Lee Hemingway, formerly a professional writer and psychotherapist, opened her own massage practice 10 years ago, and she’s never looked back. “I’ve always been somebody who believes in complementary therapies for wellness,” she said.
When Hemingway’s father was dying of cancer she stopped working to care for him. “His doctor suggested that massage would be good for his circulation,” she said “and he was really appreciative of the work I did.” Hemingway believes the massages helped her father and since she was ready to make a change in her life she took some classes in healing touch before going back to school for a certificate in massage therapy. “It wasn’t a foreign concept,” she said “because I’d rub my kids’ feet and backs when they were tired or cranky, but the turning point was giving my father the massages.”
Hemingway opened Everybody’s Massage in the summer of 2004. Three years ago she moved the practice to a dedicated space in her home. Hemingway has a mix of steady clients who come on a regular basis as well as those who have time and/or finance constraints and only come in when they really need help. “I believe in using as many natural remedies as possible to get to the root of the problem,” she said, “rather than just treating the symptoms.” Hemingway employs a number of different techniques and has had clients running the gamut from children with anxiety to those with carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, neck and back issues and end-stage cancer. She believes her counseling background is an added benefit for many of her clients. “There is such a connection between the mind and the body,” she said. “I feel like my background in psychology enhances my work.”
In addition to counseling, Hemingway has worked as a writer for Business Digest and the old Vermont Vanguard. She attended the Breadloaf Writers Conference and has led writers groups over the years. These days she has less time for writing because of her work, but she’s noticed that her friends keep giving her journals as gifts as a subtle way to goad her into spending more time at her craft. “I have a very strong connection to writing,” she said. “I think it’s a wonderful modality for expression and introspection.”
Hemingway used to drive from her home in South Burlington to a job in Rutland and admire the beauty of Hinesburg along the way. She longed for a place where she could garden and play outdoors with her children. She and her husband contacted a realtor who showed them three properties. At the third property, formerly a farm, the couple looked at each other and instantly realized this was where they wanted to be. Fifteen years later, Hemingway still loves the landscape and her home.
Hemingway chose the name Everybody’s Massage deliberately. “I feel that some people who really could use the work to get in touch with their inner selves to connect mind, body, and spirit, may be self-conscious of their bodies,” she said. “This is a place that welcomes all people.”