According to Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, the effects of touch are far-reaching.

Massage relieves low-back pain, eases the birth process for expectant mothers, and improves immunity and circulation. People who receive regular massage treatments tout its ability to decrease depression and anxiety as well as alleviate migraines and improve sleep overall.

Sandy Knapp, owner of Purple Pear Body Therapy in Battle Ground, shared that most insurance companies can be billed for massage treatments. Additionally, sessions may be covered under patients’ flexible spending plans. This is further proof that the medical field is embracing the many benefits attributed to massage and can make a once thought of extravagance more economical for a lot of people.

With the holiday season upon us, massage could be a wonderful gift to give or to receive.

Purple Pear Body Therapy offers a menu of specialty massages such as Ashiatsu bar therapy, hot stone and deep tissue. For women who are expecting, pregnancy massage is performed using a special table that accommodates baby so the client can lay on her tummy and relax. For people who’d rather be clothed during a massage, Thai massage may be just the thing. The traditionalist may prefer to know that a simple, straightforward, pampering relaxation massage is available in time increments of 30, 60 or 90 minutes.

Couples can be treated to a massage in the same room, which Knapp finds to be a great way to introduce men, in particular, to the stress-relieving benefits of massage.

“I think that a lot of them need prodding, but after the first time, they come back,” said Knapp, speaking of their male patients.

Foot massages, reflexology, and pedicures are affordable options for first-timers to dip their feet, so to speak, into the wonderful world of touch therapy. In fact, there’s even a Sip and Soak where a client can come in during business hours to simply soak their feet in the jetted foot spa while sipping a cup of hot tea, no appointment necessary.

Rounding out the 8-person staff is Elizabeth Henderson, a licensed esthetician, who offers a variety of facial treatments and waxings. Henderson uses Livia Pure Skin Care, which is proud to be organic and animal-friendly. Microdermabrasion will soon be added to her list of services.

Knapp is a hands-on owner. Not only does she perform the pedicures and foot massages offered but she also makes the flax bags, lip glosses, lotions and bath balms that are sold at Purple Pear. Other gift items include goat milk soap, hand-made by Battle Ground resident Jennifer Green and essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs out of Eugene, OR. These therapeutic-grade oils are used by the licensed massage practitioners, as well.

A couple other gift ideas available at Purple Pear include drawings by Jan Hanke of Gresham and pottery thrown by Ellen Bowler of Portland.

With all the options available, a person could create a custom spa day beginning with a relaxing facial, taking some time out for a cup of tea, allowing all the stresses of the holidays to melt away on the massage table and finishing with a pampering pedicure treatment complete with a warmed flax bag draped around one’s shoulders, enveloping clients in the sanctuary that is Purple Pear.

If massage sounds like the perfect gift idea this holiday season, the Purple Pear offers certificates of all values that can be purchased online and then printed out or e-mailed to a lucky recipient.

“You can do it at 3 o’clock in the morning which is great for people out of town,” Knapp said.

Purple Pear Body Therapy is located at 113 S. Parkway Ave, Battle Ground. They can be reached at (360) 687-1781 or www.purplepearbody.com. Hours of operation are Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., closed Sundays.

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