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New licensed massage therapy practice encourages self-care, happiness

By Staff | Feb 14, 2019

Licensed Massage Therapist Teresa Collins recently opened Aanandha Health and Wellness at 217 South Duke Street Suite 104. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN – Aanandha Health and Wellness may have only been opened in its current location at 217 South Duke Street Suite 104 since the end of last year, but it is already well on its way to making a positive difference in the health of Shepherdstown’s residents.

According to owner and licensed massage therapist of 18 years Teresa Collins, opening the business in her hometown was a move she had planned to make since last summer. Collins wanted to move back home after running her LMT business in Portland, Oregon for several years, and found out in August that her current business location would soon be vacated.

“This is a rebirth of the business that I joined with my best friend out in Portland. We adopted the membership business model, which keeps people getting regular massages, and keeps us in the regular clientele that supports our business,” Collins said, mentioning this model is also more economical for clients. “I’ve added the component of insurance massage billing here. A lot of people don’t get massage although their insurance allows them to get massage, because they don’t know how to go about that.”

With her mother’s help inspecting the location and her father’s electrical knowledge, Collins set to work last fall, turning the office space into a room of tranquility.

“This took some doing, about two months. When you walk into a massage room, you want the atmosphere to help people relax,” Collins said, before pointing out notable features in the gray-toned room, intending to ease the mind, or to celebrate Collins’ West Virginia heritage.

“When we came in here, there were five fluorescent light fixtures. I ended up taking out all but one, which I covered with a sky-like film,” Collins said, pointing at the natural lighting fixtures in the ceiling, which replaced the four fluorescent lights.

Some of the nods to Collins’ heritage, include a painted animal skull displayed on one wall of her massage room and one of her mother’s quilts, hung behind Collins’ handmade front counter.

According to Collins, creating a calm, home-like atmosphere helps her clients feel comfortable and prepare to relax mentally.

“The first thing I want people to do is to relax. And then they’ll come in here and sit on the edge of the chair, and I’ll say, ‘You really need this, don’t you?'” Collins said, mentioning she also works with local athletic groups, including her own mountain biking club and the Yoga Retreat Center, to prevent their members from exercise-related injuries.

When creating her business, some details were obvious to Collins, such as how to create a rejuvenating customer experience. Others, like determining a business name, took a little more time to discover. However, when Collins heard the meaning of the Sanskrit word “aanandha,” she knew it was the word she had been searching for.

“‘Aanandha’ means ‘unending joy’ or ‘eternal bliss.’ When I said it for the first time, it felt really good to say,” Collins said, mentioning the word describes how she wants her clients to feel after a session with her. “People walk in, and when they get off the table, they have a feeling of relief and get to take that feeling of joy with them.”

To learn more about Aanandha Health and Wellness, call 304-362-3009, email massage@aanandhawell.com or visit aanandhawell.com.