2007-01-18 / News

Island wellness experts offer opportunity to look good, feel good in the New Year

By Heather M. Lightner

Looking to feel and look good in 2007? Are you ready to make yourself a priority? Don't rush to think you've got to leave the island to find people and places to help you in your quest for health and happiness - Jamestown has some wonderful resources to start the new year off right.

Thinking about getting a massage? Jamestown resident and licensed massage therapist Patrick Mc Girr works on the island and is available for house calls. McGirr offers a variety of different massages, including Swedish massage and sports massage. He also is skilled in Thai, myofascia release massage and hot stone massage. Thai massage, which originated in Thailand, involves the stretching and compressing of muscles. "It's a combination of stretching and sports massage," explained McGirr. "The person is active with the therapist in that treatment."

Myofascia release massage helps to release myelin between muscle and the bone. Myelin often wraps around an injury, causing tightness and decreased range of motion. Myofascia release massage breaks up this myelin after injury or physical stress by using a rolling action without the use of lotion or oil.

While most massage therapists use a type of stones called river stones (from England or the West) in hot stone massage, McGirr uses stones for his hot stones gathered from the beaches of Jamestown, Middletown, and Narragansett.

Licensed massage therapist Victoria Hellewell, like McGirr, offers Thai massage. In fact, Hellewell, a Jamestown resident, received a few weeks of training in Thailand last year. Though Hellewell, who has been a massage therapist since 1998, performs Thai massage, she tends to do more deep tissue and targeted massage. From her office in the Wellness Center on Pemberton Avenue, Hellewell treats a significant number of people who have suffered injuries and clients who are dealing with physical ailments, such as headaches. Most of Hellewell's clients, however, come in for maintenance in order to keep moving, and, of course, there are a number of people who simply come in for some much needed pampering.

Massage, said Hellewell, can help those people who work out, improving physical performance and health. "You'll actually do better in the gym if you get a massage," Hellewell said. "It's pampering, but it's also therapeutic."

Speaking of therapeutic, therapist and licensed massage therapist Gretchen Blycker, another island resident, combines massage and psychotherapy to create a new experience, mindfulness based psychotherapy. Blycker describes her practice as "holistic counseling and mindfulness-based therapy".

Blycker will hold a workshop sometime in February. This experiential workshop facilitates self-understanding regarding habitual patterns and core beliefs that prevent deep satisfaction. The workshop will teach people how they can access the simple healthy pleasures that are always available through conscious experience of the senses.

It's a no brainer, but if you want to feel and look your best, you must incorporate exercise into your life, however busy it may be. "Nothing is more important than taking care of your health," emphasized Barbara Lundy, owner of Jamestown Fitness on Southwest Avenue. Lundy believes that if health is to be a priority, exercise must be a priority also. According to Lundy, many people have improved their lives and recovered from injury just by adopting an exercise regimen.

The gym features Cybex and True strength-training machines, plated weights, free weights, and cardiovascular machines to help whip the motivated into shape. Two nationally certified trainers are also on site, as is a day-care service on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, allowing busy moms a chance to carve out some much needed "me time." "There's no excuse why you can't work out now," said Lundy, laughing

Want to take an exercise class? Interested in learning how to dance? Hoping to find other adults to play sports with? Look no further than Jamestown Department of Parks and Recreation. Many different classes, from tai chi to tango, to over-40 soccer and "Latin workout" are offered to Jamestown residents. Some of the classes have ongoing enrollment. Others run for a certain period of time. Though registration for winter classes has already taken place, Program Supervisor Keith Anderson said it's not too late to get involved in a program. "There's still room in all our classes if people want to join in," said Anderson. "It's probably the best deal in town to walk into a gym and play."

Jamestown residents also have another resource for feeling great in the New Year - Cathryn Jamieson Salon on Narragansett Avenue. Owner Cathryn Jamieson and stylist Rosemary Tutsch bring nearly 30 years of experience to the full service salon. "They do wonderful work - very skilled work," said Dale Rocha, who has been doing manicures and pedicures at the salon for three and a half years. "They genuinely care about their clients."

The Aveda salon is housed in a circa 1700 historical home on Narragansett Avenue. The house dictates the flavor of the unique and calming atmosphere, which is very community and family oriented. Socially and environmentally conscious, Aveda salons use Aveda brand products, which support fair trade and communities across the globe. "Aveda salon products are already philosophically coming from a better place," explained Rocha.

The first floor of the salon offers salon services (cuts, color, manicures, pedicures, waxing, and a variety of skin and spa treatments, done by esthetician Nessa Ferrera) and a small gift shop/boutique named Pas de Chat (paw of the cat). Doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine Beth Quinn, massage therapist Robin Lee, certified reflexologist and Reiki master Margo Dussault, and Shiatsu massage therapist Tim Staley occupy the second floor and offer clients an opportunity to feel healthier.

Rocha credited Jamieson for making the salon something special and different. "This is a creation - a holistic environment created by Cathryn. She's really the visionary behind it. She set the vibe. This place is a nice little treasure that Jamestown has."

For more information, call the wellness providers directly at these numbers:

Patrick McGirr, 835-5510 or email mcgirr7th@cox.net; Jamestown recreation office, 423-7260; Gretchen Blycker, 486-7183; Cathryn Jamieson Salon, 423-0905; Victoria Hellewell, 835-3180; Jamestown Fitness, 560-0300.

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