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A meal, a spiel and a massage

Erin Bower massages Andy Grengs' shoulders while he listens to the presentation. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger)1 / 2
Christal McIntyre, standing, owner of Tetrah Wellness, speaks on massage therapy, holistic skin care, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, energy balancing and sauna. Seated is acupuncturist Richard Tossland. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger)2 / 2

Duluth Area Chamber Ambassador luncheons are known for a meal and spiel. The Ambassadors get together monthly at the Holiday Inn & Suites, but on Feb. 18 the group was in for a surprise. As Christal McIntyre, owner of Tetrah Wellness, spoke about her whole-body business, her employees massaged the backs and necks of some of the ambassadors.

McIntyre talked about her business, formerly named the Christal Center. "Good massage is detoxifying," McIntryre told the Ambassadors. "My speciality is trying to help a person understand what's going on in their skin."

As well as being a licensed massage therapist, McIntyre is also a licensed esthiologist and derma-hygienist. She first joined the chamber in 1987. Back then massages were associated with the sex industry, so she always wore a white medical coat to look professional.

Richard Tossland, an acupuncturist with Tetrah Wellness, joined the business in 1992. He said he was one of the first to bring acupuncture to Duluth; at the time, it was associated with cults. "Now it is mainstream," he said. "Acupuncture can help a lot of conditions," such as tension headaches and back pain.

While McIntyre and Tossland took turns speaking Erin Bower, Darla Williams worked the room offering chair massages.

"It felt amazing," said Cara Lindberg of the neck rub she received from Darla Williams. "I carry a lot of tension in my neck from working on the computer all day."

"She really knew how to find my pressure spots where I needed a release of tension," Andy Grengs said.

Naomi Yaeger

Naomi Yaeger is a freelance writer and the former editor of the Budgeteer. See her blog at