are here to serve YOU!
Q: Do I have to schedule a consult for my first massage?
A: Consults are optional. We offer these for the individuals who are looking for more out of their preventative wellness, or are looking to track change in their bodies. If you just want a massage, select the “First Massage Visit” option.
Please, if you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We love to talk about what we do and we want to be sure you are fully prepared to make an educated decision about including Kalamazoo Athletic Wellness into your health care or training plan.