Licensed massage therapist Melanie Balsis doesn't hold one healing technique above any other?she believes that nearly every therapy has some value. Her time studying at East-West Healing Arts Institute taught her to integrate standard Western techniques with ancient Asian traditions in each of her soothing massage sessions, picking and choosing the approaches that are right for each client. From the West, she flaunts skills in Swedish and deep-tissue methods, whereas her Eastern techniques range from tui na?also known as Chinese medical massage?and acupressure to cupping therapy, which uses round cups and gentle suction to enhance circulation and recover the balls that vanish during sidewalk magic tricks. She listens closely to the goals and concerns of each client, letting that information guide her approach.
Born in a small village in the mountains of Thailand, Tanatnan Chaipang struggled through a series of health difficulties that stemmed from a life-threatening illness, a congenital foot disorder, and multiple car accidents. Fortunately, her grandmother was the town healer and midwife, helping Tanatnan manage her pain, as well as steer her toward a healthy lifestyle. Through this work with her grandma, she saw the benefits of massage first hand, spurring her toward an eventual career where she’d be able to pass these benefits on to others. After becoming certified as a massage therapist in Madison and honing her skills in her native Thailand, Tanatnan finally realized her goal and opened Sha-Ba Wellness & Spa.
Today, she works with a staff to perform bodywork that not only relaxes patients, but also helps them heal and hopefully find relief from any lingering pains. They combine elements of Eastern techniques, such as Thai massage and Chinese tui-na, with Western modalities that include sports and Swedish massage. They also provide chair massage, foot reflexology, and ion footbaths, which work to cast out harmful toxins and absorbed sock lint.
Rays of sunlight stream in through Madison Salon West’s large windows, causing hair that has just emerged from a deep-conditioning treatment to shine radiantly. The team of stylists and aestheticians sometimes must shield their eyes from the brilliance in order to perform services that range from highlights and mani-pedis to deep-tissue massages and European facials. The last of these is a particular specialty, as it infuses skin with moisture and affixes brand new passport stamps on cheeks.
At Seventh Heaven Massage Studio, relaxation is just one of the goals. Licensed massage therapist Jurij Semonas leverages the seemingly endless health benefits of massage to help clients increase their circulation, improve their mood, and better their sleep. In addition to his signature Swedish, deep-tissue, and sports massages, he adds healing techniques such as cupping and hot stones to his repertoire.
During a patient’s first visit to Madison Ayurveda and Massage, owner Sabrina Henderson conducts an in-depth, two-hour consultation, during which she reviews the patient’s diet, stress level, and daily routine. “It’s about getting to know you, not just on a superficial level,” says Henderson. “I look at [your] whole life structures.” Such personalized attention is central to her practice of ayurveda, a thousands-year-old medical tradition that emphasizes each body's uniqueness.
During sessions, Henderson draws on her training in ayurveda's ancient healing techniques, as well as her experience as a licensed massage therapist, to design personalized, holistic treatments for each client. Her recommendations may include restorative treatments such as massage therapy or energy work such as reiki and marma therapy, an ayurvedic form of acupressure. To aid carefully customized relaxation, she administers treatments in private rooms replete with gentle music, essential-oil heaters, and doves softly cooing the patient's name.
Better sleep. Improved circulation. More energy. These are just a few of the benefits clients experience after a visit to Avanti Massage Therapy. The certified massage therapists help dissolve stress with therapeutic massages, including deep-tissue sessions that tackle deeply rooted muscle pain. Additionally, BioMat treatments are available as an alternative healing method, using infrared heat to detoxify the body.