Alternative Wellness Services

by Dee Fisher


The Christmas holidays are once again a memory, and many of us overdid our celebrating with less-than-healthy foods. Where can you go to rid yourself of the post-holiday “blahs” and start a healthier regimen for the new year? In Van Wert, you can visit Van Wert Massotherapy, a one-stop shop for alternative remedies and therapies.

Owner Leslie Moser is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. From her childhood, she nursed a passion for helping others. When asked if she remembered when she first thought about becoming a massage therapist, Leslie smiled. “I had dreams (literal ones) of being a chiropractor when I was a child. I don’t know when thoughts of being a massage therapist started, but they have run deep in me for a long time.”

Leslie joined the Marine Corps as a young woman and met a young man from Van Wert. They hit it off, and after they were discharged in 1999, they married and moved to Van Wert. Leslie used her educational benefits as a veteran to study massage therapy at the Dayton School of Medical Massage.

When she graduated, Leslie became a LMMT (Licensed Medical Massage Therapist). The Ohio State Medical Board provides the certification and title of Massage Therapist. Therapists are also insured, just like doctors and other medical workers, and, in order to maintain her license, Leslie has to attend continuing education classes each year.

According to Massage Today, what is currently referred to as medical massage, bodywork, or somatic therapy, is one of the oldest methods of healing. References to massage have been found in medical texts dating back to around 4000 B.C. Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, refers to massage in his writings dating to the 4th century.

Medical message is defined as the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the body, providing release of tension, pain relief, lowering of blood pressure, increased flexibility and range of motion, and strengthening of the immune system, among many other benefits.

When Leslie started working as a LMMT, she set up shop at the Good Earth Health and Nutrition in Van Wert. She was there for about 10 years before she outgrew the facility, so she began looking for another location. The building on the corner of Walnut and Central Streets had become available, and Leslie was able to purchase it.

It had been a church before Leslie bought it, so the area inside—meant to hold a congregation at worship—was wide open. “One of the first things we did was add walls to half the building, dividing up the space into smaller rooms,” Leslie shared. “We chose colors carefully, making the spaces not only pleasing to look at, but also calming to our clients.”

The building is so spacious that Leslie uses one half of the building as a meeting area for both health classes she offers and as a gathering area for different community groups. “We rent out the western half of the space for different purposes. Some families have rented it out for holiday dinners (there is a complete kitchen, with refrigerators, stoves, and running water); the Red Cross has used it for their classes in first aid; and we offer alternative health classes here, using different instructors in the area—classes in essential oils, aromotherapy, and so on,” Leslie explained.

Van Wert Massotherapy offers many different massage techniques and related therapies, including:

  • Reflexologythe art of applying pressure to different areas of the body to relieve pain and discomfort
  • CranioSacral Therapy [CST]releases restrictions in the membranes and fluid-filled areas around the brain and spinal cord
  • Aromotherapythe use of aromatic oils to promote calmness and relaxation and treat specific physical conditions
  • Cuppinga traditional Chinese therapy that drains the body of toxins and stimulates blood flow
  • Reiki(pronounced ray-key) – the redirecting and balancing of the energies of the body by a trained master of the art
  • Ear Candling or Thermo-Auricular Therapyuse of heat at the ear to remove toxins and wax
  • Ionic Foot Detoxinguse of a foot bath with electrodes to remove toxins from the body through the feet


Besides these therapies, Leslie and her crew offer facials, body wraps, and body waxing, as well as infrared sauna, where you have all the benefits of heat on the body without the moisture (infrared energy does not use steam or water of any kind).

To help their clients continue wellness practices between appointments, Van Wert Massotherapy offers a full retail section with many types of health-related products. They are a JR Watkins store, stocking especially the health and beauty products the company offers.

The selection also includes a large array of essential oils, as well as products that help you use the oils safely and correctly. Van Wert Massotherapy also sells Advocare products for general health, nutrition, and weight management.

Currently, there are seven therapists and three receptionists working at Van Wert Massotherapy. Their “most mature” therapist is 86-year-old Betty Miller, a long-time resident of the area who has offered her expertise in massage to the community for many years.

Other therapists include Heather Grant, Carlee AuFrance, and Jessica Detweiler. The group is rounded off by Marie King, an esthetician who specializes in skin care, and Pam Rusk, their resident Reiki master.

“We work with people of all ages here, from infants through geriatric clients,” Leslie said. “We also work with area chiropractors, who send clients to us as referrals, especially with CranioSacral Therapy, which requires special training that our therapists have. And we work with hospice and Community Health Specialists to give comfort to terminal and home patients.”

Leslie Moser and the crew at Van Wert Massotherapy aim to offer a healthy alternative medical care to the Van Wert area. The next event they are offering is an Aroma Touch class on January 14, 2017. Call them today for more information and to make your own massage appointment!

Van Wert Massotherapy
149 E. Central Avenue
Van Wert, OH 45891
(419) 238-4728

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