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Finding just the right balance

Entering Achieve Balance a massage therapy clinic located in the plaza on Dolman Street in Breslau, one is greeted with warm and calming earth tones setting the mood for a relaxing massage. Owners Shari Koudijs and Darlene Rahn, both registered massage therapists, began their new venture earlier this month and are glad to call the village home. “This is a growing community and we wanted to be apart of it and offer the services to the people of the area,” said Koudijs. “Breslau has the small-town feel and there is a convenience for the people here as they can walk to their appointments. Everyone has commented on how nice it is that they can walk here.”

The two friends said they saw an opportunity in  being the first massage therapists in the area, as Breslau continues to grow and more businesses come into the neighbourhood. “Instead of living in Kitchener and working there, more and more people are opting to move to Breslau to raise their kids,” said Rahn, adding the proposed GO station will be giving the community a boost.  “Breslau is the new bedroom community. It is perfectly centered for people who work in Elmira, Guelph or Cambridge there are a lot of opportunities here and we are taking advantage of that.”

Both massage therapists have focused on different areas of the industry, with Rahn specializing in lymphedema patients and treating runners. Being a runner herself, she knows how to deal with such injuries. Koudijs specializes in breast cancer patients. She has also worked with many pro athletes over the years, including members of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Hamilton Tiger Cats, giving her an expertise in dealing with athletic injuries.  Achieve Balance also offers deep tissue massage, relaxation massages, sport massage, prenatal massage and infant massage, and the manual lymph drainage that requires clients to come in every day for two or three weeks. “Massage therapy can treat many conditions such as tendonitis, sprains, and we can focus on releasing chronic tension and lowering blood pressure, which helps improve our client’s sense of well being,” said Koudijs.

The store offers two massage rooms, an ultra sound room and rehab area for cancer patients who do not have a large range of motion and the therapist teach them how to use weights, exercise mats and rollers to increase their range.
Koudijs started in the profession in 1999 while working with amputees and was impressed with the quick results she was seeing with the scar tissue, allowing her clients to put their prosthetics on much faster than if they just let it heal on their own.

“It was seeing those results that brought me to the profession, being able to help someone and make a difference was what I was seeking professionally.” For Rahn it was being a marathon runner that led her to massage therapy.

“I would go in to see the therapist, unable to bend over and touch my toes, and when I would come out I could touch my toes. I thought that this was satisfaction and being able to help somebody that quickly, it just drew me in,” she explained.
Both therapists tout the benefits of massage, saying it boosts the circulation and the immune system. They emphasize many relaxation techniques to their clients, most of whom work at desks and develop bad posture.
“We alleviate the effects of stress and train them on developing a better posture at work or home,” said Rahn. “The world piles on the stress and when you come here we take it all away.”
Only open for a month the business already has quite a diverse clientele, and the two women have received some very positive feedback from the community.

“It has been great, everyone who comes here has been really optimistic and they enjoy the fact that we are in the community and are able to just walk on over,” said Koudijs.
Both therapists are also working in other areas of the region they are currently only seeing clients by appointment only with online booking available at www.achievebalance.ca. The therapists can also be reached at (519) 213-0185

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