Licensed Massage and Bodywork
Therapist 23 Years - NC #496
SC# 1285   Member: AMTA


Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist 30 Years
NC #496     SC# 1285     Member: AMTA

John has been practicing massage as a full time profession for 30 years. John's massage is an eclectic collection of everything he has learned in the past 24 years, from his teacher, his clients, and workshops he has taken.


John uses a combination of techniques that are relaxing and integrated with techniques that are therapeutic. He uses Swedish massage, connective tissue massage, trigger point work, energy work, cranial sacral techniques, his Towel Stretch, and coconut oil and essential oils to do the best he can for each client.

Because he is through, John spends an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half of actual work with each client after the introduction and discussion of the client’s desires.

Services Offered
Select to learn more about each.

Order Gift Certificates
Call John to Order Gift Certificates
Check or Cash Payments Accepted

Special Occasions

John finds house calls for group vacationers particularly enjoyable.  He observes that people are usually in a happy laid back mood and it’s fun to contribute to the joy of their vacation experience.


Recovery from an Illness or Surgery?

John can come to your hospital room or home and do energy work on the whole body, and do some massage/ acupressure on places a safe distance from the injury site.  On successive days he can do more as the patient can tolerate contact closer to the injury site.  The energy work and massage specific to the situation speeds the recovery process and improves the flexibility of the tissue around the surgery site. 

Trigger Point Work:
The term trigger point refers to knots in the muscles, ligaments, and sometimes the skin and fascia that cause pain and limit range of motion. Trigger points can be active, creating pain referral patterns continuously, or Latent, causing pain when you are having a bad day, or when someone like me presses on them. These knots are a clump of muscle cells that have gotten stuck in a shortened position to the point of cutting off their own supply of nourishment so they cannot create energy in the cells, which is needed to release the muscle as well as to tighten the muscle. John's trigger point work beginning in 1992 from his massage instructor Burt Gornto using the “Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction included in The Trigger Point Manuals by Janet G. Travell, MD and David G. Simons MD extensively. John's area of study during this time was the use of techniques for releasing the trigger points that were not yet published. He also attended several Neuro muscular workshops and is particularly good at finding and relieving trigger points.

Oncology Massage:
Oncology Massage is not a treatment for cancer, but a variation of massage designed to relieve pain and anxiety for people who have cancer, are undergoing treatment, or have previously been treated for cancer. The cancer itself, along with the effects of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery may render the patient unable to tolerate some of the massage techniques typically used in massage.
John took an intensive 3 day course given by the Institute of Integrative Oncology, Oncology Massage, Skin Care and Wellness, An Educational Division of ďGreet The DayĒ in March of 2015. The training was aimed at teaching him how to ask the right questions of the patient to determine a safe plan of action for the massage that would give a relaxing enjoyable massage without adding any more stress to what the patient is already enduring. John also learned to use soft pressures where appropriate, avoid moving fluids toward where lymph nodes have been removed, and to keep what are considered appropriate distances from tumor site, recent surgery areas, infusion ports, or other appliances.
While the workshop in Oncology Massage did not make him an expert, it demonstrates Johnís interest in helping people who are dealing with cancer. Johnís 23 years of experience caring for people with all types of massage needs equips him to better serve his clients. For clients dealing with cancer, John uses a client intake form more specific to the special needs that have developed from the illness, and the treatment the client has endured. John uses a combination of light touch massage and energy work with hands lightly touching the body or hands 2 or 3 inches from the body and further, depending what feels best to the client and what seems most effective. He also can use some very light touch acupressure. He uses coconut oil as his primary oil, because from his reading and his experience he believes it is the most nutritious oil for the skin, and least likely to be harmful. John has read, and continues to read books on integrative approaches to cancer. If the client wishes this information, John will be happy to share titles and authors of the books he has found most interesting.

Deep Tissue Massage:
Deep Tissue does not imply a painful experience. It should really be called Specific Tissue. In Deep Tissue,  more detail work is required. During the discussion before beginning this type of massage John will determine where you have pain, discomfort, and limited range of motion, the type and intensity of massage that best suits your needs, or wants. Then he will explore the tissues in the area of interest to you. There may be knotted up muscles (trigger points) that are hard to the touch relative to the tissues around it. The knots or trigger points might be painful all the time, or when you move, or they may only be painful when someone presses on them. The feeling of fullness may be because the tissue is retaining fluid, or because the skin, connective tissue, and body fat matrix is packed too full for the size of the outer connective tissue container (Superficial Fascia). He would then use a combination of the techniques listed below to release the skin Fascia and deep muscles, including knots in the muscles and tenderness in the attachment points.

Connective Tissue Massage:
John studied Connective tissue massage in 1995 with John Latz, and has practiced it and used it extensively in his work, with his own variations. Based on knowledge retained during workshops he has integrated several modalities; ex. Connective tissue massage is similar, or provides similar results to myofascial release ect. Connective tissue massage not only releases skin and superficial fascia, it also helps release the deep muscle under it. This happens because the nerves that supply the skin and fascia also supply the deep muscles under it. When the deep muscle tightens up, the nerves trigger the skin and connective tissue to crinkle up. ( It feels like corrugated cardboard underneath the skin.) When you release the skin and connective tissue, the nerves trigger the deep muscle to release too. It may also release the casing of connective tissue around the muscle, thereby allowing the muscles more room for the fibers to release. Connective tissue massage gave rise to my towel stretch and my hot wet towel stretch.

John's Towel Stretch:
John's Towel Stretch evolved because he like to start out using Swedish strokes with massage oil. When he ran into an area of skin, connective tissue and deep muscle that was not letting go, he knew from experience that this area would respond to connective tissue massage. But, connective tissue, as was originally taught to him required dry hands and dry skin. He learned that he could get the connective tissue massage effect by putting a terry cloth towel over the area of interest, pushing perpendicular to the skin with one hand to get stuck to the skin with the terry cloth, and pulling parallel to the skin with the other hand to create a stretch on the skin and fascia over a relative broad area,( the width and breath of his hand). You don’t have to push hard, but create a stretch on the tissue with moderate pressure for a longer period of time. (less pressure for more time is better than more pressure of less time) This technique is generally less painful than the way he was originally taught connective tissue massage, and is usually more effective.

John's Hot Wet Towel Stretch evolved when he worked for a few months at Elements in Brevard last summer. They have a nice finishing touch of wrapping the feet in hot moist towels at the end of the massage because it is very relaxing, and gets the oil off your feet before you step on the carpet and into your shoes. John determined that he could use the hot moist towels during the massage with his towel Stretch technique. The hot moist towel is very soothing, and interrupts what is called the pain spasm cycle, aiding the tissues in releasing.

Coconut Oil Massage:
The use of Extra Virgin Coconut oil is primarily used in all of his massages. He keeps other oils on hand incase anyone has a problem with coconut oil. From reading the books listed below, and from experience with his clients John has learned that Coconut oil is much more nutritious for our skin, fascia and deeper connective tissue than most other oils, including cold pressed almond oil and walnut oil which were oils of choice. The Coconut oil feels good, soaks in and disappears so that the client does not feel oily, and at the same time softens and revitalizes the connective tissue, leaving the client feeling more free in their body. Taking it internally, as well as rubbing it in reduces internal inflammation. According to the books below, it also improves the function of the thyroid gland and converts easily into energy in the liver and the cells, so the client feels more energized after the massage than with other oils. Coconut oil does not get rancid and leave clients clothes with an unpleasant smell like Almond oil and walnut oil used to.

Coconut Oil’s benefits can be found in- “Eat Fat Lose Fat” by Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon and” The Coconut Oil Miracle” by Bruce Fife ND.

Essential Oils Massage:
For the past 8 years John has continued to study the use of essential oils in many of his massage techniques. He prefers a few drops of Oregano, a few drops of geranium, and a few drops of Frankincense mixed with a teaspoon of coconut oil, or a capsule of Vitamin E and a capsule of Borage oil on painful areas. According to the recommendations of the Essential Oil reference guide published for Young Living Oils, sometimes he will start with the essential oils on an area the client points out as painful. I will rub it in, then use  Reiki on the area while the oil soaks in.

Swedish Massage:
Is a classic full body massage that systematically relaxes the whole body. The strokes are performed in a soothing continuous manner with the intention of allowing you to get in a rather meditative state of relaxed consciousness. In a strictly Swedish format you do not stop the flow of motion to work for any length of time on a sore or tight muscle. You would rather almost sneak up on it by making a few extra passes, but not stop dead on it and focus directly on a painful spot. Generally the massage will start out with a Swedish format to discover the relative tightness throughout the body, and then transition into more detailed work.

Energy Work-Reiki and more:

John’s interest in body work started with Energy Work.  In 1986 John met a woman on Hilton Head Island , Jimelle Suzanne, who did her own style of energy work.  She convinced John that he had some healing potential in his hands and taught him a short course in her approach to healing.  Then she took Reiki I and Reiki II.  Jimelle let John work with her on several people and John noticed that people commented more about the heat in Jimelle’s hands after she took the Reiki classes.  John immediately decided to take the Reiki classes to improve his ability to help people.  He took the Reiki I class in May of 1987.  John met his future wife, Martha, in June of 1987, and learned that she had taken Reiki I and Reiki II and was planning to become a Reiki Master teacher.  John took Reiki II shortly thereafter.  Later, when he introduced Martha to Jimelle, they realized they had taken Reiki I and Reiki II in the same class! (small world!)  After John and Martha were married, Martha became a Reiki Master and they had Reiki share groups in their home every Monday night for close to ten years.


In Reiki, the therapist usually puts his/her hands on the person in several places in sequence, for about 5 minutes in each place, allowing energy to flow from the practitioner’s field to the client’s field.  Reiki is also something that anyone can learn to do and it is so useful!  You can work on yourself, and on your friends and loved ones.   It is self empowering to know that you can do something to lessen your own pain. 

After doing Reiki for several years, and being rather closed about exploring any other energy healing modalities,  John was inspired by one of his clients to look into Chinese acupressure massage, and then Medical Chi Gong.  John began learning where the meridians ran along the exterior of the body and how to work with them to improve a person’s health.  When he took a four day Chi Gong healing work shop in Asheville, NC he got a quantum leap forward in his energy flow that his wife Martha and his clients could feel as a positive change in his work.  For the last two years John has been reading books on acupuncture to learn more about the Chinese/ Japanese healing philosophy and acupressure.  He recently took a class in Shiatsu by Jim Sandonato of Asheville , NC .


In January of 2010 John read a book by Dr. Eric Pearl, “The Reconnection”.   When John read that book and started using the approach described in the book he got another quantum leap forward in his energy flow and effectiveness.  The book describes Reconnective Healing which is an approach to healing that is relatively  freeform.  John has not taken the Reconnection work shops yet, but he has received “The Reconnection” attunement or initiation, which was performed by his friend Jim Avery of Brevard , NC .   Jim took the classes and got the certification to do the Reconnection in 2010 when the class was offered in Orlando, Florida . 


The Reconnective approach to healing involves the therapist working in the auric field of the client without physically touching the client.  John usually starts with his hands about 4 inches away from the body.  He starts holding one hand still while moving the other hand to sense for a layer of the field.   He finds a hot spot, or intense sensation of vibration, and stays there until he gets a feeling that he should move on to a different part of the body. He slowly moves around the whole body from head to toe and along both sides, always seeking the area of most heat sensation or most intense vibration in his hands.  This process takes about 45 minutes as it was described in Dr. Pearl’s book.


Some of John’s clients enjoy just having a Reconnective healing while others like having some of the Reconnective approach integrated with a regular massage.


Often, John does a little energy in the beginning of his sessions.  Other times he starts with massage in the primary complaint area and then works in some energy work on areas that turn up to be difficult to get a release of tension or pain with only massage.  So John uses an eclectic approach, pulling different techniques out of his tool box as problems present themselves in the client’s body, or his/her awareness.


John encourages anyone who wants to learn more about Re-connective healing to buy the book by Dr. Eric Pearl, “The Reconnection”, or check out his website. 


Cranial Sacral:

John is not certified in Cranial Sacral Therapy, but attended Cranial Sacral I in 2002 and Cranial Sacral II in 2003, he also studied Cranial Sacral I again with his wife Martha in 2006. Feeling the cranial sacral rhythm is a skill that takes some people longer to learn than others.

He felt the rhythm much more confidently after taking the CST I class a second time, but some cranial sacral therapists can feel it just by putting their hands near a client. John uses the techniques that he feels confident with. John will refer clients who seem to need cranial sacral work beyond his ability to someone locally who has more experience and continuous practice in that art.


Esalan Massage:

Johnís favorite massage is Esalan Massage. Esalan Massage is a very relaxing continuous movement nurturing zone you out sort of massage that was developed in the 50ís and 60ís at the Esalan Institute in Big Sur California. The first massage John learned to do, in 1991, was from ďThe Massage BookĒ By George Downing. George was an instructor at The Esalan Institute in Big Sur California. The book contained many of the strokes that are now being taught in Esalan massage classes. In 2013 John took an Introduction to Esalan Massage taught by Robin Fann-Costanzo in Asheville NC. John plans to take more of her workshops soon. Esalan is more of a mind set than specific strokes. Itís like trying to keep motions smooth and harmonious so as not to shake the person back to the here and now. It is very relaxing and puts the person in a seemingly altered state of consciousness but it is a thorough massage effectively working all the areas of the body that are appropriate. There is a theory in the massage world that if you can help a person reach an altered state of consciousness that the bodyís self healing ability resets.


Manual Lymph Drainage:

Manual Lymph Drainage is a collection of techniques for assisting fluids that have accumulated in a personís tissues, which may be causing discomfort, to the lymph nodes that are located in various places in the body where the lymph can move into the deeper lymph channels and can drain into the venous system to be processed out of the body by the liver and kidneys.

John has taken a couple of introductory workshops in manual lymph drainage. He uses some of the techniques that he has learned when someone seems to be retaining fluid in an area where they are experiencing pain or tightness. He will refer a client to someone with more experience if he runs into a client that has a serious problem requiring manual lymph drainage.


Recovery from an Illness or Surgery:

John can come to your hospital room or home and do energy work on the whole body, and do some massage/acupressure on places a safe distance from the injury site. On successive days he can do more as the patient can tolerate contact closer to the injury site. The energy work and massage specific to the situation speeds the recovery process and improves the flexibility of the tissue around the surgery site.


Sequence of Events in Typical Massage Session:

We will start out with a 15 minute discussion of where you have pain or discomfort, or tightness and what you like in a massage. There will be a form for you to fill out that may alert me to any special problems you have in your general health, previous surgeries etc, and there is a line of blocks to check that give me permission to touch or work on various parts of your body. Any blocks you donít check, we will discuss so that I have a clear understanding of why you wish to exclude that area.


I will explain pain referral patterns of some of the muscles in an area of distress, and perhaps show the client some illustrations of muscles and their referral patterns.

We will discuss draping and I will explain that I will keep the client covered so as not to offend his or her modesty. I usually work with each person with them lying face down, then lying on each side, and then face up. If there is some important specific issue, we may start out with the position that gives me best access to that part of the body.


I will discuss the positions that I usually have the person get into, to give me access to the muscle and connective tissue and create less tension or more tension as appropriate so that I can work on the tissues to get the muscles and connective tissue to release. Tight muscles, skin and fascia stand out differently in various body positions. For example I usually work on the low back and hip with the person lying face down, and then with them lying on each side successively. I position the legs to change the relative tightness in the hip and thigh muscles.


I will instruct you to how to position yourself on the table, and cover yourself with the sheet after disrobing, and I will leave the room and wait for you to tell me it is ok to return to the room.


Beginning the Massage


I will usually begin the massage with the client lying face down, with their face in a face cradle, and prop their ankles with a bolster. I will start by sitting at the head, and stroke the scalp and neck and upper shoulders, and maybe do a little energy work around the head to help relax the person and his or her neck. I will then do some light Swedish strokes down the back and around the shoulders, and massage come coconut oil into the back and arms region. Then I will do some Esalan type strokes the length of the body. This helps the person begin to relax, and it gives me information about the relative tightness of all of the muscles of the body. I use the draping to keep most of the body covered, giving myself access to one side at a time, keeping the hip area covered, but uncovering the thigh, leg, foot arms, back and shoulder. I will start out with light strokes, and then follow with successively deeper strokes so that I am beginning to change the tension in the muscles the length of the body. This stroke is said to help the person get in touch with the whole of their being. I will work all of the muscles that I have access to with the client lying face down, including the head, neck shoulders, arms hands, back, hip muscles, thighs legs feet.


Then I will have the client turn onto either side and place pillows to support head and legs. I will typically start working at the waste line to release the Quadratus Lomborum muscle which is attached to the spine and last rib and the hip bone. It is frequently involved in any low back or hip pain. I will also massage the abdominal muscles with the client in this position because the abdomen is the most relaxed in this position, and I can get the tissues to move around more than when a person is on his/her back. . I will then feel and work on the hip muscles, under the draping so that the client wonít be concerned about me seeing their hips. I will use my hot moist towel stretch to release the tight muscles and tissues in the hip muscle area.


Then I will uncover and work on the thigh and leg, paying particular attention to the illiotibial band, and the peronius muscle of the lower leg. This side lying position works well for the illiotibial band and peronius muscle because I have the best mechanical advantage, using my body weight to apply pressure with the clients leg in this position.


Then I will move up to the head neck and shoulder region, and work on the arm and do some range of motion and feel and work on the muscles that articulate the arm. I can do some of my best work on the chest muscles in this position with less likely hood of making a woman uncomfortable about her breast. Often a woman may be retaining fluid in the side of the chest, and I use a hot moist towel and a manual lymph drainage motion to move the fluid to the armpit where it can drain into the deeper lymphatic system. I also examine and work on the neck and face for tightness and retention of fluid. I use some stokes to move the lymph toward the underside of the collar bones, if it appears to be needed.


Next, I get the client to turn over and I do the same sequence on the other side. Next I have the person turn on their back. With the client on his/her back, I will usually start by sitting at the head of the table. I will massage the face with the contents of a vitamin E capsule and a couple of drops of lemon essential oil. I may massage the scalp a little, and I will start on the neck. I will feel the back of the neck where the muscles attach to the skull and feel the relative tension as they go down toward the upper back. I work using my various techniques to get all the tissues to relax and let go.


I will often oil my hands with coconut oil, and slide them under the person on each side of the spine and lift with one hand while I slide the other hand down further and lift with the other hand while slide the other further down, until I reach the hips. Then I extend my finger tips into the tissues using the personís body weight to press into the tissues, and then I slowly drag my arms and hands out to stretch and release the tissues of the back on each side of the spine. I do this usually twice, it the client likes it.


Next I massage the upper chest. In men I massage the whole breast area avoiding the nipples. In women, I keep them draped, and I check with them by placing my hands above the draping at a level that I think they will be comfortable with and ask them if they are ok with me touching them this far down. I use oils and massage that far down, and round out around the shoulder and underneath toward the neck.


Next I get up and massage each shoulder, arm, forearm and hand. This will have been the second time I have massaged the entire arm, the first was when they were lying on their side. I will do a better job on the fingers and hand when they are in this position. Next, in a woman I will use a pillowcase to cover the breast (because it is soft fabric) lower the cover sheet down to the top of the pubic line. Then I will massage the abdomen. In men I will not use a pillow case, but will lower draping down to the top of pubic line and massage the abdomen.


Next I will replace the draping of the chest and abdomen and proceed to the legs. I will oil and massage one entire leg at a time; I will examine the relative tension in the thigh and lower leg while the leg is supported at the knee by a bolster. If the Thigh muscles are too tight, I will use in addition to more typical strokes, my towel stretch to get the muscles to release. If the muscles are not cooperating, I will get the client to roll on his or her side and use a muscle energy technique stretch to get the muscles to relax and lengthen.


Next I will use some techniques I learned in an Esalan massage class in 2013, to finish up the legs. If there is time, and if the client approves it, I will do some Esalan like long strokes on the front, using proper draping to keep all the private parts covered.


Then I will finish up by encasing the feet with hot towels, and put a hot towel of the face for a few moments, and then rub the feet and hands with the warm moist towel to get the oil off. Then I will dry the hands and feet with a dry towel, or use the sheet that is covering the client.

If I have placed a towel on the face, leaving room for the nose and mouth to breath, I will gently remove the towel after doing some very light fingertip strokes in a motion typical of manual lymph drainage strokes of the face.


Then I will remove the bolster form under the legs to make it easier for the person to get up off the table, and I will let the client know I am leaving the room so that he/she can get dressed. After a few minutes, I will ask the client if he or she is dressed and if it is ok for me to reenter the room.


Afterward, we will talk to see if he/she is pleased with the massage, and see if any painful areas are better now. Then we discuss whether he or she would like to make another appointment to work more on the troubled areas, or just for the pleasure of another great massage.


Enjoy your session.

Downtown: 516 South Caldwell
Brevard, North Carolina, 28712
South Caldwell Plaza next to Charm and Glamour Salon.
Office: 828-577-1451