By Roz Kohls
DASSEL, MN Donna Dube of Dassel thinks of her new business, The Brownstone Massage and Bodyworks, as a “respite from the chaos” from the modern world, she said.
Dube is a certified massage practitioner and teaches yoga, by appointment only, at her studio in the brownstone building at 405 Third St., Dassel. The massage and yoga studio had its grand opening Saturday, Dec. 13.
Dube considers massage her first love of the two practices.
“It’s almost like a dance with my hands and muscles,” she said, adding that she keeps her eyes closed while massaging her clients.
Dube performs esalen, deep tissue and Thai massages, and teaches two levels of yoga, yoga breath and stretch, and beginner yoga.
Both practices are calming and relaxing. “I very often put people to sleep,” Dube said.
Dube discovered, when she and her husband, John, lived in Massachusetts, that she had a talent for massage. The Dubes have two children, Brandon and Brianna. When her daughter was four months old, she stopped taking naps. It was almost as if the infant had no circadian rhythm, Dube said.
Dube stroked Brianna’s arms, back, and face, calming her, she said.
“I learned the mind and body connection,” Dube said
Later, when the Dubes moved to Dassel so that her husband could work at HTI in Hutchinson, Dube noticed many of her co-workers at Media Play in St. Cloud left their jobs to follow their passion. She also wanted to follow her passion and learn the art of massage.
She enrolled in the School of Massage and Bodyworks in Minneapolis to learn massage therapy. Dube then gave massages from the Dubes’ home, she said.
About the same time, Dube fell and hurt her spine. She ended up flat on her back in bed. Through the grapevine, Sandy Wozniak of Cokato heard Dube was injured and came to visit.
“You can help yourself, right now, where you are,” Wozniak told her.
Wozniak showed her a modified yoga stretch, called the Eagle, a posture Dube could do with her arms while she was in bed, Dube said.
Yoga not only calmed her, but also, yoga stretches increased circulation in her muscles, and as a result, relieved pain. It gave her hope that her pain eventually would end, and she was proved right, she said.
In the beginning, Dube thought she was too fat to do yoga, she said. She also has heard many of her clients express concern about their size when doing yoga, she said.
But yoga has nothing to do with being slim, Dube said. Yoga is about breathing, being calm and “in the moment,” Dube said.
There’s no rush, rush, rush and bombardment by outside stimulus when the yoga practitioner is “in the moment,” she said.
“I’m a very sensory person,” Dube said. When she is “in the moment,” she might be smelling a rose or listening to music, she added.
In 2000, the Dubes left for New Hampshire. HTI asked her husband to return to Hutchinson in 2005, so the Dubes then returned to Dassel.
This was when massage and yoga helped her the most. Dube developed a tumor in her parathyroid that caused painful calcification in her joints. Dube, now 50, had the body of an 85-year-old, she said.
Doctors couldn’t diagnose her condition, and insisted she was depressed. But Dube knew that she wasn’t, and from her own research, figured out she had a tumor, she said.
The tumor was surgically removed at Mayo Clinic in Rochester after being undiagnosed for a year and a half. Within three days, the pain was gone, but Dube still had to get her body back to normal.
Yoga and massage restored her to health, she said.
‘I believe we all have the ability to affect change in our lives. Within each of us, we have the power to bring ourselves to a place where we can feel better in both mind and body. By making the right choices, we can advance our quest toward inner peace and physical wellness,” Dube said.
“What is required of us is the desire to be in a better place and the motivation to do whatever it takes to get there. The process may seem simple, but often the roadblocks that stand in our way seem insurmountable,” Dube added.
Dube said she would like to offer her training, education, and positive mental attitude and encouragement to help her clients attain these goals.