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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, I spent a few hours working with Najat, one of our long time WWM massage therapists, dismantling and cleaning up the space that has held our chair massage station for many years.

Najat cleans our space as we dismantle our WWM booth

Najat cleans our space as we dismantle our WWM booth

Since I first made the announcement that WFM Gold Coast Store Team Leader had asked us to close our booth, I’ve had many calls and emails from concerned clients that are sad and worried about our booth closing. Sadly, WWM had no control over whether we would leave the WFM Gold Coast store. If it was up to WWM, we would have stayed open at this location, but like many Chicago institutions, our time was over. WFM Gold Coast leadership wanted to bring more cafe seating into the space we occupied.  As Najat would say, C’est Le Vie.

20170131_195148

What took 15 years to build, we knocked down in hours!

I’ve heard wonderful stories from clients that have visited us in the Gold Coast location for many years. One client credits his newfound health and heart improvement on regular chair massage by WWM massage therapists. He said his doctors are surprised at his recovery and tell him to keep the massages up! Another client told me she has used our massage services for 11-12 years and worries she will not be able to travel to our Lincoln Park location for massages once we closed our booths.

No more WWM at WFM Gold Coast-WWM has left the building!

No more WWM at WFM Gold Coast-WWM has left the building on 1-31-17!

We apologize to customers that found our Gold Coast location convenient and are unable to travel to our Lincoln Park location. WWM would be happy to reopen in another location in the River North or Gold Coast or Streeterville area if we can find a good arrangement. We have looked at other potential locations, but thus far, have not had any promising offers for another space for our booth.  Unfortunately chair massage is not lucrative enough for us to afford the high rent of Gold Coast office space for a chair massage station. Our partnership with WFM, which has long been a company committed to whole body and wellness, has been a natural relationship. And one we happily continue with WFM Lincoln Park!

For those clients of our WWM chair massage booth in the Gold Coast, we say thank you for stopping by and getting massages, sharing your lives, your pain, your joy and your stories through the years. You have touched each and every one of us emotionally, as we have touched your muscles and helped relieve your tension and deal with stress!

WWM Gold Coast Before 2-1-17

 

WWM Previous booth space inside WFM Gold Coast after 2-1-17. Two high top tables replace previous massage oasis. C’est le vie!

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

I am sad to say that as of January 31, 2017, Working Well Massage will be picking up our chair massage booth and leaving the Whole Foods Market-Gold Coast location at 30 W Huron. We’ve been there for over 15 years and I leave with many happy memories of working in the booth inside this store!

WWM inside WFM Gold Coast

WWM inside WFM Gold Coast

Current Whole Foods Market Store Team Leader, John Edwards has graciously given us notice to allow us to prepare our staff and clients for the closure of our chair massage booth on January 31, 2017. According to WFM leadership, the store needs more seating space in the cafe and our booth is taking up space needed for Whole Food Shoppers to dine in the store.

WFM-Gold Coast seating

WFM-Gold Coast seating

While I am sorry we are leaving, I am extremely grateful that we’ve been able to remain in the store for the past 15 years and been able to give really great massages to WFM team members, Shoppers and to our own WWM staff! Like our clients, I have personally benefited from the convenience and affordability of being able to stop by and get a short 15-20 minute chair massage and pick up a few groceries or a nice lunch or dinner from WFM.

Working Well Massage has been a fixture at the Gold Coast WFM location since 2001, when current WFM Midwest Regional President Michael Bashaw was the Gold Coast Store Team Leader. Since then, Michael has opened numerous new Whole Food Market stores around the country (and in Canada) and WWM has given thousands of relaxing chair massages at the Gold Coast location. We’ve worked with about 7 different Store Team Leaders that have rotated through the store. It has been a very generous and wonderful partnership!

In 15 years, we have seen WFM expand into nearby Streeterville, West Loop and DePaul locations.  And WWM has also expanded, moving into the WFM in Lincoln Park. At one point, we had booths in the WFMs in South Loop, Evanston and River Forest. Once we close the WFM-Gold Coast store, however, WWM will only be in the WFM in Lincoln Park. (Unless other Chicago WFM’s decide to take us on!)

WWM inside WFM Lincoln Park

WWM inside WFM-Lincoln Park

While we are leaving WFM-Gold Coast, we are grateful to Rich Howley, for inviting into the WFM-Lincoln Park store when it relocated in 2009. Rich has been a urstwhile supporter of WWM and has gone out of his way to make us feel welcome and help us meet the needs of Lincoln Park WFM Shoppers! We are hopeful that some of our long time happy WWM clients from our Gold Coast location will make the trek in February to WFM-Lincoln Park to visit us there!

As the manager of Working Well Massage, I’ve had a number of really talented massage therapists work in our Gold Coast location. Some of them have moved on, like Heidi O’Hair to a nursing career; Ann-Marie Provost, to an entrepreneur of natural body care products, Lulu’s Conscious Skincare, in Florida; Ingrid Reyna, now an acupuncturist in AZ; and Rania Baxter who has relocated to Omaha, Nebraska to give her special smile and energy with her relaxing massages!

Luckily, many others have stayed, including Andrew Petrikiv, who will be working at the WFM-Gold Coast location until we close!

Andrew Petrikiv, LMT

Andrew Petrikiv, LMT

Andrew, our most senior massage therapist, has been with WWM for over 14 years. Andrew is seemingly ageless, and continues to provide quality, stress relieving massages, and will continue to do in at our Lincoln Park Location at 1550 N. Kingsbury inside WFM-Lincoln Park.

Najat, David McClinton, and Kimosha will remain with WWM at our Lincoln Park location. And we this past year, we added some new massage therapists with great massage skills to Lincoln Park, including Trina Sanford, Jake Frey, Starlette Ousley and Jeannie Blair. Aaron Hanna, a truly talented massage therapist and Corrective Exercise Specialist and personal trainer will continue to be working a tour Lincoln Park location as well!  David Karall, Patty Marks and Bernard Mangilin (now a massage therapist for the Chicago Bulls), will be in the booth from time to time filling in for our other regular Lincoln Park WWM massage therapists.

Please do stop by and see us before we vacate the WFM-Gold Coast store. And if anything changes or we find another location where we can reopen our Gold Coast booth, we will let you know in this blog!

 

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

The team from Working Well Massage, the company that helps Chicagoans work well with increased relaxation and a better ability to handle stress, wishes all of our readers and clients a very happy, and hopefully relaxing, Labor Day.

Sue Shekut, Owner of Working Well Massage

Sue Shekut, Owner of Working Well Massage

Both of our Chicago area chair massage stations are open this weekend from  12 Noon to 8.p.m. So this Labor Day weekend, feel free to stop in and let us labor to relax you on your precious few days off of your regular work schedule.

WWM Chair Massage Locations

Working Well Massage Gold Coast Chair Massage Station
30 West Huron Street
(between Dearborn and State Streets)
Chicago, Illinois 60654
Free parking: Underground lot. Enter off Dearborn Street going Northbound.

Working Well Massage Lincoln Park Chair Massage Station
1550 N. Kingsbury
(between North Avenue and Division Street)
Chicago, Illinois 60642
Free parking: available in the garage, enter on Kingsbury

How Chair Massage Works at Working Well Massage stations inside Whole Foods Market

Drop in and sign up for your chair massage. (Clients must be in the store to sign up for massage because we do not take phone appointments for in store sessions.) If you come right up t the booth and someone is already receiving a massage, check with our massage therapist on duty ans ask how long the wait will be. You can usually get a massage within 20 minutes Which gives you time to shop and sample many of the delicious foods Whole Foods Market has to offer!

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Dear Working Well Resource Readers,

2013 has been an amazing year. First off, the world did not end on December 21, 2012 as some reported might happen. Getting to see 2013 is a huge success now that the Mayan’s have been disproven. Aside from this major hurdle, Working Well Massage has had a fantastic year, giving thousands of massages in the Chicagoland area, relaxing many Chicagoans (And out-of-town visitors to our corporate locations and chair massage stations inside Whole Foods Markets).

Chair massage is coming to Palatine inside Whole Foods Market!

Chair massage is our Working Well Massage specialty!

In 2012, we continued our partnership with Whole Foods Market in the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park stores in Chicago. I am very proud of our strong association with Whole Foods because I believe in their products and I am happy WWM can align with Whole Food Markets core values to provide healthy relaxation services inside two Chicagoland stores. Thanks to Rich Holley, Store team leader at the Lincoln Park Whole Foods Market ,and Mike Farmer, Store team Leader of the Gold Coast store for allowing us to operate our chair massage stations inside their stores!

Sue Shekut, Owner of Working Well Massage

Working Well Massage inside Lincoln Park Whole Foods Market

In 2012, Working Well Massage continued to provide excellent massage therapists to our retail and corporate clients–and we will do so in 2013 as well! We are happy to be able to provide high quality services at affordable prices. Notice, I don’t say high quality services at low prices. We don’t do that and we don’t recommend it. Paying low prices usually means someone is getting ripped off, either the massage therapist or the customer (because the low paid services are usually not high quality!). As 2012 came to a close, I admit I was happy to hear that the company “Groupon” has had massive layoffs and is losing investors. I have written about the negative effects of deep discounting and sadly, I am seeing my beliefs bear out. I know I am in good company when Peter Cohan, Contributor to Forbes magazine,  agrees that Groupon is a bad idea for small businesses–and I say it’s bad for small business customers as well. At Working Well Massage, we have always tried to keep our prices affordable, but we still need to make a living. By offering a living wage to our massage therapists, we can continue to provide quality services, stay in business (a very important goal for small businesses!) and treat our current and future clients with respect and care. We love what we do and we are happy to help people save money on our services..but not at the cost of our business and our personal health!

Lorian Bates, Working Well Massage Therapist inside Whole Foods Market

Lorian Bates, Working Well Massage Therapist as she prepares to provide high quality massage to WWM clients inside Whole Foods Market. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Working Well Massage corporate clients have been happy to have us provide our stress relieving services on a daily, weekly, monthly and periodic basis. For reasons of confidentiality, we do not broadcast our client companies names, but we can say that our clients include financial services, marketing companies, software manufacturers, manufacturing firms, schools, universities, police stations, private pampering parties and not-for-profits. This year Working Well Massage also donated time and money to local and national charities such as Climate Cycle among other groups.

Working Well Massage therapists give a small moment of relaxation to officers as they prepare to go out into the streets and as they come off duty after a long shift. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Working Well Massage therapists give a small moment of relaxation to officers as they prepare to go out into the streets and as they come off duty after a long shift. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Thanks to all our readers, Working Well Massage clients, Working Well Massage team members, and Chicago area police and fire fighters! We appreciate your business in 2012 and look forward to service you again in 2013!

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Working Well Massage is partnering with Balance & Harmony Massage to bring chair massage to  the Palatine Whole Foods Market on Saturdays from 11am to 3pm. starting October 6, 2012.

Palatine Whole Foods Market on Rand Road

Palatine Whole Foods Market is located at 1331 North Rand Rd in Palatine,  Illinois  60074-2922. (Note: The store is relocating to a larger building nearby in March of 2013.) Map of Palatine Whole Foods Market location here.

Dawn Mucha, LMT

Dawn Mucha of Balance & Harmony Massage, located in Schaumberg is going to be providing massages on Saturdays at the Palatine store. Working Well Massage is testing out the new location to determine if we need to add more days and hours of massage for our suburban relaxation fans.

Hours: Dawn will be giving relaxing massages from 11am to 3pm on Saturdays in the Whole Body section of the store.

Prices:
Quick Fix (5-Minute Massage) = $6
Short Stop (10-Minute Massage) = $12
Mellow Moment (15-Minute Massage) = $18
Complete Retreat I (20-Minute Massage) = $24
Complete Retreat II (30-Minute Massage) = $35

Additional increments of 5 minutes = $6. Please note that we do not accept credit card payments at the Massage Stations. Payment accepted in cash or checks only.

Look for Dawn’s smiling face and her massage chair coming soon to this space inside Whole Foods Market in Palatine, IL

How to Use WWM Chair Massage Stations

  • No need to make an appointment! If someone else is already receiving a massage when you arrive, simply sign in and wait your turn.
  • Before your massage begins, let the therapist know how long you’d like the massage to last and any areas that are bothering you. Be sure to let him or her know if you have any medical contraindications such as high or low blood pressure, pregnancy, or fever.
  • Your therapist will help you get seated in the chair and begin the massage. Let him or her know if you need the pressure adjusted. We welcome your feedback; it helps us give you a better massage.
  • When your massage ends, your therapist will help you out of the chair . He or she will provide you with any feedback you may need about stretching or follow-up.
  • Pay the therapist for the massage. Gratuity is always appreciated but not required.

Stop by the Palatine Whole Foods and try out Dawn’s relaxing massages on Saturdays in October. Then let us know what you think!  Do you want more massage in this location or are you so relaxed already in your life that you can’t even type a reply?
For more information, contact Working Well Massage or contact Dawn directly at Balance & Harmony at 847-452-8987.

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UPDATE: Our first three weeks at Whole Foods Market in Palatine was a big success! However, in an effort to reduce confusion by our new clients, Working Well Massage has turned over operation of the chair massage station at this location to our partner company, Balance & Harmony Massage. Working Well Massage continues to support the efforts of the new chair massage business in Palatine. We wish Balance and Harmony Massage great success in this new business endeavor!

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Can a business be TOO successful? How about two businesses? Sometimes they can be! In the case of Working Well Massage and the Whole Foods Wellness Club, being too successful in some areas made it a better idea to split our two businesses and focus on what we each do best.

On Sept 5, 2011, Working Well Massage expanded our massage business to offer table massages in the new Wellness Club in Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park. We aligned with the Wellness Club to offer discounted massages to Wellness Club members and full price massages to non-wellness club members. Both Wellness Club leadership and WWM thought that the massage business would be very successful in the Wellness Club and that we would need the consultation room to provide table massages. However, we found that table massages were not as big of a draw to the Wellness Club as nutritional consultations turned out to be.  We also found that the WWM chair massages business was so successful on the main floor that there was less of a need for massage in the WC than we thought. Both the Wellness Club nutritional offerings and the chair massage offerings on the main floor resulted in few table massage clients in the Wellness Club and a greater need for the use of the consultation room for nutritional services.

At the same time, WWM resources were being stretched thin. A massage business can only survive financially if it has clients. WWM massage clients ended up preferring the affordable, accessible, walk in appointment at the WWM chair massage station to table massages in the Wellness Club upstairs. Trying to market both massage and fitness and nutrition was taxing the resources of both WWM and the WC and confusing WWM customers.

By Oct 12 2011, both Wellness Club leadership and WWM agreed that it made more sense and was a better business decision to close the table massage business. Instead Whole Foods Market decided to focus the Wellness Club more on nutritional offerings and fitness and channel massage clients to the already established and successful WWM chair massages booth near Express on the main floor.

I apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this rapid opening and shutting down of table massage services may have been to some of our clients. Working Well Massage continues to offer chair massages at the Lincoln Park Whole Foods Market. And the Wellness Club is focusing on nutrition and fitness in the balcony (mezzanine) upstairs!

Visit us in the WWM chair massage booth from Noon to 8p.m. Daily and receive your own relaxing chair massage.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

One of the many things I am proud of is my Working Well Massage chair stations in Whole Foods Markets. I am proud of this business because it serves multiple needs for a variety of people. For one thing, it provides a means for people with limited time or funds to receive massage. For another, it allows potential table massage clients to try out different massage therapists before they commit to a one-hour table massage. And it allows people to experience muscular pain relief in as little as 5 minutes (although 15-20 minute massages can give you more results!).

Sue Shekut, Owner of Working Well Massage

I’ve been working in and managing chair massage stations for the past 9-10 years. In that time, my massage therapists and I have helped hundreds, if not thousands, of people relax, experience pain relief, learn about their own bodies and how to better care for their muscles. Selfishly, I myself have also received hundreds of chair massages at the Working Well Massage stations! I love the convenience because I don’t need to make an appointment. I love being able to shop for some good healthy grub and then plunk down in the massage chair, trusting that my team will take good care of me. Not because I manage them, but because they are highly trained and skilled massage therapists and they treat all WWM clients well.

Sine I am such a big fan of chair massage myself, I thought I’d list a few reasons why you might want to check chair out massage for yourself. And so that you don’t think I am entirely self-serving, I’ll offer this up: Get a chair massage somewhere,  whether you get it from a Working Well Massage station or through someone else. WWM has only two locations in Chicago for chair massage. For those of you in the suburbs or other areas of the country, many Whole Foods stores offer chair massages. but there are  other places to get chair massage as well. Shopping malls, salons, airports, all these places may offer chair massage. More and more, many workplaces are bringing in companies like Working Well Massage to offer chair massage to their employees. It’s a great motivator, boosts productivity and sure beats sending your people out to the doctor for a muscle spasm that might have been prevented if they had regular massage.

Chair massage:

• Is fast and easy-no need to take off your clothes or get oil on you!

• Can release muscle tension in your neck and shoulders, upper and lower back. Sitting in a massage chair angles your upper body in  way that is optimal for the massage therapist to address your neck and shoulder without a massage table in the way.

• Tends to cost less than table massage. I can buy four 20-minute chair massages a month for the same price as one 1-hour table massage. So I get more attention to the areas that are sore more often.

• Allows you to sample a massage therapist’s work without a big time or money commitment.

• Provide work for massage therapists and chance to meet new clients.

• Can help relieve headache pain causes by tight muscles.

• Can help reduce muscle pain causes by overuse or repetitive motion activities (ahem, computer users work their upper backs and neck muscles all day).

• And lastly, it just feels good! I always feel better after a chair massage. The world seems brighter, my mode is lighter and I feel refreshed and relaxed and ready to face the next round of emailing and smart phoning!

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