By Sue Moore
“To know you are helping people feel better is just awesome,” said Tammy Bryan, a new massage therapist located in Vicksburg. “I can feel people’s pain. It’s just a gift,” she said, referring to areas of pain a person coming in for a massage is experiencing.
“Maybe the person is not quite ready for surgery. I can help with the pain that is in the muscle tissue and fascia. Fascia is a strong connective tissue, that can create tight knots or trigger points which can cause pain. Therapeutic massage can assist in helping a client find relief of pain and help with everyday stress,” she said.
Her services at the Village Therapeutic Massage include massage with hot towels and essential oils such as lavender for relaxation. She said her clients love the use of hot towels incorporated with the actual massage.
Bryan herself has had plenty of stress and has found relief in her work of helping people. Her first husband, Tomi Tibbetts, was diagnosed with a rare condition of the central nervous system. “We lived in Las Vegas, although I’m a Vicksburg High School graduate. I was a cocktail waitress and we had so much going for us. We were avid mountain bikers. Then I got hurt, landing on the left side of my body. Physical therapy wasn’t helping so I turned to massage although I thought it was only for rich people.”
After four massages she was better, so she went back to school to become a massage therapist while still working full time until finishing her degree and obtaining her license. “I was learning anatomy and physiology at a medical-based massage school where we learned about the systems of the body. Then I got my job at the MGM. When I worked at the MGM I did seven hours of massage five days a week and my hands hurt for the first three months so I had to ice them every day. It was good pay and regular hours,” she said.
When her husband got very sick, she decided to bring him to the Cleveland Clinic after many hospitalizations and non-diagnoses in California. Cleveland was much closer to Vicksburg so they moved here in 2006. He passed away in 2010 while she was helping as his full-time caregiver and still working 32 hours as a massage therapist at the Radisson’s Idun Spa and Salon in Kalamazoo.
Things changed dramatically for Bryan when she attended a 1981 class reunion in 2011 upon visiting with classmate Greg Bryan. They were married in 2013. She is the stepmother to his three children and two grandchildren. She had always worked for someone else but heard in November, 2018 that there was a place to rent in the Village Works building owned by Veronica Levin and Ron and Lupe Smith at 102 S. Main Street in Vicksburg. Her hours are Tuesday through Friday by appointment from 10 to 6 p.m. and some hours on Saturday. Her phone number is 269-330-2991.