About Us

At Center of Life, we believe that caring for your body
and spirit is not a luxury, but a necessity.
  • About Us
    We believe that caring for your body and spirit is not a luxury, but a necessity.  Getting a massage isn’t a luxury – it’s something you should do on a regular basis. Routine therapeutic massage can help elevate your everyday by improving your health, your mood and your life. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to... leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to face the day – every time.
  • Therapeutic massage improves your quality of life by lowering stress, treating muscle aches and muscle-related conditions, and restoring flexibility. It is part of a healthy lifestyle.  
  • Important Note: This is the website of professional, Licensed Massage Therapists. There are absolutely NO sexual services provided by us, or any, legitimate Massage Therapist. 

  • What We Believe
    As Massage Therapists, we believe that a significant change toward healing begins with a person's awareness. We are professionals, highly trained to address muscular imbalances and postural problems, chronic pain, stress management, inflexibility and the enhancement of athletic performance.
    Through specialized massage techniques, strengthening and stretching sessions, we help our clients achieve their healthy lifetime goals, all in a relaxing and therapeutic setting.
  • Reasonable rates and superb bodywork make the drive to Thurmont, Maryland - The Gateway to the Mountains - from Frederick, MD and surrounding areas worth the visit to  Center of Life for your health and well-being!
  • Receiving regular massage can help you deal with the stresses of daily life 
  • and improve overall wellness and health.

  • Judi Mach, LMT
    Judi is a Maryland State Licensed Massage Therapist at Center of Life Chiropractic in Thurmont, MD.  I take great pride in customer service and outstanding progressive work. I believe it is essential to give your body and mind a break from the stress of everyday life. Regular therapeutic massage can do just that.
  • Judi knows and understands that no one is a stranger to stress. Deadlines, schedules, demands on us from all different sources create the kind of negative energy that can overtake our lives, our emotions and most importantly, our health. Relaxing is a process that comes easily to some, takes more effort for others. You can seek solace – call Judi today to make an appointment for a Therapeutic Massage. 

  • What I Believe
    My goal is to....focus on you...listen to you...spend time tending to your needs...I go beyond relaxation and promote your body's healing process.  Massage is widely recognized as one of the most effective remedies for muscular pain and one of the best antidotes to stress, the underlying cause of many illnesses.
    Massage counteracts the effects of stress by providing an oasis of physical and mental peace, a revitalizing time-out for your body to relax deeply, re-balance, and activate inner healing resources. Getting regular massage is one of the best ways you can take care of yourself. Touch is a very important part of human contact. It helps us feel connected and loved by those around us. Massage uses touch through rubbing or kneading of parts of the body to aid circulation and relax the muscles.  Massage is one of the oldest, simplest forms of therapy.

  • Ashley Merriman
    Ashley is a Nationally Certified Massage Practitioner. She received her training at the Potomac Massage Training Institute in Washington, DC. Ashley is a native to the Thurmont-Emmitsburg, MD area. She graduated from Catoctin High School. Ashley specializes in Therapeutic/Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Hot Stone Massage. She is also trained in cupping. Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available. It is thought to affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin. Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be refreshed within these four inches of affected materials. Even hands, wrists, legs, and ankles can be "cupped", thus applying the healing to specific organs that correlate with these points.
  • Ashley individualizes each massage to fit the clients needs by incorporating a combination of deep work where needed along with lighter work and energy work in order to facilitate healing in the body and to provide a therapeutic and relaxing experience.
She enjoys working with all types of clients and especially loves to help educate clients on how they can make lasting changes in their lives through bodywork.

Appointment and Booking Policies
  • If you arrive 15 minutes or more late for a scheduled appointment we have the right to refuse service or reduce the length of the service to ensure that the next scheduled appointment does not have to be pushed back.
  • If you cannot make your appointment please call to reschedule or cancel at least 24 hours ahead of time. If you are a "no show" for a Gift Certificate appointment, your Gift Certificate will be considered payment in full for the missed appointment. No exceptions. 
  • All children under the age of 18 are classified as minors and must have a parent/guardian signature on their intake form. All children under the age of 12 must have a parent present during their session. We cannot be responsible for minors while left unattended.
What to Expect
Where Will My Massage or Bodywork Session Take Place?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.

Must I Be Completely Undressed?
Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort. You will be properly draped during the entire session.

Will the Massage Therapist Be Present When I Disrobe?
The Massage Therapist will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet or towel.

Will I Be Covered During the Session?
You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.

What Parts of My Body Will Be Massaged?
You and the practitioner will discuss the desired outcome of your session. This will determine which parts of your body require massage. A typical full body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders. You will not be touched on or near your genitals (male or female) or breasts (female).

What Will the Massage or Bodywork Feel Like?
It depends on the techniques used. Many massage therapists use a form of Swedish massage, which is often a baseline for practitioners. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.

Are There Different Kinds of Massage and Bodywork?
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more. Center of Life Massage Therapists use an integration of various techniques in their sessions.

How Long Will the Session Last?
The average full-body massage or bodywork session lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60- to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session. 

What Should I Do During the Massage or Bodywork Session?
Make yourself comfortable. The Massage Therapist will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax. Others like to talk during their session. Feel free to ask the Massage Therapist questions about massage and bodywork in general or about the particular technique you are receiving.

How Will I Feel After the Massage or Bodywork Session?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage.

What Are the Benefits of Massage and Bodywork?
Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being. 

Are There Any Medical Conditions That Would Make Massage or Bodywork Inadvisable?
Yes. That's why it's imperative that, before you begin your session, the Massage Therapist asks general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor's care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Your Massage Therapist may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor.

  • Massage is widely recognized as one of the most effective remedies for muscular pain and one of the best antidotes to stress, the underlying cause of many illnesses.
  • Massage counteracts the effects of stress by providing an oasis of physical and mental peace, a revitalizing time-out for your body to relax deeply, re-balance, and activate inner healing resources. Getting regular massage is one of the best ways you can take care of yourself.
  • Touch is a very important part of human contact. It helps us feel connected and loved by those around us. Massage uses touch through rubbing or kneading of parts of the body to aid circulation and relax the muscles.  Massage is one of the oldest, simplest forms of therapy. 
Physical Benefits of Therapeutic Massage
Helps relieve stress and aids relaxation
Helps relieve muscle tension and stiffness
Alleviates discomfort during pregnancy
Fosters faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments; reduces pain and swelling; reduces formation of excessive scar tissue
Reduces muscle spasms
Provides greater joint flexibility and range of motion
Enhances athletic performance; Treats injuries caused during sport or work
Promotes deeper and easier breathing
Improves circulation of blood and movement of lymph fluids
Reduces blood pressure
Helps relieve tension-related headaches and effects of eye-strain
Enhances the health and nourishment of skin
Improves posture
Strengthens the immune system
Treats musculoskeletal problems
Rehabilitation post operative
Rehabilitation after injury
Mental Benefits of Therapeutic Massage
Fosters peace of mind
Promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness
Helps relieve mental stress
Improves ability to monitor stress signals and respond appropriately
Enhances capacity for calm thinking and creativity
Emotional Benefits of Therapeutic Massage
Satisfies needs for caring nurturing touch
Fosters a feeling of well-being
Reduces levels of anxiety
Creates body awareness
Increases awareness of mind-body connection

Massage Types
Every body is different...and from day to day, from session to session, the client's needs can vary. We draw from a variety of techniques to create a healing experience to meet those needs. There are many types of massage and sometimes massage techniques become fashionable. Though some consumers may know a specific massage modality or technique they want, it is generally best to ask your massage therapist what massage modality will give you the best results. At Thurmont Massage we use a variety of massage modalities or types in a single massage session to best achieve desired results. These techniques include:

Swedish Massage - is a very relaxing and therapeutic style of bodywork. It combines oils or lotion with an array of strokes such as rolling, kneading, and percussion to help the body improve its circulation. The benefits of this type of bodywork are wide-ranging and include relief from aches and pains, decreased stress levels in the body, enhanced mental clarity, improved appearance, and greater flexibility.

Therapeutic Massage - refers to a collection of techniques designed primarily to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. Therapeutic massage can relax muscles, increase circulation, remove metabolic waste products, help the recipient obtain a feeling of connectedness, a better awareness of the body and the way they use and position it. The strokes and manipulations of Massage are each conceived as having specific therapeutic benefit. Therapeutic Massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissue of lactic acid, uric acid and other metabolic wastes. It improves circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches the ligaments and tendons, keeping them supple. Therapeutic Massage also stimulates the skin and nervous system while at the same time reduces emotional and physical stress and it is often recommended as part of a regular program for stress management. It also has specific clinical uses in a medical or remedial therapy.

Deep Tissue Massage - is a technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue to release chronic muscle tension, using slow strokes and direct deep pressure. This technique is also effective at breaking up and eliminating scar tissue. Deep tissue massage usually focuses on specific areas and may cause some soreness during or right after the massage. However, if the massage is done correctly, you should feel better than ever within a day or two. Deep tissue feels good, and it is beneficial to your health. When muscles are stressed, they block the flow of oxygen and nutrients, leading to inflammation that builds up toxins in the muscle tissue. A deep tissue massage helps loosen muscle tissues, release toxins, and restores proper blood and oxygen circulation. It is important to drink plenty of water after a deep-tissue session to help flush the toxins out of the body that have been released.

Hot Stone Massage - escape to a state of pure relaxation with this ancient Native American treatment. Combined with traditional Swedish massage heated stones are used to dissolve muscle tension and induce deep relaxation. Hot Stone Massage is one modality that we do not generally add to our massages, as we have a more "hands-on" approach to healing. If you would like to experience a Hot Stone Massage, please inform Ashley when making your appointment.

Prenatal Massage - designed to relieve aches in back, neck, hips, legs and weight bearing joints. Postpartum massage helps restore the body to pre-pregnancy conditions and to comfort and nurture the new Mom.

Myofascial Release - uses gentle pressure and stretching to soften and lengthen the connective tissue surrounding bone and muscle fiber.

Aromatherapy - use of specific essential oils to stimulate the brain to produce a healing response in the body.

Top 5 Questions
Massage Therapists should always ask their clients how they are feeling, if they are booking a service because of an injury or for other specific reasons, how the pressure is during the service and so on. It is very important for the Massage Therapist to have great communication with their clients, they should know your health history and anything else you may want them to know as their client. But nobody is perfect, so what if we accidentally forget to ask you one or two of these traditional questions? That means it is time for you to ask the questions!
It is incredibly important to us that all of our clients are comfortable. Massage can be a very personal experience and we want to make sure you know that we are here to help you. In order for your experience to be exactly what you want, we want you to ASK QUESTIONS! It is very helpful to us when you communicate, so please open up, whether you are enjoying the service or not.

We've compiled our top five questions to get you started. Don’t see your question here, ask us anyway! 
“How long do you suggest I book my service for?”
Very often our clients call in and are just looking for neck work because they work at a computer all day long; for this we would suggest our 30 Minute Massage. Maybe our client just participated in a triathlon and their entire body needs a lot of deep work and stretching; for this we would suggest a longer service. No matter what needs you are looking to be taken care of we will be able to help you decide the best length of service for you.
“What service is best for what I need?”
Like we explained in asking about the length of the service, everyone has different needs. Someone who is looking to help with pain or injury is going to need a different service than someone looking to relieve stress. Need a little of everything? We will customize your service so that you get exactly what you want so that you feel better.
“What type of clothing should I wear?”
If you are coming in for a 30 Minute Massage you are most likely looking for specific bodywork and we may suggest wearing something like workout shorts. If you are coming for a longer service we will suggest you wear something comfortable so that you can leave feeling relaxed from the work you just received! But remember, for most services you will be removing your clothes, which is something else to discuss with your massage therapist because you should never step out of your comfort zone if you do not want to.
“Can you increase (or decrease) the pressure, please?”
During the service if the pressure from your massage therapist is either too light or too deep make sure you ask them to change it. They want you to receive the service you are looking for, so your feedback is important.
“How am I going to feel tomorrow?”
Often times clients worry that they will be in pain the next day and based on the service you receive you may or may not experience a little bit of pain. But your Massage Therapist will always suggest staying hydrated, ice or heat, stretches and other treatments so that the pain does not persist and so that you experience long lasting (positive) results until your next service. 

Code of Ethics
This Code of Ethics is a summary statement of the standards by which massage therapists agree to conduct their practices and is a declaration of the general principles of acceptable, ethical, professional behavior.
Massage therapists shall:
Demonstrate commitment to provide the highest quality massage therapy/bodywork to those who seek their professional service.
Acknowledge the inherent worth and individuality of each person by not discriminating or behaving in any prejudicial manner with clients and/or colleagues.
Demonstrate professional excellence through regular self-assessment of strengths, limitations, and effectiveness by continued education and training.
Acknowledge the confidential nature of the professional relationship with clients and respect each client's right to privacy.
Conduct all business and professional activities within their scope of practice, the law of the land, and project a professional image.
Refrain from engaging in any sexual conduct or sexual activities involving their clients.
Accept responsibility to do no harm to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of self, clients, and associates. 

The basic goal of massage therapy is to help the body heal itself 
and to increase health and well-being.

Share by: