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Meagan Quigley brings Main Street Massage and Myofascial Therapy to downtown Villa Grove

By Tony Hooker
Meagan Quigley was looking to find that small town living experience when she moved to Villa Grove over a decade ago. She has found that and so much more in the river city that she has come to love as her own. So much so that she has started her business, Main Street Massage and Myofascial Therapy, right downtown, in fact. I recently caught up with the busy licensed professional therapist to discuss her training and practice and so much more. 

How long have you had your location in Villa Grove?

Since April of 2021.

Where did you work previously?

I still currently work at a shop in Urbana. I’m self-employed so I can work at both locations.

How long have you been in the field of Massage Therapy?

Since 1998.

Do you have a specialty within the field of Massage Therapy?

I do. It’s called John Barnes myofascial therapy. 

What is the specialty of that type of therapy?

It stretches the fascial or connective tissue. It works more on the connective or fascial tissue than it does on the muscle structure. You’re targeting a more broad, comprehensive approach to the body than you are to more specific areas.

Who benefits from this sort of procedure?

Anyone with chronic pain, migraines, headaches, sciatica, any kind of nervous system disorders. It can reduce anxiety or seizures. It’s good for a variety of purposes and children can receive it too.

Is it good for athletes?

Athletes love it. 

How did you come to find that specialty?

I was introduced to it in my core training program, back in Michigan and I pursued continuing education hours after I graduated, so I’m a level two practitioner, which takes multiple years to get to. 

Did you grow up in Michigan?

No, I did not. I grew up in Kankakee, Illinois and I attended massage therapy school just north of Detroit in a little town called Berkley. 

How did you find that? <laughs>

I moved to Detroit on a whim, and I flunked out of nursing school! Massage Therapy seemed like a really great segue way back into that, because nursing is anatomy and physiology and how the body works. Massage is that also, but just takes a different approach. 

How did you come to be located in Villa Grove?

I moved to Villa Grove about 13 years ago. I was looking for a smaller town living experience, which I obviously found here, and I absolutely love it! I plan to stay here for the entirety of my life. 

That’s awesome! That’s great to hear. It’s been a quiet open, do you do advertising?

I really haven’t. I’ve just relied on word of mouth getting out there and it’s doing a good job. I’m getting one or two new clients a month, which is pretty good. Eventually, I’d like to have a grand opening, but I just haven’t had time to plan and execute it. 

You just saw massage therapy as a logical extension when the nursing didn’t work out, right? What compelled you to work in health care?

I have always been a compassionate, empathetic, caring type of person. Even as a child, I was drawn to touching people. I was always a touchy, feely child. I love hugs! I rubbed my grandpa’s back and my grandma’s feet. When I became a massage therapist, it wasn’t a big shock to my family! They were like “Yeah, that’s kind of who you are!” I feel very blessed that I can help people live in their bodies more comfortably and allow them to have a better quality of life. I feel like that is a mission that is able to be accomplished and is a very noble mission. 

What kind of advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a massage therapist?

Definitely choose your school wisely. You want a school that focuses more on your hands on skills than your academics. Academics are great and that information will come along when you start touching people. I would also say to make sure that you’re prepared for the ebbs and flows of the job itself. Being a service industry, we are subject to changes and ebbs and flows in the financial situation that surrounds us. When things get tough economically as a whole, it’s tough for us. We have to be able to ride those waves and really learn to manage your money. You also want to choose a school that teaches you about how to be a massage therapist outside of the school. I didn’t get a premium education on how to run a business, but I’ve done it successfully for the past twenty plus years, but I’ve also had some rocky times. You learn by screwing up and saying “Oh, that didn’t work, I’ll have to have a better way next time,”. I wish that our schools would educate us more on that side of things, so that we maybe wouldn’t have to go through all of that, so try to find a school that has that sort of side to it. 

I’m kind of partial to Parkland College, myself! <laughs>

Yeah, they’ve got a good program. I’m really pleased that we’ve got a program that close that can produce good massage therapists. 

Do you have any plans to expand and maybe bring someone (another therapist) in, or are you pretty comfortable with where your practice is now?

I’m pretty comfortable with where I’m at now, though I’m not entirely opposed to the idea of bringing in another therapist. I think some of my job as a massage therapist here in a more rural area is education and getting people to really understand what it is that we really do. People view massage as a luxury, and really, we’re health care providers. We are a core part of what we can do to facilitate health in the human body, and when people view it that way, it makes a difference. 

Do you still run into remnants of the old stereotypes about massage parlors and that sort of thing?

Very, very few and far between. It still happens but not often. I would say what happens more frequently is that I have to educate patients to the fact that I’m a licensed massage therapist and not a masseuse. Wording does matter. It exemplifies the professionalism when you say “I’m a licensed therapist. I’m doing something that’s a profession. This isn’t a hobby.” 

Is there anything that you would like to add?

I want everyone to know that I work with anyone that needs work, so if you’re differently abled, or under eighteen, with parental consent and supervision, I do work with children. I have a broad range of Clientele. I don’t turn people away unless it’s appropriate to do so. This is my life’s work, and I am happy to be able to do it here in Villa Grove.

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