HANCOCK - Although some might consider therapeutic massage a luxury more so than a necessity, Clare Loveless will attest, there are many proven health benefits.
"Along with the more common benefits of reduced stress, relief of muscle tension and improved circulation, therapeutic massage helps to improve your immune, nervous, and digestive systems," she said. "There are so many benefits of massage for clients to experience."
Clare is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist who operates her practice, Waves of Touch, out of the historic Scott Hotel building in Hancock. Sharing office space with Discover Chiropractic, Clare offers clients a wide range of therapeutic massage services in a soothing and comfortable environment.
Clare Loveless, a nationally certified massage therapist, is shown at her practice, Waves of Touch, in Hancock.
"I perform integrated modalities during massage sessions. What that means is I combine different therapeutic massage techniques," she said. "But, typically, I practice Swedish massage with Injury Massage and Reflexology. I've have also learned Shiatsu and Acupressure, which are more energy-based modalities that deal with pressure points."
Clare is certified in hot stone therapy. This technique involves placing heated smooth stones on key points of the body.
"They are heated in a mixture of hot water and massage oil, so they glide across the skin easily. It's a very soothing experience," she said. "They're also good for sore, tight muscles. I place the stones on the client during the massage, and the heat from the stones helps to loosen the muscles. It's a form of heat hydrotherapy."
Because it takes a while to prepare the hot stones, Clare asks that clients request hot stone therapy when scheduling their appointment.
Clare welcomes clients ranging in age from infants to seniors. Individuals with any health problems are asked to consult with their physician before scheduling an appointment.
Some of the more common ailments she sees on a regular basis include muscle tension in the neck, back and shoulder region. Everyday stress is so damaging to everyone physically and psychologically.
"Massage therapy is a great way to keep yourself feeling good and deeply relaxed," she said. "Try and integrate it into your life and schedule a massage at least once a month especially now because of the economy and the personal day-to-day stress."
Clare maintains a highly professional and private practice. Clients will feel at ease the moment they arrive for their appointment.
"When they arrive, I'll ask them what problem areas they'd like to be focused on during the massage. Then, I leave the room so they can undress to their level of comfort," she said. "They remain completely draped except for the area I'm massaging at that moment. It is a safe and healing atmosphere."
Adding to the ambiance is light music and dim lighting.
Massage sessions range from 30 to 90 minutes. At the end of the session, Clare recommends they drink plenty of water.
"During the massage, we're releasing the lactic acid from the muscle," she explained. "Water will help to flush this and other toxins out of your system."
Clare is very passionate about her profession, and enjoys making people feel good.
"I love the fact that I can make people feel better," she said. "I like knowing that they're going to leave here feeling relaxed, with all the stresses they came here with, pushed to the side."
Born and raised in Toivola, and a graduate of Jeffers High School, Clare said it was her grandmother, Marjorie Kangas, who inspired her career path.
"She was a nurse and a massage therapist, who really influenced my life," she said.
Following high school, Clare attended Lake Superior State University where she received her Bachelor's degree in Human Services. After returning to the area, working as a case manager at the Keweenaw Academy for almost five years, she decided to go back to school to follow her dream.
Clare graduated from the Arizona School of Massage Therapy, located in Tempe, Ariz., and returned in 2004.
Prior to joining Discover Chiropractic in 2007, Clare worked at then Keweenaw Memorial Fitness Center doing massage.
"Slowly I've been growing my business," she said. "The economy has been a struggle for us all. As I am currently working two jobs to make ends meet. However, I truly believe everyone needs to take care of themselves and enjoy all the benefits of massage. We all should try to incorporate massage into our wellness and health care plans. I personally feel honored that I am able to fulfill my passion of being a massage therapist in the Copper Country. I am confident that I will continue to live my dream for many years to come."
Waves of Touch is located at 101 E. Quincy St. in Hancock. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call Clare Loveless at 281-2180.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Waves of Touch of Hancock. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.