Meet Allen Fender, the hands behind Pointe Relief.
He takes his massage therapy around town to festivals and other public events. He and his table (or chair) do their work in the privacy of homes around town, in one-on-one appointments and at group parties, girls night outs, showers, etc.. On Saturdays Fender and his chair are posted at . on Kercheval in the Park, for chair massages.
The 23-year-old Roseville native fell in love with the Pointes when he moved here at age 16 to work in a salon.
"It was an amazing experience, coming here…I learned a lot working in Grosse Pointe. I learned a lot about etiquette and got many life experiences based on the community here. So my heart is in Grosse Pointe."
His massage therapy practice--started after a life-changing event at 15--is taking off, pairing him with clients from age 13 -90, some of them looking for a relaxing break from the routine, others needing pain relief for injuries and ailments. He also works with runners on site at marathons and after. He hopes to build a practice that brings a field gaining wider acceptance as a medically legitimate form of pain relief--or for pure pleasure--to more people--and horses too.
"I truly love making people feel better, seeing how they are relieved from stress or pain," said Fender, who lives in the Park.
Fender, a licensed, certified therapist, answered some questions for Patch, including details about his studies in equine therapy. Without massaging his words, here is how the conversation went:
Q: Equine massage? Really?
A: I just love that…It's so amazing…I haven't done in it in awhile, but I would love to. I'm always looking for ways. You've got to go to the horse. You've got to find it. I still go to a horse farm in Metamora to keep up my technique, but I would love to do more.
Q: How did you choose massage as a business?
A: It's a weird story. When I was 15 I was out of town for a funeral, and afterward they had a massage therapist massage all the adults. Everyone went from mourning to instant relief. You could feel joy come back to the room. I watched the massage therapist and loved what she did. After that I would do it for my family and friends. From that moment on, that was it. I loved it and I loved making people feel better.
Q: Massage sometimes has a rep of being more about pampering than anything else?
A: A lot of people think massage is fluff and buff work, but there's a large movement bringing massage therapy into the medical field. There are a lot of techniques in massage that help get through the days pain free or almost pain free.
Q: So you use oils, lotions, what else?
A: I traditionally use oils on the client, but it depends on the client, what they want, if they have allergies or special requests. For senior citizens I use lotions or lighter creams. Their skin can be more sensitive and easier to crack.
Q: What if you have cold hands? That wouldn't bring much relief.
A: Laughs. Absolutely, that's where friction is a miracle worker…..Slapping your back a little, helps me get warmed up and a gets you a little more stimulated. When my hands are cold I look to apply frictional and vibrational techniques.
Q: What about talking during a session? Are you a conversationalist?
A: When I'm doing a massage I like to apply the common law you were taught as a child: That is speak when spoken to. Unless there is an issue that comes up, maybe I found a knot or, for my purposes, I need to documents bruises, scrapes or an injury, I will talk with the client. Otherwise I have clients that are completely quiet the whole entire time and others that talk the every minute of the entire hour. I like it either way. To each is own.
Q: Do you have any young clients, children?
A: I have clients as young as 13 right now and my oldest client is 90 years old. She's awesome.. She still feels it, still kicking, still has it. I don't discriminate against age. With children it requires a parental consent form….With the 13-year-old she has scoliosis. She's just a very active teenager. Massage helps her get through her school days, through her sports activities and other functions.
Q: Ever come across customers that don't like massage but come because they're told they need it or feel the need to try it?
A: Most of the people I work with have experienced massage before and they know what they're doing…For the people who don't that's where chair massage is great. Apart from all its benefits… chair massage is quick painless process where you're fully clothed and comfortable to try massage and see if you like it.
Q: So chair massage is the gateway massage:
A: HaaaHaaaa. Absolutely, I like that!
Q: What about ticklish customers?
A: Absolutely. Sometimes..there's a thing in massage that is considered a form of relief. For some people ticklishness can be form of anxiety or pent-up emotions…With someone with a ticklish spot, you have to figure out if they want you to avoid it, go lightly or do you want to let me go deeper and laugh it out? It usually makes us both laugh, if i come across a spot that ticklish. But it makes the job fun.
Q: We know you give massages, but do you get them?
A: Yes, I do, and it's something I feel very strongly about…I like to try and get one every week…As of now with my schedule it's maybe once every two weeks. But it's basically practice what you preach.
For more infomation, contact Fender via email or by phone at 586-943-9803