The Hunter Method – Jupiter Center, opened in March 2010 offering a unique and specialized treatment that breaks the cycle of pain. South Florida locals and people from around the country come to this beautiful place to help their bodies return home to optimal tone. We’d love to help you, too.
The Hunter Method mission is to provide an effective, alternative pain relief treatment to those who are suffering and get them enjoying life again. Our best evangelists are our clients, who create an ever expanding circle of healing as they passionately share their success stories with friends and loved ones. Hunter Method is much more than massage; it’s a movement! Do you Hunter?
HUNTER METHOD DEVELOPER / MUSCLE EXPERTWhen people talk about Stephanie Hunter they use phrases like “miracle worker” and “healer.” While humbled by these accolades, she sees herself as a hard-working massage therapist whose tireless pursuit to better understand muscles, nerves, and the brain led her to develop the Hunter Method. As a competitive athlete growing up, Hunter was happiest when in motion. Excelling at gymnastics and other sports, inevitably injuries happened — falls, sprains, herniated discs, plantar fasciitis, sciatica and soreness. Hunter’s coaches followed the standard injury protocol: stretch, heat, ice, rest, anti-inflammatories, and if all else fails, train through the pain. Then Advil use morphed into more medications. Car accidents and concussions escalated her injuries and her chronic pain took away the joy of moving. Her life went very dark as she fell into a deep depression. She felt like her life had no meaning. During this time her mother bravely battled cancer. After Hunter hit rock bottom in her early 20’s, she “came to” and began a new life. Then her mom died at the young age of 51. Hunter felt such gut-wrenching guilt and remorse for not being there for her mom through her illness. She felt beyond useless and angry that her mother died so young and suffered so much. Hunter decided to turn all that pain and despair around by becoming a useful member of society and a woman to make her mother proud. Her college background was in Japanese Language & Literature. But when she dug deep in her heart she realized she was not wired for a traditional career or climbing the corporate ladder. She learned firsthand that all the riches in the world don’t matter when you are hurting. So, with the hopes of helping other people and herself get out of pain naturally, Hunter ventured to the Boulder School of Massage in 1992. Once there, she knew instantly that she had found her calling. So today in mid-life, with over 45,000 treatments to her credit, she is still happiest in motion. In a field where the average therapist burns out in five years, Hunter feels more energized and healthier now than she did decades ago. She spends her days working with clients, training therapists, traveling for speaking engagements, writing and growing her business. Her reinvention of massage for significant pain relief has helped thousands regain their lives. She feels extremely grateful that she can use her God-given gifts to make a positive difference in the world and has tremendous empathy for anyone who is hurting and needs help.
The Hunter Team
MASSAGE THERAPIST A native of Ontario, Canada, Nicole (Nikki) Schadt has always had a desire to help others and is committed to helping her clients get better and moving again. She graduated with an Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy Assistant diploma in 2005, then worked as a Physical Therapist Assistant alongside physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists and both conventional and naturopathic doctors at a multidisciplinary clinic. This experience gave her exposure to a wide variety of different approaches and techniques. In 2013, she graduated from a 2,200-hour Massage Therapy program at the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy in Cambridge, Ontario. Nikki ran a practice in her hometown in Canada before deciding to move to Jupiter, Florida in 2015, where she was one of the first massage therapists to be certified in Stephanie Hunter’s Hunter Massage Method. With her extensive physical rehabilitation knowledge and her intuitive touch, she is able to quickly and effectively get her clients out of pain, often with significant results in as little as three sessions. MA 81886
MASSAGE THERAPIST Originally from Winston-Salem, NC, Alyssa Emerson believes that tight muscles shouldn’t keep people from getting the most out of their lives. Alyssa has trained under the tutelage of Stephanie Hunter and is a recent graduate of the Hunter Massge Method Training Program but has a wide variety of massage experience. Alyssa considers anatomical and physical education as pivotal to being a successful massage therapist. However, she thinks intuition and an open mind are also indispensable to her technique. Her approach to caring for her clients is understanding what their goals are (whether it is returning to their favorite sport or simply sleeping through the night without pain) and finding her role in helping them achieve those goals. She trusts that every BODY is different, so every massage is, too. MA 58946
MASSAGE THERAPIST Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Tina has devoted her career to helping others. After spending years in the orthodontic field, Tina discovered her true passion for helping others. While caring for her ailing mother and witnessing the therapeutic benefits of a caring touch, she embarked on her true calling of massage therapy and earned and received her massage therapy license.
After practicing for several years as a massage therapist, Tina wanted to use her skills for a more therapeutic benefit and that’s when she was introduced to Stephanie Hunter and the Hunter technique. Now having completed the training in the Hunter Method, she is excited to share her passion with those in need.
MANAGER Born and raised in Jupiter, Florida, Michaela is Hunter Method’s Manager. She studied massage therapy at Palm Beach Academy of Health and Beauty before attending Palm Beach State College. After college, she worked in the addiction treatment field as a Behavioral Health Technician, case manager, admissions coordinator, and office manager. Her skills in organizing, computer, and communication made her decide to move into office management full-time. Michaela is extremely grateful to be part of the team at Hunter Method and to be part of its movement to help others heal and become pain-free. She is married and proud fur mom to her dogs Dre and Mia.
ASSISTANT MANAGER Originally from the Catskill Mountains in NY, Helen moved to Florida in 1982. Married, one daughter & 3 Grandchildren. Worked as an Administrative assistant for a local Realtor for about 10 years & decided to go get her own license. She is presently a licensed Real Estate agent. As a past and current client of Hunter Method. Helen knows first hand the what she calls “the miracles ” that happen here. Having had a frozen shoulder and could not lift her arm to eat, wash her hair etc. She experienced first hand the benefit of the Hunter Massage Method & to be pain free and avoid surgery. Helen is so excited to be a part of The Hunter Massage team as our assistant manager, knowing that through her own story, she has the compassion, personal experience and first hand knowledge to be an asset to clients and the Hunter team.
RECEPTIONIST Rachel was born and raised in central Ohio and she has been living in south Florida since 2014. She is currently attending Palm Beach State College pursuing a degree in nursing. Rachel is a runner and is passionate about physical health and wellness. Her passion for helping others has led her to our team.
Hunter Method Treatment
Hunter Method is a results-focused, interactive, intuitive massage that changes muscle memory for significant lasting relief from common pain, movement and balance problems like Sciatica, Frozen Shoulder, Vertigo, Plantar Fasciitis, Migraines, Neuropathy, Pain conditions, and more. Developed by Stephanie Hunter, this method combines interactive movement, energy work, isometric contractions, myofascial patterns, mind-body processes, and trigger point work along nerve pathways based off of a visual and kinesthetic postural evaluation. See FAQ for more details.
Hunter Method Evaluation
Does insurance cover my treatments?
How did my muscles get "tight"?
1. Falls, slips, accidents, and bumps When you fall, slip, trip, or bump, the body senses that something bad just happened. When you stand up to gravity, you check for broken bones, bruises, and to make sure everything is still attached, then you brush it off and go about your life. But sometimes days or months after a “fender bender,” you notice you can’t turn your head. This in turn leads to sensations in the hand. The original problem was “tight muscles,” so that is what needs therapy.
2. Static stretching The body is not Play-Doh. When muscles are stretched past the point the nervous system tells them is appropriate, it will send a signal to contract. We all have our own unique flexibility. Some people are bendier than others. Bendier is not healthier – we don’t need to compare ourselves to others in yoga class, we just need to accept our genetic make-up. Flexibility cannot be changed very much by pushing, pummeling, rolling and pressing. We have to respect our bodies’ natural ability so we do not we injure ourselves. Dynamic stretching and using gentle movement is much more effective and doesn’t cause injury.
3. Before & after surgeries: limping, leaning, gimping This is a common cause for the body to get tight. For example, when you are waiting on getting a knee replaced, you put all of your weight on the other leg. This causes muscle tightness. After surgery and physical therapy are successfully completed, massage sessions have proven to be very helpful for many clients.
4. Holding one position for too long: sleeping, watching TV, driving, sitting, looking at the TV or computer This is a common way for muscles to get tight. Waking up with a stiff neck that won’t turn or a headache could be an indication that the head was in a weird position during the night. We call this “bed neck.” There is also “tech neck” after hours and hours gazing into the computer, “car butt,” “airplane ass,” “and bucket seat back”…you get the idea.
5. Exercising when your body doesn’t want to, or not letting the body enough time to heal between activities Exercising is great. Our muscles prefer movement any day over sitting still, but if the body is really tired and we make it do more than it wants to, it often rebels by tightening up to protect itself. Also, if it doesn’t have enough healing time in between sessions, it is not happy. Athletes know this, because increasing the body’s ability to heal is the basis for athleticism. Some of the most suffering people I know are the ones who have methodically tormented their bodies with running five miles every day until they have a hard time walking around their houses without debilitating pain.
How is a Hunter Method treatment different than more traditional massage? What are some things that I can expect?
- The client is dressed in comfortable clothing so that they can move easily during session. Yoga, workout, or just leisure clothing is best; narrow skirts, thick jeans or dresses are not good.
- The client and therapist work together with interactive movement to create change to the muscle memory. It is not a relaxing massage.
- Pressure feels deep, sometimes even painful, but it is actually light. The touch is very specific and connects to muscle fibers and fasciae so at times feels intense. However, the touch is always adapted to the preference, conditions, tolerance, and age of the individual.
- Treatment is based on the entire body and doesn’t just target where the person hurts. We base our work over a visual and kinesthetic evaluation of posture, and movement videos. We often say we are not trying to dig out a “chicklet” in your muscle tissue or remove a “bayonette” from the body. It is about getting the entire body in a relaxed, neutral posture which sometimes means working on an area the you don’t hurt to get something else balanced.
- Treatment is about 30 minutes.
- Breath work, and mind-body principles are used to get the nervous system out of “fight and flight” and into “rest and digest” because in this state in which you heal. If you are being chased by a bear in the woods your body is not interested in healing your hamstrings.
- Self-treatment is taught to proactive clients to address more stubborn muscles.
- Photo, video and written testimonials are done throughout sessions to keep track of progress. Our goal is to get people better quickly so that we can help more people. We methodically track information so that we have visual and written materials for each client’s success story. This documentation creates a library to show future clients the effectiveness of the method.
Do you have to be a massage therapist to get become certified in Hunter Method? Are there classes for continuing education ? (CEU’s) What do I have to do if I’m interested in becoming a Hunter Method Practitioner?
In order to train in the method you need to have a license to touch, such as massage therapy or physical therapy.
What is a typical client? Are there any similarities between clients?
- Overall healthy, but have some tight muscles
- Active – they enjoy moving and are unhappy if their muscles don’t allow them to do what they want to do.
- Impatient and want results quickly. They have no time to sit on the couch.
- Have tried an average of 5 treatments before coming to us.
- Involved in health and wellness and want to age better than their parents.
- Apt to try alternative health and wellness over traditional methods.
- Against drugs, and like to avoid surgeries if at all possible.
- Intelligent and like to learn about their bodies/health.
- Role models of living well and loving life.
How many treatments will I need to have before I have “significant relief”?
What are some examples of "significant relief"?
- Being able to sleep through the night
- Take the dog for a walk
- Shoot a shotgun
- Dance the waltz
- Get down on the floor and play with my grandchild
- Go on a road trip
- Run in a 10K
- Turn my head to check lanes while driving
- Sit and watch a movie with my husband
- Walk the mall with my granddaughter
- Play golf
- Play golf well
- Play lacrosse
- Finish college
- Drive again
- Work at my desk
- Hike Machu Pichuu
- Laugh and smile (without jaw hurting)
- Sleep without having to wear a Merrell shoe on one foot because the sheet hurts
- Wear high heels
- Do yoga again
- Do Pilates
- Play senior softball
- Win at senior softball
- Do girls weekend in New York
- Do tai chi
- Fly on plane and walk off without feeling like a “cripple”
- Not having to do “exercises” every day to keep my body able to move!
Are there any other locations to receive Hunter Method?
Yes! We have a center in Raleigh, North Carolina.