Providing Complementary Health Care: Mezza Luna Massage & Wellness Center Clears Some Misunderstanding

Kathryn Sofranko & Katherine Robinson

To the Editors:

We, Kathryn Sofranko and Katherine Robinson of Mezza Luna Massage & Wellness Center, would like to thank Stephanie LaCava and The Maroon-News for all of the time, effort and genuine good wishes that went into the October 23, 2004 Arts & Features article. We are very grateful for all the support our business has received from the Colgate community, and we view this feature as part of that ongoing support. However, we feel the compelling need to provide some corrections and clarifications of several aspects of the article, which could mislead readers and impact our professional relationships in the Hamilton business and medical community. First and foremost, the choice of the word “medicine” in the title – which was beyond the control of the author – was both unfortunate and misleading. As licensed massage therapists registered in New York State, we do not practice medicine, nor do we diagnose disease or in any other respect provide medical care or advice to our clients. We are trained to treat many postural, orthopedic and other physician-diagnosed medical conditions through therapeutic massage. Our care and treatments are a complement to – not an alternative to – professional, qualified medical care. When our clients seek medical opinions and advice from us, we refer them to their own physicians for proper evaluation and diagnosis. Although we understand that “medicine” was chosen for the purposes of alliteration in the title, “massage” would have been a better and more appropriate choice. Secondly, the article states that Kathryn Sofranko practices midwifery and has assisted in 10 at-home births this year. Sofranko studied and apprenticed in what is called “Direct-Entry Midwifery” in the state of Oregon. This is the practice of midwifery as a profession separate from other medical training. New York State, however, only recognizes Nurse-Midwifery, which means that anyone in the practice of midwifery must also be a registered nurse. Sofranko does not practice, nor has she ever practiced, midwifery in New York State. She does, however, assist in births as a Doula. She brings her expertise in prenatal massage to the laboring mother during the process of labor and birth, providing physical and emotional support. As a Doula, she is in a supportive rather than a supervisory role. This year she has assisted in 10 births, eight of which have taken place in hospitals (in Hamilton, Utica, and Syracuse), and two of which were properly supervised at-home births. All of these births were attended and supervised by qualified medical professionals. Third, we wish to address the statements of our colleague Andrea Steffen, Ph.D., which were quoted in the feature. Steffen, a practicing Jungian psychotherapist of 30 years, has taught writing for 25 years. She has successfully employed a wide variety of therapeutic modalities in her practice and many effective techniques in her writing courses. Her quoted comments on the power of writing refer to her sense of awe, early in her career, at its effectiveness in providing her students with a means to connect with their deep creativity. She has developed and refined these modalities and techniques over the course of her 30-year practice, and seeks to bring her extensive experience to the service of the Hamilton community. Mezza Luna Massage & Wellness Center seeks to bring true complementary health care to the Colgate and Hamilton communities. Together, we provide a wide variety of therapeutic massage choices to our clients. Our goal is to make a wider variety of complementary health care modalities available to the greater community, provided by talented, qualified and licensed – where applicable – professionals. We believe that complementary health care is not an alternative to good medical care and healthy lifestyle choices, but enhances both. Thanks once again to the Colgate and Hamilton communities for their continued support.

Kathryn SofrankoKatherine RobinsonMezza Luna Massage & Wellness CenterFrom the Editors:

The Colgate Maroon-News acknowledges and apologizes for the factual errors and misleading statements that appeared in the article mentioned above. We at The Maroon-News pride ourselves on the quality and accuracy of our reporting, and we deeply regret instances, such as this one, in which our publication falls short of the high standards to which we aspire. We extend our apologies to Kathryn Sofranko, Katherine Robinson, Andrea Steffen and any other members of our community we may have misled or offended, and we thank them for their understanding.