During the summer of 1991, I received my first massage and it changed my life forever. For years I’d suffered with acute and chronic back pain. At times my low back would seize with spasm and stabbing pain. So much so I couldn’t stand erect—- forced to lean on objects for support or crawl on all fours. The spasms began at age 19 and at first only reappeared every one to two years, lasting a week at most; but by the time I was 35 the spasms would reappear two to three times each year and each time they reappeared they came with greater intensity—-lasting for weeks on end. For 20 years I used Chiropractic treatments to ease and stabilize the pain. But no matter how many adjustments I received, the pain would always return. And for 20 years Chiropractors diagnosed my pain as degenerating disc, slipped disc, subluxation, and pinched nerve. And their only advice was to receive another adjustment or to consider a maintenance plan where I routinely receive adjustments regardless of whether I was in spasm or not. By age 36 I joined a maintenance plan and was adjusted every 6 weeks. But no matter how often I was adjusted, the spasms always returned. By age 38 the spasms were beginning to control and consume my life. And I was convinced my prognosis was bleak. It never occurred to me that there might be more I could do to help myself, let alone that there may be a cure. Until one day, all bent and hunched over with acute back spasms, I stumbled into my Key West, FL, Periodontist’s, office for a routine gum exam. But upon seeing the grimace on my face and my pore posture my Periodontist locked her eyes onto mine and with determination and compassion she encouraged me to see her Neuromuscular Therapist—-insisting it was unnecessary for anyone to live with such pain and that a deep tissue massage would help. My first reaction was to see her as a person of considerable wealth who could easily afford to pay someone to rub her back—-I honestly never considered there might be any truth in what she was saying to me. But then she bribed me with 10 Percocets, offering them if I would promise to receive one massage from her therapist. In the end I agreed for only one reason—-I wanted the 10 Percocets. But to my surprise, within 45 minutes of my first massage my back was once again strong and pain free. I literally walked into the LMT’s (Licensed Massage Therapist) office with gimace and hunch and I walked out totally erect and pain free! From that single experience I saw and understood the importance of maintaining muscle length—-how to properly stretch and why using moist heat is so beneficial. In fact the experience and new understanding of the skeletal-muscular system was so transforming that soon after I decided I too wanted to share the gift of healing through massage; so September, 1991 I enrolled into the same schools of massage that my LMT, CNMT had attended: Educating Hands, Miami, FL, and the NMT (Neuromuscular Massage Therapist) Center, St Petersburg, FL. By August 1992 I was a FL State Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), a certified Neuromuscular Therapist (CNT,) and a Nationally Certified Therapist (NCMT). In 1996 I received my Full Facialist/Esthetician License (FS) from the state of FL and in 2013 received my
Massage Therapist License (LMT) from the state of MA.
Shortly after Hurricane Andrew hit South FL, August, 1992, my partner, Sandra, and I leased a single suite in a Hollywood, FL strip mall. After extensive remodeling, building-out a typical medical office; we opened a two room practice for therapeutic massage, December, 1992. But there was so much demand for the quality of therapy we offered—-3 years later we purchased the entire building, converting it into a day spa—-calling it Massage Therapeutics Spa or MTSpa. Often referred to as a destination, day spa because of the fact MTSpa won so many awards it grew to become a destination for many—-recognized several times over by Laurie Jennings of Channel 7 News—-drawing thousands of people to our doors from all over the world. Sandra and I continued to own and operate MTSpa, a total of 18 years.
Today we manage a much smaller business out of the first floor of our home; which affords us the luxury of working one-on-one with each and every client without the distraction and burden that naturally comes with owning a larger facility and the staff needed to run it. Today we greet our clients at the door and personally escort them to our individual rooms. And in the privacy of our sanctuaries we once again discover the gift of healing as if for the first time.
So whether you’re a seasoned massage enthusiasts or one who is simply looking to experience a first massage; I urge you to seek out a therapist and let the healing begin. And if by chance you are fortunate enough to choose our therapy, I guarantee it will be the massage and spa treatments by which you judge all others!