Helping people is Courtney Riggle and Kristina Clore’s main goal. Both graduates of the massage therapy program at Fort Hays State University, Riggle and Clore decided to open their own therapy studio – Anhelo Massage in downtown Hays in November.
“I really love being able to help people,” Riggle said. “Being able to provide different ways to give them relief and try and lesson their pain.”
Both women hold degrees from Fort Hays and both hold massage therapy certificates from the school as well. Clore is a former instructor in the program.
By using specific muscle manipulation techniques, through the use of their hands, therapeutic stretching, hot stones and cups, these women can open up the spaces between muscles and create more air spaces as well as relax the muscles.
“We create space more than we just rub,” Riggle said. “We’re always pushing and pulling; we are always opening spaces and helping muscles relax.”
The licensed massage therapists at Anhelo ask clients what they need to focus on – headaches, neckaches or constant pain all over. Once they understand the issue causing the pain, the massage therapists tailor the massage to the individual. Having studied anatomy, skin ailments and muscles, the therapists are able to understand where the pain is coming from and are able to try to alleviate some of the discomfort.
Along with oils, the studio has a jacuzzi to help those with chronic pain loosen their muscles before their massage. They place Epsom salt into the tub, which can be used by people with disabilities.
Clore, originally from Quinter, became a massage therapist because she had her own pain issues, as did several family members.
“I understand pain,” she said. “Working on people is a way to give back and find your purpose.”
The studio also offers mobile massage. Where one of the therapists can go to a current client’s home if they are homebound.
“Massage is more than management of physical pain,” Clore said. “It is about management of emotional pain as well. It’s not always about touch.”