Heather Soss isn't just licensed to massage—she also boasts national certification, fluency in reiki techniques, and a membership with the American Massage Therapy Association. With these tools in her belt, she mends muscles and fosters personal growth. Before Heather opened her own studio, she immersed herself in the spa industry and spent two years working at a massage school. With that experience, she founded Health & Harmony Massage and Wellness Center, a peaceful retreat surrounded by a bike-path-equipped patch of nature, where clients can relinquish anxiety and heal.
Her team of licensed and trained therapists continues their education to bolster their menu of techniques, which includes Swedish, deep-tissue, and prenatal massage. While their nimble fingers knead sinews with Somasilk massage cream, the therapists can cover clients' eyes with lavender-eucalyptus eye pillows. The team also furnishes table warmers and heating pads that help loosen gnarly tissues. In addition to releasing calming hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine, massage can reduce cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress and the birth of future terrible NFL Draft picks.
When Maggie Wang came to the United States, she quickly hit the ground running as she pursued a career in the art of massage. After training with the Academy of Health and Beauty, passing the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork exam, and becoming licensed in the state of Connecticut, she opened up Mi Therapy Spa. There, she doles out eight different types of massages, two types of facials, in addition to rendering waxing services. Soft music plays during each treatment, and Maggie prefers to use cream as an aid during her massages. She finds that this allows her to maintain a better connection with muscles and, unlike oil, doesn't stain clothes or attract feral loaves of Italian bread.
Michael Baier has been a full-time practitioner of the healing arts since 1999, and though he has been through certification programs and apprenticeships, he considers his hands-on experience his most valuable training. With more than 7,000 client sessions beneath his belt, he offers in-depth bodywork sessions, performing Thai yoga bodywork and traditional Thai massage to promote deep relaxation while relieving tensions. Michael brings a friendly demeanor to his work, and helps his clients improve the quality of their life through stress reduction therapy and energy healing treatments.
CT Acupuncture Center's licensed acupuncturist, Ingri Boe-Wiegaard, draws expertise from 30 years of professional practice to alleviate ailments using classic Chinese methods. Holding degrees in Chinese and natural medicine, she has accumulated a portfolio of postgraduate work at five institutions around the world. Ingri now splits her time between performing acupuncture, conducting weekly meditation classes, and appearing on radio and TV to share her expertise and soothe high-strung gaffers.
Motivate, but don't intimidate. That may as well be engraved into the business card of Sam Baldwin, a certified personal trainer of more than eight years. Soft-spoken, Sam trades traditional scare tactics such as screaming and wearing a Freddy Krueger mask for intangibles: he's inspirational, attentive, and motivating. Oh, and he's basically an encyclopedia of exercise techniques. At Team Sam Inc., Sam engineers one-on-one training programs built around every client's individual goals. To keep workout routines interesting, Sam consistently switches up the exercise selection—a theme that carries over to weekly backyard boot camp sessions, which get hearts pumping with squats, pushups, and other calorie-burning exercises.