Meristem massage essential in lockdown

CARP – Meristem Massage Therapy’s Amy Courtney was grateful the Ontario government recognized massage therapy as an essential service, and she is prepared to safely provide her services in Carp through the lockdown and beyond.

Last July Courtney transitioned from working in Almonte and Kanata and opened her own clinic in downtown Carp. It was an opportunity to set up shop closer to her Kinburn area farm.

The massage therapist says opening during the pandemic was necessary with a client list in need of her services more than ever.

“People really need massage therapy, now more than ever,” Courtney told West Carleton Online from her therapy room yesterday (Jan. 13). “People are working from home in very unergonomic set-ups. People have lost access to their fitness routines and facilities. I’m glad the government recognized how important massage therapy is.”

Courtney says she is seeing the results COVID-19-related stress is having on her clients.

“I am seeing more jaw-clenching and tension, possibly due to prolonged mask wearing and/or increased stress,” Courtney said. “I am also noticing more people are experiencing a higher level of stress and anxiety often leading to difficulty sleeping which can then lead to increased pain throughout the body. Massage is very effective at helping reduce anxiety and increase sleep.”

Courtney is happy to have her new office and feels it’s a happy medium for her clients in the Lanark County and Kanata area while close to her own home.

Amy Courtney outside her Carp office.
Kinburn’s Amy Courtney is happy to be working within her community. Photo by Jake Davies

“I feel Carp is more my community,” she said. “So, I wanted to combine my clients and my community in to one hub. It had been in my mind a lot, and then I think COVID-19 crystallized that.”

Courtney, her partner and child moved to Kinburn in 2017. Courtney is a Missouri native who spent 21 years working the farm life in Santa Cruz. California. Back then massage therapy was her side gig, and farming was her full-time life.

The family moved to Toronto first where Courtney registered with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario so she could practice in Canada. She moved to Lanark County before settling in Kinburn where she and her family grow much of their own food.

“We have a pretty ridiculous garden for three people,” Courtney said. “We’re sprinkling around our produce wherever we go. Right now, it’s canned tomatoes and pickles. We like that sort of thing.”

Now Courtney has flipped the switch and is doing massage therapy full time since December and farming on the side.

“I’ve been training in and practicing massage and bodywork since 2005,” she said. “I bring a grounded presence to this work and approach my clients from a whole-person perspective. My guiding philosophy is that effective, satisfying massage comes from clear communication anchored in listening.”

Courtney graduated from Sutherland-Chan in Toronto and also studied with Upledger and Esalen Institutes in the U.S.

“I have experience working in a range of modalities, including deep tissue, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, craniosacral therapy and reiki,” Courtney said. “I adapt the pressure and pace of my touch to each treatment, giving time for your body to adjust and noticing its most subtle shifts.”

Courtney says she has been welcomed in the Carp community during these strange times.

“It’s COVID-19 right?” she said. “It’s been strange, but it’s such in demand, so we’ve been warmly greeted. The Carp residents have appreciated not having to travel for therapy.”

Courtney says, while her office at 3722 Carp Rd. has a couple of businesses at the location, Meristem Massage Therapy and its clients are the only one using the place during the lockdown.

“All COVID protocols continue to be in place and are adhered to in order to keep our clients safe,” Courtney said. “I wear full personal protection equipment, there is no communal material, I can’t even offer a drink of water. Basically, everything gets wiped down between clients and all clients are pre-screened.”

For more information on Meristem Massage Therapy, including rates, click here.