This Month’s Featured Article

Three Massage Therapists Talk Business in the Region

By Published On: January 2nd, 2024

Massage therapy is an integrative medicine that has been around since the beginning of time and was one of the earliest methods of relieving pain. Now, a massage is a luxury that few of us splurge on, but one that many of us could benefit from. We spoke to three massage therapists in the region about their businesses, their favorite parts of their job, and their personal favorite massage styles. 

Kirsty McCallion, Massage by Fairy

Kirsty McCallion, better known as Fairy by her friends and clients, is the owner of Massage by Fairy. While she has been practicing as an in-home massage therapist in the Berkshire area for the past five years, she just recently opened an office location in Hudson, NY, this past October. 

Fairy attended the Finger Lake School of Massage in Ithaca, NY, where she studied modalities including deep tissue, prenatal, Swedish, Shiatsu, and sports massage. She practiced massage therapy in New York City and Los Angeles before moving to Great Barrington, MA. “I’ve always done in-home massage and I saw that there’s a great need for that type of service in this area,” she explained. “I was having a difficult time finding massages for myself because so many places were completely booked.” 

Fairy says that she’s not a “fluffy massage therapist. It’s going to smell good and you’re going to be relaxed, but we’re there to do serious work on your body.” Fairy offers services including deep tissue massage and structure therapy. “I typically tell my clients that they might be a little sore the following day. I focus on whatever my clients’ problem areas are, so hips, shoulders, and necks are typically the most common areas.”

Fairy also has a background in dentistry, which allows her to offer intraoral massage to help with bruxism, teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and TMJ. “I work very slowly and very deeply. Once the body is completely relaxed, we can get in there and release the tension, knots, and emotions that are stored,” she said. 

One of Fairy’s favorite treatments that she offers is prenatal massage. “Prenatal work is very rewarding,” she shared. “The body goes through many changes during pregnancy.” For example, as the baby grows, the hips start to open and expand and the muscles on the sides of the body begin to pull downward to counteract the weight. “Massage can help with some, if not all, of those issues.” 

Fairy is also a certified doula, or a professional who supports pregnant women physically and emotionally throughout the childbirth process. “I think a lot of people treat pregnant women like glass. I’m not scared of a woman who’s pregnant; more often than not, they really need me to get in there with an elbow to work that knot out. The relief on their faces afterwards is palpable.”

For prenatal massages, Fairy also has special pillows that bolster pregnant bellies and allow women to lie face down comfortably. “I could not touch them at all and just leave them on the massage table face down for that hour and a half and they would still be happy,” she laughed. 

Fairy’s favorite part is undoubtedly meeting the babies once they’re born. “My youngest client is a year old. I met her when she was only four weeks old in her mama’s belly! When I met her, she also recognized my voice, which was amazing,” she said. “I know that this is not proven in any way, but the babies whose mothers I’ve massaged are the most calm and relaxed babies I’ve ever met.” 

When asked what the biggest challenge of her job is, Fairy laughed and said “cleaning sheets!”

“I love my job. Seeing the look on people’s faces after they get up off of the table and their response is just incredible. It’s satisfying when someone tells me where they’re having trouble and I can find the exact spot and release it.”

Fairy loves working as an in-home massage therapist, but opened her office locations to provide a more affordable option for clients. “I love in-home massage because the joy of it is that I can set up, do my thing, and leave, and my clients are able to stay very blissful. They don’t have to worry about getting in the car afterwards and zipping off to their day. They can stay relaxed longer.” 

However, she wants to be able to serve clients from all budgets and walks of life, so she understands the need for in-office massages as well. “It’s a little easier on my body too to have an office, since I don’t have to travel and carry the table and other supplies,” she said. “I want to be affordable and accessible, so it’s important to me that I offer both options.” 

Fairy believes that her passion is what sets her apart from similar businesses. “It doesn’t feel like a job to me; it’s very fulfilling. I’m very detail-oriented, so being able to do the extra steps means a lot to me. I focus on providing the best possible service so that my clients really find the value in coming to me.”

Long term, Fairy wants to open more locations and bring in more massage therapists. Her five-year plan is to add infrared saunas, float tanks, and acupuncture. The ultimate dream is to have a location that can host bachelorette parties and other celebrations, as well as where people can come and spend the entire day relaxing. “I plan on expanding and opening in different locations.” 

Massage by Fairy has two locations: 47 Railroad St, Great Barrington, MA, and 886 Columbia St, Top Floor, Hudson, NY. (413) 239-7836.

Terre Lefferts Therapeutic Massage

Terre Lefferts has been practicing massage therapy in Salisbury, CT, for eleven years. “I was a dancer for 30 years, including 10 years at Arts in Motion in Salisbury. I gave up dancing in 2008,” she said. 

Terre, who had previously been trained in Pilates, decided to attend Berkshire Community College to become a licensed physical therapy assistant and a licensed massage therapist. The basis of Terre’s training was Swedish massage therapy, but she also provides deep-tissue massage and reflexology and is a certified manual lymph drainage practitioner. Because of her background in physical therapy and Pilates, Terre perhaps has more expansive knowledge of the body and how it works than your average massage therapist. 

“I know the roadmap of the body quite intricately,” she said. “I know the mechanisms of what muscles contract when you move in a certain way, so that allows me not only to provide massage services to relax the muscles, but also to be able to go beyond the massage and tell clients what to do in their daily lives to help with preventative care.” 

Terre also utilizes therapeutic music to aid in aligning chakras and aromatherapy during her sessions. She believes in the importance of choosing the massage therapist that is best for you and your body. “There are a lot of massage therapists out there. Picking the right one can be like picking the right hairdresser,” she laughed. “One person is not right for everybody. A good massage therapist can read the body with their hands, intuit where the body’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities are, and identify overused areas.” 

While Terre does offer some in-home massage services, she primarily works out of her office on Main Street in Salisbury. One of the biggest challenges Terre faces in her job is overextending herself. “My own muscles start to hurt sometimes when I do too much in a day,” she explained. “I try to keep my work pretty well divided between physical therapy, massage therapy, and the exercise classes that I host.”

She typically holds the exercise classes in the morning at her studio space. The purpose of the classes is for her clients to build strength in their muscles to prevent potential injuries in the future. 

At 68, Terre hopes to continue working as a massage therapist for as long as she possibly can while ensuring that she’s still comfortable. “Making people feel better is the best part of my job, and I want to continue to do it for as long as I can continue to help others.”

Terre Lefferts Therapeutic Massage is located at 199 Main St. Salisbury, CT. (860) 435-0723. 

Kristie Watson, Pressure Perfect Massage

Kristie Watson is the owner of Pressure Perfect Massage, based out of Salisbury, CT. While she’s been working in the spa and health sector for years, she just opened Pressure Perfect Massage in November of 2023. 

“I wanted to be out on my own and take the reins for once. It’s important to be in the local area and help clients with different health conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and others. It felt like it was time for me to give back to the community that I’ve been a part of for a while,” Kristie said. 

Kristie got her degree in massage therapy from Columbia-Greene Community College in 2014 and has previously worked at medi-spas, day spas, and nursing homes. “I have a lot of background working on clients of different ages and needs,” she said. 

Kristie offers a variety of different massage options including Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal, CBD, cupping, Himalayan salt stone, and Thai herbal. She’s also certified in manual lymphatic drainage. 

Kristie’s personal favorite massage that she offers is the CBD massage. “We use a variety of different products in that massage, and it has many health benefits,” she explained. “It helps with joint stiffness, nerve pain, and inflammation.” 

One of the biggest challenges that Kristie has encountered while starting her business is learning how to balance her work with her life as a wife and mother of two young children. “This is also the first time that I’m my own boss, so I’m very meticulous about ensuring I’m making the right call, doing everything professionally, and keeping everything precise and by the books,” she said. 

Undoubtedly, the most rewarding part of her job is helping people feel better. “They say things like, ‘I feel amazing,’ or ‘I feel like Jell-O,’ and that’s super gratifying for me to hear,” she said. “Having my clients tell me that I made a huge difference for them physically and/or mentally means the world to me. And they keep coming back, too, which is also very rewarding.” 

Kristie believes that her previous work has helped her immensely in her massage business, as she offers a variety of different modalities than a general masseuse might. “I think what sets me apart is that I’m caring and compassionate, and I really listen to all of my clients. I put my all into their treatment. My goal is to make somebody feel better, and my personal care for each client to meet their individual needs really helps to provide the most effective treatment,” she said. 

Looking forward, Kristie hopes to continue serving the Lakeville area for as long as she can. “I just opened, but so far the reception has been great. I’m going to continue building my clientele, strengthening those relationships, and serving the locals. Come get a massage with me!” •

Pressure Perfect Massage LLC is located at 350 Main St B2, Lakeville, CT. (518) 947-0625.