Tara Holguin leads the massage therapy group at The Resort and Silveridge and we began by asking how that relationship started. “Al LaCanne was my first client out of massage school and a big proponent of massage and its benefits” she replied. “I’d met him through a former coworker, and Al suggested that I start doing massage at the park.” Backing up, she added, “I’d been working at the Arizona Republic newspaper in Marketing, but it started to get stressful, with layoffs and furloughs every week. I started looking for something more fulfilling, and massage had always been an interest of mine. So I moved to Minnesota and started massage school. My brother is a chiropractor in Minneapolis and the plan was that I’d work in his office.”
What happened to that plan? Love jumped in. And here we get to pause for a romantic story.
When Tara decided to go to Minnesota to get a fresh start, it wasn’t just for a change in career paths, but also because she’d split with her boyfriend in Phoenix. As she told us, “Sergio and I met through a friend while attending Arizona State University and started dating. We decided to break it off when I decided to move back to the Midwest but remained friends. Then, after I’d been in Minnesota a while, Sergio flew up to visit and said, ‘What do I have to do?’ He even offered to move to Minnesota. I told him, ‘I’ve had one winter up here and that’s enough.’” The two decided on a Vegas wedding, eventually had a daughter and son, and her husband Sergio became a teacher and baseball coach at Mountain Pointe High in Ahwatukee.
MASSAGE & HEALTH
Back to health… When asked about the benefits of massage, Tara lit up, saying…
“We can help with muscle aches and nerve pain, chronic conditions, post-surgery recovery, with flexibility. What’s most rewarding for us is when we have people come in and tell us they’ve had pain for years and tried physical therapy and prescription drugs, and then we can help them, starting in the first session. We can usually tell in that first session if that person will see some relief from massage. Sometimes, with chronic pain, for example, we might not be able to fix the issue completely, but we can reduce the pain and that’s super-helpful.”
As for specifics of getting started, Tara said,
“We customize the massage to the person. We adjust the pressure – light, moderate or deep – and we can do 30 minutes or up to two hours. If someone isn’t sure whether massage would help them, just give us a call and we’re happy to recommend a direction to go in. We like being helpful. We’re part of the community and we want to be beneficial, beyond massage.”
MASSAGE AT THE PARK
The massage therapy program is now in its 11th year and well-developed at The Resort. “When we started, we had one little room and we had no idea if anyone would want massage,” Tara recounted. “But we were busy right off the bat. Over the years we’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of park residents.” If you haven’t been to The Resort’s massage area, it’s next to Studio 55 and now has three massage rooms and an office.
As for Silveridge, the program is still evolving. Tara says, “We have a dedicated massage room at Silveridge, but when people come by it always looks like we’re not there – when we’re doing a massage the door is closed and the lights are turned down. But we look forward to hearing from and meeting residents.”
Even so, between the two parks, the program has been so successful that Tara is usually booked up months in advance. But another familiar face is also available to help: Cynthia Garcia, who’s been working with Tara for six years. Tara also hopes to bring in a third therapist for the upcoming season.
(Photo: Tara and Cynthia)