OKEMOS, MICH–Kate Prouty pushes past the sheer curtains to fix up the pillows at the seat of her window pane. Her small dimly lit office space is enveloped in the low hum of the white noise machine just outside the door. This is how she sets the mood for the most relaxing massages.
“Before we begin, I tap my singing bowl,” she said.
Kate Prouty lets the golden bowl ring into silence.
“And I say to them that for this hour, you have no responsibilities at all.”
Prouty is the owner and operator of Patient Relaxation LLC in Okemos. The business is different because it specializes in services aimed at helping people with chronic medical conditions.
“I’ve done a ton of research and if someone comes in with something I’m not prepared with, I can call my people to inform me about it,” Prouty said.
Prouty’s studied with the Mayo Clinic to explore different chronic conditions. She started out as an oncology massage therapist- a massage therapist for cancer patients. But she’s learned the best methods for helping people with complex conditions like fibromyalgia, traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, spinal surgeries and more.
“She’s created a really different kind of space so that it’s very peaceful as soon as you walk in,” said Cathleen McGreal, a two-year client with neuropathy
“You really get the feeling that you’re not in Okemos anymore, it’s very artistic.”
Prouty said that the messages are specific to each person’s needs without making the patient feel different. She said it’s important to get her patients in a state of mindfulness and meditation.
“I used sounds, smells, I even give out chocolate to stimulate the senses.”
She’s been working with McLaren Hospital in Lansing to bring this specific form of massage therapy to patients in the hospital.
Tom Brott, a patient of Patient Relaxation for two weeks said he has a complicated medical history.
“I’m on my fifth metal hip replacement,” he said. “And what’s different about Kate is that she always asks what I need. Some days I need her to focus more on my legs than my back, and she listens.”
Brott says Prouty’s been recommended to him by friends and he recommends her to friends as well. Her business is growing so large Prouty says that she’s been searching for an apprentice. As a massage instructor at Lansing Community College, Prouty said she has a lot of options. She wants to open up a location in East Lansing.
Tracy Wolford is a two-year cancer patient of Prouty’s. She said her oncologist recommended Patient Relaxation and it’s been life-changing so she looks forward to the expansion.
“She brings me off the ledge,” she said.
“It’s not just physical, it’s spiritual.”