By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Jan 13, 2008 at 5:16 AM

In 1999, Jacalyn McCoy had never had a massage in her life. It wasn't until a former co-worker of hers began massage therapy school that she not only saw their health benefit, but aslo how they could change her life.

"I started getting massages from him weekly and it hit me, I want to make people feel like this," she says.

Eight years later she's at the helm of her own thriving massage business, Parlour Therapeutic Bodyworks, which recently made the move from its five-year location in Shorewood to 2306 N. 66th St., at North Avenue, in Wauwatosa.

Trained at the Lakeside School of Massage Therapy, McCoy describes her therapeutic specialty as eclectic, explaining that she incorporates deep tissue, myofacial release and shiatsu techniques with traditional Swedish-based massage. An hour-long session is $65, a 90-minute $95.

She also offers hot stone therapy, adding basalt lava stones bathed in warm water and essential oils to the massage for $110.

"You can get a clinical massage or an effective, deep tissue massage in a beautiful setting," she says, referring to her personally designed, Zen-like space. "I don't think it has to be a clinical environment and I don't think your therapist has to be wearing a running suit and tennis shoes. I bring my personality into the Parlour and into my work and it shows by just walking through the door."

She's absolutely right.

You walk into what is literally a beautifully and ornately decorated parlour room, accented with comfortable seating, lush plants and wall-hung works from local photographers. McCoy sits you down and, over a cup of tea, the two of you discuss your health history and locate problem areas.

This is how she works -- one on one to then customize her techniques to her clients' needs.

"I like to give my clients time to come have tea and chat about their issues. Some even bring pictures of their families. I have really close relationships with my clients. They know that they can come in here and decompress from their day."

McCoy says that most of her clients come to the Parlour -- which is open Tuesday through Saturday, but by appointment only -- for a specific reason, such as a shoulder issue, rather than just to "chill out." Soon, she hopes to find an acupuncturist to complement her practice.

"They work hand in hand," she says of massage therapy and acupuncture. "Acupuncture deals with the emotional end of pain and stress as well as the physical, because in Chinese medicine they deal with the body as a whole. The massage therapy loosens everything up with deep tissue and acupuncture helps with the stress and tension that the body holds on to. I feel like having an acupuncturist would be extremely beneficial to this space as well as this community."

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”