Massage is good for your health

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Katie Holeski has a space for her business, Therapeutic Bodywork and Massage, in the Rawlings Community Counseling building. Photo by TANNA YEOUMANS

BONNERS FERRY — Getting a massage can not only be a relaxing treat to oneself, but can also boast many different health benefits. A few of those are decreasing blood pressure, stimulating the immune system, pain relief, increased circulation, reduced stress and anxiety, it promotes bodily relaxation, and assists with sleep.

Katie Holeski has a space for her business, Therapeutic Bodywork and Massage, in the Rawlings Community Counseling building.

After moving to Bonners Ferry from Seattle in 2011 to be with her husband, Holeski gained a customer base. From that stemmed friendships with other local massage therapists, eventually leading her to the space she currently occupies with another massage therapist, MaKayla McClain, who operates under her own name, Integrated Massage Therapy.

Looking back to when she was 15, Holeski shared about the time she attended an acting summer camp where one of the activities was Feldenkrais Method. The method is conscious movement which teaches freedom of movement and self awareness, among other things utilizing freedom. After enjoying the experience, Holeski was drawn toward body work.

“Then I started just squeezing shoulders and necks when I was at work,” said Holeski. “The interest started when I was 15, but it took me until I was 24 to finally go to massage school.”

Going from there, Holeski continued to research and practice massage.

“I started doing massage informally when I was in high school,” said Holeski. “I worked in a hair salon as a receptionist, so a lot of my hairstylists that worked in there would have a lot of chronic neck and shoulder pain, so I spent a lot of lunches working on these women’s shoulders and necks.”

Many of her former coworkers encouraged her to go to massage school. After graduating high school at 17, Holeski was a year shy of attending massage school, so she decided to try her hand at college.

Not being certain as to where the schooling was going to end up, and having had her daughter in 2005, Holeski strived to find a mobile career that she could help support her family and have flexible hours.

“I wanted a career that I could take anywhere and work the hours that make sense for motherhood,” said Holeski.

She then went on to finish massage school in 2008 and obtain her Washington State Massage License in 2010.

“Anything you got, I can handle it,” said Holeski. “I have seen it all and done it all, I can work on it. I am not intimidated by whatever is going on.”

Holeski specializes in therapeutic body work, assisting her clients manage their health and pain.

“When people have chronic muscle tension, shoulders, neck, things that a lot of people have as a constant thing they need to manage,” said Holeski. “A lot of my clients are working with me to manage something that is chronic. I also have a lot of people that just want the therapeutic effects of getting a full body massage.”

Being not only professional, Holeski also tries to build a relationship with her clients through talking, similar to a hairdresser.

“People need to feel comfortable,” said Holeski. “This is a very vulnerable and intimate setting, and you don’t always know who you are going to feel comfortable with, so sometimes you have to try different massage therapists to find one you like.”

Some of Holeski’s clients chose to bring in their own topical lotions for the use during their session, but she normally uses coconut oil or organic lotion. Utilizing healthy topical applicants is not the only thing Holeski does for her customers.

“Massage in general has benefits,” said Holeski. “There are many accumulative benefits for a regular massage, usually once a month.”

Holeski explained how the muscle tissue cumulatively responds to stress that may be environmental stresses such as work, tension, workouts, heavy labor, and other demands on the muscles.

“Massage actually helps the muscle tissue to recover,” said Holeski. “Another benefit to massage for more of the relaxation type of massage, is that your moving lymphatic fluid out of the distal parts of the body and helping circulate lymphatic fluid and flush the toxins out of our body.”

According to Holeski, by doing that, it’s detoxing and pain management, especially for those that have rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases like that that produce lymph, making massage very helpful in managing inflammatory diseases.

“It has been shown to consistently lower blood pressure between massages, and it stabilizes and lowers blood pressure with regular once a month massage,” said Holeski. “The health benefits are huge.”

Taking care of oneself is important to the health and wellbeing of not only the body, but the mind through relaxing the muscles and releasing the toxins.

“I love doing massage, I really enjoy it, it feels like it’s what I am supposed to do,” said Holeski. “I really like helping people. I would hope that if you come in and lay on my table, that you would be able to experience that, but you will know that I am doing this because it is my calling, it’s not just a job. If you let yourself be guided, you will be led towards what you are attracted do in life.”

Phone or text is the best contact for Holeski, at 208-627-8242. One may also visit bonnersferrymassage.massage, or email at

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