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Queens woman lends a healing hand

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But that idea does not reflect all the benefits of the practice, said Whitestone masseuse Carmela Egitto.

“Some...

By Alexander Dworkowitz

To many, the word “massage” conjures an image of an expensive cruise in the Caribbean, lying beside a swimming pool and sipping coconut rum.

But that idea does not reflect all the benefits of the practice, said Whitestone masseuse Carmela Egitto.

“Some people think that if you get a massage that you are pampering yourself,” Egitto said. “But it’s really not. It’s really a way of preventive medicine, of taking care of yourself now.”

Egitto has been praising the benefits of massages for about a decade while running her own business, “Massage is the Message.”

After graduating from the State University of New York at Binghampton in 1982, Egitto, a native of Sicily, found that she was falling out of shape, eating the junk food that often becomes a staple of a college student’s diet.

She began working out vigorously and soon became an amateur body builder while pursing a career in business.

Spending much of her time lifting weights, Egitto often found herself in pain.

“My muscles were always sore from working out, so massage helped to really relieve the tension,” she said.

Fed up with the stress and long hours of a career in business, Egitto quit her job about 10 years ago. Remembering her positive experience with massages, she enrolled in the New Center for Holistic Health and Research in Syosset, where she earned her massage license.

In 1994, Egitto brought her skills to the borough, opening an office on 14th Avenue in Whitestone Village. Most of her clients, however, wanted her to come to their homes, and she closed the office four years later and has been working out of her home ever since.

Most of Egitto’s clients are middle-aged or elderly, and almost all are women. Egitto sees male clients only by referral, making it clear she does not want any “funny business.”

Giving massages is almost as enjoyable as receiving them, Egitto said.

“It’s very rewarding,” she said. “Most of my clients keep coming back.”

A massage has several benefits, Egitto said. Many seek the treatment to relieve stress, while others want improved circulation.

“A lot of elderly people complain of their legs hurting or feeling heavy, and that’s a circulation problem,” Egitto said.

Pat Meo, one of Egitto’s clients who lives in Bay Terrace, said the massages help clear her sinuses.

Meo said she had visited several other masseuses before Egitto, but she settled on her.

“With some of them it’s like you didn’t get a massage,” Meo said. “Some of them hurt you. But she’s excellent.”

Egitto also specializes in reflexology, the massaging of the feet.

“There are a lot of reflex points on the feet that correspond to parts of your body,” she said. “It sounds a little woo-woo, but it does work.”

Although she charges by the hour, most of her clients ask Egitto to work a little longer, she said.

“Once you get into it, an hour just flies by,” she said.

Egitto charges $60 an hour for appointments at her house, $65 for visits in Queens and $75 for visits on Long Island.

She can be reached at 718-767-0564.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 141.

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