To Brynne Winegar, massage therapy is more than a pampering service; it’s a tool for improving people’s overall health.
Just ask those who have visited her at Diamond Trail Fitness Center in Sully, where Winegar has been offering her services since December.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer massage therapy at the fitness center!” said ChyAnne Huyser, director of the center. “I have heard wonderful things from everyone that has had an appointment with Brynne. There are so many aspects to living a healthy lifestyle, and massage therapy and reflexology are another piece of the puzzle.”
Winegar and her husband, Mark, a fellow 2003 Lynnville-Sully grad, both grew up in Sully. Many know Winegar by her maiden name, Moes.
Directly out of high school, Winegar attended massage school. After graduating from massage school, she did massage therapy in Newton for six months before a move brought her to Des Moines. She has worked in Des Moines at salons, spas, and a school, all owned by BP Inc., for 10 years.
Starting out in Des Moines, Winegar primarily worked at Bella Salon and Spas, Serenity, and Signature Male, a male-based salon and spa. About five years after moving to Des Moines, the owners of Signature Male and Bella sold their salons so they could open an Aveda school. Winegar was approached to see if she would be interested in teaching at the school. She’s been teaching at the Aveda Institute Des Moines for about five years now.
“I really love teaching,” Winegar said. “I have a passion for education, and the company I’m with – they believe that learning never ends. We have lots of different classes and educational opportunities that they make available to us.”
If she would have known back then what she knows now, Winegar feels she would have been a much better massage therapist those first months out of massage school.
Winegar and her husband moved back to Sully two years ago, wanting their children – Denali, 4, and Gunner, 2 – to have the same upbringing as they did.
Though she loves teaching, last year, Winegar realized she was starting to miss working on guests. Around that time is when ChyAnne Huyser from the Diamond Trail Fitness Center called, asking if Winegar would be interested in doing massage therapy part-time at the center.
The time seemed right for Winegar, and she agreed to Huyser’s request. Winegar sees having a massage therapist at the gym as a “perfect fit” as massage therapy isn’t just for for relaxing; it can actually help with problem areas of the body.
Winegar said through her years of teaching, her philosophy has changed to “not thinking as massage as being a pampering service and instead thinking of it as being part of your wellness, part of your well being.”
At the fitness center, Winegar offers massages in half-hour and hour increments as well as reflexology treatments, which take about 45 minutes. Reflexology is based off a Chinese philosophy from thousands of years ago, Winegar ex-plained.
“Basically, your foot is a map of your body. I can go through and map out certain points along your feet; it can be anywhere from your back to your shoulders to your internal organs,” she said.
She uses acupressure on areas of the foot that correspond with parts of the body.
“It’s a more holistic way of thinking about things,” Winegar said.
Winegar said she went into the arrangement at the fitness center without any expectations, not knowing how massage therapy and reflexology would be received in a town the size of Sully.
The results so far?
“It has gone really well,” Winegar said. “I’m very excited; I’m having a lot of fun with it.”
She’s been pleased with the amount of return guests who have visited her.
“People are actually wanting to come back and seeing the difference and seeing the benefits,” she said. “I think that’s great.”
Since Winegar is still teaching full-time, her services are available by appointment on both Monday and Wednesday evenings after 4:45 and all day on Fridays.