High in the historic State Theatre Building, Joshua Hughes sits in his massage studio, awaiting his next client. Brisk Atlantic winds glide through the suite's windows, as if the ocean itself were offering a gentle massage. "One of the things I like about my suite,? Hughes says. "It's high up. A great breeze always comes into the room. It?s? a lovely environment to relax."
A massage therapist in the eighth year of his career, Joshua reflects on how he got here. "I wanted to help people," he explains, "and I was always good with my hands. Massage was right down that alley." He began working even before graduation, massaging as a freelancer at spas and salons. "I didn't feel quite fulfilled. I wanted to start my own practice.?
Joshua's approach to massage is holistic as he employs reflexology, deep-tissue work, and even hot riverbed stones to tailor treatments to the individual needs of his clients. Focusing on the individual is part of what is most satisfying to Joshua about his work. "I've had clients tell me that they're just so appreciative and grateful for my attention to detail?that I cater to them as people. The money's a bonus, but just having someone tell me they feel better is the most rewarding."
At Jade Integrated Health's brand-new Fore Street location, John and Nancy Charlebois mix the old with the new. Inside the renovated space, this duo combines practices that range from traditional Chinese herbology to advanced physical therapy. John and Nancy tend to divvy up the work based on their own particular interests. John is a licensed acupuncturist and the resident herbalist who creates formulations from Jade Integrated Health's herbal pharmacy. A licensed physical therapist, Nancy takes a particular interest in helping women through pregnancy-related issues. She offers therapy for those who have undergone cesarean sections, leads pool therapy exercises for pregnant and postpartum individuals at the Portland YMCA, and can help women deal with pain associated with carrying a child.
Maine Yacht Center's dedicated staff caters to the needs of ocean-bound travelers within the safe, loving arms of its 990-foot breakwater. Once inside the calm, glassy waters of the Casco Bay harbor, boats of almost any size can repose on one of the marina's 80 slips ($3 per ft. per day for yachts 50' and under or $3.75 per foot per day for yachts more than 50'). Hungry vessels are fueled up with ValvTect fuel, specially calibrated and seasoned to cater to the fussy palates of marine engines. Maine Yacht Center's qualified craftspeople and carpenters carry out a range of repairs such as rigging ($65/hour), varnishing ($60/hour), or affixing scrimshaw hood ornaments with professional aplomb.
From India to Antarctica, Sue Vittner's massage training has taken her all over the world. At her facility on Portland soil, Sue funnels those experiences into her practice, delivering a unique blend of seven different modalities that includes Swedish, sports, and deep massage. Sue dispatches those techniques during individual and couples massage sessions, and for those looking to learn the craft themselves, Sue shares the tricks to her trade during her interactive couples massage class.
At My Hands For Your Healing, licensed massage therapist Kayla Gorham eschews drugs or medication in favor of the rejuvenating power found in 10 knowledgeable and nuanced fingers. Kayla works with patients to seek out and relieve stress patterns in the body using a blend of Swedish, therapeutic, and deep-tissue techniques to soften and soothe the muscles. Myofascial-release therapy helps release the connective tissue, and sports-massage sessions incorporate assisted stretching to drain away fatigue, relieve swelling, and loosen any Heisman trophies trapped between joints. Kayla preaches the positive health effects of massage that trickle down to the rest of body in the form of decreased anxiety, improved quality of sleep, and reduced fatigue.
The professional stress fighters at Massage on Maine deal a one-two punch to tension, incarcerating worrisome thoughts and jangly nerves with a bevy of relaxing and beautifying treatments. During the 30-minute massage, skilled fingers perform piano concertos on tension-taxed back trapezii using a combination of Swedish and deep-tissue techniques. Treatments adapt to fit each client's needs, with hot stones filling in wherever aches and pains lie, whether between the shoulder blades or inside the subconscious.