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Take Me to the Mad River Massage

By Jake Levin

After a close family friend of hers had suffered a stroke, Trish Hopkins became extremely interested in massage.

Hopkins watched with a close eye as a physical therapist showed her exercises and stretches that could help her friend gain mobility and range of motion, intuitively adding pressure and kneading techniques to ease the muscles for better pliability. The situation led Hopkins into massage school, and since June 1998, she's been making people feel better at Mad River Massage, aptly named for its location in Mad River, Vt.

Set up in a vintage 1840 Starch House on a farm, Mad River Massage has an old New England feel to it. The original beams are still up, as is the original pine flooring upstairs. It had to be updated a bit downstairs due to Hurricane Irene in 2011, where new birch floors have been installed, but it still maintains a cozy, nurturing atmosphere throughout.

The grounds around the parlor include flourishing perennial beds, herb and vegetable gardens and ancient trees with sweeping branches. There is a quaint outdoor patio and a secluded area by the Mill Brook, where Hopkins offers "massage by the river."

"The business grew quickly, and we've maintained a staff of nine therapists for most of our operating years," Hopkins said. "These therapists are passionate and dedicated to their craft."

With such a talented team of therapists, Hopkins can take on any type of patient at Mad River Massage. The parlor offers care for special needs clients, who may suffer from any number of neuromuscular imbalances, stiffness or pain.

"Most people, regardless of age or health, carry fluctuating levels of anxiety or fatigue, and we bring intent to improve one's sense of health to every session," Hopkins said.

Mad River Massage is open every day, making it extremely convenient. Home massage is available as well, and Hopkins added that she or one of her staff members will make special calls to local inns or places of business as well. To schedule an appointment, Hopkins asks that you call her studio at 802-496-5638. You may also find Mad River Massage online on its Facebook page or its website,

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