By Debbie Adams
PS Massage Clinic at Therapeutic Elements, LLC, opened in Vinton in late summer 2019. The medical massage clinic held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting on March 12, 2020, and almost immediately was closed down for two and a half months due to Virginia’s COVID-19 restrictions. Sisters Tristina Pagans and Helena Stoops are the co-owners and therapists.
The massage business, located at 223 W. Virginia Avenue, was able to reopen in June 2020 when COVID guidelines eased. They decided to celebrate their official one year anniversary this March.
Pagans, a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), has been practicing massage since 2016.
“I have always had a passion for helping people,” said Pagans. “In 2004 I became a certified nursing assistant (CNA). In 2014 I started nursing school. It was only after my first year of nursing school when I decided that I wanted a job with a more natural approach. That’s when my sister drew me to massage therapy, due to its natural unique healing abilities.”
She attended Miller Motte Technical College in 2016 and graduated at the top of her class with honors. She specializes in therapeutic and neuromuscular massage.
Helena Stoops graduated from the Steiner Institute of Esthetics at the Virginia School of Massage (VASOM) in 2012 and received her national certification (which was changed to Board Certified in 2016) for massage therapy the same year.
“My massage background is more medical, with me holding certification in myofascial techniques for upper and lower body, stretching techniques, and some craniosacral therapy,” Stoops says. “I worked in a chiropractor’s office for over seven years, allowing me to not only hone my craft but also get a more in-depth understanding of what the body needs.”
The services they offer – customized for each client – include Deep Tissue Massage, Swedish Massage, Focused Massage, Myofascial Therapeutic Massage, Stretching and Sports Massage, Pre-natal Massage, and Trigger Point Therapies. They have worked with clients of all ages from infants to a 92-year-old. The sisters describe massage therapy as “the oldest form of medicine,” and a type of “natural healing.”
Deep Tissue Massage involves realigning deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness, and sore neck and shoulders.
Swedish Massage uses gentle to medium pressure with long flowing strokes to promote relaxation and circulation, reduce stress and relieve muscle tension. The Mayo Clinic reports a 60-minute massage can lower cortisol, the stress hormone, by up to 30 percent after just one session.
Focused Massage, also known as targeted massage, pinpoints one to two areas of the body with deeper pressure to target trouble areas – most commonly on the neck, shoulders, glutes, and forearms.
Myofascial Therapeutic Massage is a soft tissue therapy used to treat deep muscular tension, somatic dysfunction, and pain by relaxing the fascia, those fibrous bands around muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This technique requires firm pressure that stretches and elongates deep muscle tissue, increasing the range of motion and circulation.
Stretching and Sports Massage work to reduce potential injury, increase overall flexibility, and relieve muscle fatigue. Different techniques can be used from stretching to the break down of scar tissue to increase range of motion.
Pre-natal Massage is specifically tailored for expectant mothers. Their bodies are properly positioned and supported with pillows and padding during massage. This type of massage reduces stress, decreases swelling, and relieves the aches and pains caused “by a growing belly.”
Trigger Point Therapy targets trigger points or muscle knots – the sensitive spots in soft tissue. This therapy mostly consists of rubbing and pressing on trigger points and “provides amazing relief.”
Pagans says that most commonly their clients have pain issues, injuries, fibromyalgia, or are experiencing stress. Some are referred by chiropractors.
Some massages involve 30-minute sessions, some 60, some 90.
Therapeutic Elements welcomes new clients. Hours of operation (subject to change) are generally on Mondays from 10 to 6; on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 to 5; on Fridays from 10 to 4; and one Saturday a month from 10-2. They are closed on Thursdays.
Therapeutic Elements, LLC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau of Western Virginia.
The COVID health guidelines they follow include face coverings for therapists and clients and frequent disinfecting of surfaces and tools.
Check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TherapeuticElements.LLC for their schedule and how to make an appointment.