Massage Therapist Offers Something for Everyone at Bodyworks Wellness StudioApr 01, 2023 06:14PM ● By Sheila Julson
Donna Porcino is a pioneer in massage therapy throughout the Poconos region. During her journey from a stay-at-home mom to a sought-after massage therapist, she picked up many wellness modalities along the way. At Bodyworks Wellness Studio, she offers massage, reiki, salt therapy, crystal healing, and unique couples experiences and group packages.
After moving from New Jersey to the Poconos region of Pennsylvania, Donna, then a stay-at-home mom, eventually wanted to return to work as an executive secretary, but had difficulty finding good-paying work. At age 32, she attended Northampton Health Options Institute in Bath, Pennsylvania. She was enthralled not just by how massage helps people relax, but by how it can improve circulation, lessen muscle stiffness, increase joint flexibility, ease headaches, and more.
“That’s when I realized I loved what I’m doing,” Donna shares. After graduation in 1996, she approached area salons and found that most of them didn’t have any massage services in place. Donna found she loved educating people she encountered that massage therapy is more than pampering. “It absolutely needs to be part of your wellness program.”
At one time, Donna traveled to five different locations to do massages. “I would pack my table, music, sheets, and supplies, go to those places, set up, and do a massage,” she says. Often, her children were in tow and played while she worked.
One day, she received a call from a Sal Melagrano, an elderly gentleman with health issues who had requested a massage in his home. Donna was hesitant but agreed to help him. After the massage, he offered her unused space in his home where she could have a permanent workspace, in exchange for one massage per month. “Even though he passed away, I always thank him for the doors that opened for me, leading to many other opportunities in the town of Mountainhome.”
Donna’s business quickly grew. In the late 1990s, Pocono Mountain towns were booming with summer tourism, which brought Donna even more clients. She later moved to a larger space in Mountainhome. Many of the resorts in the area that wanted to add spas to their properties hired Donna as a consultant and owner/operator to help them set up and implement massage services.
“It brought me out of my comfort zone and opened amazing doors,” she says. She operated the Spa at Mount Airy Casino Resort for the past 16 years, which offers massage, manicures, pedicures, hair services, facials, body treatments, reiki, steam showers, and sauna. However, she wanted to branch out with a space that focused on wellness. She opened Bodyworks Wellness Studio in 2021.
Unique Couples and Group Experiences
After practicing massage for nearly 30 years and loving everything about her work, Donna learned other wellness modalities, such as aromatherapy, ear candling, cupping, crystal healing, salt therapy, sound healing, and energy work. “I learned how all these modalities help our bodies and keep us balanced. I knew it was time to share it,” she enthuses.
Bodyworks’ popular couples experience goes beyond the standard structure of two people in the same room receiving a massage at the same time. “We do something out-of-the box,” Donna explains. “While I’m massaging one person on the massage table, the other person is set up in salt cave with crystals, candles, a comfortable blanket and an eye pillow. They are relaxing while the other person is getting a massage, and then they switch. It’s very relaxing and spiritual.”
Couples can also purchase an add-on experience of enjoying the salt cave and singing bowls together for 25 minutes prior to the massages.
The Girlfriend’s Journey Package caters to groups of up to nine people. It includes relaxing yoga practice, a salt cave experience with singing bowls, and a massage in the healing salt cave, which is set up with crystals, candles, and music for an amazing spiritual experience.
One need not be an experienced yogi to participate. “People don’t have to know all the poses. Everybody can flow and move for 25 minutes. After yoga, people are often excited to see what’s next,” Donna says.
Donna is hands-on and involved in every step of a client’s wellness journey at Bodyworks—and she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’m motivated by knowing that even if I’m helping someone for the short amount of time they’re spending with me, I can uplift them in some way,” she concludes. “It’s almost magical, and I love that I get to make a difference in their lives.”
Bodyworks Wellness Studio is located at 95 Crystal St., East Stroudsburg. For more information, call 570-620-7540 or visit BodyworksWellnessStudios.com.