Meet Your Merchant: A Healing Touch massage
At age 25, Theresa Tuohy had an epiphany: She shouldn’t fight her calling anymore.
Now, about five years later, her calling has turned into her own business: A Healing Touch massage parlor.
She said her grandmother had been dropping hints about her going back to school for it until it finally clicked. Tuohy quit her job and re-enrolled after about four years’ absence. And she hasn’t looked back.
“It was one of those things that I resisted for a long time,” Tuohy said, adding that people always complimented her massage-suited hands. “Finally, I went with it, went to school for it and found my calling.”
People normally recoil from being touched, Tuohy said, making it awkward for someone who expresses herself that way. But now, people pay her for that touch – “to touch people’s lives,” she said. It’s a thought that caused her to start crying just a few years ago, when she worked as a massage therapist at the Carson Hot Springs Resort.
“It melts barriers,” Tuohy said.
To that end, she teamed up with fellow massage therapist April Brown-Parsley in an office on John Street in Carson City.
They still maintain separate businesses, but they cooperate in order to give customers the best service possible, they said.
For example, Brown-Parsley said she specializes in vases of fibromyalgia, or chronic bodywide pain, while Tuohy specializes in more deep-tissue massages. However, both professionals point out that they have wider
that, such as Tuohy’s experience with aquatic therapies. They said they use their different skills to benefit the client – if one thinks the other could better help the client, she won’t hesitate to make that recommendation, they said.
“It’s all about the client and making sure they get the treatment they need,” Brown-Parsley said.
Aside from the joint office serving as a hub for their aim to “massage the world,” as Tuohy put Brown-Parsley’s goal, they also want it to serve as an active part of the Carson City art community. Two days before their shop’s grand opening, they had pieces from Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery on the walls, and their flier advertising it featured blurbs about others involved in the healing arts.
“We’re the healing arts and they’re the creative arts, but it’s all art,” Tuohy said.
Tuohy, a Carson City native, said she was tired of hearing people disparage her town and figures they should mold the town into what they want it to be. Getting a sense of what Tuohy wants the town to be is as simple as walking into her parlor, where she’s turning a collection of floor mats into a quilted carpet and on the ceiling she hangs a sheet dotted with glow-in-the-dark paint developed by a Las Vegas artist.
After charging it with a black light, she flips a switch, bathing the room in darkness. Then the dots come alive, echoing a starry night, complete with a faux Milky Way. It still gives enough light for her to give a massage, she said, while also relaxing the customer – and blending her passion for art and healing.