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Health and Wellness

Experience ease, not pain

South Boston News
Margot Gerrity administering a massage. / June 27, 2013
Summer is famously a time for relaxation — but in today’s fast-paced world, ease is often easier said than done.

Margot Gerrity, owner of Lakeside Therapies in Clarksville, can help. She’s made a career out of helping people get over their aches and pains and achieve physical and mental peace. Well-being is her business, but helping others to relax is a skill she’s evinced ever since her childhood days.

Gerrity got the first hint of her future career growing up in a single-parent household, where “Mom had to enter the working world” to make ends meet. “She’d come home all stressed out after working all day. I learned that to have any time with her, I had to get to her first and massage her shoulders for 15 minutes.” It was her first hands-on therapeutic experience — literally.

A Maryland native, Gerrity was working at a grocery store at age 32 when she learned of a fellow employee’s neck pain. Offering to help, she was able to provide some relief simply by using her strong hands to knead the spot where the tightness was worst. The employee told her she should become a massage therapist. “My reaction was, ‘What’s that?’” remembers Gerrity. “She said I should enroll at a massage school” in nearby Baltimore.

Intrigued, but also not aware at the time that massage was a burgeoning field for the relief of various health conditions, Gerrity looked into the Baltimore School of Massage, a nationally accredited, state-licensed institution where she would end up receiving her training. “I was there in six months, the next time when there was a class available. It changed my life.”

Flash forward to the present in Clarksville, and to summertime on the lake — where opportunities for fun are abundant, but not without their shares of aches.

Consider, for example, one reliable font of business for Gerrity: water skiing on Buggs Island Lake. “People are always falling off stuff, it’s just a big time for injuries,” she says. Skiing may be one obvious way to torque a muscle, but it’s hardly the only one. Farming, too, takes a toll on the joints and muscles, and not always in ways you’d expect: “I see people with these huge bruises when they fall off a tractor, but they also come in because they’ve turned around too many times looking over their shoulder” at their crops in the field, said Gerrity.

Sometimes people will require therapy due to simple low-level jostling: “You can take a bass boat out on the lake and bounce around on the waves, and that’ll take it out on your kidneys,” Gerrity notes.

The summertime potential for nicks and bruises — and stresses — is almost limitless, whether the cause is too much sun or overdoing the outdoors life or hustling through an airport on the way to a well-earned break. Vacation travelers in Clarksville provide a big boost for Herrity’s business, but she counts locals as her “bread-and-butter.” Recognizing that many of her customers in the area have limited means, she keeps her rates low — and offers short, albeit effective, treatments for people who may not have the disposable income to be steady clients.

“The effects of massage are cumulative,” she observes. But, “What I tell people when they have pain is that I will give it my best shot, and you’ll know by the end of the session whether I can help or not, even if there is a 10 percent reduction in pain. Sometimes you’ll get a 50 percent reduction in pain.” Over time, she can do more.

Gerrity relies on several different therapeutic techniques to enhance wellness and relieve stubborn ailments, including:

• deep tissue massage (for tense, knotted muscles and deep stress patterns)

• Myofascial release (for chronic pain management, posture correction and increased range of motion)

• Manual lymph drainage (for detoxification, swelling and edema, and pre- and post-surgical relief)

• Visceral manipulation (promotes improved organ function)

• Master level Reiki (promotes healing and lessens anemia)

“The great thing about massage is that it helps the body do what it is designed to do. Your body was made to heal itself,” Gerrity says. “All massage does is remove the impediments to that healing process” — whether it’s stress, pain, out-of-kilter joints or muscles, or weakened organ function or immune systems.

Gerrity is certified in the practice of medical and orthopedic massage. She is a CMT (certified massage therapist) with more than 17 years of professional experience, in addition to a lifelong love for the art and practice of helping others overcome life’s hard knocks. She figures to keep at the physically-demanding profession of massage therapy for the indefinite future, but “since I’m doing what I love, I don’t care.”

Demand for her services won’t be drying up. No matter how it may be acquired, everyone has to deal with pain.

“You see that guy over there?” says Gerrity with a laugh, waving at the artwork on her wall of a man with perfectly aligned bones and muscles, a cutaway image of the human body that’s standard decor at doctors’ offices everywhere. “I’ve never met that man.”

To learn more about the services offered by Margot Gerrity, CMT, contact Lakeside Therapies, 413 Virginia Avenue, Clarksville, Va. at (434) 374-9009, or visit or at Facebook at

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