Take oxygen with that rubdown

I recently was given a gift certificate for an oxygen massage. Can you tell me anything about these massages? I'd never heard of them.

The oxygen massage is a trendy choice at spas across the country. After all, why should hospital patients and sidelined football players be the only ones with pure oxygen access?


Most oxygen massages involve wearing a mask, so if you're uncomfortable with the idea, this may not be the massage for you. A light flow of oxygen (less than you would receive at a hospital) helps stimulate senses during the treatment.

Compared with standard massages, oxygen massages can be pricey. Stars Esthetics Spa in Baltimore, for instance, offers a 30-minute version for $105. Owner Stewart Saxton says it's worth it. As well as being more relaxing and purifying than a regular rubdown, Saxton says, "it helps to regenerate the entire system."


What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease?

Osgood-Schlatter is a knee condition occurring in children or teen-agers in their growth years. Generally considered an overuse injury, the condition is characterized by pain and swelling below the kneecap on the front of the knee. It's most common in athletes involved in running sports like soccer or track.

If your child is complaining of pain below the knee, and it doesn't go away with RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation), have a physician take a look. Osgood-Schlatter can lead to other long-term knee problems if left untreated.

Do you have a fitness question? Write to Fitness, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. You can also fax questions to 410-783-2519 or e-mail