Most people know that a good massage can relieve stress, but did you also know that it has medical benefits? The Cranio and Massage Center of Chicopee delivers a more therapeutic form of massage, which they say can alleviate headaches, sinus problems, ear conditions, sleep apnea, TMJ and more, in addition to neck, shoulder, and back pain. Gina Welch, LMT (licensed massage therapist), opened the center in 2007 after her own positive personal experience with massage therapy.
"I had my own neck and shoulder issues," she said. "I learned that I could alleviate the symptoms of pain, sinus issues and headaches through self massage, and I stopped taking over the counter medicines altogether. I knew I had to share this amazing information with others and I went to massage school to get licensed. Now I share this information with my clients, through health talks and social media."
Welch's chiropractor at the time explained that stress was responsible for the tension she was experiencing in her neck and shoulders, and that massage could bring relief. Her husband would massage her every night. Not only did her discomfort go away, but she also stopped using pain meds and antihistamines. After practicing massage on family members and friends, she enrolled in massage school and graduated from the Kripalu School of Bodywork in April 2006.
Her center employs several LMTs that administer myofascial release, CranioSacral therapy, deep tissue and Swedish massage therapies as well as an aesthetician to provide spa treatments like facials and body waxing. No matter the client, Welch says every first visit begins with a consultation to get to know an individual and treat the person, not just the symptoms.
"We gather information during our intake while going over the health history with our client," she said. "Then we assess what we find through palpation, motion of the joint, if it's the problem, range of motion, the tensegrity of the muscle and begin our treatment of striving for lengthening of contracted muscle, breaking up of adhesions and ease of movement through joints and vertebra, which all lead to the client feeling relief."
Although the center is located in a nondescript brick building, the inside has been transformed to become a relaxing environment for its clients with candles, drawn shades, and comfortable massage tables and chairs. Those that just need "me time" can savor the aesthetics offerings such as facials, eyebrow shaping, a foot massage, and an eye treatment that helps reduce dark circles and bags underneath the eyes.
No matter what treatment a client seeks at the Cranio and Massage Center, Welch said there's a strong chance they'll experience results immediately.
"Whether it's massage or CranioSacral therapy, deep tissue or a full body massage; they all bust stress and make you feel relaxed, at ease and gets you feeling better," she said. "We are therapeutically inclined which means we are motivated to get results, relief, and better range of motion. We are not just a feel good massage place, although you will feel amazing!"