Risk pays off for massage therapy alumna

Candace Parmer Massage TherapyWhile managing several companies and averaging 55-hour work weeks, Candace Parmer suffered extreme shoulder pain. During a visit to a friend in Idaho, she signed up for a two-hour luxury massage and within twenty minuets, 95 percent of the pain was gone. After another session, the pain was gone entirely.

“I never realized massage therapy had the ability to heal something so fast,” she said. “I was fascinated by the idea that massage therapy could relieve pain.”

She hasn’t had any shoulder pain since and longed to know the physiology behind it.

Taking advanced continuing education courses to learn more, Parmer was hooked. She asked one of the instructors what would be the best profession to apply anatomy courses and structural balancing. The instructor recommended massage therapy.

Soon, she was enrolled at UWS in the very first massage therapy program class. Though she continued to manage a roofing company while attending classes, she knew massage would be a career she would enjoy.

After graduating, she rented a small house for her practice, but knew advertising the practice would make her a potential target since she lived alone. It wasn’t until a client recommended she move to the Pearl District that her practice, Fine Art Massage, took off.

“It was a leap of faith coming here,” she said. “If I didn’t make it, I’d be broke. I had no back-up plan. I just knew I had to do it.”

She rented a condo and sent flyers to nearby complexes and joined the Pearl Business Association. She also rents a space with a local chiropractor. With her practice focused on pain relief and sports performance necessities her leap of faith has taken off.

“If you don’t love it, don’t do it,” she said. “People will know.”