International Massage Week offers a chance to smooth over life’s rough spotsRubbing elbows is usually a group thing. Tell that to Archie Salyards and Jan Oltmanns. Both are Twin Ports area massage therapists dedicated to providing one-on-one care for each client they serve.
By: Thomas Vaughn, Duluth Budgeteer News
Rubbing elbows is usually a group thing. Tell that to Archie Salyards and Jan Oltmanns. Both are Twin Ports area massage therapists dedicated to providing one-on-one care for each client they serve.
During International Massage Week, these two professionals took some time away from the neck rest to talk about massage therapy, or “body work” as it is called in the business.
“The first thing you do is ask yourself: What are your goals and what are you trying to achieve. That’s what will dictate who you will pick for a massage therapist. Does the therapist do deep-tissue, relaxation, sports therapy, long-term recovery or short-term — think about what you need,” said Salyards, who has practiced several types of massage therapy since completing his training in 1996.
Oltmanns adds that talking about client goals and specific needs continues from the initial search into each appointment after a person has chosen a particular therapist for ongoing care.
“Every session, every time that a client comes in to me, the session is individualized to their specific needs and goals for that day. If a person has a particular problem, that is the time for assessment and future recommendations for successive treatment. So, each time someone comes in they are newly assessed so that progress is always attained in some way,” added Oltmanns, who began her massage career in 2001.
Rhett Bonner is a Duluth family practice physician and avocational athlete. Bonner completed his 21st American Birkebeiner last February. For the past 15 years, he has competed in triathlons and maintains a regimen of swimming, running and biking activities throughout the year to maintain performance stamina.
Bonner has been a Salyards client for 6 years. Bonner and Salyards revise goals together, focusing on sports massage techniques.
“In terms of being an athlete, I couldn’t keep doing all the things that I do without getting a regular massage because I’d be injured. The muscle tissue just wouldn’t recover enough to let me keep doing all those activities. Arch loosens the muscles and tissues after they tighten due to vigorous exercise, so he helps them recover back to a normal and symmetric state — that’s really the key for me,” said Bonner.
Both Salyards and Oltmanns came to massage therapy after other careers, Salyards as a carpenter who suffered a career-altering back injury, Oltmanns as a nurse manager seeking less stress in a new career.
Each brings a touch of their previous careers to their current practices. Salyards uses intense finger power, built during his years in carpentry, to reposition muscle, ligaments and fascia allowing him to tackle deep-muscle problems. As a result, many athletes work with him. Oltmanns brings her medical knowledge to serve an active client roster as well. One form of massage offered by Oltmanns includes a science-based type of therapy called Raindrop Therapy, which uses natural oils to help ward off infections, fight bacteria, and flush toxins as the oil soaks through the skin and into the human circulatory system.
In discussing why they chose massage therapy for a second career, both Salyards and Oltmanns cited the personal enjoyment that comes from helping others.
“Peace of mind, calm, helping people — having something to do with people’s recovery and just general improvement of quality of life for others is my primary motivation,” said Salyards.
“It’s very rewarding. Every session is a positive experience. People come by choice, looking for answers to specific problems and massage therapy is capable of helping resolve some of these problems. So, the outcome immediately is very substantial. It’s a wonderful career in that respect. You are helping people, and helping them almost immediately,” said Oltmanns.
There are many websites that pertain to massage therapy, for those who wish to learn more about it before contacting an individual therapist. Four that offer a significant amount of general information are www.amtamassage.org, www.namtonline.com, www.abmp.com, and www.ncbtmb.org.
To reach Archie Salyards, call him through his work locations at Associated Chiropractic, (218)728-3686 and at the Essentia Health Fitness and Therapy Center, (218)786-5400. Jan Oltmanns operates Comfort Zone Therapeutic Massage located in Duluth’s Technology Village. The office phone number is (218)720-4444. Further information about Oltmann’s practice can be found at www.comfortzoneduluth.com.