Chelsea resident's massage therapy attracts customers in need of special healing

| 04 Oct 2012 | 01:31

— When Mary Bennett moved to the Chelsea at Bald Eagle Senior Apartments in March, she brought decades of experience as a massage therapist with her. Instead of ending a rewarding career of helping clients, she set up shop in a small room right at the Chelsea.
"They said I'd need insurance and I told them, ‘of course I have insurance; I'm in business,’" she recalled.
Indeed, Bennett, a nationally certified massage therapist, has a complete selection of brochures, business cards and a studio equipped with a massage table and soothing music. Her specialty is cranio-sacral therapy, a type of light-touch massage said by its devotees to relieve tension and reduce pain by promoting the flow of fluid between the head and the base of the spine, called the sacrum. The path of that fluid flow, say practitioners, affects every part of the body. Therapists use a series of light finger touches, often applying soft circles to specific areas of the body.
"The body tells my hands what to do," said Bennett as she applied gentle pressure behind the neck of a familiar client, her husband Bill. "The body actually pushes my hands away as the tissue suddenly goes soft." This is one of seven types of "releases" facilitated by cranio-sacral therapy, she said.
Bennett has at least one off-site client who she sees in Newton, but her main base is at the Chelsea. Her husband credits his wife's healing touch with allowing a calcium deposit that was causing him leg pain following a service-related injury to dissolve and disappear.
While cranio-sacral therapy is not considered a mainstream form of treatment by the medical community, Bennett says she has had plenty of satisfied customers over the years.
"They say 'You have good hands'," she said.
Husband Bill smiles and nods lightly as she applies gentle pressure to the base of his neck as soft music fills the room.