How Massage Helps Me
Member Jeanine Kastens receives the 'healing touch'
By Rebecca Douglas
Photo by Jeff Newton
Massage Envy members are a fascinating group, each with a unique
reason for joining. In the first installment of our new series, How
Massage Helps Me, we introduce you to a straight-talkin' Texan who
relies on the healing touch of massage therapy every week.
Before Jeanine Kastens was diagnosed with breast cancer, she
occasionally enjoyed what she now calls a "frou-frou" massage. "You
know, just for relaxation," explains the politically active
grandmother from Pearland, Texas.
Serious complications from reconstructive surgery following her
lumpectomy and double mastectomy, however, led to six other
corrective surgeries. Before her last surgery, she suffered nerve
damage and one of her implants opened up, leaving her incredibly
sore. These days, massage is all about pain relief.
"It's physical therapy," she explains. "Massage is the only
treatment I've found that relieves my pain."
It's also a regimen that all of her doctors support and
That Special Quality
Sometimes Kastens' muscles are so tense when she arrives for a
massage, it's hard for the therapist to make even a slight
indentation in her back. "If I clean the bathroom or overdo it
physically, I pay for it later," she says. "One therapist worked so
hard on me, he was wringing wet with sweat afterward. I was
impressed that he was willing to make the extra effort to get the
results I needed-even though he had to change his shirt
Therapists who go above and beyond the normal call of duty is
just one reason Kastens has come to the Pearland Massage Envy
clinic at least once a week for the past two years. "Their talent
and knowledge are impressive," she raves. "They take the time to
learn massage techniques from
Asia and Europe and continue their study in areas like
One therapist found that working pressure points in Kastens'
feet is the best way to begin sessions when she is particularly
stiff. "It settles me and my muscles down enough so they can make
better progress on my back," she explains.
The Voice of Experience
Throughout more than 100 visits, Kastens has realized the
benefits of seeing a variety of massage therapists. "I rotate
according to where I'm hurting," she explains. "While all the
therapists have the healing touch, I find that sometimes one
therapist is best when my sciatica is bothering me; another is
better at hips and legs."
Although she understands that many clients get comfortable with
one therapist and only want to see that particular person, Kastens
urges them to give other therapists a try. "I think variety helps,"
she notes. "They all have different personal strengths."
Given her regular weekly visits and outgoing nature, Kastens is
downright chummy with the Pearland Massage Envy staff. "They're all
so caring, you can't help but get to know them," she says. "I'm
like a second mother or aunt to some of them; so I tell them
exactly what I'm thinking."
The staff's Texas-size compassion was really driven home for
Kastens when the Pearland clinic sponsored a Massage for the Cure
event. "It was really touching," she recalls. "All day long, the
therapists gave massages for donations. All the revenue they
brought in that entire day went to support local breast cancer
So far, Pearland and about 75 other Massage Envy locations have
raised more than $400,000 with Massage for the Cure events. Over
the next few years, the company hopes to expand the effort to its
more than 430 clinics nationwide.
Despite her unfortunate diagnosis and unusual string of
complications, Kastens considers herself lucky and celebrates each
cancer-free milestone with enthusiasm-and a little less pain thanks
to the therapists at Massage Envy.