Esha Washington describes herself as a cancer-conquering, God-loving, beach-bumming, jewelry-making mother of two with a passion for roller coasters, indoor skydiving, and of course, massage therapy. Her experiences, like her interests, have been diverse. She graduated from UMass Boston with a degree in business, and after 20 years as a successful realtor, decided she wanted to change people's lives more directly; that's when she took up therapeutic bodywork. She attended the massage program at Salter College, where she learned relaxation techniques such as hot-stone therapy, deep-tissue massage, and napping in a kangaroo pouch. Today all can seek Esha's expertise of her own Head to Soul Therapeutic Massage clinic.
For licensed massage therapist Joy Clarkson, healing is more than just kneading away muscle knots. As a 13-year massage-therapy veteran, she's grown to incorporate meditation and sound into her practice at Enjoy Holistic Healing. Sessions may use gongs and Tibetan singing bowls, as well as her voice; this may include chanting, toning, or speaking the phone book very slowly. However, because she tailors these sessions to each individual, she may use as few or as many of these methods during massages, alongside lomilomi, reflexology, and other modalities.
Walking through the minimal, dimly lit interiors of Invidia Salon and Spa may feel like walking through a dream. Ultramodern floral wall sconces and chandeliers fashioned from branches illuminate hardwood-floored hallways that split off into dark rooms filled with plush couches. In the central hall, studio lights cast dramatic beams onto swiveling salon chairs positioned in front of floor-to-ceiling mirrors, each aligned in two rows flanking a central stone fireplace.
Here in the multimillion dollar 10,000-square-foot facility, stylists sculpt new ’dos and colorists add hues to locks. Aestheticians smooth skin with customizable facials rich in vitamins and natural extracts, and laser technicians boost collagen with LED light therapy and laser facials.
In private spa rooms, equipped with fireplaces and temperature-controlled beds, therapists imbue a sense of calm with massages and Reiki. In the Vichy shower, clients treated with mud or fruit body wraps recline on a cushioned bed while multiple showerheads work to clean their skin.
Before she became a licensed massage therapist, Connie Dale learned how to reduce tension and ease repetitive injuries at the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy. She uses that education and her experience to mitigate aliments ranging from shin splints and tennis elbow to carpal tunnel syndrome. Connie can also treat frozen shoulder—a condition that hampers mobility and often occurs when a snowman gives you a massage. In addition to reducing headaches, fibromyalgia pain, and tight muscles with Swedish and deep tissue techniques, she also treats children and soothes cancer patients. Connie's also been known to visit hospitals and Special Olympics events to give patients and competitors relaxing chair massages.
Licensed massage therapist Rachel Leggett studied her craft at Spa Tech Institute. As a well-versed professional, Rachel can knead sore sinews with therapeutic, deep-tissue, integrative, Swedish, and sports techniques. In addition to easing painful knots, she also wields first-aid certification from the American Heart Association.
Tucked away in the historic Exchange Hall, Massage Sanctuary's skilled massage therapists use a diverse palette of bodywork techniques, along with a variety of healing arts workshops and classes, to try to improve the health of their clients. Massage Sanctuary director Julie Duffy traveled throughout India for almost two years, studying alternative natural therapies, which she now incorporates into her treatments. Massage therapist Emily DuRussel, meanwhile, has performed massages for Boston Marathon and Pan-Mass Challenge athletes, as well as for cancer patients through her specialized training in oncology massage. Massage Sanctuary also hosts workshops from visiting teachers in Taoist healing, yoga, and other treatments.