Mary Queen has spent 16 years working as a massage therapist, helping people recover from sports injuries and other ailments. She works at the recently opened Harmony Nails and Spa on Middletown Parkway in Middletown. Queen recently spoke with The News-Post on the new business, on behalf of owners Yen Tran and Pat Sumintilee.
Tell me a bit about the store and the services you have.
I am the massage therapist. I have been doing massage for 16 years here in Frederick. I do a lot more medical and sports massages. I have a degree from Maryland in physical education and nutrition. Mine is definitely more athletic and medical, more physiotherapy. I also do facials, we do all kinds of facials, whether it’s a minor and simple charcoal facials or a four-layer facial. We also do ear candles, which I do, which is very relaxing, good for the sinuses, things like that. We also perform all kinds of pedicures. We have pedicures for everything from a classic pedicure, which looks like a $ 35 pedicure, to a luxury pedicure, which costs $ 90. So we have everything you need for pedicures, everything people need / want to do. We do hair removal. We also do, of course, the nails. And the nails we do, we do the acrylic nails, the added fake nails, the gel manicures, the big thing right now and something we haven’t seen people do here is SNS [Signature Nail Systems], or what is called dipping powder. And the dipping powder is great because it has less chemicals and you don’t need to put your hands under the UV light like you do with the gel. It is therefore much safer for you; it also lasts longer. And it’s just stronger in general.
What are your hours?
During the week we are open 10 [a.m.] to 7 [p.m.]. And Saturday we are open at 9:30 a.m. [a.m.] to 6 [p.m.].
Tell me a little more about the powder. Is this a more recent development?
They clean the nail and everything, you have to remove all the shine from the nail to make it stick better. Then they put on the base coat, then you dip, and it’s a powder that your finger actually dips in, and then they shake or pat the excess, and they do it in layers. And then it depends on what type you want and how many layers we put on. So if you want multiple colors you have to do a few more layers than you would like to, say, just a regular solid color.
It seems that the salon industry is always coming up with new techniques or treatments.
Absoutely. Some of the newer treatments we have, ear candles, SNS, dipping powder, which like I said before is great because you don’t have to use UV light. So trying to be a little more health conscious is stronger. I train constantly. I actually take classes and study more on the thoracic spine, trying to help my clients with back pain. So I constantly go to classes and I do continuing education for my license. So you are always learning new things to help a customer. Or facials, charcoal face is a whole new facial that helps absorb. Activated charcoal penetrates deeper into the pores than many other products and removes toxins. And we all breathe toxins; your skin absorbs – it is the largest organ in the body. So, to be able to clean that up and get rid of as many toxins as possible. And from there I also do suction cups.
Tell me a bit about what you do with it.
With the suction cups, what I’m going to do, I’m going to bring in a person, find out what’s going on. Usually people have back problems, upper or lower. And you can use them in other places, but we’ll just go with the back [as an example]. But I will massage the back as I normally would, and I will feel around which muscles are tense, what is happening. And then when I do, I’ll place the cups. These are plastic cups, and we are pumping the air. So I put the cup on the skin and I use a pump, I pull the air so that the air pulls the skin. When you think of massage, it’s a stretch, you stretch and lengthen the muscle. What it does is it pulls, separates, and creates space. And that brings the blood into that tight spot. And I can control the pressure. A lot of people are afraid of bruises and things like that. The pressure can be controlled with these new cups. See, the old way was using fire, and you couldn’t control the pressure. Because once you’ve lit the fire, it’s lit. With that, I can control it, because I pump it. Do I do two push-ups, do I do three push-ups? So if someone has diabetes or something, I don’t want to refuel. I want to be very gentle, but still be able to do it for them. Everything in the body, muscles, organs, are enveloped in a substance called fascia. So if you’ve heard of adhesions, when you injure yourself or take damage, the fascia becomes sticky and sticks together. And that causes this adhesion. And you can have adhesions anywhere, in your stomach, in your back, in your legs. You can use it anywhere. So what you do you put it on and that helps pull it apart. Create space, bring blood. It’s a simple version of it.
What’s your favorite technique, or the favorite part of what you’re doing there?
My favorite is definitely massage, and I love sports massage. I love working with people who have something going on and trying to fix it and make them feel better. I love when someone comes in and they are in pain and I can relieve them. Without drugs, without drugs, you know. It really makes me happy.
How much has massage changed over your 16 years? Has the field changed a lot?
You know the heart of massage and the heart of it are the same, in that it’s something that’s been around for so long, it took us a while here in the US to really understand the benefits. . It has happened in other countries, but it has become so much more … doctors take it more seriously. And I’m just waiting for the insurance to start. I have people coming, the doctors will write prescriptions for this and we can cover at least some massages. Geez, more and more people are realizing that, hey, it’s not just a thing, oh, for the rich. It is a matter of health. And especially when people come in and they’re in pain and they’re like, “My doctor tells me I need to take muscle relaxers and pain relievers,” then I work on them and they say, “My pain. is gone.
It must be rewarding.
It is very rewarding. It’s really cool. Because people who couldn’t even stand up straight came to see me. And then they go, drug-free, without all the bullshit that our society just sucks to make money.
Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP.