Stretch your muscles and your paycheck

January 9, 2009 9:39:35 AM PST
Diane Hughes of Mantua, New Jersey, gets an hour-long Swedish massage every other week.

She says, "I look forward to it. I come out of here and feel rejuvenated, refreshed. And then, I'm on a countdown to my next massage."

At a Center City spa, Diane's massages would cost anywhere from $80 to more than $100.

She's not a millionaire, but she has discovered a great bargain at the Gloucester County School of Massage (207 Hollydell Road, Sewell, New Jersey).

Students who are training to become certified massage therapists perform Swedish massage for just $28 an hour. Hot stone, deep-tissue and sports massages are only slightly more.

The students need to complete 600 hours of training for certification, and they need to work on all different body types.

The discount massages are both a great deal and a great learning experience.

School Director Stella Gesner, who is a nationally certified massage therapist, says the students study anatomy and physiology, in addition to the various massage techniques.

As the students work on clients, an instructor uses hand signals to cue them. The room is dimly-lit, with soothing music and glowing candles.

Besides the price, there is one big difference between a massage school treatment and one you would get at a spa. The treatment room at the school has several tables, and several clients can be treated at once.

Gesner says clients sometimes say, "I don't know about getting on a table with someone right next to me. But, by the time they leave, they all say the same thing. I didn't even know anybody else was there. It was a great experience."

For more information about the Gloucester County School of Massage, visit their website.

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