Digital touch

(First published in the November 21, 2019 issue of City Pages)

Amanda Mattson left the world of information technology to join the field of massage therapy

Birch Tree Wellness

Birch Tree Wellness

Amanda Mattson opened Birch Tree Wellness in downtown Wausau

After enough people told her she has a healing touch, Amanda Mattson had enough confidence to open her own massage therapy business, Birch Tree Wellness, in downtown Wausau.

Mattson had been working for more than a decade in the field of information technology, but decided, “I needed a change.” She had long been interested in therapeutic massage, so that led her to the Serenity Now School of Massage in Wausau.

After a decade of primarily touching a keyboard, she’s now touching people who need some sort of therapy or stress relief. She knew from personal experience the stress relief a good massage can provide, so she set out with that as a base for a new career. Licensed since September 2017, she worked as a subcontractor for a time, renting space from March to September in a local salon. That built her confidence enough to go out on her own.

“As soon as I lay my hands on somebody, I can tell from the tension of the skin, whether it’s tight or loose,” she says. Then as she works on that person, she can find the trouble areas such as tight or knotted muscles.

The client feedback keeps her going. She says they tell her, “I’m able to make them feel like a new person. I have the healing hands, they say.” Most come in mainly for her relaxation Swedish massage, but she also does deep-tissue work often needed for muscle injuries and, when requested, can incorporate the 130-degree basalt stones that aid in relaxing muscles.

She’s also doing prenatal massage with pregnant customers. The extra weight and strain that pregnancy puts a body through can cause issues, she says, so she offers a specially contoured cushion for clients to lay on so she can work to relieve some of the tension.

The relaxation massages are pleasant enough, but she says the most gratifying are the therapeutic massages. “They want the pain to go away and I like helping those people the most, because you actually hear them say, ‘Hey, I feel better.’”

It’s not going to happen every time, but she had quite a success when a woman come in recently after a hip injury. The pain was requiring her to use a cane when she came in, but when she left, she walked without it. Nearly everybody can benefit from a massage, she says, even those with no particular issue bothering them.

The Birch Tree Wellness name was an easy choice, she says. “I just love trees, and I think of all the trees, the birch tree is the prettiest one.”

Birch Tree Wellness is open Mon.-Thurs. 10 am-6 pm and Fri. 10 am-4 pm. She is in Suite 208-18 in the City Square building in the 500 block of Third Street. Find her at, on Facebook and at 715-575-8890.