While massage therapy is relaxing, its benefits go much deeper than just easing the strain of a busy day.
Mika Ough of Mika's Therapeutic Massage in Craig said massage can help with toxin release, circulation, sleep disorders and stress relief.
"That leads to better health all around," she said.
She sees many clients with chronic pain, and the techniques she uses often supplement physical therapy the client is doing.
"Physical therapy is working them extremely hard and we can help work out some of the kinks," Ough said.
Massage therapist Sadie Johnston of Bear River Spa in Steamboat Springs agreed, noting doctors put bones back into place after an injury, but the body needs more healing.
"The tissue that's affected will hold the memory of that injury," she said. "Massage will really help loosen and take the trauma out of that area."
Most patients come in with knee, shoulder and back pain, and are looking for relief. Ough said massage can also be preventative medicine.
"Getting massages regularly helps avoid injury, too," she said. "When you get tight, you're more likely to pull something."
Johnston said she can also work with the immune system to help clients avoid colds and the flu in wintertime.
She said the lymph system is at the surface of the skin and through massage, fewer pathogens will collect there and be moved through the excretory system.
"By moving that along," she said, "you can keep the body healthier."
But not everyone gets a massage for medical reasons. Many are just interested in a soothing treatment to help them relax.
"I do have some (clients) that just like to get away," Ough said.
The Bear River Spa offers salt glows and herb body wraps, which are popular.
"We have a lot of people who come in for a whole spa day," Johnston said. "That's just very relaxing, not specific work."
Both therapists agree area residents appreciate massage work and its benefits.
"Most people are pretty well-educated about massage in this area because we do have a lot of sports enthusiasts who depend on massage to improve their sports performance," Johnston said.
They've seen the business take off in recent years. But clients need to be aware of the therapists' background and expertise.
"A lot of people prefer to be with someone who is either nationally certified or has a certification from a school," Johnston said.
The therapists' years of experience, combined with the techniques they specialize in, can make a significant difference in the success of the treatment and the clients' satisfaction. "You want to find one that fits you best," Ough said. "Really fitting the therapist to their needs really helps their healing process."