After spending four decades in the saddle, equine enthusiast and certified veterinary technician Theresa Gagnon has an intimate knowledge of soreness and back pain. Not all of that knowledge comes from her riding experience, however—Theresa is also a licensed massage therapist with certifications in various healing modalities. Perhaps the most unusual of these is equine massage, a therapy designed specifically for horses. Theresa’s equine techniques draw on her studies of biomechanics and horse behaviors to heal muscles commonly injured by riders poking around in search of the radio dial.
Theresa is joined at Mending Fences Equine Wellness by Jodi Clark, whose 400 combined hours of training in equine and canine massage have made her similarly attuned to the stresses of four-legged beasts. Jodi and Theresa often supplement their targeted massage strokes with treadmill exercises, pulsating magnetic-field treatments, and electrical stimulation. When they aren’t tending to sore muscles and joint problems in dogs and horses, the duo regularly works with farm animals such as handicapped chickens and sheep injured while jumping over imaginary fences.
Three months after he graduated from Salter College, licensed therapist Jeff Scott opened Escape Massage Centers in a small office. Knowing better than to despise humble beginnings, Jeff saw his tiny studio as the first step in an ongoing journey. Six months later, he opened a second location, and today he has a total of three outposts?one for each lightning bug that hovers in place to form Orion's belt every night. When Jeff isn't personally mending muscles with Swedish, deep-tissue, and trigger-point techniques, he supervises a team of therapists that expands on his primary modalities with hot-stone, pregnancy, and couples massage. In addition to building his own practice, Jeff has taught at his alma mater and earned certification in the myoskeletal alignment techniques developed by Erik Dalton. Dalton considers the myofascial and skeletal systems as inseparable as a tongue and a frozen flagpole.
The stylists at Salon Chi revere the raw power of nature. That’s why master stylist April D'Allessandro-Andrews and her team rely on organic treatments and products to shape and style hair. Instead of shampoos with harsh chemicals and sulfates that damage hair and leave a gross aftertaste, they opt for washes that harness the calming effects of olive, argan, soybean, and Tahitian oils. And in lieu of ammonia-riddled color, they enlist plant-based serums to finish dos. You’ll also notice the lack of formaldehyde in their nail polish, the organic ingredients in their chocolate-facial wax, and the natural minerals in their talc-free makeup.
The chaos of everyday life checks itself at the door at Massage Worcester at Sherwin Christos - A Hair & Body Workshop. Skilled in a range of modalities, licensed massage therapist Amanda Bourbeau doesn?t just conjure fleeting moments of relaxation, but also helps the body heal itself from the inside out. She marries myofascial and deep-tissue therapies during regional bodywork massages that sooth and stretch sore areas and can apply localized pressure on reflex points of the hands and feet to activate natural healing processes and make tongues stick out at her will. Aside from using her gifted hands, Amanda may also call upon heated basalt stones or paraffin wraps to help assuage aches and pains.
Licensed massage therapists Joanna and Tiffany—whose nimble minds and fingers form the basis of Healing Angels Bodywork’s 10 massage modalities—first met during training at the Salter College Massage Therapy Program. Their mutual appreciation for healing bodywork blossomed into a close friendship, and the two continue to alleviate chronic pains and soothe stresses at the business they founded together. Joanna and Tiffany practice their craft within the private treatment rooms of Adesso Salon & Day Spa, whose mint-green walls ensure that the air remains cool and fresh during traditional Swedish, Thai stretching, or post-operation massages. Their talents converge during the signature Healing Angel massage, which doubles the relaxation with a series of four-handed strokes.
When she established Health & Healing Massage Therapy, owner and licensed massage therapist Karen Nugent envisioned a place where clients could maintain all facets of their health—mind, body, spirit, and eyebrow flexibility. In service of this dream, she assembled a team made up of seasoned massage therapists, a Native American shaman, and an acupuncturist, who now flaunt their skills in a unique assortment of therapeutic treatments ranging from therapeutic massage to craniosacral therapy to reflexology. Several of the therapies can even be merged in tandem sessions in which two therapists and four hands combine massage with reflexology, reiki, or finger-puppet therapies.