“Feeling the joy of helping others, helping to reduce their mind chatter, if only for an hour and providing ‘down time’ is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job,” says Christine Hunter, owner of Essential Therapeutic Massage (ETM).
Essential Therapeutic Massage is a quaint massage setting where clients can receive a multitude of services in a peaceful environment. Hunter is a Nationally Board Certified and Board of Nursing Licensed Massage Therapist, providing not only relaxation time for her clients, but also care for patients in post-operation situations.
Open for five years, ETM currently has three Virginia Board of Nursing licensed massage therapy professionals, including Hunter. The three of them have more than 37 years of hands-on experience combined. “We offer a variety of therapeutic massage session options, including relaxation and focused tension-relief massages, massage cupping, face cupping, myoskeletal alignment, prenatal massage, lymphatic drainage, warm stone, warm bamboo rod, oncology massage and biodynamic craniosacral therapy,” Hunter says of the many services her team is licensed to perform.
Hunter has worked diligently to diversify her services and licensures. “I am the only biodynamical craniosacral therapist in the Hampton Roads area offering this therapy. I am also a lymphedema specialist, trained to work with clients in post-operative care following liposuctions such as tummy tucks, Brazilian butt lifts (BBLs), plastic surgery and reconstruction, as well as post-operative care following lymph node removal to determine cancer diagnosis. I am also an oncology massage therapist. I often work with clients during and after their oncology treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or immunotherapy,” Hunter says. Believing that health is precious, she is dedicated to helping others appreciate and find their good health.
Additionally, Hunter specializes in lymphatic drainage sessions, which is not a massage session, but rather a way to reduce swelling or edema that a client may experience after a surgery or sprain, or can appear in clients with auto-immune disorders such as lupus, fibromyalgia, diabetes, Lymes disease or after-cancer or oncology treatments.
While each therapist typically sees three to four clients a day, Hunter explains every day offers something else important: laundry. “Outside of the office we are busy with lots of laundry! We joke that we have a degree in doing laundry and folding sheets,” Hunter says. “Each client requires a new, clean set of sheets and we take pride in keeping our office immaculate and quiet, so folks experience a calmness upon entering.”
The therapists at Essential Therapeutic Massage have created lasting relationships with clients in their five years of business. “Some of our clients have become friends and seem like family members over the years. It is a special relationship. Some folks come into our office and need to vent, so I lend an ear and let them release their troubles. I can often feel the tension release from their muscles,” Hunter says.
When Hunter is not working, she enjoys her days away from the office. She is a fitness instructor at the Hampton Family YMCA, where she teaches aquatic fitness classes and strength training classes. “Some people have accused me of being addicted to fitness, but I enjoy the benefits of staying healthy and active. It keeps me motivated to do the same for others,” Hunter says. She also enjoys restoring and driving her grandmother’s 1979 F-100. “Working on the car my beloved Granny had in my childhood takes me back to a different time,” Hunter says.
Another important activity in Hunter’s life, which aligns with her profession, is her work with the American Cancer Society. She sponsors Relay for Life and Breast Cancer Strides events and enjoys donating her time and services in the survivors and caregivers’ tent where she provides massages and lymphatic drainage sessions.
Essential Therapeutic Massage is dedicated to diversifying its services to keep clients healthy, happy and relaxed.
TO THE POINT:
Essential Therapeutic Massage
Address: 728-A Thimble Shoals Blvd., Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Christine Hunter