Laying hands at Kula Wellness Centre
Percy Abraham is a former raft guide, ski tech, tree planter and keen mountain bike adventurer who has been providing therapeutic massage in Pemberton for the past 15 years. After founding Local Motion Therapy, and later selling that business, he and partner and RMT Corinne Von Dehn have now started a private massage studio and yoga space, Kula Wellness, just 4km out of town, where they live with their two sons. We check in with them a month after opening to get the lowdown on laying hands on Pemberton at their wellness centre.
What is Kula Wellness?
Kula Wellness Centre is a home based business providing Massage therapy and Yoga for the community of Pemberton. Indeed the word “Kula” means “community.”
Who is your client base?
Our client base consists of all walks of life from the community – professional skiers and snowboarders and mountain bikers, seniors, pregnant or just post-pregnant mothers, farmers and construction workers, ski patrollers and mountain guides, other caregivers, kids and everything in between.
What’s your philosophy about massage?
Virtually everybody can benefit from having their musculoskeletal systems unwound, lengthened and rebalanced. Whatever the daily activity that that person engages in will be performed with more ease, better control and in most cases, less pain. I think it’s important that a practitioner stays present during the massage session and is not on their own agenda as to what’s going to happen with the patient’s body. From this “modus operandi,” skilled, receptive touch can be used to find areas of restriction and then facilitate their release . The range in hand or fingertip pressure used by the practitioner varies greatly from very light (as in Craniosacral) to quite deep (as with some fascial holds). Whatever the depth, the sensitivity to the change in quality of the tissue is all important, as is staying with the subsequent releases till the body gives notice that it’s enough. Through this unspoken dialogue, the practitioner and the patient’s body move through the treatment in an essentially energetic exchange.
How much does it weird people out to have a male massage therapist?
A reasonably large percentage of female massage recipients are not entirely comfortable being touched by a man and a probably even bigger percentage of male recipients are the same. The only misperception that works in a male practitioner’s favour is that most people believe male therapists are stronger, work deeper and are therefore more effective. While respecting everyone’s choices, I try not to let gender interfere with what’s really at stake here : healing.
What prompted the shift to opening your own massage studio?
I have always wanted to work from home, especially from a quiet , therapeutic treatment room. Our property is quite lovely and it just feels like it would be a nice place to work and to receive treatment. It reduces our overhead, and gives us more time for home home chores in between treatments.
What are the pros and cons of working out a home studio?
Not getting in my daily biking commute to work.
What makes Pemberton a good place for you guys to base your business?
Pemberton has a growing, health-conscious population. A lot of people take their healthcare seriously here – I venture to say more than your other B.C. rural towns. It seems to be an open minded community here and that helps when it comes to accepting massage therapy as a viable “technique” on the road to recovery. These are just a few of the things that make Pemby a great place to base our business out of.