by Marlaina Donato
When Licensed Massage Therapist Kathleen Vroman, owner of Community Massage and Holistic Therapies, first set out on her path, she could not have envisioned such a rewarding journey 10 years later. A decade after honing her skills at a local spa and six years since launching her own practice in Troy, Vroman is still passionate about the benefits of bodywork and helping people to experience less pain and stress. “I always try my best to make sure my clients feel cared for and listened to, and I prefer to focus on each client without rushing,” says Vroman, who remains committed to not scheduling too many people on any given day.
With offices now in Latham and Loudonville, Vroman’s urban oasis offers renewal for body and spirit. “My Loudonville location at Elevate Albany Wellness is part of an integrative healthcare and wellness facility that has many offerings under one roof, including acupuncture, yoga, naturopathic services and holistic skin care,” explains Vroman.
Her specialty massage services include traditional Swedish, deep tissue, acupressure face massage and hand and foot mini-sessions. Her Relax and Renew ‘spot treatment’ sessions target areas that need some TLC. “There is an increasing amount of scientific research available about the myriad benefits of massage as a preventive treatment and also as a complementary therapy to rehabilitative work for surgeries and injuries,” says Vroman, emphasizing that therapeutic massage techniques interrupt the ‘substance P’ factor involved in the pain cycle, stretch fascia, loosen soft tissues, increase circulation and promote optimum nerve function—all which contribute to pain reduction.
On the practical level, massage just makes people feel better. She says, “People are always surprised by how much relief they notice after even a short, 15-minute session. Everybody can benefit from massage! Everyone has aches and pains, tension and stress that can be relieved with bodywork. These days, more men are interested in staying healthy and are looking for ways to recover from regular exercise and manage stress.”
More subtle modalities like Biodynamic CranioSacral Therapy (BCST) are also offered, focusing on the nervous system and its inherent energetic qualities. Vroman explains, “Using light touch techniques involve a variety of rhythms within the body, and these different ‘tides’ can be perceived and subtle physiological changes can be noticed.”
Vroman attests to the rebalancing qualities of both BCST and massage for symptoms of depression and anxiety, noting, “Massage addresses soft tissue tension to offer relief, while CranioSacral Therapy focuses more on the nervous system and subtle energy systems within the body.”
Vroman’s bodywork sessions also include hot stones or essential oils upon request. “For many years, I have been offering a variety of essential oils for clients to choose from. It adds to their experience, whether the scent is for emotional reasons or more therapeutic in nature. One example would be eucalyptus oil used singly in a carrier oil as a muscle liniment, due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties,” she says.
Her philosophy of “quality over quantity” hasn’t changed much over the years and mirrors her belief in each client’s innate capacity to heal. “Healing is a word that carries a lot of weight. I see it as more of a process and my role is as a facilitator, assisting the body and giving each person more perspective on their healing journey,” advises Vroman.
Seeing clients’ positive changes and relief from pain is a source of deep satisfaction for Vroman and keeps her motivated to consistently offer the best service possible. “Connecting personally with each one of my wonderful clients is very fulfilling, especially considering that I have known some of them for 10 years now. It gives me joy knowing that people always remember how you made them feel!”
For more information or to make an appointment, visit CommunityMassages.com.
Marlaina Donato is a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.