Boxing champion Teresa Perozzi knows all about keeping the ‘Body In Balance’.
As a sportswoman used to the rigours of physical competition this gives her a valuable insight into sports injuries.
Ms Perozzi, a certified massage therapist, specializes in deep tissue and sports therapy at her clinic in Hamilton.
The World Boxing Association (WBA) and NABC (North American Boxing Council) world middleweight champion qualified in massage therapy in Los Angeles 10 years ago.
At Body In Balance, located in the International Building, she treats all kinds of aches and pains and injuries, helping teenagers up to seniors in their eighties.
Ms Perozzi said: “Most people come to me for stress, tension and injury-related problems.
“The main thing I deal with is probably neck and back tension, but I also treat a lot of tennis and golfer’s elbow, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. I also deal with a lot of sciatic and hip problems.”
She also gives pregnancy massage and is a trained doula, able to give non-medical support to women in labour.
Ms Perozzi said massage is a powerful treatment for injuries as it gets the blood flowing, thus helping to speed up recovery.
“You are increasing the flexibility, which helps the blood flow. For any healing in the body, you need blood flow.
“Massage is also good for stress levels and keeps you relaxed. A lot of people also get ‘knots’ in their shoulders to it helps to break those up, so they don’t get so inflamed.”
Massage therapy therefore does not just bring pain relief. It can boost your immune system, reduce anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure and heart rate, help to relieve migraines, and can also alleviate the side effects of cancer.
By manipulating tissues and muscles through pressure, this enhances function, aids the healing process and promotes relaxation and well-being.
At Body In Balance, a 30-minute massage costs $60 and an hour’s treatment is $105. People can usually claim back some or all of the costs for massage therapy from their health insurance provider.
Ms Perozzi said: “If someone comes for an hour I do an all-over massage, ending up with the head. I try to work with their pain threshold but you have to get ‘in there’, to give that muscle some release.
“If someone has neck strain I will work both sides to even it out, but would spend most of the time working on that muscle area.
“Sometimes you also need to stretch the muscle rather than ‘digging in’, because sometimes a muscle just needs to be released. Once you get that release, people feel better.
“Sometimes the problem can come back, so it can take time. You just have to train the muscle to be in a relaxed state. Some people walk around for weeks in pain and spasm before seeking treatment.
“Not everything can be fixed by massage as there are times when you need to look deeper into the issue and I can tell quite quickly if it needs more medical attention.
“I really enjoy treating plantar fasciitis as I can get results quite quickly with that. People have been quite surprised and have even cancelled their surgery as a result.
“But for most of the people I see, it’s usually neck and shoulder problems, usually from bad posture from sitting at a desk all day.
“I really enjoy my work. Just being able to help people and seeing how quick the results are to help them with their pain, that’s rewarding.”
Ms Perozzi also uses a stone heater in some of her therapy.
“I like a lot of heat, I’m not a fan of cold, so I use a lot of heat therapy. I use the stones instead of my thumbs at times. I feel the heat helps to penetrate the muscle so that it relaxes more.”