Get To Know Lead Massage Therapist Wendy Gaspard
Here at BodyBusiness Fitness Club we pride ourselves on our commitment to providing high-quality service, a well-maintained facility we take pride in, and an authenticity that’s hard to find these days. Our Lead Massage Therapist, Wendy Gaspard, LMT delivers all of those things and more.
A woman dedicated to her craft, Wendy attended the Lauterstien-Conway Massage school and completed their 550+ hour program. She has completed workshops in Shiatsu, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Trigger Points, Hot Stone Massage, Neck Pain Assessment and Treatment, Manual Lymph Drainage, TMJ and Advanced Structural Fascial Training. Her specialties also include deep tissue, sports massage, chair massage, structural bodywork… and yes, Swedish massage as well.
When Wendy is not undoing the stressors and tensions of her clients, she has a few other tricks hidden up her talented sleeves. Three years ago, while on a road trip, her sister gave her a beginner’s crochet kit to pass the time. She started off making stuffed animals, a small fox being her first foray into the crocheting world. She was hooked. You can find her nowadays making complex Pokemon characters for a project where she hides them in accordance with the Pokemon Go! App for her son to find.
When she isn’t crafting Pikachus and Jigglypuffs, you might catch her at home, with her two cats, Tonks and Timon, tending to her garden, putting together a jigsaw puzzle or making a “mean” peach cobbler. Her favorite dish to cook is her grandma’s recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole. (Shh, the secret is no marshmallows – use crushed Ritz crackers instead!)
As you can see, Wendy has some magical hands. She learned the importance of putting them to use at a young age when her mother started to experience severe disc issues in her neck which caused her muscle spasms and a great amount of pain. As soon as she could stand on a stool behind her chair, her mother would guide her to the knots where she learned to squeeze them out.
That’s what sets Wendy apart. It’s the fulfillment of giving back to others. Those eyes that sparkle while her son races to find the Pikachu she lovingly made. The smiles that spread across all those who find themselves lucky enough to be in her kitchen. And last but not the least, the relief and relaxation on people’s faces as they walk out the door after one of her massages.
“The most satisfying part of my job is the difference between people’s faces when they walk in the door and when they leave. Knowing that they feel better.”
Q & A WITH WENDY
What is the biggest misconception about massage therapy?
That it has no long-lasting therapeutic benefits. That it is not able to help people with injuries and posture.
What is something people can do at home/on their own to help their neck/back pain?
Tennis balls are great for shoulder pain. Use them roll out muscle pain while leaning against a wall. In terms of your neck – stretching and self-massage are great. It is also very beneficial to massage the TMJ joint as well.
What’s the #1 thing that causes people to experience neck/back pain in your experience?
A lot of what I see is “Tech Neck” and shoulders. Pain caused by being sedentary, staring down at a device, desk or sitting in a car for long periods of time. When you get into poor positions and don’t shift, that’s when pain occurs. Maintaining balance is important. Also, sleeping wrong happens all the time.
What advice would you give to those who are interested in going into massage therapy?
Always pay attention to your biomechanics. This is very rewarding but physically tough work. Protect your “tools” – your wrists, hands, knees, back, etc. When I first started out working in massage, I was told it was important to strengthen my non-dominant hand. I went bowling and tried to use my left hand and ended up getting tendinitis in my wrist from not being careful.