The words massage therapist, masseuse, and bodyworker are synonymous, though the professionals in these fields are often vastly different. This makes it difficult for a customer to know exactly what their massage will consist of before they go in. Owner Peter Pawlowski, Brianna Laferriere, and the other professionals at The Bodyworker hope to clear this confusion by redefining their namesake and creating a new discipline, one that specializes in the diagnosis and elimination of pain using high-tech equipment and a blend of therapeutic techniques. During 15-minute consultations at the facility, bodyworkers use state-of-the-art computer imaging to show clients three-dimensional images of the human anatomy and better understand pain points. During sessions, structural and trigger-point therapies work together to address muscular imbalances, which the therapist tailors to ease chronic pain and pent-up stresses. The bodyworkers' specialized training also allows them to know when to refer patients with more severe conditions to the proper specialist, whether it's a physical therapist, orthopedist, or hokey-pokey expert.
Island Therapeutic Massage's founder and owner, Victoria, believes that massage can be part of a daily or weekly de-stressing regimen, rather than just a once-in-a-while indulgence. At her massage center's two locations, she and her team work to stimulate circulation, fend off disease, and bring balance to their clients' bodies with an array of soothing modalities.
Among the most popular of these modalities, Swedish and deep-tissue massages uncoil sinews and reduce stress with varying levels of pressure. Therapeutic massage, trigger-point therapy, and sports massage focus more on specific ailments, targeting headaches and chronic pain from injuries on the field or in the workplace. Another specialty modality, pregnancy massage, helps expectant mothers and babies cope with the stress of hormonal changes and rigid nine-month deadlines. To ramp up your relaxation, request body scrubs and aromatherapy with nonscented or Young Living essential oils.
Even though many of its stylists have graduated from top beauty schools across the country, Wave Salon puts them through an apprenticeship program so they can get real-world experience and learn from its own talented crew. The newly graduated stylists might get tips from veterans whose styles have appeared in magazines such as Redbook and Cosmopolitan. Or, the budding stylists might learn tricks from a human-hair-extension specialist whose work has also been featured in magazines, or Davines Regional Advanced Educator Aaron Olson, who has worked as a cosmetology instructor and who explains the benefits of using Davines for its natural ingredients and sustainable practices. No matter who they study under, the new graduates learn how important it is to consult with each client to determine which look is best for them.
Lesleyanne, the therapist behind 8th Chakra Massage & Body Works, relieves stress by using nine different massage techniques on clients as they rest on a plush table. She begins by slathering backs with oils, lotions, and powders, so her hands can efficiently glide across knots and adhesions. She also tailors her approach to each client's needs by blending modalities such as hot stone, deep-tissue, shiatsu, lomilomi, reflexology, craniosacral work, and trigger-point therapy.
By tweaking each muscle-mending session, Lesleyanne can ease the stiffness that develops in muscles due to inactivity, stress, inconsistent sleep patterns, and living inside a dollhouse. Recipients of massage often cite benefits such as decreased recovery time after injury and reduced depression.
As a lifelong athlete, Lee Matthew Druzbacky wanted to explore alternative options for rehabilitation and pain relief, which led him to pursue a degree in massage therapy. Following 604 hours of formal training at the St. Croix Center, the ABMP-insured therapist opened Better World to help fellow athletes overcome pain and better prepare their bodies for competition through four types of massage: Swedish, integrative, deep tissue, and sports. Lee also completed a 64-hour program in Active Isolated Stretching, a method developed by Aaron Mattes that uses two-second stretches to increase the flexibility of muscle joints, connective tissues, and the rubber bands that hold the ribcage together.
The trainers at Art of Strength eschew newfangled machines. Instead, they employ only fitness tools that have stood the test of time: weight balls, ropes, logs, sandbags, and boxes. Ropes use the weight of the human body to build strength, and the relentless swing of kettlebells works the body as a whole and torches calories. Weights clatter beneath hanging rings and inspirational quotes chalked on the walls. Bass thuds and happy grunts fill the studio as patrons flip truck tires or leap onto boxes. The old-school equipment forms the core of classes, which leave patrons as strong as ancient warriors or the guys who had to push ancient warriors’ strollers.