Express & Star

'I have poured my heart and soul into creating a space that promotes relaxation'

Massage therapy has been used for centuries to relax both the body and mind.


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Dating back to ancient times, it has origins in India, China, Japan, Egypt, Greece and Rome where it was used to treat a number of different ailments.

It became popular in Europe in the late 18th century and in 1914 the Military Massage Service was founded to help wounded soldiers returning from the battlefield.

Today, many people turn to it when they want to indulge in some ‘me time’ and pamper themselves, but it is also an effective way to treat sports injuries, relieve pain, and improve mobility.

Aneta Goodyear has run the award-winning Relax Massage Studio in Cannock since January 2023. She first qualified as a massage therapist more than 20 years ago while living in the USA but ended up following a different career path.

“My last job was in the construction industry, working in health and safety and inventory management. I was a tough construction girl who couldn’t show how caring she was because I had to make sure everything was running smoothly,” explains Aneta.

Time at home during the coronavirus pandemic gave her the opportunity to re-evaluate her working life and what was important to her.

“I loved what I did but I was never home. Monday to Friday, I was always away on different jobs,” says Aneta.

“When Covid hit, I stayed at home and it was a big moment of realisation for me. I could have breakfast with my kids and dinner with my family. I realised that there was a lot more to life than a job.”

While considering her next steps, Aneta thought back to her training and decided it was the perfect time to re-kindle her passion for massage therapy.

As well as achieving a better work-life balance, she also relished the opportunity to help others to “unwind and find relief from the stresses of everyday life”.

After careful planning, Aneta welcomed the first visitors to her studio in January 2023. “I didn’t open the doors until I had everything set up and all the equipment in place,” she explains.

“I have poured my heart and soul into creating a space that promotes relaxation and healing.”

Aneta has created a welcoming space where clients can unwind

Through skilled touch and manipulation, massage therapists work to alleviate muscle tension, reduce pain, and enhance flexibility.

There are many known additional benefits including improving blood circulation, promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and boosting mood by stimulating the release of endorphins.

Additionally, massage can also improve sleep quality and is said to also help to alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms.

Every massage is tailored by Aneta, who is always updating her training, to address her customer’s individual preferences and concerns.

With a passion for soft tissue manipulation and therapeutic pain relief, she offers a range of services including relaxation-style treatments, sports massages, deep tissues massages and health-style treatments including hot stone and bamboo massage as well as signature treatments.

Aneta, who also runs a travel consultancy business, Relax.Explore.Travel, with her husband Steve, says she has been overwhelmed by the positive response from customers.

“I had no idea how it was going to go but I’ve been busy ever since I opened. Apart from one advert when I first opened, it’s all been through word of mouth. I’m still getting new customers every week,” she explains.

“I enjoy being able to help people with what I do and that I’m making their lives easier. I’ve had so many clients say things like ‘I can’t believe I can turn my neck now’ or ‘my back doesn’t hurt me anymore’.

“What drives me is the feedback. Every time I have a positive review, it gives me a boost to know that I’ve made somebody’s life a little bit easier and I’ve done that by doing something I also love.

“I never thought I’d find a job that I wouldn’t call a job because I absolutely love it and it doesn’t feel like work,” says Aneta, who is also a proud sponsor of Cannock Women’s Rugby Team and often gets involved in raising money for good causes.

Last year, she was the runner-up for the Best Massage Therapist title at the UK Beauty Awards 2023 and also a runner-up for the Best Massage Therapist of The Year title at the Beauty & Skincare Awards 2023.

Further accolades have followed with the business owner also shortlisted for Best Holistic Therapist ad Best Massage Therapist at the National Beauty Awards 2024, which take place on May 26. And she has also been nominated for the SOS Beauty Awards 2024, on June 1, in two categories – Holistic Therapist of the Year and Home Salon of the Year.

“It’s incredible. I’m still amazed that somebody thinks what I do is worthy of recognition,” says Aneta, who was also a 2024 finalist for Best Home Based Business in The UK Small Business Awards.

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