Category Archives: Massage Therapy

Massage is an amazing tool. I’ve seen it help my clients with chronic and acute headaches, low back pain, torticollis, all kinds of neck troubles, pain management, stress relief (which is huge), and most importantly I find that it is a gateway drug, introducing people to their bodies when we spend so much of our lives in our brains. When we learn how to feel our body through massage, we learn to listen to what it’s telling us, and discover that We are the expert on what our body needs. Empowerment.

Always Get a Session Before Attending the Continuing Education Class

Twenty four years ago I studied Shiatsu in a continuing education class with internationally trained therapist Valerie Wonsower.  I remember that we were a rowdy bunch of students (you would think adult students in massage classes would behave better than that, but not even), and Valerie was soft spoken and I remember her being flustered with our rowdiness.  It’s been years since I’ve had one of Valerie’s classes, so maybe she has toughened up over the years, but at the time, we were out of control.

Valerie broke down the energy meridians and the technical way to use pressure.  Technically we were trained step-by-step how to give a professional Shiatsu massage.  We had all the components and the technical know how.  We had experienced the method from her during the class, we had experimented with the technique on each other, and we had received–in a very segmented way–the way every class has to be–Shiatsu massage.

Twenty years later I ran into Valerie and scheduled with her for the first time ever, a one hour Shiatsu massage.

I was shocked at the difference between my segmented school experience and the reality of a well orchestrated, integrated composition her Shiatsu session gave me.  They were two completely different experiences.  I can’t adequately describe the cohesion of that session.  It was rhythmic, hypnotic, fluid, solid, precise, and beautiful.  These are things you can’t pick up from a class that offers segments of training.  For instance, “now we are going to learn the Shiatsu pressure points of the forearm.”

I know that if I had gone into her Shiatsu class 24 years ago knowing what a complete Shiatsu massage experience could be like I would have come out with a totally different understanding and goal for myself as a therapist.

It is a completely different experience to understand the components of a modality than it is to have a fully integrated, uninterrupted session of bodywork in that modality.

I would encourage you to always experience the bodywork in totality before you ever take the class–regardless of the modality.  It will change your experience for the better.

If you are attending the Thai Massage class offered at Blue Cliff on January 27 and 28 I have some availability on some Fridays and Sundays if you would like to book a session of Thai Massage.  I am also offering a $20 discount for a Thai massage session to therapists who are already registered for the January class.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, former owner of I.M. Spa, registered nurse at a local hospital, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 24 plus years, a massage therapy educator, and a gardener.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health. 

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Massage Availability

After closing the spa on Block street in downtown Fayetteville I didn’t massage a body for about a year and a half.  I have arthritis in my fingers and mashing the hell out of people didn’t seem like a good idea at all.  But life is a process.

My sister in law called me one day and she couldn’t get off the floor.  Debilitating back pain. I went to her house where she was attempting to not move and worked at softening her muscle spasms.  I saw her a few times and finally when she was able to get into a car she came to my house for a massage.  It was when she was in my house with my table up, the spa music going, and the silent reverence of the space we create for massage that I thought, “I could do this.”  Not like I did before, but a little bit.  It’s such gratifying work.  The challenge is to find a balance and only do what I can do comfortably.

So, I have been posting on Facebook times when I know I have availability, usually on Fridays and Sundays.  I am restarting my email newsletter.  And feel free to email, text, fb message, or call if you would like to check on availability, especially if you are in pain.

If you haven’t liked the Integrated Massage Page yet you can do that here: https://www.facebook.com/integratedmassagespa/  Often that is the first place you will see massage appointment availability.

Wendy Finn RN, BSN, MMT is a med-surge nurse, a master massage therapist, a raw food and massage therapy educator, mother of four sons, runner, dance and yoga instructor, and overall life enthusiast.  Follow on www.Facebook.com/integratedmassagespa/ , Twitter (@cleanburnfood), and Instagram (@cleanburningfood)

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Doing Massage Again

I haven’t practiced massage therapy for a year and a half, mainly because of the arthritis in my hands.  But my sister in law hurt her back and could hardly get off the floor for about 6  weeks.  She was even on the way to surgery but made a narrow escape and is now in the process of finding a balance and living with herniated discs.  She may opt in for surgery later, but for now she is managing and healing.

Anyway, while she was horizontal and unable to move without excruciating pain, I was in her toolbox to help her manage and move toward getting pain free.  As I was working with her it felt so empowering to be back doing the work I love and I thought, “I could do this.”

So now I’m not doing 12 hours in a massage room in a day the way I was.  I’m doing a limited number of massages to spare my fingers.  But it feels great to be back doing what I love, helping people get out of pain,  and reconnecting with the people I miss.

If you are not already friends with my page on Facebook then go click ‘Like’ and get notifications so that you can see any updates.

https://www.facebook.com/integratedmassagespa/

Let me know if you’ve been dying for a therapist and haven’t found anybody since we left Block Street!

Wendy

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Make That Phone Call…479-251-7422

It’s been a whirlwind shutting down the spa.  So many people dropped by while we were getting rid of things, moving things, and cleaning up.  It has been wonderful to connect with you all one last time at the spa, and heartwarming to see all the people reaching out to connect and share how much they loved coming to I.M. Spa.

I have always felt grateful for my ability to connect with people at the spa.  Grateful that people allowed me the honor of connecting with them on that level.  There is no other job on the planet where you can give another human your undivided attention for a whole hour in that way, providing a supportive environment on the table for release and healing.  A special thank you to all the people who intentionally did business with us consistently and unwaveringly throughout the years.  You know who you are.  We would not have been able to have such a stable business for 10 years without your support.  So much gratitude!! Thank you for being such an important part of my life.

I have so many things I want to do now.  You can follow me on my new adventures by putting your email address in the ‘subscribe’ box on the upper right hand corner of this blog.

So, if you have not already heard, Fiddlehead Fern Therapeutics is taking over our client load.  Many of you will remember Jesse Lynn from the earlier days of I.M. Spa.  She did the first mobile spa party for 10 women with me 10 years ago.  OMG that was sooo much work preparing for that, making sure that we had everything we needed to pull that off seemlessly.  Both of us were nursing babies at the time, her son Rubin and my fourth son Ben.  I know she and her colleagues at the Fern will take good care of you.  All you have to do to make an appointment is call our phone number 479-251-7422.

Linay Walker was new to our staff this year.  She gave an amazing and therapeutic massage and had quite a following.  She can be found at  Santos Chiropractic where they offer a $50 one hour massage and an $80 hour and a half massage:

Santos Chiropractic (479-464-4413)
1706 SE Walton Blvd., Suite 6
Bentonville, AR 72712

 

Lisa Fogel has been our acupuncturist for years and years.  I love her.  I especially love how she is just as nerdy about acupuncture as I am about health and massage.  She is always sharing articles with me of research on the effectiveness of acupuncture.  So great. Her new office is:  479-435-3901

 Fayetteville Acupuncture

2013 Green Acres Road, Suite D,

Fayetteville, AR 72703 (Gray Building behind Enve Salon)

Nora has worked with me for almost 10 years and she is in the same boat as me physically.  She has decided to retire from massage therapy because of pain related to practice.  She has touched so many people and will be greatly missed.  I love getting massages from Nora.  Trading days were good days, though there were not as many as their should have been.

The Breast Center scooped up our fabulous Natalie.  You will probably see her when you go for your biannual breast mashing.  She will be helping women dealing with breast cancer which is a huge thing.  We’re really fortunate to have such good people on that mission over at the Breast Center.

Thank you for your patience with this transition.  The community has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive, and always I feel so fortunate to live with all of you here in Fayetteville.  We really have a great community y’all.

Love, love, love,

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, student nurse tech at a local hospital, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 22 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health. 

 

 

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The New Normal

We have startling news for everybody about I.M. Spa.

In July I was playing catch with my son Ben in the city pool with a waterlogged ball and it jammed my finger.  The thing never healed and in November I went to get it X-rayed because it seemed ridiculous that it wouldn’t have healed in that amount of time.  VA health care is amazing.  They X-rayed my finger in all possible directions and called me in November with the verdict.  Arthritis.

At first I was like hm.  That sucks.  And I went back to work thinking nothing more of it.

In the next couple of weeks I noticed that all my fingers ached.  They felt like the had gum or taffy around the joints, my hands ached when I did massages, and I was having pain with everyday use.  Playing volleyball with my boys jarred my fingers, Whenever Craig would squeeze my hands, a loving gesture, it surprised us both when I yelped in pain.  Opening jars in the kitchen was a challenge.

It took me a while to comprehend what having arthritis in my fingers meant to me in the grand scheme of things.  I have discovered that it means I can no longer practice massage therapy. Yes, my doctor had to tell me this before I got the hint, especially since doing massage for 22 years caused the problem to begin with.

This is the new normal.

So, I.M. Spa had just started renovating the new space for expansion.  We were adding a yoga studio and an extra treatment room, as well as building in plans to expand and include a smoothie bar when my life wasn’t so complicated with nursing school.  We had just bought $350 worth of body wax and thousands in Eminence products.

Towards the end of December it was clear that there was no other decision to make.  We had to close I.M. Spa.

What does this mean to you if you are a client?  We are in the process of negotiating a new home for our clients.  You don’t need to worry about using your gift certificates.  There will be a place for you to go, but because this happened so fast we are still navigating that territory.  When we get it sorted out (within the next couple of weeks) we will give you detailed instructions.  You should be able to simply call the same number and book an appointment in the new location.

If you currently have an appointment you will be rescheduled.  It’s going to be okay.  We anticipate having a ton of phone calls in reaction to this information.  I would encourage you to wait a couple weeks to call  (Mid-January) while we find a home for you.  If you feel like you can’t wait, then please leave a detailed message when you do call.

I feel very fortunate for being able to touch people the way we have been able to with I.M. Spa.  I have worked on this business for 10 years and it has been amazing.  Our clients are fabulous, a wonderful network of extended family that I will miss immensely.

Building this business has taught me so much.  I have learned that I have tremendous stamina and drive (enough to crush the cartilege in between my finger joints :).  I have learned to do accounting, marketing, managing, human resources, retail (not the favorite), and conflict resolution.  I have learned how tremendously difficult it is to be a small business owner and I love our community of small business owners in downtown Fayetteville.  They exist because you consciously choose to support them.  I have learned that I love helping people, and no matter where I end up, I know that that is what I want to do.

If you know anybody who needs an awesome, organized, reliable, loyal, good tempered problem solver let us know, because sweet Natalie needs a job now.  She definitely gets stuff done!  Don’t have them contact me unless they plan to pay her well and take good care of her because she deserves it.

Thank you for supporting I.M. Spa for the past 10 years.  And keep an eye out for our next newsletter!!

Love, love, love,  and Happy New Year!!                                                                                                                                                         Wendy

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, student nurse tech at a local hospital, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 22 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health. 

 

 

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Gratitude and Abundance!

It has been almost 2 years since my husband Craig and I both decided to go to nursing school full time.  At the time I didn’t think there was any way possible for me to continue with I.M. Spa and be in school full time, and I am grateful every day for the opportunity to keep walking into our space and connecting with our community through health and massage.  I’m grateful to our staff because they truly are the ones who have made it happen.

 

We’re also grateful to you. Without you choosing to get massage, facials, acupuncture, and waxing at I.M. Spa we would not be here. Thank you for choosing I.M. Spa for your bodywork needs.  I’m so honored every time I walk into a treatment room that I get to share that space with this community.

 

I am busier than I have ever been at this point in my life. I work with I.M. Spa, I go to nursing school full time, I have a part time job at the VA as a student nurse tech to get experience, and I have 3 of my 4 kids at home doing everything they do.  Thank goodness we have such an amazing community helping us out. Friends helping pick up our kids from school when we’re in class, friends helping kids get where they need to go, community everywhere supporting us all along the way.  You know who you are :). Fayetteville is an amazing place and I can’t imagine making it through without this beautiful combination of people in our community.  We’re so grateful.

 

I’m really looking forward to getting done with nursing school in May of 2016!  What a relief that will be!  We’ll have to have a party!

 

There are some exciting changes in the works for I.M. Spa.  We are moving to Evelyn Hills (next to Ozark Natural Foods, Uncle Sam’s, Cardamom & Curry, Treasures from Africa, and Handmade) and expanding to include a yoga studio. Downtown has been good to us. We are looking forward to more great neighbors, great parking, a place for you to drop off your kids while you get a facial or do a yoga class (Arkadia), and continuing doing what we do best.

We’ll keep you posted as the transition happens. We’ll be on Block Street till the beginning of January. And then we’ll have a big party in the new space!!  In August we will have been on Block Street for 6 years! Hard to believe.  It has been a sweet time.
Thank you for continuing to support I.M. Spa!  We look forward to serving you. It’s a favorite.
Love, love, love,
Wendy Finn
Schedule a massage, facial, acupuncture, or wax appointment at I.M. Spa:  479-251-7422
Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, student nurse tech at the VA hospital, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422
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Mother’s Day Local Shopping Guide!

Mother’s Day is coming this Sunday!  And you already know that the best thing you can get the moms in your life is a Gift Certificate and a Gift Basket from I.M. Spa.  I can’t tell you how many women come in to the spa and say, “I keep telling them to get me a massage, but they never remember.”

But you may not know about some other awesome local businesses in the area that would be perfect for your mom’s day presents.  For instance, there is a Mother’s Day tradition here in Northwest Arkansas at Chotkowski Gardens where you can walk through the peony gardens from 1 to 4p.m.  Every year I see the invitations for this event and never seem to be able to make it out, but this year I’m taking my whole family and as many friends as I can wrangle.  I love peonies

I wish there was a smell feature on the computer, because peonies smell divine!

Other places you will want to shop for Mother’s Day are:

Click here to buy a Gift Certificate for a massage, acupuncture treatment, or facial online! Or call us at I.M. Spa and we can make it beautiful for you: 479-251-7422

Read here if you want a little giggle about why you should honor your mother.

Me and My Mom
Me and My Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

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Massage Therapy for Mental Health

I just finished up a clinical rotation in Mental Health this semester.  It’s enough to make you suffer from depression!  Or at the very least need a massage for your Mental Health.

Our instructors and books say repeatedly that our jail systems are the biggest warehouse for the mentally ill.  There may not be any inpatient beds for somebody suffering with psychosis, but somehow they fit right into our jails.  Our mentally ill are being incarcerated for behaviors that are a result of mental illness, schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s, or addiction.  Many of them are homeless.  They need treatment, medications, and support.

And probably the most depressing part of Mental Health Clinicals is the adolescent unit.  These kids have endured trauma and abuse beyond what I can fathom, and when they leave the treatment facility will return to the people and situations that caused their pain to begin with.  It’s downright depressing.

Massage Therapy for Mental Health
My mental health textbook references massage therapy 4 times. I’m so impressed with how far we have come.

And it’s not just that there is a little bit of mental illness.  Mental health is similar to physical health.  Sometimes you get sick.  Most of the time you’re pretty healthy.  And sometimes you have a lifelong illness (physical or mental) that needs lifelong treatment.  Most people can identify times in their lives when they were out of balance, overly anxious, stressed, depressed, or just not functioning as well mentally as they know they are capable.  And all of us know people in our family, friends, or community who are suffering with more extreme forms of those imbalances.  Mental illness touches us all.

I’m grateful for the dedicated Mental Health care professionals that I have met this semester.  God Bless Them!  We need them so badly.  We need funding and policy changes to allow mental health the same importance and voice that physical problems like cancer get.  We need more health care providers to get excited about helping people with mental health problems, to serve health care in that capacity.

I actually feel guilty because I prefer to work with people with their guts falling out than with mental health problems, because at least if your guts are falling out I can stuff ’em back inside and slap a bandage on it.  In mental health, the guts are falling out, and people are bleeding out, but you can’t stuff it back in.  You can’t see it.  It’s not so easy.  I guess I feel disempowered by mental illness.  There is no immediate fix, no bandage, just a winding road of possibilities and not enough resources for long term support.

But at the same time, I deal with mental illness/health all the time in a positive way, on the massage table.  And it has been a very empowering relationship.  People come to us in pain, grieving loss, with anxiety and depression, and needing help with dealing with the stress of everyday life on the planet. We are honored every day that our community chooses to come to us for stress relief.

According to University of Maryland, massage makes us feel better by the “release of endorphins (natural painkillers and mood elevators),” and reducing the levels of stress hormones (cortisol).  Endorphins are one of the main neurotransmitters involved in depression and bipolar.

Foot Massage is AMAZING!
Massage Therapy for Mental Health

So, looking at the mental health problems our country is faced with right now may be devastatingly depressing, but thank goodness there is massage therapy for those times when we are in pain, grieving loss, having anxiety and depression, and needing help with dealing with the stress of everyday life on the planet.  I guess massage is the bandage that I feel empowered by when dealing with the guts of every day mental health/illness.  I’m grateful to have it in my life.

If this post was so stressful that you now need a massage, call 479-251-7422 to schedule an appointment.  Or you could just come get a massage because you know you need it.  Or because we haven’t seen you in forever.  Please pop in to I.M. Spa to see us when you are downtown for the Farmer’s Market!  If for no other reason than that it is good for OUR mental health to see you!

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

 

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6 Commitments or New Year’s Resolutions

Today was the first day back in nursing school after a 3 week break.  And during the break I took some time to try to define what was important to me to keep up with if it was at all possible during the craziness that is full time nursing school, full time business owner, and full time mama of four boys.

Planner
My 2015 Planner (covered with post its).

Things I put in my planner were:

  1. I want to continue to run to school and to work, but I’m also training for the Hogeye Half Marathon with my son Sean (he’s 16) and Ellie, a young colleague from nursing school.  We’re training 5 days a week.  Yeah.  I don’t know how that’s gonna get done either–but there it is.
  2. I want to meditate daily-15minutes.
  3. I want to blog 3 days a week and not get onto myself if it’s not perfect.  I at least need to show up.
  4. I want to do yoga with Ben one day a week (Mondays because it’s a rest day from running).  When your nine year old kid wants to do something with you, you’d better make time for it, because God knows, soon enough he’s going to have a life that is too busy for yoga dates with mom (hopefully not, but it’s a distinct possibility).
  5. I want to continue developing my book.  Yeah, I said it.
  6. I want to invite friends over to play once a month.  Because I love them and they’re just going to have to forgive my messy home.  It is what it is.

I really don’t know if there are actually enough hours in the day for this crazy list.  But surely if I just do a little bit regularly I will be okay.  I’ll try to keep you posted on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  But if you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know that I’m buried with school work.

And if I lose my mind in the process, you’ll be hearing bout it.

Schedule your appointment at I.M. Spa :  479-251-7422

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

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10 Reasons Why I Get Massage Every 2 Weeks

10 Reasons to Get Massage Every 2 Weeks.

If you go to the doctor they will tell you to take these antibiotics 2 times a day for the next 10 days.  If you go to the physical therapist they will tell you to come back and see them 3 times a week for the next 4 weeks, twice a week for the following 2 weeks, and once a week for the month after that.

If you go to the massage they say, “See how you are feeling and give us a call when you need us.”

The problem is, we forget to think about how we are feeling until our bodies are screaming at us.  We need some general recommendations for how often it is appropriate to get massage.

I can tell you that if you are preparing for a marathon, it’s a good idea to step up your massage sessions to weekly, with serious emphasis on leg massage.  You might want to do it in conjunction with your long runs.  You will notice a change in your performance and your legs will feel amazing.  It’s okay to do twice a week sessions as well if you are having a lot of tension or pain.

If you are suffering with muscle spasms you can do massage several times a week until you reach a happy place.  You can even shorten the massages to 20 to 30 minutes if you are only focusing on one area.

If you are recovering from an injury it is common to coordinate massage therapy with your physical therapy schedule.

If you are only getting massage once or twice a year then you definitely need to step it up to quarterly.  Put that appointment on the calendar before you leave the spa or it will not happen and the next thing you know, another year has gone by and you have not had a massage in all that time.

Don’t let that be you!

If you are healthy and only dealing with every day stress of life on the planet then once a month, or once every two weeks is optimum and I’ll tell you why this works for me:

  1. It keeps me out of pain
  2. It’s something I give intentionally to myself. If I have gotten my massage then not even poison bullets can’t take me down.  I can handle whatever the world throws at me (I keep a picture of Wonder Woman on my refrigerator with her bullet deflecting wrist cuffs).
  3. As a mom it gives me something that is quiet, special, and belongs only to me (I’m not sharing!).
  4. It puts me in a meditative state (Alpha Level) similar to what you experience in Shavasana and it is completely rejuvenating.
  5. It keeps me aware of my body.  Very often I will ask people about their pain or their body and they have to stop and question themselves because they haven’t actually visited their bodies for a while.  When I get massage I often discover areas that need my attention that I didn’t know existed. You can’t maintain your body if you don’t know where you need maintenance.  The massage therapist is like a tour guide for your body.
  6. It feels amazing.  One of my goals in life is to be as healthy as possible, have as much energy as possible (with my food), and feel as good as possible.  If I don’t make time to feel amazing it is harder to know that it is a possibility.
  7. Relaxation takes practice.  Meditation takes practice.  Anything you want to do well takes practice.  I have watched many clients start receiving massage therapy and not know how to let go and receive.  They want to hold their arm up to help with the massage.  I still find myself tensing up sometimes when the therapist lifts my head to massage my neck.  Learning how to relax on the massage table teaches me how to relax in my real life situations when I’m frustrated.
  8. It’s good for my heart and circulation, calms my nervous system and digestion, and obviously good for my muscles.  Supple muscles do better work that hypertrophied taut muscles.  Moving through life with supple muscles is a much better approach.
  9. Keeps me from getting injured easily.
  10. Mental health.  It’s good for me and it’s good for my family.  Everybody benefits from me feeling better.

If you can only make it to the spa quarterly go quarterly.  If you can step it up to once a month you will definitely notice a difference.  But if you can manage every two weeks it makes life worth living!

Schedule your appointment at I.M. Spa :  479-251-7422

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

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