Since opening six and a half years ago, Mint Hill-based Massage Sanctuary has experienced steady growth. “I have grown tremendously and have had growing pains in the last couple of years because there’s only one of me!” says owner Lisa Lane. “I was turning away business!”
To help her handle her growing client base, Lane is pleased to welcome Brian Millen. “Brian is my massage therapist,” says Lane. “We went to school together. He’s the first one that came to mind that I would trust with my clientele.” In fact, the two have been trading massages ever since they met in massage therapy school. “Once you learn about the business, you get pretty picky about who you let put their hands on you!” adds Millen.
Millen followed an unconventional path to therapeutic massage. A proud US Air Force veteran, Millen found himself unexpectedly jobless when the family business he had worked in for years closed. “I was walking through a bookstore, and I picked up a book on healing energy, and it fascinated me,” says Millen. “One thing led to another, and I wound up going to massage therapy school and just wound up really loving it.”
After graduating from NC Massage School, Millen was uncertain which direction he wanted to take. He was hired by his former instructor to work in the Lake Norman area, but it was in an orthopedic assessment and treatment class a year later that he found his true passion: using massage to help people heal and overcome injuries.
“It was a revelation for me, saying this is what I want to do as a massage therapist,” says Millen. “The reason I got into this was to help people. I just love learning about the body and doing everything I can to help people with their pain.”
Millen brings an impressive array of experience and certifications to Massage Sanctuary. He has additional certification in neuromuscular therapy and structural bodywork, advanced training in orthopedic massage and assessment, and training in ACE Medi-Cupping Therapy (a certification recently earned by Lane as well). Millen notably trained hands-on with renowned kinesiotherapist Aaron Mattes in Active Isolated Stretching. With years of hands-on experience in deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, and muscle-specific trigger point therapy, Millen is highly qualified in providing both relaxation and therapeutic massage.
In fact, when you visit Millen – or Lane for that matter – you won’t have to choose one or the other. “A lot of places that offer massage therapy like to offer one specific service,” says Millen, referring to menus of services with different charges for different types of massage and fees for add-on services. “I like to include a little bit of everything. I don’t like to put things in a box. I like to integrate all the tools that are in my background to give the client what I think they need.”
“Generally what happens is massage places charge for cupping or aromatherapy or deep tissue massage separately,” agrees Lane. “The industry standard is a la carte for everything. I think the important thing to realize is that every client who comes in is unique. One particular modality may or may not fit their needs. I want to have options to pull from. Charging a flat rate for my time seems best for me and my clients.”
Recognizing that what their clients need is often a combination of several different types of bodywork, Lane and Millen practice a unique business model where their pricing is simple. They charge for time alone, incorporating elements of Swedish massage, deep tissue massage and neuromuscular therapy to create the perfect customized massage for each client free of extraneous extra charges. Lane certainly isn’t criticizing the industry standard of pricing, she just believes, for her business, the simpler the better.
Millen will join Lane at Massage Sanctuary one or two days a week depending on client need. Millen’s strong belief in the natural approach to wellness and healing combined with a passion for providing quality care makes him an excellent choice for anyone seeking a stress-reducing relaxation massage or relief from pain with therapeutic bodywork. For more information about booking with Millen or Lane, visit www.ncmassagesanctuary.com.