Kitrina Hunter still remembers the first time she received a therapeutic massage.
“I was just amazed at the level of relaxation and the release of tension that I had,” she recalls, even though the experience was nearly three decades ago.
At the time, Hunter was taking classes in psychology and was learning about the mind-body connection. It all made sense, and she quickly realized that she needed to learn more, especially about massage.
“I began training with the therapist who was at Great Shapes (where she got the massage) and she told me that I was a natural at it. She encouraged me to go to massage therapy school.”
So she did. Within 2 years after becoming a massage therapist Hunter opened her own massage therapy business, In Sync Mind Body Therapy Center. That was in 1994. “It quickly gained momentum,” Hunter explains.
Within a few years, the business outgrew its original location, and in 2004 found a new home at 2031 S. Illinois Ave. in Carbondale where Hunter says offerings continue to expand. The business is now celebrating 25 years of serving clients from across the region.
“We’ve always had an interest in doing more treatments and finding things that we could do to enhance the services that we offer,” she says, noting that In Sync now has a team of ten massage therapists as well as two yoga instructors, a mindfulness meditation facilitator and a holistic cosmetologist.
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Currently, In Sync offers a wide range of massage therapies including Swedish massage, packages designed specifically for expectant mothers and athletes, Ashiatsu massage, hot stone treatments, reflexology and deep tissue massage. The business also provides spa packages ranging from facials to and foot scrubs as well as cupping, essential oil treatments and more, always using as many natural products as possible.
“I feel like we are the premier massage therapy provider in the area,” Hunter says. “All of our therapists love what they do and are eager to expand their therapeutic and spa therapy offerings. I’m proud that we offer more than a dozen types of therapy. We all have a desire to serve those in need and to be constantly learning ourselves.”
Hunter says she realizes that 25 years is a significant milestone and that “it has been quite a ride,” adding that she has learned to listen to, and learn from, her customers.
“It’s about being mindful of what people are looking for and how we can best accommodate them,” she says. “Even when someone gives us negative feedback — which happens very rarely — I look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow. It gives us a chance to reflect and revise.”
“Our community is largely mindful and supportive of small businesses,” she says. “That’s been very important. I want to thank them for that.”
Hunter says she is open for continued expansion.
“I would love to see a holistic center that offers all kinds of wellness practices under the same roof.” she adds. “There are so many possibilities out there.”