Rita Garnto, 49, of South Charlotte always wanted to own a business. Her dream was put into motion in 2004 when she decided to open a private massage office and wellness studio, Life Kneads Inc. The name reflects the idea that her business goes beyond massage - it's about "what your life needs." In the past eight years, Rita has welcomed two children into the world through adoption, undergone surgery for a ruptured disc, and coped with the passing of her mother. Rita has made dramatic changes to her life and lives the philosophy of finding and living what her life needs.
Q. What services do you offer?
A. Massage sessions, of course, but with a difference. I do NOT believe in "add-ons". I offer full 60 minutes (and 30 or 90 minute) massages not your "spa" hour of 50 minutes. Plus, I include heat packs, heated stone massage for area treatments, and aromatherapy at no extra charge along with a thorough health & history. I also do not charge extra for different massage techniques. My belief is that since I have learned many techniques and modalities to help my clients attain their massage goals, eg. reduce their pain, so therefore, I will offer them what I know at no extra charges. Why would I withhold a particular treatment or technique, if they won't or can't pay more. It goes against my wanting to help my clients. OK, off my soapbox! :)
I also offer a wide variety of self-care products such as organic flaxseed neck pillows with an inspirational & healing twist - my creation - (for heat or cold therapy), aromatherapy in a variety of forms (essential oils, roll-ons, body mist, lotion, bath salts, shower gels), the "Stick", the Backnobber, stretching and self-care handouts, and numerous simple tips & tricks to continue the massage benefits at home.
I am also offering three different workshops. The first is actually going to be a series of workshops dealing with "Coping with your Life Story. Learn to Bend not Break". I will be introducing the series Wednesday, November 28 and December 12 from 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. These workshops will help begin a journey of self-discovery of what stresses you deal with and how to add simple tips into your everyday life to help reduce the impact of stress on your life and your health.
In January, I will be launching the five-part series which will deal with the above two topics plus the why's and how's of habits and how to change them, a self-care stretching class, and a fun evening about aromatherapy. I hope to create a facebook page/resource for a support system for all of us stressed out women. We really all in this together so let's help one another get through this tough thing called "life."
The second workshop is a "Massage Basics Workshop" (or Couples Massage workshop) which is a four-hour workshop learning all about why and how massage works, techniques and routines for seated and table massage. Lots of hands-on learning. This one is scheduled for a Valentines Day special on Saturday, February 16 and will include a special "couples" package.
"Massage 101" is a fun, hands-on learning two-hour workshop answering lots of the how's and why's of massage while learning seated massage techniques and practicing them on your partner.
Q. What drew you to massage therapy?
A. At the time, I was working as a Respiratory Therapist and approaching 40 with almost 20 years into the healthcare field and I had a good friend that was a full-time massage therapist. I saw how she could make a difference in my health with massage. I then realized there had to be more to life than "curing" illnesses. I am a "people helper" so I wanted to learn more about preventing illnesses and massage therapy seemed to be one such avenue.
Q. How exactly does massage prevent illnesses?
A. Massage therapy works on so many levels. There are different goals in massage therapy such relaxation, alleviating back pain, reducing headaches and migraines, rehabilitation of an injury, reducing scar tissue formation, pain management for chronic pain and so on.
Typically, during a massage session, the nervous system which controls relaxation in the body is activated, heart rate and blood pressure naturally goes down. With regular massage, you may be able to decrease the risk of heart disease by lowering elevated blood pressure and heart rates. There are chemical changes that occur in the body as well. Endorphins are released during a massage giving the client the sense of improved well-being and mood which can help with depression and anxiety.Blood flow increases to the gastrointestinal tract during massage and this can aid with decreasing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive issues.
Poor posture can lead to tight, over-used muscles which can lead to postural imbalances in the body which can lead to joint and spinal degeneration and general pain & discomfort throughout the body.
Massages increases blood flow through the muscles by relaxing them. Imagine water flowing through a "kinked" water hose - not very good, is it? When we hold our muscles in constant contraction (like holding our shoulders to our ears), all the tiny blood vessels inside these muscles that feed the muscles with food and oxygen are literally compressed or "kinked". This decreases the amount of oxygen & food these muscles receive and thereby limiting the effeciency of their function and producing chemicals that cause pain. Various massage techniques will help the muscles relax allowing the blood vessels to open providing increased blood flow which allows more food and oxygen to get the muscles.
Q. What is the most rewarding thing about being a massage therapist?
A. Seeing the peaceful and calm expression on the faces of my clients after their session. Being able to help someone feel better and be in less pain makes this all worthwhile.
Q. What type of massage do you prefer?
A. The type where I am getting the massage! I prefer to use an eclectic blend of the techniques I have learned and to use whatever the client needs at that particular time. The techniques I use include Deep Tissue, Myofascial Tissue Release, Stretching, Movement Therapy, Muscle Energy Technique, Sports, Heated Stone, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Reiki, and Trigger Point Therapy and others.
Q. How did you meet your husband?
A. Believe it or not .... at massage school!
Q. Where are you located and do you go to people's houses?
A. 8000 Corporate Center Dr., Suite 214, 28226. South Charlotte. Two miles from Ballantyne and near the Carmel Commons Shopping Center. I have a busy office schedule so I prefer not to go to people's homes but right now I do have one home visit client. They have their own massage table so it makes the travel much easier. Home visits do cost more and I evaluate each request as it comes in. In other words, that is NOT a regular service I offer.
Q. What is your favorite thing about massage?
A. Helping people feel better and being able to, I hope, make a difference in their overall well-being.
You can find more info at: www.lifekneadsinc.com 704-564-2055 email@example.com