Braintree Native Brings Passion for Fixing Muscles Back Home With Massage Therapy Practice
Lauren Federico owns Body Benefit Massage Therapy on Pearl Street in Braintree.
After graduating from massage therapy school five years ago, Lauren Federico worked in Walpole at a chiropractor's office, honing skills that she first began to learn as a nursing student following graduation from Braintree High School.
Like many people, and especially small business owners, Federico's path – from BHS athlete and aspiring nurse to entrepreneurial massage therapist – has not always been a straight line. But it is clear from a visit to her small, tidy office on Pearl Street that Federico has found her calling.
Federico opened Body Benefit Massage Therapy two years ago, offering a variety of services including deep tissue, Swedish and sports massage, along with Reiki and massage cupping, which involves creating vacuum-like negative pressure on muscles – the opposite force from a typical massage.
Fixing what ails people is Federico's passion, and she brightens when detailing times when clients' back pain is transformed. One man, who came to Federico with a hamstring injury after unsuccessfully trying acupunture and physical therapy, was back running within a month, she said.
"That's what motivates me to do what I do," Federico said.
Federico, who also teaches yoga to children ages 3-13, first developed an interest in massage in high school. Her older brother was an athlete and would receive massages to help with recovery, and so Federico, herself a volleyball player and cheerleader, began to get massages as well.
After graduating from Braintree High, Federico enrolled in nursing school at Curry College. She switched to communications and English halfway through and upon earning her bachelor's degree went on to work for four years at South Shore Hospital.
But massage soon came calling and Federico took some of the lessons she learned as a nursing student and went full-time for a year to Cortiva-Muscular Therapy Institute in Watertown, graduating in 2007.
"It was intense," Federico said, likening the program to nursing, in which she also took classes on muscles, pathology and other topics of the human body.
"It was really interesting," she said. "I love that kind of stuff."
Federico next worked for the Walpole chiropractor before setting up her own business back home in Braintree. It was "nerve wracking" at first, but she set goals for herself every month and has seen the practice grow considerably. Next up will be a larger space and hopefully, down the road, a staff.
"It's like the little engine that could," Federico said. "It keeps going."
Already she has a cranial therapist come in occasionally, as well as someone specializing in biopulsar reading, which aims to identify area's of the body's distress. Federico says she does not have a most popular service at Body Benefit, because she intersperses different techniques depending on what the client needs.
"Sometimes you don't need deep pressure in one area, it might hurt more than help you," she said.
Much of her client base comes from positive word of mouth – "I have the best customers. I love all of them" – and Federico also uses Facebook and Twitter to drum up interest, along with a sign on the side of the building at 40 Pearl St. It faces the McDonald's next door. More than once, Federico said, she has had a mother call from a car full of rowdy kids in desperate need of a massage.