Aaron Shay, Owner/Operator
After years as an athlete and receiver of massage, I made the decision to pursue a career as a bodyworker. I trained in massage therapy at the Body Therapy Institute, where I focused on Myofascial and Swedish massage; I later joined the faculty as a teaching assistant. Drawing on my understanding of how the body moves and learns, I’ve developed my therapeutic approach over several years and thousands of hours of hands-on work.
My work and intention focuses on the fascial (or connective tissue) network that suffuses the entire body. By creating space in the fascia, muscles can move more freely, joints can operate smoothly, and important electrical impulses can travel unimpeded. Sometimes, what we think of as tight or knotted muscles are really taut or sticky regions of fascia. By slowly engaging and freeing this connective web, I can help clients open new ways of occupying and moving their bodies, often breaking less supportive patterns of movement and creating more range and ease of motion.
A native of the Northeast, I’ve called Durham home since 2001. I spent two years as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, operated a mobile climbing wall, drove an ice cream truck, and spent nearly ten years in the electronic security field before becoming a licensed massage and bodywork therapist (NC Lic. #6858). I’ve maintained my National Certification through the National Certification Board For Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork since 2007. In the Fall of 2010, I took over as owner of Broad Street Massage when its founder, Rebecca Brightly, made the move back to the Pacific Northwest to be near family and friends again.
My Values as a Massage Therapist
Having been there myself, I do what I can to help make massage available to people with financial barriers. Students and those of us feeling the effects of a less-than-stellar economy can use a sliding scale on 60-minute sessions (see the Discounted Session section on the Pay Online page for more info).
Often health care professionals seem too hurried to give the attention and caring we’d all ideally like. As a massage therapist, I can serve this unmet need with my presence and through my hands. My goal is to make each interaction as authentic as possible, meeting clients on common ground.
In order to make massage more visible while helping out causes I care about, I work with several nonprofit organizations (including Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDoanld House and the Kramden Institute) providing massage and donating part or all of the proceeds. Please contact me if your organization could use some extra funds!
I regularly review and educate myself as well as take continuing education courses, as I can always learn more to help serve my clients and satisfy my intense curiosity about the nature of the human body.
Massage and other forms of bodywork are an integral part of preventative health care. Relaxation is no longer considered a luxury.
Though many people still consider stress and anxiety a badge of honor, proof that they are working hard, the truth is that chronic stress wreaks havoc on all systems of the body and is an important factor in many illnesses and diseases. Non-physical factors (such as emotional or spiritual stress and school- or work-related anxiety) can manifest physically in the body, dampening immune-system response or creating high levels of tension in muscles and other soft tissues.
One of the primary goals of massage therapy is stress reduction, as well as manually manipulating the muscles and soft tissues to create length, space, and ease of motion. By soothing the central nervous system, increasing circulation, and unwinding tight muscles, massage can help:
- reduce muscular pain and discomfort
- quicken healing and rehabilitation post-injury
- improve performance
- improve posture
- strengthen the immune system
- increase your body awareness
Returning your mind and body to an easily manageable level of stress is only the beginning. For those who enjoy it, regular massage can begin to undo the years of trauma and stress we’ve subjected ourselves to.