There’s another newish business in the neighborhood, and for Bolton Hill, made up mostly of grand old residences and apartments, that is news.
Primal Massage at 1704 Eutaw Place offers a range of massage and related health and relaxation services in sessions that can be short (a 30-minute medical massage); a longer Swedish massage with oils to facilitate smooth, gliding strokes and a mix of firm and gentle pressure for lymphatic drainage, detoxification, and relaxation; to a 150-minute “ultimate experience.” That includes a hot shower, a 60-minute body scrub, a 60-minute massage and a pot of tea and signature cookies. Add-ons can include hot stones, exfoliation, a pre-massage Soak or pre- or post-massage shower.
The studio offers lymphatic massage sessions for patients of cosmetic or other muscle-related surgery, with a medical recommendation. Damany Vinson, 44, the owner, is a licensed massage therapist. By law, any massage practitioner working for compensation in Maryland is required to be licensed by the state’s Board of Chiropractic & Massage Therapy Examiners. An east Baltimore native, Vinson lived in London and traveled extensively before he studied and graduated from the Holistic Massage Training Institute in 2017.
Although his signage is new, he has, he says, conducted business from Eutaw Place for two years. He still lives in east Baltimore with a three-year-old daughter. In addition to on-site appointments, he now has contracts with local nursing homes to provide therapeutic services for people with disabilities. Studio clients come from all over the city, although the new sign has attracted business from Bolton Hill and Madison Park. “I haven’t done much marketing except for social media,” he said. “Mostly it’s word of mouth referrals.” Two other practitioners are also on site.
He offers what is known as lomi lomi massage and thinks he may be its sole provider in the city. This technique originated in Hawaii and treats the body holistically and spiritually as much as physically. A lomi lomi provider will leverage their hands, forearms and elbows to create sweeping motions across the body from head to toe. Using rhythmic movements, the massage can feel like a dance as the provider kneads your muscles.
“Touch is a universal language in all cultures. From shaking hands to embracing hugs, from who you can touch to who you can’t, and why,” he said.
Prior to opening Primal, Vinson was part of the professional staff at the Ivy Hotel and Spa in Mt. Vernon, and still does work there each week. Earlier he was an entertainer. Primal Massage is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for appointments. Some services can be covered by medical insurance.