BodyWork Associates at the ARC helps students let off some steam

The Activities and Recreation Center, or ARC, holds a massage center named BodyWork Associates, or BWA. BWA came to the ARC in 2008 after its renovation, and serves as a place for anyone to come and relieve their pain or be relaxed through massage therapy, said therapist James Ivaska.

“People come to get massages for either pain management or relaxation,” Ivaska said.

BWA helps anyone from faculty, to grad students to athletes, he said. Ivaska has helped athletes including wrestlers, basketball players, baseball players and some members of the woman’s soccer team.

For students already working out, having a massage center located in the ARC can be beneficial.

“It is nice to be integrated in a facility like the ARC,” Ivaska said.

Doug Nelson founded BodyWork Associates after working as a therapist for many years, Ivaska said. He opened its first office in the Champaign-Urbana area in 1982. BWA has another location at the Illini Union, which opened in 2006.

There are several types of services available at the ARC location. A 30 minute session is priced at $35, 60 minutes is $55 and 90 minutes is $75, according to the price brochure. Students of any university who are clients of BWA receive a $5 discount on these prices.

“Our peak times are usually during mid-semester and then they bell curve around that,” Ivaska said. “Holidays are also a popular time because people receive massages as gifts. We are also pretty booked during finals and midterms when students are stressed out.”

Clients may also come frequently during the year, as does Megan Kniepkamp. Kniepkamp, an Urbana resident, has been a client at the ARC location for the past year after hearing about it from a friend. She attends a massage session about once a month.

“I first started to go just for relaxation, but then things started coming up like I fell on the ice or hurt myself,” Kniepkamp said. “I kept coming back because I would talk to James (Ivaska) and he would always have an answer to what is wrong.”

At the ARC there are two massage rooms, each containing a bed on which clients lie down. The rooms are decorated for the clients to experience a relaxing environment while being massaged.

“It is so convenient to have a massage center with a high, professional quality of service and is efficient,” Kniepkamp said. “Even if it is more for people with injuries, I recommend everyone going to get a massage for a little relaxation.”