STEUBENVILLE - Melissa Ryan figures environment has a lot to do with how people respond to therapeutic massage.
That's why Ryan, licensed massage therapist and certified medical massage practioner and owner of Quality Health Massotherapy, 2718 Sunset Blvd., favors a tranquil environment, one where the lights are dimmed, music plays softly in the background and the sounds of water trickling soothes the soul while she addresses the physical aches and pains of her clientele on a heated table.
"It's a spa atmosphere, but we specialize in therapeutic massage," she said, pointing out that therapy "does not have to be done with bright lights and scratchy sheets."
RELAX — Melissa Ryan, licensed massage therapist and certified medical massage practitioner, says dim lights, soft sheets and soft music help her clients feel at ease. Ryan recently celebrated the grand opening of Quality Health Massotherapy, 2718 Sunset Blvd. — Linda Harris
The goal, she said, is to make clients feel better.
"We want this to be the therapy you look forward to," she said. "The people who come to us, a lot of them it's their first massage. They're scared, they're nervous, they don't know what to expect, but very few people walk out of here who don't love it. I warn people ahead of time it can be habit forming. A lot of our clients come on a weekly basis."
Massotherapy can address chronic illnesses, like fibromyalgia and arthritis, she said, though "it's not just about treating ailments, but preventing them."
Quality Health offers:
Myofascial release, an effective therapeutic approach to relieving cervical pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, neurological dysfunction, restricted motion, chronic pain and headaches.
Deep tissue treatment, which helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation, and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthrisits and tendonitis.
Oncology massage, helping cancer patients and survivors reduce stress, anxiety and depression, enhance body image and relief symptoms like nausea, vomiting and pain. It also benefits caregivers.
Swedish massage, which can relax muscles, increase circulation and remove metabolic wastes.
Orthopedic massage, which focus on treating physical conditions.
Medical massage, which assists people with medical conditions like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, migraines, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety. Techniques ranging from neuromuscular therapy to facilitated stretching, pin-and-stretch methods, palpation, Swedish massage and exerices are combined for individual therapy.
Orthopedic cupping, which detoxes the body, and the Chinese cupping method, which uses heat.
"We offer so much more than you get at a spa," she said. "A spa may tell you they can do neuromuscular or deep tissue, but there's a difference. Ours is done with a specific treatment goal, not just for an overall body effect."
Ryan learned her craft at the National Institute of Massotherapy in Akron, then completed a rigourous licensure exam. "The school I went to, some of the anatomy and physiology classes I had were the same as for first year med students," she said.
She's been a massotherapist for 10 years, the last three of them working out of room she rented from a busy physical therapy practice in the area.
Now that she's in her own storefront, Ryan has expanded the staff. Rusty Cade and Lisa Trushel, both licensed massotherapists, have joined her. They have a combined 30-plus years in the business, she said.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment on Saturdays. Same day appoints are usually available, she said.
Clients who have suffered tramautic injury must be referred to her by a physician or the emergency department at the hospital. And, she says, it's important to remember, "We do not diagnose, we only treat."
For information, call (740) 317-2219 or visit their website, www.qhmmassage.com.