Deb Loftus walked into an office downtown late in the day Wednesday tense and tight.
She left unknotted.
Loftus had a massage from Patricia Kelley, a nationally certified and Massachusetts-licensed massage therapist.
“Massage is great for people who need to feel less stressed,” according to Loftus, who has experienced a number of particularly stressful events recently, from a death in her family to a job loss.
“You only have one body. You have to take care of it."
Loftus said she used to think that massage was “kind of frivolous.” No more. When she gets to her appointment, she said, “It’s time for me.”
When she arrived in Kelley’s office at , Loftus headed into the therapy room. The lighting was soft, the background music, low. Loftus lay on the massage table, face down, covered by a sheet. Kelley started at Loftus’ head, working along her arms, shoulders and back. Kelley moved to Loftus’ feet. Loftus turned over. Kelley worked on her face and head.
Sometimes they talked. Sometimes the room was quiet.
Massage can relieve stress, lower blood pressure and help injuries heal, Kelley said while Loftus prepared for her appointment. That’s because it increases blood flow, she said. It also helps strengthen people’s immune systems, according to Kelley.
Kelley has given therapeutic massages for 10 years. The Woburn resident worked simultaneous for much of that time for Winchester Hospital, part-time, and independently. Her business, Muscular Therapy and Massage, has been located at 576 Main St. for a decade.
She became interested in massage when she was a child. Her first patient: her “beloved” grandfather. As he lay in his sick bed, she would rub lotion onto his back, she recalled, so he would feel better.
Based on that experience, she is particularly interested in working with seniors. She offers seniors a sliding fee scale, based on their age.
”I want to take care of them,” she said.
Her clients range in age, she said, from their 20s up. They are divided about equally, she said, between women and men.
Kelley offers a number of types of massage: swedish/relaxation; sport/deep tissue; hot stone, reiki, reflexology and ear candling. She also offers massages for pregnant women and those with new babies, and chair massage, where the subject simply sits, fully clothed, in a chair rather than reclining on a massage table.
Besides her massage therapy certification, which she earned in 2000, Kelley holds a master’s degree in administrative studies from Boston College. She received that degree in 2009.
“I’m always learning new things, going to school,” Kelley said. She has attended a number of special training programs, earning certification, for example, in Mother Massage.
Some people may know Kelley by her married name, Figueiredo. Since she divorced, she is using her maiden name.
As for Loftus, “I was so busy giving” time and energy to others, including her family, that she had “no time for myself.” Now she makes sure to schedule regular massages with Kelley.
“Massage, in combination with regular medical care and healthy choices (and) habits will keep me healthy and strong, both mentally and physically,” Loftus wrote in a statement about the benefits of massage.
They make her feel more grounded, balanced and energized, she said.
“This isn’t a luxury,” Loftus said. “It’s a necessity.”
For more information about Kelley’s company, Muscular Therapy & Massage, go to http://www.pkfmassage.com.