They’re tending to the body

Peterborough: Local team opens studio at 105 Grove St., specializing in massage, facials

When Leah Reed of Wilton and Heather Damata of Hancock decided to go into business together and open up a wellness studio in Peterborough, it all fell together quickly, the duo said in an interview at their new store, The Embody Wellness Studio, at 105 Grove St. last week.

The two had worked together previously, and both had considered opening their own place for some time. When Reed decided it was time to strike out on her own, Damata decided to join her, and the business came together within a matter of weeks, said Damata.

“I think it was really meant to be now,” said Damata. “The whole thing happened within the space of something like three weeks and it was absolutely smooth.”

Between the two of them, they have more than 30 years of experience in their respective trades. Reed specializes in massage, while Damata will handle the side of the business dedicated to facials and skin care.

“We both wanted to create something that was a real place of wellness for the whole body and the skin,” said Reed.

Reed incorporates a range of massage techniques, she explained, including Swedish massage, which is what most people think of when they think of traditional massage. She also has certifications in miosfacial massage and neuromuscular massage. Many of the issues these types of massages can help alleviate are related to incorrect posture or repetitive motions, said Reed. And both might be different from previous massage experiences, she added.

Miofascial massage uses little lubrication, and works to stretch the facia, or the material that surrounds muscle fibers and groups. When a person uses a repetitive motion, such as keeping a phone cradled between their ear and shoulder for a long period of time, one side of the muscle group begins to shorten, while the other side stretches to compensate, which can cause muscle pain. Miofascial massage can work to restore that balance and alleviate the pain, said Reed.

Neuromuscular massage is also different from Swedish massage. While Swedish massage is done in long, flowing strokes over the body, neuromuscular massage works specific trigger points, which again can form over periods of time due to repetitive motions or bad posture or even old injuries. It works by holding static pressure on a trigger point until there is a release.

The other side of the business is skin care. Damata, a certified esthetician, will be giving most of the facials and doing waxwork, she said. The studio will be using a line of holistic and natural skin-care products for their facials.

“It works to correct the skin and also make it stronger without relying on a product [every day],” explained Damata about the facials and products used during the facial. And facials do more than just help to correct skin issues, she added. Like massage, it can be a very relaxing and healing experience. Damata, who is also certified in the practice of reiki, a type of energy healing, said she uses that skill in her facials, and also incorporates massage in the neck and shoulder areas.

“Because it’s a very concentrated area, they get the calming benefits right away,” said Damata.

Reed, who is also a certified esthetician, added that often when doing facials, the technician will get the hands and feet involved. In those areas, there are a lot of related pressure points. Easing pain in those areas may have a more widespread effect on other tension areas within the body, she said.

“Sometimes things settle in places you wouldn’t expect,” she said.

The Embody Wellness Studio, located near Mr. Mike’s in the same building as Junk ’n Java, offers massage, facials and waxing by appointment. To make an appointment, call 924-7777.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.

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