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.
Owner and licensed massage therapist Gina Scully choreographs massages to target the client's specific sore spots. Before the one-hour body kneading begins, guests consult with the therapist to devise a strategy for alleviating aches through a choice of massage techniques, which can be combined for complete customization. The Swedish massage applies long, gliding strokes along skeletal armature to relieve taut muscles, and the deep-tissue massage relies on firm pressure to ease chronic pain caused by bench-pressing pianos. Enfield also specializes in Ashiatsu oriental bar therapy, during which the therapist performs soothing tap dances on the back while grabbing onto parallel bars mounted on the ceiling. Any of the provided massages can be sweetened with a complimentary choice of four aroma blends, which creates a relaxing, pleasant-smelling experience, unlike taking the SATs in a horse stable.
Originally started in 1998 as The AIDS Care Project, a nonprofit organization that still provides free acupuncture to patients with HIV/AIDS, Pathway to Wellness expanded in 2000 to a full service clinic offering treatments besides acupuncture. Though the treatments at Pathways to Wellness cost money, they’re available to everyone and not limited to acupuncture. The center’s experienced staff, which includes 12 licensed acupuncturists, a bodywork practitioner, and a mother that kisses boo-boos, shepherds visitors toward good health with traditional acupuncture, Chinese herb therapy, and Shiatsu bodywork. Nurturing the mind as well as the body, Pathways’ third-floor office houses educational resources and materials that cover an array of topics, such as holistic therapies, public health, and HIV/AIDS. The staff also regularly conducts research, including a clinical trial on acupuncture’s effects on women who have HIV/AIDS.
Within a tranquil, ocean-themed spa, licensed massage therapist Carol Parker and a team of professionals reduce stress with a variety of massage modalities and refreshing spa add-ons. Parker continuously builds on the education she acquired at The Salter School to bring relief to weary muscles. In addition to standard modalities such as Swedish, sports, and hot stone, Parker practices shiatsu finger-pressure massage and heat therapy with warmed seashells or seared T-bone steaks. Therapists light candles and play soft music to set a tranquil ambiance for couples massages and tailor hand movements to alleviate discomforts during pregnancy services. To heal the community in a more figurative sense, Parker regularly donates her therapeutic services to athletes raising money for charitable causes.
Born in Israel, holistic doctor Gal Bason, ND pursued rigorous four-year graduate-level training at the National College for Naturopathic Medicine in Tel Aviv. There, she was coached in clinical nutrition, iridology, and Shiatsu massage, as well as holistic health-care techniques such as botanical medicine and reiki energy work. Today, Gal has lived in the United States for more than a decade. In addition to being a fully certified naturopathic physician and NAET practitioner, she’s also a licensed massage therapist, deftly blending her reiki methods and nutritional expertise with flowing Swedish strokes and deep-tissue pressure to promote wellness.