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Princess becomes masseuse

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When a pregnant Emily Zukle had a car accident a few years ago, a massage therapist not only helped set her on the path to recovery, but also helped set her on a new life’s course.

“I realized massage was a truly nurturing profession that could really help people,” said Zukle, 31, a former Disney World princess now with a business degree and family. “I wanted to be part of it.”

On Feb. 1, Zukle opened Ladyfingers Massage, a two-location practice — with an all-female clientele — that specializes in hot stone and Swedish massage to promote relaxation and healing. She’s leased treatment space at Snowcreek Health Center in Peshastin and upstairs at Wenatchee Natural Foods.

Zukle, who grew up in Wenatchee, helped finance her college education in Florida by performing as a variety of princess characters at Disney World. With degree in hand, she went to work in sales and human resource departments for several major companies, including Trader Joe’s, before earning certification in December at Wenatchee’s Columbia River Institute of Massage Therapy after 200 hours of instruction.

“What I discovered in getting certified is that I like offering the spa services best,” she said. “They’re more gentle, more soothing and more relaxing. When a person stands up after an hour’s massage, they feel completely relaxed and revitalized. At least, that’s what I aim for.”

Swedish massage uses long flowing strokes to relax patients. Hot stone massage uses smooth, heated river rocks of different sizes (and placed strategically) to radiate warmth into muscle tissues.

“The heat lengthens muscles and multiplies the relaxing effects,” said Zukle. “An hour of this type of massage can make a client feel like they’ve had eight hours of good sleep. It’s really amazing.”

Zukle plans to expand her practice to include perinatal massage for expecting mothers and, perhaps, add ashiatsu massage, which includes walking gently (and barefoot) on a client’s back to work the muscles.

“But right now I’m concentrating on providing clients with the best massage experience I can give,” she said. “I want them to sit up and say, ‘Wow.’”

Details: Ladyfingers Massage, 669-5239, or visit Locations are Snowcreek Health Center, 10090 Main St., Peshastin, and Wenatchee Natural Foods, 222 N. Wenatchee Ave. Women clients only.