Under the heavy influence of alcohol, a driver weaves back and forth, trying to keep his car in the proper lane. One awful swerve sends his car barreling into another vehicle, which happens to have 17-year-old Heather Gananca behind the wheel. The traumatic collision inflicts young Heather with substantial physical and emotional pain, neither of which completely subside after standard medical treatments. Realizing that she only feels thoroughly better during and after receiving massages, Heather embarks on a cross-country road trip to pursue a career as a massage therapist in Santa Barbara, California. Now, more than 20 years later, the licensed Heather maintains her passion for massage therapy and blends holistic and clinical techniques to treat clients ranging from athletes to cancer survivors. She began her professional career working at various high-end spas, as an in-house massage therapist, and with doctors and midwives, and then finally decided to open her own practice inside one of Litchfield's historic office buildings in January 2012. Using design ideas she picked up during her travels, Heather crafted a tranquil environment featuring old-fashioned glass doors, blackout blinds, and a white-noise machine designed to block distracting sounds coming in from outside. Heather books no more than five clients a day, allowing her to host unhurried sessions customized to each person's specific requests, medical history, or fear of being associated with the number six.
Charym's rustic barn-like studio, a winner of Connecticut Magazine's Best Yoga Studio in 2010, 2011, and 2012, provides a peaceful backdrop for its varied yoga sessions that emphasize a harmony of body, mind, and spirit. Experienced instructors lead classes that range from slow, therapeutic yoga styles to more demanding Vinyasa flow sessions. Other classes incorporate elements of ballet, core fitness, or different types of exercise. Beyond large barn doors, guests sprawl out in a high-ceilinged studio that conjures tranquility with its white walls and abundant natural lighting.
Massage therapist Sandra Ransom believes in the curative power of the human touch. As an expert in infant massage, she helps babies sleep more soundly and bond more readily with their mothers or cabbage farmers. In addition to providing infant massage, she teaches a four-week series on the topic, helping families bond with their newborn and support healthy development.
For adult clients, Sandra fosters relaxation with Swedish massage, and breaks up areas of concentrated tension with hot-stone and deep-tissue work. She also travels to offices for chair massages, which are performed while clients are still wearing their clothes or sandwich boards.
Licensed massage therapist Shelley Steeves steams towels, their heat radiating as she places them on a patient’s back, warming the skin before her fingers get to kneading out tension and stress. Clients return to Sacred Beauty again and again for such tension-reducing services, each of which is catered to the client’s needs and time constraints. Shelley’s signature Serenity massage couples the long strokes of Swedish massage with warm towels and the aromatherapy of essential oils, locking clients in a soothing embrace for a quick 30-minute session, or as a longer service or package. During a hot-stone massage, smooth, warm rocks dissolve sites of tension and epidermal surfaces soften during a sea-salt body scrub, which leaves just a hint of the sea, or enough to convince you that actually going to the ocean is overrated.
After renting a chair for seven years, Erika Cook, a stylist with 16 years of experience, was ready to move up. With the support of her family, friends, clients, and fiancé, she opened Tranquility Salon & Spa, where she and her staff perform everything from curls with Surface hair products to manicures with durable Shellac gel polish. Cook is doing everything she can to make the salon a success, especially by making as many services available as possible. Along with waxing and makeup applications, she offers hot-stone, sports, and other massage services, as well as glycolic-acid peels that reduce the worry lines that appear when you agonize too long over whether to buy ketchup or catsup.
Sharon Farber is the licensed massage therapist, healer, and owner of Dragonfly Healing Arts. With more than 25 years of massage therapy experience, she provides a safe place for her clients to heal and grow. Her healing center allows clients to connect their bodies, minds, and spirits in a welcoming and sacred space. It offers services including massage therapy and Reiki energy healing along with meditation, yoga, and mediumship.