By Jennifer Sheehan, Of The Morning Call
Sue Grossman knows what it's like to struggle with poor health.
The Wind Gap resident was born with a deformed hip, which she had to have replaced. In 2004 she weighed 354 pounds and had gastric bypass surgery, but later developed serious complications due to medication she took post-op.
It was through massage therapy that she found her health again.
"I'm a living testimony for what I can do for the body," says Grossman, a licensed massage therapist with six years' experience. "I'm giving back what God gave me and that's a second chance."
Grossman opened Sue's Massage and Wellness Spa earlier this month in Bangor at 447 Blue Valley Drive (Route 512). The spa offers lots of different types of massage including lypossage, reflexology and aromatherapy.
Prior to her new location, Grossman practiced out of a doctor's office in Pen Argyl.
"I went from a closet to 1,700 square feet," Grossman joked.
Sue's Massage and Wellness Spa has a gym — but not what you might think.
"I have a gym for people who really can't go and work out," Grossman says.
There's very little traditional gym equipment. Instead there are fitness DVDs of all levels and benches for those who have difficulty standing, as well as hula hoops, a jump rope, weights and mats.
The primary focus of her practice is, of course, massage, specifically medical massage.
"This is how I got better," Grossman says. "Massage is good to recover from injuries. After you heal, a lot of time the muscles have to release so you have to go in there and release them."
Grossman says she gives the body the opportunity to fix itself.
"What I like to do is start every massage with reflexology and end with relaxation," Grossman says. "I use different types of massage for what your body needs that day. It's up to the body."
(Reflexology involves applying pressure to the feet, hands, or ears with specific thumb, finger and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion.)
Grossman says the healing powers of massage are evident in the clients she serves each day.
She sees clients come in terrible pain, and in a few weeks, have their lives back. But she is quick to emphasize that she is not a physician.
"I work in connection with the physician," says the former X-ray technician. "I do not diagnose. I'm another tool in the process of healing."
To find out more, call 610-703-2341 or visit http://www.suesmassage.us.
There's a whole lot of news to report out of the Lehigh Valley Mall this week. According to Amanda Johnson, the mall's director of marketing and business development, Christopher & Banks, a women's clothing store, was scheduled to close last week. It must be a popular store because we here at Retail Watch received several email inquiries about what was going on there. Christopher & Banks officials are pursuing a lease for a site at the Crest Plaza shopping center, 1520 N. Cedar Crest Blvd., South Whitehall Township. Moving into the Christopher & Banks spot will be Oriental Therapy, which is now is on the upper level next to Helzberg Diamonds. Oriental Therapy offers a variety of body and mind treatments inspired by ancient Asian remedies.
In February, Deb, an affordable clothing store for women, will temporarily relocate to lower level near Tilly's. Victoria's Secret will relocate to the former Deb location (lower level next to Freeman Jewelers) and open there in summer. Victoria's Secret will still be open as the relocation process continues. Pink, a Victoria's Secret brand that targets college-age women, will open its own location in the former Delia's store; Delia's (lower level next to Teavana) is expected to close the end of February. Gift Design Galleries, now on the upper level next to Victoria's Secret, will relocate next to Helzberg Diamonds (on the upper level). A portion of the current (to-be-former) Victoria's Secret will be Deb's new home. Claire's (accessories for girls), on the upper level near T-Mobile, is temporarily closed for a remodel.
Got all that? Whew!
As reported by Tracy Jordan earlier this week, Youell's Oyster House restaurant in the west end of Allentown was gutted in a fire early Tuesday. Youell's opened its Allentown restaurant in 1992 after previously serving patrons in Easton since 1905. The building in the West End dates to the 1800s. The restaurant is a total loss, but owner Christian Filipos and his father, Constantine Filipos, vow to rebuild, estimating it would take about nine months, depending on building fees, costs and insurance.
Steve DiDonato and Vince Randazzo, who now run Bethlehem's gastropub and cigar bar The Wooden Match, are moving forward with plans to put in a wine bar and an artisan deli into a renovated train freight house in Bethlehem at 55 W. Lehigh St. The site's not far from The Wooden Match. Last week they received zoning approval for a variance they need for the project but that's just the first step of many they need for the project. We'll keep you up to date on this one.
Easton's Tangles Salon and Spa held a grand reopening last week and is under new ownership (Lora Dias). The salon is at 2414 Butler St. For more information, call 610-250-7009, email info@TanglesSalonAndSpa.com or visit http://www.tanglessalonandspa.com.
Miriam's, a new Ethiopian restaurant in Allentown, is open at 446 N. Seventh St. in Allentown.
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Jennifer Sheehan is temporarily filling in for Retail Watch reporter Irene Kraft. Retail Watch keeps track of new store, restaurant and bank development in the Lehigh Valley. Have a question about a retail construction project, a store opening or a chain you'd like to see come to the area? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. And we're back on Twitter @callretailwatch. Retail Watch appears every Sunday. Follow breaking news on our new Lehigh Valley Restaurants blog, themorningcall.com/restaurants.