“What is your goal for today?”
It’s an uncomplicated question, simple but limitless with the potential to change the course of healing.
Gina Armstrong asks the question gently and with compassion several times a day, the beginning of overall well-being for clients within Balance on Buffalo, the wellness center she owns with husband Tom Armstrong.
“We are always checking in with people about their goals,” she says. “Everything is always more powerful with an intention.”
The undeniable ambiance and charm of Balance on Buffalo begins with Gina’s own mission, which since 2002 has been to create a space for all bodies to feel safe, nurtured and nourished, all while empowering and helping people believe in the power of self-care.
“Making yourself a priority instead of last on the list is important,” she says. “When you fill your cup up first, you have so much more to give… it can motivate and make a big difference.”
Overall health and balance + embracing being still
Balance on Buffalo focuses on overall health, ranging from relaxation to recuperation, tailored to each client’s unique goal. Gina and her team of massage therapists—the majority of whom are also trained in Reiki—believe in the power of becoming aware of your body, and in finding the strength in embracing stillness that promotes healing.
“We meet everyone where they are,” she says. “Whether they’re in pain or just want to relax, our first goal is to get them to a place where they’re feeling healthy and happy. A carefree place. We really take on the role as partner and help people to empower themselves. We want them to grow into whatever it is they choose to become.
“(Our team) is committed to working on their own inner balance, which translates into being able to offer a clear, nonjudgmental space that clients can feel, allowing them to soften and tap into the wisdom their bodies have to create wellness from within… it’s a forever journey for all of us.”
Massage and bodywork + sound therapy
Handcrafted massages focusing on therapeutic rehabilitation include trigger point, neuromuscular, cupping, reflexology and John Barnes myofascial release. Therapeutic relaxation specialties include hot stone, Himalayan salt stone, hot bamboo and Reiki. Whether the goal is pain or stress relief, relaxation or focuses on a combination, the team can choose the most appropriate version of massage for each client.
“We as a society tend to be overstimulated, so to catch our attention things have to be louder, faster and more abrupt. Our goal at Balance is to break up that pattern, and to reset the body and mind by offering the client a safe space to really feel into their bodies. The result is the guarding patterns that have built up over time have the possibility to dissipate or soften, which gives the choice then to be more free and playful in our lives.”
The addition of Peter Hess therapeutic singing bowls allows Gina to use sound and vibration to help align the body while vibrations go deeper into the muscle, balancing the body. She gently places the bowls on the body and taps softly.
“We have a Balance on Buffalo signature massage, which is 60 minutes of a glorious massage with 15 minutes of singing bowls on the body to finish up,” she explains. “It gives people a taste of what it feels like to have a therapeutic Peter Hess singing bowl on the body. People absolutely adore it.”
Halotherapy, or salt therapy, is the release of tiny particles of pharmaceutical-grade, antibacterial salt into the air, imperceptibly breathed in to reach your lungs to help with breathing and lung conditions. It is often used to relieve symptoms of asthma, sinusitis, allergies, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, sinusitis, cold and cough, and more.
Balance on Buffalo offers salt therapy in two settings: an intimate room and within an infrared sauna.
“Halotherapy in the salt room is twofold: you’re getting the benefit of relaxing in a beautiful room and the benefits from the salt,” Gina says. “We give people hot salt packs that they can put on their chests, they get headphones with beautiful, prerecorded music or guided meditations. They get blankets so they can snuggle up and breathe deeply. They can bring a book that they’d like to read.
“On the other side of the coin, people who want to come in on their lunch hours can get a full halotherapy session in 20 minutes and then go back to work. We’ve had a lot of people in their 40s try the salt room and say that they’ve never been able to take such a deep breath.”
The salt booth combines the benefits of halotherapy with those of an infrared sauna. Gina explains that clients can choose heat or no heat within the booth. The heat allows the lungs to open more and is a great option for children suffering from chronic ear infections. Parents and children can relax in the sauna together.
Naturally reset and restore with The Harmonic EggSM
“The Harmonic EggSM, the newest offering at Balance on Buffalo, is “a unique, patented wooden chamber that uses sacred geometry, light, color and sound frequencies to empower the body’s own innate ability to heal and balance. By amplifying energy resonance within the chamber, the client receives an energy therapy that is precisely controlled, consistent and repeatable.”
Created by Gail Lynn, the egg-shaped space was developed after a medical diagnosis of severe cardiovascular stress left her wanting more. She plunged into the world of energy medicine, driven to repair her health.
“When a series of whole-body light and sound treatments reversed her diagnosis, she set out to uncover both the ancient history and modern science behind light and sound as healing therapies. (This) guided her to combine light and sound technologies with sacred geometry and Tesla mathematics. The result was a revolutionary vibroacoustic, resonance healing chamber, which is advancing frequency healing… giving thousands of people new hope for a quality of life.”
Based on unique goals, The Egg has various light and music settings, primarily focused on instrumentation, to help promote healing. Gina says that piano music, for example, speaks to the physical body and can help regulate the nervous system. Colors are chosen depending on goals such as: chronic pain, insomnia or relaxation.
“Post-delivery new moms, people who have experienced trauma and chronic pain or those looking for rest and relaxation, everyone can find a value… from autism, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,” Gina says. “There are different protocols for different challenges that can be helped. It works on many different levels depending on your intention.
“It really encompasses an accumulation of everything we do here at Balance on Buffalo. For the past 20 years, it has been our mission to help guide people to a place of stillness within themselves… it helps reset their central nervous system in a way that taps into their own innate wisdom… when you tap into body wisdom it will help create health. The Harmonic Egg takes that to a much deeper level.”
The team at Balance on Buffalo provides a safe and nurturing space for a myriad of services focused on healing and self-care. It’s the collective, calm and supportive energy in the space that propels it into another dimension of wellness.
And that’s Gina’s daily goal.
“I love getting here in the morning,” she says. “I smudge and say prayers. I think about everyone who is coming in that day and about holding space for them in anticipation of what a great day it’s going to be. There’s a magic that happens here.”
Participate in upcoming classes with Balance on Buffalo!
Balance on Buffalo offers one-on-one yoga classes in your home, and corporate yoga onsite at area businesses. For the third year, this July and August they bring sunrise yoga to the top of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum roof.
For more information about courses like Reiki Attunement and specific yoga classes, visit balanceonbuffalo.com/events.
Interested in becoming a massage therapist and receiving hands-on learning from Gina and her team?
Beginning in the fall of 2021, Balance on Buffalo will partner with Dr. Jeffrey Montoya, Massage and Reiki Educator, of Academy of Health in West Allis. Classes will take place online with the hands-on portion happening in-person at Balance on Buffalo.
“The fun part is that our staff will all be collaborating and teaching,” Gina says. “We’re all super excited!”
For more information, visit academyh.org directly or Balance on Buffalo.
Balance on Buffalo, a Manitowoc Chamber of Commerce member for more than a decade (and winner of the Small Business of the Year Award in 2020!), supports local partnerships to provide clients with the best of the best. Their most recent collaboration is with Hipp Juice, located in Grow it Forward’s Community Café, helping to build on and offer expanded support for clients to cleanse, nourish and balance the body with juice and educational support.
“We are really excited to see the City of Manitowoc, the business owners and the citizens, take an active part in creating, enhancing and supporting local businesses,” Gina says. “There is a palpable enthusiasm in growing our community. It is an exciting time to be a part of this forward moving momentum.”
924 Buffalo St, Manitowoc, WI 54220
balanceonbuffalo.com • 920-684-8880
Peter Hess® Sound Massage sessions and trainings are offered through Balance on Buffalo with Gina Armstrong as director of the academy since 2013. The Peter Hess® Academy USA is one of 23 academies throughout the world and is accredited through the Peter Hess® Institute in Süstedt, Germany.
For more information on trainings throughout the U.S., visit www.peterhessacademyusa.com.