By Kristie Snyder,
Jeffery Haley has the self-assurance of a person who’s known what he wanted to do for a long time, and is doing it. He has studied, practiced and taught massage therapy and energy kinesiology since graduation from high school 13 years ago, and is now using his talents and experience at A Massage Station, bringing seated massage to GreenStar.
A Massage Station, located in the West-End store entryway, has offered seated massage to shoppers, staff and others since mid-April as a business partner of GreenStar. Customers purchase massage time at the register at a cost of a dollar per minute, and are served on a first-come, first-served basis with no appointments necessary. The station is currently staffed Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 am - 7 pm, but soon will be open every day. Gift certificate vouchers are also available at the front desk.
Jeffery, a New York state Licensed Massage Therapist, views seated massage as a way to bring convenient, affordable, reliable and effective health care to the public. He sums up that philosophy with the acronym “C.A.R.E.” — coined at a dinner-table brainstorming session with his wife and two young daughters.
The station is certainly convenient — walk in anytime, no appointment or lengthy time commitment is necessary, and the client remains fully clothed. It can suit any budget, and can be tailored easily to specific needs — Jeffery has worked with clients from seven to seventy years of age, and can accommodate disabled clients and wheelchair-users. The service is reliable both in its availability and ability to accomplish wellness goals, Jeffery says. And most people who have received the benefits of massage therapy can attest to its effectiveness. “It serves a broad range of people, for stress management, acute or chronic pain, mental clarity or general relaxation,” Jeffery said.
And massage is just part of the wellness equation. A Massage Station works with each client to address their particular concerns and make them aware of changes they can make in their daily lives to relieve pain or stress – “it’s a resource to help them take care of themselves,” Jeffery said. “The aim is to educate the clients, put them in the driver’s seat and cultivate the healer within.”
A graduate of the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy, Jeffery realized as a student that seated massage was an avenue to offer the benefits of massage to a large number of people. In Boulder, CO, where he lived with his wife while she attended the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies, he worked at a grocery store-based seated massage station, and decided to pursue starting a similar venture. His family moved to Ithaca seven years ago, to be closer to grandparents after the birth of their first daughter. “When I first stepped into GreenStar I thought, ‘This would be a fantastic place for a massage station,’” he said. “People are coming here seeking healthy foods and lifestyle, and this service is another resource for them.”
GreenStar began working with Jeffery in late 2009 to offer massage as a benefit for staff members working on the fast-paced “10% on the 10th” sale days. When he presented A Massage Station as a business proposal, “it seemed to me like a perfect business partnership,” said GreenStar’s Interim General Manager Brandon Kane. While space is always a consideration at GreenStar’s perpetually cramped West-End location, Brandon found a suitable spot in GreenStar’s vestibule, which was recently revamped for greater energy-efficiency and comfort. The beautiful white-pine, timber-frame structure that houses the station was built by Aaron Dennis of Trumansburg’s Tugley Wood Timberframing and erected on-site.
“It has definitely been well-received by staff and customers alike,” Brandon said. “I am hoping that it can grow into a seven-day-a-week business in the near future.” That is Jeffery’s plan — along with offering service at Oasis — both to ensure that the service is available to customers every day, and also to offer the talents of other massage providers. “It’s not about me,” he said. “I want to provide an opportunity for other practitioners to share their gifts with the community.” The station should soon be staffed seven days a week — the schedule is posted in the store, and also available online at www.amassagestation.com, which will also feature biographies of other practitioners as they are added.
“I am excited to help make quality, professional health service more accessible to the community while providing myself and other practitioners an avenue to share their knowledge and skills,” Jeffery said. “Business has been fantastic, and I’ve received very positive feedback from customers and staff.”
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