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SaLT of the Earth Massage Takes on Pain

By Marina I. Jokic

Located in Albuquerque, SaLT of the Earth Massage seeks to provide people with an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Through therapeutic massage, owner Shawna Tucker brings restorative healing and lasting wellness. Tucker is fascinated by the healing power of touch, but also by the impact massage can have on the mental wellbeing of a person.

The core wellness services at SaLT of the Earth fall into six areas: therapeutic and wellness, pregnancy, postpartum and natural induction, oncology, hot stones, pediatric, and infant massage. Each category targets specific areas of the body and can be tailored closely to the unique needs of any individual. Whether you are an expecting mother or suffer from arthritis, you will be able to find a dose of relief at SaLT of the Earth Massage.

Like most people, Tucker didn't always know her calling in life. Before finishing her studies and licensure in massage, she had a long career in higher education administration, healthcare support, and other community associations while raising her family. Massage therapy offered her the ability to impact people's lives with more immediacy and empathy. She was also attracted by the ability to meet with people from all walks of life, and some who've never experienced the healing powers of massage.

"[I use my] intuitive nurturing touch and spirit to make [the] massage sessions healing, restorative, and therapeutic," she said.

Among her areas of expertise, her work with pregnant women and new mothers as well as cancer patients fulfills her highest ambitions as a therapist. The opportunity to alleviate tension and stress while allowing people to go about their daily lives unobstructed by chronic pain is a gift that Tucker takes very seriously.

In addition to the core services at SaLT of the Earth, Tucker also offers chair massages and healing touch therapy through the UNM-Arts and Medicine Program. This program is part and parcel of a community-based endeavor to raise awareness in the fields of art, health and wellness, and medicine. For Tucker, physical and mental health go hand in hand, indelible parts of a complex yet fragile system.

Shawna Tucker

In addition to the myriad health benefits of massage, Tucker teaches parents how to perform infant massage on babies from four-weeks- to one-year-old. Studies have shown that premature or low-birth-weight infants who received daily massages showed greater weight gain and experienced shorter hospital stays in comparison to control groups who did not receive daily massages.

Certified in infant and pediatric massage therapy, Tucker helps children improve their sleep, reduce stress, improve concentration, and decrease anxiety and aggression among others. It's not commonly known that children too need massage, but Tucker intends to overturn that perception. In fact, often time the benefits of regular massage for kids can be measurable and lasting.

"Soothing techniques are taught to the parents to quiet common discomforts, promote restful sleep for the infant, and increase bonding" Tucker said. "From a medical perspective, massage can aid in [reducing] weight gain, support[ing the] immune function, enhanc[ing] neurological functioning, improve[ing] digestion, and decreas[ing] stress hormones."

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