Mary Coon -- passionate about her massage therapy
There is no doubt Mary Coon is where she is meant to be.
The longtime New Milford resident exudes a calmness, and a strong and passionate spirit in general, for her work as owner of Natural Healing Therapeutic Massage.
Ms. Coon opened the business three weeks after getting her state license as a licensed massage therapist from the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy in 2010.
"I'm a catalyst in your wellness journey," Ms. Coon, an advocate of traditional Chinese medicine, said during a recent interview. "I want to help you have the highest level of wellness you can have."
She emphasized her business and services do not replace visits to a medical doctor, but serve more as complementary care.
Ms. Coon related she has seen an increase in the number of clients with prescriptions from their doctors; some of those clients have an insurance policy that covers therapeutic massage, as insurers are beginning to recognize massage not just for therapy but as a form of preventative care.
Ms. Coon treats people of all ages and from all walks of life, including professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, chiropractors, housewives, CEOs, children with special needs and others.
She has also worked with patients with dementia, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's.
"I offer therapeutic massage to enhance a client's mobility and flexibility, reduce pain associated with repetitive stress injuries, decrease anxiety and stress," Ms. Coon explained, "and increase immunity to colds and flu."
Bob Landman discovered Ms. Coon's business while searching for a massage therapist to help him after working his body hard as a health care professional, obstacle course racer and power lifter.
"She does a good job," said Mr. Landman, who has been going to Ms. Coon's for a year and a half. "She's thorough, totally professional" and "well worth the drive" from his hometown of Danbury.
Ms. Coon offers a 30-minute chair massage, as well as 60-, 90- and 120-minute sessions, each one custom crafted with aromatherapy based on a client's needs.
Massages are customized and integrate several modalities, including sports massage, deep tissue massage, acupressure, Reiki, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, aromatherapy, Swedish massage, reflexology.
"The biggest joy is seeing someone make a full recovery," she said, explaining why she loves what she does.
"To have someone come in with such extreme pain and leave with color in their cheeks and a light in their eyes and be able to do such simple daily activities" is rewarding, Ms. Coon said.
Terri Lucente of New Milford, who suffers from fibromyalgia and arthritis, went to Ms. Coon after years of therapeutic massages elsewhere. After her first massage with Ms. Coon, she stood up and realized it was the first time she had stood up straight in years.
"I couldn't reach the top shelf in the kitchen cabinet," Ms. Lucente recalled. "I can do that now. I used to put on my coat one sleeve at a time because of the pain. After the second massage, I flung it up and on."
Today, she sees Ms. Coon once a month, and goes to her chiropractor, who describes Ms. Coon as "my magic bullet," Ms. Lucente related.
While describing a hypothetical client's case, Ms. Coon eased into meditative thought. She gently closed her eyes, took a deep breath and spoke quietly while using hand gestures to articulate the modalities she might use and how they would be used.
If a client were to have a contracted muscle, she might "put heat on [her] hand and loosen [the muscle] up," she explained, her eyes still closed.
"The human body is the most miraculous thing... it's so amazing," she said. "It is capable of healing itself and restoring balance when given the opportunity."
Ms. Coon said she not only loves to see the physical healing but to "watch the spiritual healing" that often occurs, too.
She also provides therapeutic massage to hospice patients. While raising her children, Ms. Coon worked nights and weekends doing home health care and hospice work for 20-plus years. It was during her senior year of nursing school in 2008 she realized she was being called to a career in holistic health.
When asked how she feels about her work, she said she feels "like I'm floating on cloud nine" at the end of the day.
Dedicated to holistic health, Ms. Coon participates in continuing education courses and will teach students who are taking massage therapy and medical assistance classes at Ridley Lowell Business & Technical Institute in the near future.
She also taught 10 volunteers how to give hand massages to residents of Candlewood Valley Health & Rehabilitation Center in New Milford as part of its Candlewood Angels Reaching Everyone (CARE) program.
Ms. Coon is also a volunteer at several organizations and non-profit groups in the community.
For more information, call 203-917-2137 or visit www.nhtmct.com.