At the Farmers Market in Marblehead this morning, my sister saw a sign that said “free chair massage” and knowing I had just spent three amazing weeks with her three amazing little children (two of which I was the resident nanny for) she urged me to take a seat. I am a lover of massages but very picky about who does them so I was a bit hesitant until I approached the booth and Monique warmly offered her services. AH-mazing! It was five minutes of sheer bliss. Soothing, relaxing and just what I needed. If I wasnt returning home the next day, I would have booked her for daily treatment because upon leaving she handed me a very nicely put together “pamphlet” (that word does not do justice to their promotional material) that presented all of their amazing services. This couple are truly healers. I was beyond impressed. Having had five knee surgeries, a torn rotator cuff, and various other ailments, bumps and bruises in my 47 years, I wish I had access to Hand in Hand Massage on a regular basis. I am trying to talk them into moving to Costa Rica…sorry Marblehead!
POSTED ON TRIPADVISOR:
I highly recommend Hand in Hand. I was referred to them by a friend who used to be a massage therapist, and she said they were the best. I’m an active high level athlete, and I see Blane about once a month to keep my muscles healthy and massage out scar tissue. I wouldn’t be near my current level of fitness without this massage treatment.“
I was referred to Hand in Hand 4 years ago after a back injury. Blaine was amazing and totally fixed my back! I have been an active client since then for both maintenance and relaxation. Always have had the best massages. Their office is always extremely clean. I would only go to Hand in Hand for massages.
Monique and Blane are very talented, warm people who always leave you feeling significantly better than when you walked in the door. Their quiet caring and warmth is healing all by itself. There isn’t a better massage or healing treatment to be had anywhere.
The best massage I’ve ever had!!! I can’t say enough about Hand in Hand. I highly recommend going here.
I have been getting massages from Hand in Hand for 6 years now and I can’t find anyone better. At first, I tried others in the area that were cheaper, but no one had the understanding of my body and what needed to be worked out like Blane and Monique. Now, I don’t even bother trying other folks. I only trust by back issues and day-to-day body aches to Blane. They are both extremely knowledgeable and continue to hone their craft. Once you experience Hand in Hand, you won’t want to go anywhere else.
If you are feeling tense or just wanting some quiet time. You MUST stop by to have a massage. Traveled world wide and in my own back yard appears two of the most gifted people, Blane and Monique. The energy force in the studio is so welcoming, as is the music and the cleanliness, reminding you of a temple. Once the massage starts you realize how many different parts of your body were in total discomfort. Knowledgable hands start working on your body and your own energies are revitalized. Blaine presses on spots of your body that you would not realize were the problem. I can honestly state I could have stayed all day but I was fortunate enough to get an appointment. Others were waiting. Give anyone you love a massage as a gift. It will be the best present they will ever receive. Mine was a gift, but I will continue to visit them as I feel it should be part of our daily health cycle.
Blane and Monique’s services are absolutely top of the line. They have years and years of experience and you will become aware of that the moment you are in their presence. They approach every session with fresh and clean energy, highly attuned listening skills, and tremendous amounts of kindness. They are capable, after years of careful and diligent training, to intuit exactly what each person needs to have done inorder to benefit their own unique situation. If you have any suspicion that your human organism is not running at peek performance, which it should, I could not recommend anyone better to help you tune it up.
If you have been stuck in cycles of physical pain and discomfort, they can move energy around through your body and allow it to be released, clearing up blockages, creating opportunity to heal. For anyone having difficulty with a busy mind or emotional discomfort, their training in EFT(Emotional Freedom Technique) would be most helpful. It will allow you to free yourself from limiting beliefs, and empower you to create and implement a new belief system bringing all of your specialness to the surface in the game of life. It is with sincere gratitude to both Blane and Monique, that I am able to share these words, and thank them for assisting me in the process of turning my life around. But as always, words unfortunately do not capture accurately their strength and abilities. Pay them a visit, and pretty soon, you will be writing a review!
Monique is in a category of her own. I’ve had a lot of body work, some even extraordinary, but nothing has ever compared to the treatments I get from Monique. He massages are never the same as she “knows” what I need. You understand immediately upon meeting her that she is a person of skill, intellegence and integrity. She is someone you can trust.
Her massages are always a total experience–the energy of the room, the well chosen unobtrusive music, sometimes Tibetan gongs, or rattles, or bird wing breezes and always an intuitive “conversation” wherein healing techniques are used to set the body and mind free. She is amazingly creative and I have lovingly accused her of being a masterful performance artist.
She does some serious work with cancer patients and people who have had breast surgeries.
In addition, Monique is a fascinating world traveler with many accomplishments and talents that must somehow come into play with the work she is doing now. She is of legend material. If you are even thinking of trying her I suggest you honor yourself as soon as possible with a massage. No one does what Monique does.
Monique’s partner, Blane, is also a gifted therapist and an equally fascinating and evolved person. A friend says that not only is he is the best massage therapist she has ever had, but he has literally changed her life. He has set her free.
Hand in Hand offers guest programs for the inspired and curious among us. I have participated in Mitch Nur’s gong therapy and found it to be an incredible experience.
INJURY & STRESS
“I began seeing Blane in the fall of 2000 because I had injured some muscles in my upper back and neck, and I was also under a great deal of stress at the time. I’ve continued to see Blane every two weeks since then.
Although I’ve had other types of massage, Blane’s Oriental bodywork techniques are better suited to address the recurring issues that I face: muscle tension along with general stress. Swedish massage is great for relaxation, but doesn’t do much to work out knots in the muscles. Deep tissue work can get out the knots, but isn’t necessarily very relaxing. Blane’s more eclectic approach to massage therapy covers all the bases.
There are several benefits that I receive either wholly from Blane’s work, or in conjunction with my own efforts (tai chi, meditation), quick relief from muscle tension/knots before the problem has an opportunity to become more serious reduction in stress levels significantly improved sleep patterns.”
Gregory J. Humpa, Ph.D.
Current client, March, 2002
HEADACHES & MIGRAINES
“About 2 years after the birth of my first child, I began experiencing frequent and painful migraine headaches. I discussed these with my physician and after a series of tests, serious medical conditions were ruled out. I received a prescription for pain, but was not happy addressing this problem by medication alone, so I decided to look into massage.
After several sessions with Monique and her colleague, Blane Allen, I found that their massage work not only loosened up knots and tension in my muscle tissue, but also helped me prevent tension from quickly returning again. With their help, I was able to identify my trouble areas and become more aware of how tension was affecting my body. Less tension quickly resulted in fewer headaches.
My informal discussions with Monique and Blane about mind and body connection and potential natural approaches also proved to be very beneficial to me.”
– J. Martin
Current client, November 2001
“I have suffered chronic headaches as long as I can remember. Determined to find a way to manage the pain, I tried headache clinics and numerous types of medication. As each one failed to alleviate my pain, I felt more and more helpless about improving the quality of my day-to-day life. Each day was spent either in pain or worried about being in pain.
When I first went to Monique, I was feeling very vulnerable and depressed. She provided a safe, respectful and healing environment. Monique has always been accessible and willing to listen to my health concerns, and she is a great source of holistic information. She is also respectful of my boundaries and does not indulge in unsolicited advice. I credit Monique with helping me develop a sense of body awareness; of helping me understand that I have control over my headaches.
The massage has a cumulative effect. It is now easier for my muscles to remember how it feels to be relaxed. Regular massage also give me a basis of comparison between my usual tense posture (especially in my shoulders and neck) and a more relaxed stance. An added bonus is less fatigue.
To fellow headache sufferers: there is a light at the end of the tunnel of pain. Monique and her massage therapy are helping to make pain-free existence possible. I highly recommend her services.”
– D. Donovan
Arch Street Design Collaborative
” I had been unexpectedly diagnosed with a brain and a lung tumor in October. The shock, as you can well imagine was devastating. To compound the issue, I am actually a visitor, not a resident of the United States. My first appointment with Monique was one month after my operation. I was not feeling so well and my spirits were low.
Monique’s gentle and caring manner matched her skills as a masseur. She was able to cater to my specific requests. Monique managed to make me feel human again.
I am both grateful and pleased to have someone I can relate to, and whose healing abilities have helped in my healing process these past months.”
” I began massage therapy with Monique about two years ago. Between the stresses of my job and hereditary scoliosis, I was having trouble with my back. Pain was a constant companion and I found that my ability to engage in every day activities was being curtailed.
Monique has been very helpful in helping me reduce these pains. She always begins each session by asking me where I am hurting the most, then proceeds to massage the pain away. Her therapy is thorough; she eliminates pain in places I was not aware existed.
I must confess that I sometimes go to Monique when my body is actually not in any pain. As I mentioned, my job is quite stressful. I use massage to unwind; to ease the tension out of my mind as well as my body. It is hard to describe the benefits of a good massage to someone who has never had one. The sense of inner peace is something that only a personal experience can bring. I highly recommend Monique.”
– D. E. Reilly
“I have used the massage therapy services of Monique Illona approximately a dozen times since mid 1997. Monique does a great job of ‘fixing’ my bad back!”
– S. Auclair
RELAXATION, STRESS REDUCTION, GENERAL ILLNESS & INJURY
“I have been seeing Ms. Illona for almost two years on a weekly basis for an hour-long massage. I began teaching three years ago after a long hiatus, and had been plagued with illnesses the entire first year.
I came to Ms. Illona to see if stress-reducing massage would prevent my frequent sick days! Since starting with her I have missed only three days in two years! My family has noticed the difference in me – they say they can tell by the weekend if I’ve had my massage that week by my disposition!
My sessions with Ms. Illona are peaceful and relaxing – she is professional in her relationship with me, encouraging me to talk of any stress-producing issues, and offering advice. But during the massage time I appreciate her silence as she concentrates on her work. Her work is very thorough, but gentle…I frequently sleep during some of my massage time!
Since coming to Ms. Illona, I find I am much more aware of my state of tension and relaxation. The effect must be cumulative – I continue to feel much more relaxed and in control even if I must skip a week now and then!
I recommend Ms. Illona to anyone with enthusiasm!”
– M. McConnell
“I have been coming to Monique Illona for therapeutic massage for six years, since September of 1992.
I have experienced a dramatic change in my overall health as a result, finding that the major illnesses that had plagued me yearly before massage began have not returned at all. I also have gained a sense of my body in relaxation that aids me in caring for myself more successfully.”
– M. McConnell
“I first contacted Monique after being rear-ended in an auto accident. Very pleased with our initial visit, I signed up for a short group of weekly sessions. Over the weeks that we worked together, I noticed a marked difference. In my sessions with Monique we addressed not only the tension in my back, but issues of balance, energy congestion and distribution, and various techniques to perpetuate the benefits of massage between and beyond our sessions. Her approach is a highly personal one, providing care that is individually relevant to each session with no two sessions ever exactly the same. Based on the value of my experience, I have continued to work with Monique on an ongoing basis. Whether seeking help with a specific issue or looking to begin a process of greater mind-body connection, I recommend Monique wholeheartedly”.
“Monique is the best. She is the epitome of what massage therapy has to offer in real growth. I have been to many massage therapists that are good and create relaxation, but rarely have I been to one who so intuitively taps into such depth as to promote continued and successive growth. Her well defined persona engenders respect, fills the room with healing energy, and defines the precision of her mastery and technical know-how. She listens to her client and is easy to work with cooperatively in the reduction of pain and stress. Real transformation is the context and paradigm of her work.”
– Robert Lax
“I have been fortunate enough to have worked with Monique Illona for three years. I initially came to see her because I felt I needed to find a way to alleviate mental and physical stress. I needed help in allowing an teaching my body to relax. I found that with Monique I was able to relax enough physically, my mental stresses followed in tow. My thinking gains a kind of clarity during the massage sessions I experience only rarely elsewhere – perhaps only before falling asleep.
The idea of massage by someone I did not know well made me skittish at first. I appreciated Monique’s professionalism entirely. She very much respects one’s need for modesty and I never felt in the least as if my privacy were being invaded. On the contrary, her presence and professionalism made me feel more at ease in my own body.
She has an intuitive grasp of what kind of touch to use. She could always sense which of my muscles were most constricted, needed to most work – and also knew whether a deeper of a lighter touch would help most. She is very much an artist and strives towards the perfection of her work each time she encounters the body. I felt refined by this, as if my body had been sculpted into something more fine than perhaps it actually was, from the inside out.
My comfort level with Monique could not be higher and the work I have done with her over the past three years has contributed enormously to my well-being. She helped my body adjust to and through a difficult pregnancy. Her spirit is buoyant, quietly exuberant. Because she taught me how to unclench my body, she has made it much easier for me to manage the stresses that creep into my days. I recommend her unconditionally.”
– M. Tyler
“My massage with Monique is the most important part of my week. It renews my body and soul. It reduces my stress and helps me get ready to face the challenges of the week. It has helped relieve the pain in my knees and back. My massage soothes and energizes my body.
– Susan Gordon, 2000
“I have known Monique for over two years, and have been receiving weekly massage and stress relief therapy for her for the past year. Her level of professionalism, including professional boundaries is most excellent, without any feeling of stiffness or undue formality. I was immediately comfortable with her.
I began coming to see Monique for a number of health problems I have due to Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome. I have many sever symptoms due to this chronic illness, which I have had for over three years. These include severe fatigue and weakness, stress and anxiety attacks, insomnia, headaches, almost constant muscle pain throughout my body, digestive problems and difficulty concentrating and making decisions, just to name a few. I had had some relief with acupuncture over time, but nothing other than a strict regime of rest, yoga, breathing exercises and a vegetarian diet had really helped. I was immediately helped by Monique’s work.
Monique’s excellent muscle work resulted in a lessening of symptoms, or elimination of them for several days at a time (which for me is quite remarkable). Her incredible intuition and knowledge of the body’s energy systems and flow have also played a huge part in symptom management over time, clearing emotional issues and negative thought patterns that impeded my personal health, happiness and productivity.
Monique Illona is extremely talented and knowledgeable about her work, highly intuitive, friendly and completely professional. I recommend her most highly.
– S. Paice
“THANK YOU – it was so nice! While the warm stones relaxed me deeply, making me feel as if I were melting, I also felt very grounded by the cool stones. I really liked having the warm stones on my belly, as well as on my hands and feet. I felt in touch with the natural elements.”
S. Glikson, Therapist
The four-hands massage, above any other, attends to the body’s deep needs. In bodywork, it is one thing to submit to an individual pair of hands, to allow them to circulate and knead out tensions, but with two the effect is not so much doubled as extended. Because together Monique and Blane work through the upper layer of muscular tightness with more rapidity, the second turn, the deeper and more emphatic work, leaves the body feeling released, open to happier sensation. Most of the time it is difficult to distinguish whose hands are whose — but I think this serves as an aid in relaxation. Concentration must, perforce, be let loose. And very few circumstances provide us with such a welcome possibility. I have been Monique’s client for over ten years now, and have been fortunate enough to experience her ever-evolving skills and styles of work I am overwhelmed by the bounty of this one.
“Scott was SO THRILLED with his massage certificate! I have to say that in spite of all my efforts to get him nifty and thoughtful gifts, which he liked, I think the certificate was perhaps his favorite!”
“A gift certificate for a massage by the best. We thought that you would enjoy taking time out from your hectic life to relax and be transported to another realm. We have both experienced a massage with Monique and highly recommend her. Enjoy! Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy 50th”
A. & N. Motenko
Written on the Gift Certificate