Get to know Karina Levy, Licensed Massage Therapist

Karina Levy joined the East Village Spa team in March, 2018 when we recruited her to fill an open position, knowing she was the perfect fit for our guests. Karina ‘s experience as a professional ballet dancer and founder of a non-profit that provides massage therapy to individuals who have ALS are two things that create her uniquely relaxing and therapeutic style of bodywork.

Where and when did you receive your professional training?

I received massage therapy training at the Iowa College of Natural Health (Iowa School of Beauty) in 2012 in Ankeny. I have a BA from Iowa State in history and religious studies and I’m working on my master’s in history. I’ve taken several advanced trainings including Myofascial Release by John Barnes, Orthopedic and Sports Massage by James Waslawski, and cupping.

What are your specialties?

Orthopedic massage, working with people who have serious illnesses like ALS, prenatal massages. I love to give relaxing services like body scrubs and hot stone massages as well.

Why did you choose this field?

I was a professional ballet dancer for 12 years, massage therapy helped me with injury and maintaining healthy muscles through my career.

Describe your massage style in 3 words:

Therapeutic, Deliberate, Quiet

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to give?

Either the EV Signature or Athletic Edge Massage

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to receive?

Same! Depending on the day, either the EV Signature or Athletic Edge Massage

What is your favorite retail item?

I LOVE bath salts so I’d say the Kneipp salts or Rapid fire for injuries.

What are some fun facts about you?

I’ve lived, taught, and performed ballet in Denmark, New York City, Chicago and many other places. I love to read and I’m a history nerd. I love wine, cheese, and strong coffee.

Why should guests book with YOU?

I respect your life story and health needs, whatever they are that day. I do my best to listen to your body and cater to your needs every session.

What are guests saying about Karina?

“From the instant my massage started, I knew I was literally in good hands. Karina used a nice, firm pressure throughout the massage but her technique was so slow that it didn’t cause pain and was super relaxing. She let me rest quietly and my mind drifted away. Before my session I was stiff and achy from swimming, but I left the spa with greater range of motion and a much better attitude!”

To book a session with Karina, click here. Please select “Specific therapist” from the drop down menu, then select her name to see her availability. This will register your booking as a request for Karina.

Get to know Becky, LMT!

Becky White, Full Time Licensed Massage Therapist at East Village Spa

Becky White is a full time licensed massage therapist at East Village Spa. She comes from a lifelong background in dance including dance instruction, so she can empathize with people who are hard on their bodies, and she can choreograph very flowing massages.

Where and when did you get your professional training?

I graduated from the Aveda Institute and got my massage therapy license in 2017. I have a BA in graphic design and minor in psychology from Grandview.

Which techniques or treatment styles do you feel most comfortable with?

Focus work, general relaxation massage, stretching

Why did you choose this field?

I like being able to connect with others on a deeper, unconditionally loving and healing level. I like to be able to give of myself in a way not many other jobs allow you to.

Describe your treatment style in 3 words:

Revitalizing, Rhythmic, and Relaxing

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to give?

The 80 minute Heavenly Hot Stone Massage

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to receive?

The 80 minute EV Signature Massage

What is your favorite retail product that we carry?

The EuroSpa Shower Mist

What are some hobbies or fun facts about you?

Dancing, tumbling, fishing, traveling (especially in Europe!), and cycling.

Why should guests book with you?

My intuitive nature helps me connect with guests easily and really understand what they want to get out of a session. My intent and touch is unique and I can help individuals reach a higher level of well-being.

What are guests saying about Becky?

“Becky was completely attentive and professional. She knew when to ask for my preference and how to recommend what was best for my skin and muscles.”

“She was extremely detailed during the massage (massaging my ankle bones with the stones and the little spot between your thumb and pointer finger). I loved her hand and foot massage. My favorite thing ever was her scalp and facial massage.”

To schedule a massage with Becky, call (515) 309-2904 or check her availability and book online here. If you wish to indicate a specific request for Becky as your massage therapist, please select “Specific Therapist” and her name from the drop down menu.

 

 

How do massage therapists manage their own pain?

One of the most frequently asked questions I heard when I was practicing massage was “how often do YOU get a massage?” As massage therapists, we learn to get a good read on our bodies and learn what works well to prevent or manage our own pain.  Some of the LMTs on our team shared what works best for them, and their favorite referrals.

Camdine: I use a Lacrosse ball on my hips, back, and neck to massage painful spots. Camdine also uses locally produced Rapid Fire to reduce pain.

Julie: Daily stretches, epsom salt and Kneipp arnica bath soaks 3x week, a glass of warm Pure Inventions Tranquility tea (with magnesium) before bed, Rapid Fire to control small areas of pain, regular massages and chiropractic care as needed.

Julie’s favorite nighttime  drink is the Pure Inventions Tranquility which contains chamomile, passion flower, and magnesium.

Jamee: I use acupressure as a cure for everything but death, and I haven’t died yet. I see my personal massage therapist (co-worker Tiffany) regularly. I also purchased a Yoga trapeze that is a miracle for low back pain.

Heather: Massage 2-3x a month, regular visits with chiropractor Dr. Pulley (East Village Chiropractic)

Our employees massage each other and also see therapists outside the spa when their co-workers are booked. We all know the importance of “practicing what we preach!”

Hannah M: Staying active after a hard day reduces tension for me.

Jamee (cont’d): …On second thought, I should get a med alert bracelet made up that says in an emergency, call my massage therapist (Tiffany.)

Brandi: Yoga and using a foam roller, a 30 minute daily walk, get adjusted at Shine Chiropractic weekly, Fadeaway Flotation monthly.

Tisha: Rapid fire for aches, pains, and headaches, cupping therapy, foam roller, yoga, and a monthly massage (more often when needed!)

Most of our employees swear by Rapid Fire for muscle aches and tension headaches.

Conny: I’m not in pain often, but if it happens, I either overworked something or an emotional issue came up. For physical pain, I use rapid fire and a soak in a hot bath with epsom salts, receive massage twice a month. A good book, a glass of wine, and a friend for heartache.

 

Conny is especially partial to Kneipp bath salts because like her, they are from Germany.

Cassie: The older I get the more my joints act up, especially after running, biking, and swimming. In addition to regular massage, I see Dr. Pulley for chiropractic care when I overdo it or something feels “off.” I have done regular pilates at Gigi’s Pilates for about 6 years. Sometimes stretching isn’t the answer (or isn’t the only answer). The strengthening techniques in Pilates really help my low back and knees from screaming after longer runs.

If I miss to many pilates sessions, my body rebels and I get low back spasms that make it hard to run. I have learned the importance of strength training to keep everything working like it should!

Want to try massage therapy or one of our favorite pain relieving products for your own aches and pains? Stop into East Village Spa at 601 East Locust or book online!

Get to know Brandi, LMT

Brandi Munch, Licensed Massage Therapist, yoga instructor, and reiki practitioner joined our team in February, 2017. Brandi has a loyal following of clients seeking a peaceful, quiet relaxation service. She spent 10 years as a social worker prior to seeking a calmer field where she could truly make a difference in the lives of her clients.

How long have you been in the industry?

I completed my massage therapy education at Aveda in 2016 and have been working full time in the field ever since. I became a certified yoga instructor in 2017.

What are your specialties?

Relaxation-focused massage sessions and reiki. I also offer prenatal and hot stone massage.

Why did you go into the Massage Therapy field?

I’ve always been a helper and discovered my passion for health and wellness after pursuing my own journey to healing.

Describe your treatment style in 3 words:

Nurturing, restorative, peaceful

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to give?

I love the indulgent foot massages we offer because we incorporate yummy scented products!

What is your favorite East Village Spa service to receive?

I love all of them!

What is your favorite retail product?

Rapid Fire locally produced pain relief spray

What do you do in your free time?

I spend time with my old grumpy puggle, Sophie. We love to be outside exploring trails and parks.

Why should guests visit YOU?

I know how stress impacts our physical bodies and would love to help you relax so you can be your best self.

What are guests saying about Brandi?

“Brandi takes such good care of me. This is my regular “me time” spot! I feel so much better after going to her services.”

“She is an excellent massage therapist. She knows the muscles and how to relieve stress and pain. She is nice and responsive.”

“Friendly, professional and simply amazing. Explains everything she does so I understand the massage and the good it does for my mind and body.”

If you would like to schedule a massage with Brandi, click here to book online and select the “specific therapist” option from the drop down menu before selecting her name.

 

 

Get to know Molly I, Licensed Massage Therapist

Thank you for helping us welcome Molly Ihde to our team! Molly joined our team in 2016 and has been a great addition to our sports and deep tissue therapists.  In addition to her passion for deep tissue and athletic massages, her Aveda training helped her develop a place in her heart for relaxation and spa therapies like our Gong Fu Chai scrub, which she loves doing!

How long have you been in the industry?

I graduated from the Aveda Institute in 2015 and have been working full time as a massage therapist ever since.

Why did you go into massage therapy?

I became a massage therapist because I have an interest in health and wellness, specifically in sports therapy and preventative care.

What is your favorite service to give?

I enjoy athletic massage and deep tissue work.

What is your favorite spa service to receive?

I love our Gong Fu Chai scrub because the Farmhouse Fresh Clementine oil smells amazing and my skin feels so smooth afterwards.

What is your favorite spa retail product?

Unfortunately, I haven’t tried everything yet, but some of my favorites are the Farmhouse Fresh face masks, Sweet Cream Body Lotion (we use this in the EV Signature Massages), Rhonda Allison Ultra Hydration Lotion and Farmhouse Fresh Plum Chiffon Balm.

What is your favorite way to reduce stress?

When I’m stressed, I like to go for a run, do crossword puzzles, read, or listen to podcasts.

What is your favorite self-care suggestion for clients?

I’m a huge fan of foam rollers and lacrosse balls for more specific trigger point relief. These tools are probably the closet thing you can get to deep tissue and broad pressure body work at home and a great habit to get into between appointments.

Do you have a favorite relaxation or stress relief quotation?

“Our bodies communicate clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen.” Shakti Gawain

Why should clients visit YOU?

I really work hard and do everything I can to be a positive part of someone’s day. If my client leaves with a smile and even just a little bit better than when they came in, I’m happy.

To schedule a massage with Molly, click here or call (515) 309-2904. If booking online, be sure to select “specific therapist” and choose her name from the drop down menu if you wish to make a request to see Molly.

 

Get to know Heather, LMT

Thank you for helping us to welcome Heather Brown, LMT to our team! Heather joined us in 2016 after our long time therapist Teresa Sage moved to Dubuque. Heather has a similarly nurturing style to Teresa and we are confident she is a great fit for many of Teresa’s regulars and clients looking for a great combination of relaxation and specific work.

How long have you been in the industry?

I graduated from Body Wisdom Massage Therapy School in 2016 and began my career with East Village Spa right afterward.

Why did you go into this field?

I practiced infant massage on my children and have been told over the years that I would make a great massage therapist because I am a natural. It makes me very happy to be in the wellness profession. I have worked and volunteered with children, animals and geriatrics my whole life. Being of service has been my life calling.

What is your favorite service to give?

I love aromatherapy and pampering you with whatever massage technique is called for in the session. We have so many options to choose from depending on what the you request. If you have a specific issue going on with your body, I will help determine what will give you the most relaxation and relief.

What is your favorite spa service to receive?

Everything we offer at the spa is a favorite. It’s nice to try new services depending on what I need at the time.

What is your favorite retail product?

The Kneipp products are wonderful! Try the arnica gel or cream for aches, pains or bruises. I like to mix a dab in with my cream or massage oil. Arnica gel speeds up the healing process. The Kneipp salts are also helpful to have on hand or give away as gifts.

What is your favorite way to reduce stress?

During the summer I enjoy swimming outdoors with my sons. Hiking with my Golden Retriever, Shadow, at Brown’s Woods or Walnut Woods is another favorite. Meeting up with friends at Gray’s Lake or the YMCA in the winter to work out and get in the sauna makes me very happy. For quick de-stressors I enjoy epsom salt baths, listening to music, stretching and cooking.

What is your favorite self-care suggestion for clients?

Stay hydrated with water, daily walks, eat a healthy diet, keep your sense of humor, get a good night’s sleep and do your stretches. If you’re having a bad day a nap, a massage or ice cream makes everything better. All three is a trifecta!

Tell us some fun facts about yourself!

I’ve camped at six national parks with my family plus we drove to Alaska and visited with friends there for a month, camping through Canada there and back–Banff and Jasper National Parks included. We also volunteered and lived on several organic farms for about 4 months as part of an education experience.

Why should guests visit YOU?

Guests should visit me because I am genuinely interested in helping each guest get back to feeling better through either relaxation massage, alleviating specific troubled spots or both.  

If you would like to schedule a massage with Heather, click here to book online or give us a call at (515) 309-2904!

Massage Updates

We want to let you know some exciting massage therapy updates for our team!

Teresa, a massage therapist at East Village Spa, provides a craniosacral massage to Kelly.Our long time LMT, Teresa, is moving to Dubuque. Before she could finish her last month with us, she broke her foot and has to bid farewell to the spa sooner than any of us had hoped.

We expect she’ll be back for frequent visits and if any of you are ever in Dubuque, you can book an appointment with her at Body and Soul Spa where she’ll be providing her healing massages to the lucky people there!  She wants to thank her clients for 4 wonderful years.

heathereastvillagespamassageHeather Brown is a soon-to-be graduate of Body Wisdom School with a natural gift. Heather brings many of the same characteristics, both as a therapist and a person, to our team that we loved about Teresa and after receiving a massage from Heather, Teresa said she would be very confident referring her clients to her.  Heather will join us in Mid-December, but we promise she is worth the wait, when I received a massage from her this week, I almost shrieked with happiness because her firm pressure, divine neck work, kind spirit, and total concern for my comfort and experience were the EXACT qualities what we hoped to find in a therapist to help continue care for Teresa’s clients and new spa guests.

TwoFeetDeepMassageEastVillageSpa1To help accommodate more guests while we wait for Heather to join our team, our dear friend and former East Village Spa Massage Therapist Allison Peterson will be helping out.  She’ll be at the spa weekday hours starting next week through early December.  This is a special treat for her clients who have been missing her!  She’s a great fit for athletes, people in need of pampering, or people who love Two Feet Deep barefoot massage.

 

eastvillagespa-kellyjo_smMany of our guests don’t realize this, but both Kelly Parker (pictured), our manager, and I are licensed massage therapists.  Kelly initially got her massage license in 2009 and I received mine in 2005.  Because of our “running-the-spa duties,” we no longer accept pre-booked appointments but we both are excited to jump in and help out in a pinch, so you might see us donning our massage aprons more often in the next month or two.

Stay tuned for more updates as we add a new therapist to our team before Thanksgiving. To book your appointment, call (515) 309-2904 or visit our website!

You’re not cheating!

Imagine this:  You are about to leave for a weekend road trip with your friends and wake up with a crick in your neck.  You call the spa hoping to squeeze in a bit of pain relief with your therapist but he or she has the day off.  The receptionist suggests another great therapist, but you decline because you think you’ll hurt your therapist’s feelings.

When you return, you book with your regular massage therapist, tell them you were miserable on your trip, and they are shocked at how tense your neck and shoulders are from that painful road trip.  You need to book 3 weeks in a row just to feel normal again before you can get back on your monthly schedule.  Your therapist tells you they wish you’d have seen one of their colleagues for some relief before you left. After all, they trust them with their own massage therapy sessions and think they are great!

painWith summer so near, it is a good time to remind clients that our employees encourage you to see their colleagues for services to keep up with your progress.  We know your schedule gets crazier in the summer and our employees are also planning upcoming travel, races, and family events.  If they aren’t available when you need in, they want you to see one of their co-workers that they trust immensely with your care (and their own!)  Here’s why:

  • Our spa is a “team treatment” spa and the majority of our clients see multiple providers for more booking options and treatment styles to choose from.
  • We have been open almost 8 years and our experienced employees are fortunate that they don’t have to compete for bookings, they are always comfortably busy!
  • Our employees can rest easier when they plan a vacation or have an unexpected illness knowing that their regulars can keep on their treatment schedule with one of their co-workers.  Believe me, it stresses them out when planning a trip knowing someone they’ve been treating will skip a session (or complain that their therapist is leaving) rather than see a trusted colleague.
  • Our employees know that because they are all so busy, it is hard for clients to get in to see them as often as they need to.  We’d all rather have you see 2-3 people and get in on the schedule that is recommended than wait too long between services and not get the results you could.
  • You might find it beneficial to experience different styles of work or different opinions from other providers!  I personally have two therapists I book with at the spa when I need relaxation or want a hot stone massage, one therapist I book with for shoulder pain, and another I book with for general deep tissue.
  • Last but not least, our services providers care about you and hate to think you are in pain when they know someone who can help you!
No need for disguises! Most of our clients see multiple providers, we won't be upset!

No need for disguises! Most of our clients see multiple providers, we won’t be upset!

Next time you can’t get in with your regular provider, let the front desk know specifically what you like about that person and we can pair you up with someone who has a similar approach instead of waiting longer than you or your body wants to between services. You might also ask your regular provider who he or she would recommend if you ever need to get in when they aren’t available. Click here to learn about our skilled treatment team and click here to book your next appointment!

P.S. Our team had a good laugh at this picture, because it sometimes feels pretty accurate!

massagevacation

 

Get to know Camdine Cox, LMT

Camdine (Pronounced “Cam-den,” she also goes by “Cami”) joined our team in February 2016, but her massage career started long before we were fortunate enough to cross paths! She’s one of our most requested sports therapists but also provides relaxation therapies. Her style is ideal for people seeking a solution for injuries for problem areas. She has many long-time “regulars” with standing appointments for up to a year out, so her guests know that to get on Camdine’s schedule it is best to book in advance.

 

How long have you been in the industry?

I graduated from the Iowa College of Natural Health and received my massage therapy license in 2009

What are your specialties?

Sports massage, deep tissue, trigger point therapy, cupping (silicone cups), prenatal massage, and foot reflexology.

Why did you go into massage therapy?

I have always loved helping people feel better. It is important for me to help my clients get back to doing the things that they love if they’ve experienced an injury or setback.

Describe your treatment style in 3 words:

Stretching, relaxing, results

What is your favorite service to give?

Sports Massage

What is your favorite spa service to receive?

Hot Stones or Two Feet Deep Barefoot Bars Massage

What is your favorite retail product?

Kneipp’s Juniper muscle relief bath salts

What hare your hobbies or interests?

I speak Spanish and French, love reading and listening to music.

 

Why should clients visit YOU?

I focus on relieving the cause of pain and stress through sports, prenatal, and hot stone massage. I can incorporate stretching, improve range of motion, and can incorporate deeper work for people who like very firm pressure.

What are clients saying?

“Camdine has a gentle presence, which translates through her work. Competent and calming – what I consider the two great qualities of a massage therapist.”

“She listens to you and gives great advice on how to feel better and take care of your body!”

 

Want to schedule a massage with Camdine?  Click here to book online! If you wish to make a specific request to see Camdine, please select “Specific Therapist” and her name from the drop down menu.

What is your favorite muscle to massage and why?

I took a little survey of our massage therapists to find out what muscle or muscle group they love working on and why.  The answers may surprise you!

Teresa Sage: Neck/cranial base release because it is such a nurturing area and because the tension ebbs and flows from the neck to the upper shoulders, almost always laden and heavy with tension on most people, especially females in my experience.

Teresa Sage demonstrates Craniosacral Massage techniques

Teresa Sage demonstrates Craniosacral Massage techniques

Allison Peterson: Erectors because of how they run the entire length of the spine and when they relax, we notice that surrounding larger muscle groups will open up with more ease.

Tiffany Jackson: The neck muscles because I think that is when people relax the most.

Jamee Koopman: The Psoas!  For more information about psoas massage, click here.

Many muscles in the abdominal area contribute to pain and tension, including the psoas and diaphragm.

Many muscles in the abdominal area contribute to pain and tension, including the psoas and diaphragm.

Clair McClintock: The Diaphragm!  It is often a place that gets left out of treatment for many different ailments.  For example: radiating pain across the ribs, breathing issues, trauma from an accident, and more.  It is not the most relaxing massage but I’ve had so much instant improvement in people’s back pain or some people that have come in with pain they’ve been dealing with for years.  It can be a huge emotional release spot for people.

Cassie Sampson: The Piriformis.  People who have severe pain from sciatic nerve issues can often find relief with massage to the piriformis and surrounding glut and hip muscles.  It wasn’t until I had injured myself and experienced the horrible pain caused by a sciatic nerve issues that I knew just how limiting and painful sciatic nerve issues could be and I liked knowing ways to help.

The piriformis and gluteal muscles can be accessed directly on the skin with proper draping, through sheets or clothing. Gluteal and piriformis massage is extremely beneficial.

The piriformis and gluteal muscles can be treated directly on the skin with proper draping, through sheets or clothing or via stretching. Gluteal and piriformis massage is extremely beneficial.

Justin Behanish: The quadratus lumborum (QL) muscle because it it is the cause (or partial cause) of pain in at least 1/4 of the people who have back-pain.  I think it is too often neglected by massage therapists.

The QL is a small muscle in the lower back that is the root of many peoples' back pain.

The QL is a small muscle in the lower back that is the root of many peoples’ back pain.

Kristiana Moore: The muscles in the feet because many of us stand all day and people find it the most relaxing.  When I get to the foot massage at the end of the session, so many people tend to fall asleep!

If any of our therapist’s responses are tempting you to book a massage to relax your sorest muscles, click here to schedule online!