Finding peace with chair massage


“If the world is bringing you to your knees, you might as well stay there awhile.”

— The Town Crier

THAT BRILLIANT QUOTE came to me when I was having a chair massage at Kilalo Studio in Montclair the other day. With my fully-clothed body sprawled across the plush leather apparatus, I couldn’t have been more at peace.

Of course, that’s Costa John’s goal, with his “first-of-a-kind” chair massage studio in the old Parrott Cellular store at 2067 Mountain Blvd. “We want our clients to feel so much better, happier and more positive,” he says, adding a chair massage can be just as satisfying as a traditional massage, but without the inconvenience of disrobing.

John’s technique was born out of necessity, you might say. After learning the art of massage therapy, he applied it as a Red Cross volunteer in New York (after 9/11) and in Mississippi (in the aftermath of Katrina). “What I learned at Ground Zero, was that you can give a person a full body massage, fully clothed, in a chair. Your skills have to adapt.” Indeed, I got almost a full body massage in just 20 minutes, and never felt rushed. In fact, I actually appreciated not having smashed-down hair and essential oils all over my body. I was able to get right up and go back to work, feeling refreshed.

If you’d like to check out Kilalo Studio, Costa and his wife, Maryanne, are hosting a grand opening wine and cheese event today from 4-7 p.m. Or you can go online at

Author, Author: Congratulations to Montclair writer Jan Stites for releasing her new novel “Edgewise.” The book is a heart-wrenching but hopeful story of two women who meet in an outpatient psychiatric hospital in Oakland. It’s based, loosely, on Stite’s own experience at a mental health rehab center called Gladman, where she was sent after having a breakdown at work. “I called my therapist and said ‘have you lost your mind?'” The patients were nothing like her, she said, but were “noisy and homeless and uneducated.” What she learned from that experience is what makes this book so compelling. Stite’s website is and she’s happy to talk to neighborhood book clubs.

Get out your binoculars: Baby greens are taking root along the once-scenic (then barren) section of Highway 13 through Montclair. Caltrans has finished its planting along the new center divide, and what luscious clippings they are — with names like “Lemonade Berry” and “Holly Leaf Cherry”. They sound almost good enough to eat. Let’s hope they’re deer-proof.

Opportunity knocks: It’s a Jehovah’s Witness, it’s a Sierra Club solicitor, it’s a survey-taker with a fist full of money. Just when you thought there was no good reason to answer your doorbell, reader Claire Weber says she recently got $40 — on the spot — for a 20-minute magazine survey. That was $2 a minute, with the promise of another $60 if she filled out a questionnaire the company left behind. No endorsements here, but in case you’re wondering, the magazine wasn’t a Watchtower.


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