Massaging Body & Spirit
Most people strive to live a healthy life, constantly setting goals for themselves to improve their lifestyle. In today’s world, many are finding their balance between the stress and pressures of society through therapeutic massage.
One professional who has recognized its importance is Anne Marie Connor, who has been specializing in massage therapy for nearly 30 years, and providing her service to Bethany Beach since 1990.
“It brings a change in awareness, through mind, body and soul without using any drugs,” she said. Connor — a nationally certified therapist who specializes in deep tissue, muscle relaxation technique, sports and relaxation massage, cranial sacral therapy, hypnotherapy and others — shares the benefits of her profession as an alternative way to living a satisfied and healthy life.
“The focus of massage therapy and the healing arts is not on particular parts of the body, but on the whole person,” she explained. “That’s where I feel this whole thing is headed. By reaching those energy levels, you can really keep a body strong and healthy. Therapeutic massage reaches deep cellular levels, and that’s where we get most of our energy.”
There is an ever-growing abundance of techniques and styles to help improve one’s health and wellbeing, but few offer the specifications and results that therapeutic massage can.
“Therapeutic massage is an alternative therapy,” Connor said. “It’s based on a wellness model, and is different from physical therapy that many are familiar with.”
Physical therapy is based on a medical model, and centers on a specific area of the body, usually in response to surgery or a particular condition, Connor said. “If done correctly,” noted Connor, “massage therapy can prevent a lot of those surgeries and problems from ever taking place.”
From those who specialize in physical trades, such as carpentry and other professions that take painful tolls on people, through repetition of movement, to those who are constantly confronted by stress in their daily lives, therapeutic massage has benefitted hundreds of thousands of people since its breakthrough decades ago, she said.
“It’s a great route for anyone out there,” said Connor. “We specialize in anyone’s requirements. Athletes benefit because it helps relax their muscles, and other people who may not be as active can be treated, too. It has become very popular with senior citizens for several reasons. A widow or widower may come in because they’re missing that touch and relaxation from their life. Others come in because they just want to continue living a healthy life as long as they can. It’s a great solution no matter what your situation. It’s very benign.”
Connor established Bethany Massage and Healing Arts in 1990, after relocating from Washington, D.C., and has enjoyed a steady increase in clients over the years.
“We really enjoy having our first-time clients come in,” said Connor. “The satisfaction they show is very reassuring.”
Much of their business comes by word of mouth, though the awareness of therapeutic massage in the public eye is helping it rise as a healthy and affective alternative form of healing.
Clients who come into Bethany Massage and Healing Arts can choose from a variety of specialized services to fit their needs. High-quality cream is used to help sooth the skin and relax the patient, a more sought-after counterpart to the traditional, messy oils that some therapists still use today.
Forms of aromatherapy are used to accent the air as patients lay atop a Tempur-Pedic bed. Comforting music and sounds add to a peaceful atmosphere.
“We have quality equipment that provides a completely relaxing and private experience for our clients,” Connor said.
All her specialists are fully-trained professionals and have passed the national exam, allowing them to work at the highest certification in the state. It may take 10 qualified therapists to meet demand in the summer months, though fewer are needed in the off-season.
Connor also works closely with a clinical hypnotherapist who has taught her to approach solutions from a more mental and psychological approach.
“Like therapeutic massage,” said Connor, “hypnotherapy uses no drugs. It can help fight off unwanted urges and behaviors because it incorporates the mind, which is where these temptations begin.”
From common concerns, such as weight loss and smoking, to others, such as phobias or pain and grief, hypnotherapy can prove to be a very influential and effective form of therapy according to Connor. In fact, noted Connor, it holds an 80 percent success rate for helping smokers kick the habit.
As with most forms of therapy, follow-up actions are taken by massage clients after beginning treatment.
“We encourage people who come in to stretch and exercise afterwards,” Connor noted. “Therapeutic massage can really improve one’s quality of life. It helps people become more soothed and relaxed. It quiets the body and mind. Any stress in a mental or physical state moves right out.”
Books, CD’s and pamphlets are also available at Bethany Massage and Healing Arts, with additional information, including dieting and self-help.
Bethany Massage and Healing Arts is located at 3012 Coastal Highway, Unit 4, in Hickman’s Plaza in Bethany. Office hours generally run from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., although appointments may be scheduled outside that time frame to cater to clients’ needs. Rates vary, depending on the patients’ requirements.
For more information about therapeutic massage and other practices, or to schedule an appointment, stop in or call (302) 537-0510.