By Angela U. Burns
When Doug Arter and his wife relocated to the Virgin Islands from the US in 1999, he found that people here did have some knowledge of the benefits of massages. However, the treatment was mostly done by ‘setters’ for the locals and by therapists at hotels.
By 2003 when he decided to open up his own practice in Pasea Estate, Journeys Health Spa was one of only about 2 or 3 spas on the island. Journeys functioned as a combination clinic with a chiropractor.
“My mission was to bring a therapeutic style of massage therapy to clients,” Doug said. “So my focus has been on therapeutic treatments for people with chronic pain and working with athletes to help enhance their performances.”
He said the combination clinic was good, as it provided an avenue for him to work with people with different types of injuries who needed rehabilitation and this helped to enhance his skills. In addition, he has done Continuing Education courses.
Eventually, Journeys Health Spa attracted more clients and started getting busy enough to hire other therapists.
About 8 years ago, Journeys Health Spa relocated to its own premises on Main Street and started offering facials, body wraps and infra-red sauna, which is used for detoxing to help loosen the joints and muscles before massages.
The team is careful to customize every treatment session as per the client’s desire. Services include Swedish massages, sports massages, myofascial release, lymphatic drainage, deep tissue massages, foot reflexology, and prenatal massages.
Doug and his team are also on call to do corporate and other event massages.
Over the years, you would have seen Doug Arter and his team from Journeys Health Spa volunteering at public events, especially Rotary Club functions, sharing informational pamphlets.
“That developed interest among more people and they understood that there is more to a massage than getting oil rubbed on you,” Doug said.
He said his years working with the chiropractor evoked a curiosity to find out how many local people, especially men, were open to having a massage, especially from a male. He said he was pleasantly surprised to see they were very open.
Speaking to the benefits of massages, Doug said this treatment increases one’s flexibility and soft tissues, muscles, ligaments, and tendons and that allows the body to perform optimally, increasing the function of the lymphatic system, which helps the immune system.
He describes his personal style of massage as more therapeutic and deep.
He suggests persons get a massage once a month or once a quarter, but said it all comes down to what you can afford, time-wise and financially. “Some people might need to come in more often, like weekly,” he added.
Journeys Health Spa now operates out of Therapy Works at the Cyril B. Romney Pier Park. Apart from Doug, there are two full-time staff with over ten years of experience each and two part-timers who individually have around 6-8 years in the industry.
To contact Journeys Health Spa, please call 284 340 1006, visit journeysbvi.com or find them on Facebook @spa284.