Meet Your Massage Therapist: Alan Henderson
This ongoing “Meet Your Massage Therapist” series is offered to acquaint you with the massage therapists and their services available here at Ralston Massage Center. Our goal, as the owners, has been to assemble a well-trained, experienced group of massage therapists and create a distinctive client experience. We understand that there are many reasons people get massage. From the simple and wonderful relaxation massage to complex therapeutic massage sessions, we are confident that these professionals can provide the massage you seek. –Bob Oliver and Debra Rilea
Alan: I started training in the martial arts in 1979 and that lifestyle is physically demanding and comes with a lot of strain injuries. I always had kinda an affinity for helping people with those even though at the time I had no formal training as a massage therapist. I was always the guy who was very interested in anatomy and physiology. Wondering why does that hurt, if you took that blow there or did you strain that, what could we do to make it feel better? Because of that I was the guy everyone came to for advice and help.
I started looking at acupressure training and took a six month course at the Acupressure Institute in Berkley, California in about 1986 or 87. I found it just fascinating so I followed it up with a sports massage class at the Healing Arts Institute in Roseville with James Mally, still never really thinking of it as a career. Then I followed that with several courses by Stuart Taws who was the sports trainer for the British Track and Field Olympic team at the time.
As the years went by I continued to try and learn more anatomy on my own. And then I thought to myself, this would be something to do. I had been at my other job a long time and I was looking for something to do when I got out, something to supplement my income. This just seemed like a perfect fit. And fortunately I walked into the best massage school ever and met Debra and Bob. With Bob’s instruction and mentoring I found that I could help people with problems, especially sports related problems even more. I am also a certified personal trainer and all the massage training went hand in hand with keeping people healthy, to continue their progression and help them accomplish their goals.
RMC: You have taken quite an interesting path to your massage career. With all that training do you have a specialty?
Alan: Well I think I am a better therapy and sports massage person than I am just a relaxation massage therapist. Although I do incorporate both into my work, I like to do therapeutic work and add relaxation to keep people in a relaxed state that helps facilitate the therapeutic work a little bit better. I also add in a lot of my acupressure stuff that I learned back then.
RMC: Acupressure can be so powerful.
Alan: Yeah, I’ve seen it. Actually I have been incorporating more and more of it into my massage work as the years go by.
RMC: Can you share what you like about having your practice here at the Ralston Massage Center?
Alan: Wonderful people to work with. Access to Debra’s knowledge about marketing and massage. Access to Bob Oliver, he has been a mentor to me, he’s always open to a question. I have to credit him as the single most important reason why I think I’m doing well today and I will do even better in the future as a massage therapist. I never want to stop learning and improving. And again, just wonderful people to work with.
RMC: So what do you find most rewarding about your work?
Alan: Like everyone is saying, when someone comes in with a chronic problem or you have someone say, “This has been hurting for years.” And after spending an hour with them and they get up off the table and their eyes light up and they share that it feels so much better. Not to mention that I can share with them ideas for self care and send them home with a little knowledge so they can take an active role in their recovery. That is the big payoff when people get off your table and you have had the ability to change their lives, no matter how little time you’ve spent with them. Whether you provided a shorter therapeutic session or an hour relaxation massage, we send them home feeling a lot better. That’s the payoff. That’s why I love doing this job.
RMC: Wonderful interview, thank you for your time and thoughts today.
Alan: You’re always welcome.
Alan Henderson is available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays 3:30 to 8pm.Book online by clicking the “Book an Appointment” button at the top right corner or bottom of the page or call us at 775-829-9300.
Alan’s Nevada State Massage Therapy License number is 1079.