I’ve been meaning to set up an interview with Doylestown Massage Therapist Carol Hunt (license # msg000415) for some time. She’s an interesting and kind person and a font of information when it comes to bodywork. Given that February includes the Valentine holiday and is now considered a month to focus on love – both towards others as well as towards ourselves – it seemed the perfect time to speak with Carol who’s love of her work makes her not only an outstanding massage therapist, but also a valued member of the Cornerstone team.
How long have you been working at Cornerstone and what brought you here?
I started working at Cornerstone in September 1996, so it’s been a little over 22 years. A friend of mine used to drive by the Doylestown club, which was the first Cornerstone location. He told me that the parking lot was always full and suggested that I stop in and speak to someone. So, I did. Apparently, there was a massage therapist who had broken her ankle and no one was sure if she was coming back. After a couple interviews, I was hired. There were times when I was the only massage therapist on staff. Now, I’m fortunate to work with two other highly experienced massage therapists, Cathy Calabria-Kane and Rachel Zhang. Between the three of us, we have about 65 years of experience!
Why did you decide to become a massage therapist?
I originally went to massage school in the 80’s, but it wasn’t the right time in my life and I wasn’t ready to do anything with it. So, I went again in ’95 and by that time, I was ready to practice. As for why I chose this line of work, I can’t really articulate it. I just felt it was a calling, a calling that was strong enough that I paid for school twice!
How has massage therapy changed over the years that you have been practicing?
It’s much more in the public eye and awareness. Thankfully, the old-fashioned perception of “massage parlors” has dropped away and massage therapy has become properly integrated into the healthcare and wellness industry. There’s also been a lot more research in the last 10-15 years proving the efficacy of massage. We’ve learned that massage can benefit lots of different populations. Massage therapy has also become more professional with state licensure requirements along with other rules and regulations.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Staying relevant. I have a lot of long-term clients. I don’t want people getting bored with their massage. It’s important to me that I keep my massages fresh and focused on the needs of my clients. Since I love what I do, this is not hard.
How would you explain the importance of regular massage to overall health and wellness?
All massage is therapeutic with each treatment targeted towards creating total relaxation and restoration in an individual. Massage can release restrictions and ease muscle pain and tension, increase range of motion by promoting joint flexibility and induce relaxation, increase circulation and contribute towards deeper sleep.
Most people don’t stretch enojgh, so massage will help lengthen muscle fibers and can improve circulation through the body resulting in the movement of nutrients into and out of the cells. Tight muscles have less elasticity. So, cells have waste and toxic products. Relaxing muscles and improving fluid circulation moves nutrients into the cells and waste products out. Also, massage can help align new scar tissue and have it become pliable with the muscle fiber. There is also the importance of the power of touch. Massage therapy provides connection to another person in a non-judgmental and caring way. Massage is also like a vacation from stress which is the root of so much disease.
What do you like most about your job?
All of it. It feeds my soul. I love the one-on-one connection, I love seeing improvements in people, and I love “being the best part of their day”- even if it’s the fastest hour of a person’s day.
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about massage therapy?
That they are in charge. Too many people say, “I had a massage and it hurt”, but they don’t speak up. People are afraid to ask for what they want. I always thank people when they make it clear what they want. It makes it easier for me to do my job and complete my mission which is to satisfy my clients by giving them what they need. It’s about you. It’s not about the massage I want to give you.
What type of massage do you specialize in?
Oncology massage, Swedish/Deep Swedish, Hot stone and Pre and post natal. I’m also a Reiki Master. Sometimes, people will ask me what kind of massage I’m giving. After 2o + years of experience, I have the confidence to incorporate my many years of continuing education and often combine elements from different modalities so I can tailor a massage to fit a person’s specific needs. Sometimes there’s no simple answer – it’s often a mix of things based on experience.
Carol has helped many people over the years, both members and Cornerstone staff. Here’s what Kim Starkey, Doylestown Personal Trainer, had to say:
“Carol has helped out our whole family reduce pain and stress with her deep Swedish massages. I buy gift cards regularly for my mother, husband and sons. So much more effective than going to a doctor and getting medicine that causes other side effects.”
If you have any questions or would like to sign up for weekly emails announcing upcoming appointment openings, contact Carol at CHunt@cornerstoneclubs.com.
If you’d like to make an appointment with Carol, she’s available in Doylestown at the following days and times:
Mondays, 3:00 – 8:00pm
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10:00am – 3:30pm
First Saturday of the month, 10:00 – 3:00pm