Loosen up for the new year

Sitting behind computers, slumped over textbooks, lifting desks and books—working and studying at Georgia State isn’t as easy on the body as you may think.

Licensed Massage Therapist, Latoya French has joined the Employee Development and Wellness Services department in its mission to create a healthier and more enjoyable workspace for its employees.

“I tend to tailor my massage to the needs of the client,” said French. “If someone comes in complaining of upper back pain, I like to find out how they use their body. From there I work with the muscles involved in the pain as well as the muscles used for the client’s activity in the hopes of relieving the pain.” 

A muscle in pain will tighten, decreasing blood circulation. Less circulation leads to soreness because of the decreased levels of blood and oxygen. If this happens too often or for too long, the muscle will shorten and won’t have a great range of motion.

Massaging increases circulation and makes it easier for the muscle to move.

French got her start at Georgia State at the Annual Faculty and Staff Health Benefits Fair, hosted by the Employee Development and Wellness Services department. Since then, she has had an independent contract with Georgia State and returns to campus every other Friday.

“She’s wonderful, and a very skilled massage therapist,” said Stacey Brandenburg, the Senior Administrative Coordinator for Georgia State’s Office of Legal Affairs. Brandenburg got help from French in her upper back and shoulders. “She puts you at ease.”

French also helped Paul Murphy of the University Research Services and Administration several times throughout the semester.

“The results were amazing,” Murphy said. “My muscles relaxed, my range of motion improved, and the minor pain I had experienced was gone.”

French said that hearing how her services have improved the lives of others is music to her ears.

“I became a massage therapist to help people,” French said. “Being able to encourage clients to care for themselves and relieve the stresses of daily life makes me feel as if I am making a positive difference in the world.”