Healing touch

Candi Williamson

Photo courtesy of Candi Williamson

For massage therapist Candi Williamson, healing others through touch has become second nature. It started around high school, when she’d give her mom regular massages to ease the tension of chronic back pain. After consistently (and voluntarily) giving massages to friends and sports teammates, Williamson was encouraged by a friend to pursue the work professionally. That friend literally drove her to the doorstep of Chico Therapy Wellness Center and Massage School. Williamson signed up in 2003 and has been working as a licensed massage therapist ever since. She recently expanded her business, Massage by Candi (2062 Talbert Drive, Ste. 100), into Creating a Sustainable You, which offers a variety of healing practices to roughly 700 clients. A second location is set to open Friday (March 1), inside StandAlone Mixed Martial Arts Academy, at 845 Cherry St. Check out massagebycandichico.com for more information or find Massage by Candi on Facebook for tutorials and a weekly dose of laugh therapy.

Why is this work important to you?

I’ve always been active and demanding on my own body; I’ve ridden in the Wildflower, hiked, done bodybuilding and Crossfit, and I’ve always felt the value of movement while wanting to be pain-free. Massage work is part of that maintenance. I’m grateful for the friend who encouraged me to sign up for massage school; it was definitely the right choice!

What services do you offer at Creating a Sustainable You?

We have five massage therapists, three yoga instructors, reiki practitioners, an emotional freedom technique/tapping practitioner, myofascial specialists, meditation and more. We have a great team! A lot of our clientele are people who have been in physical therapy but [are] not ready to be on their own [to heal], so we do a lot of scar tissue work with massages. And we create a safe space for people to do yoga. Our yoga is for people who’ve hardly stretched before. Our instructor looks at your MRIs and guides you safely; everyone’s getting attention. We have a wide range of clients, though, and some people do just want to come in for a relaxing massage.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

I like working with people who are in chronic pain, who have tried a lot of things and found our work to be successful for them; I want to be able to give them hope.

Any inspiring anecdotes from the people you’ve worked with?

One of my favorite stories comes from this woman who fell in an empty pool and broke her arm. She had surgery and then went to physical therapy and wasn’t progressing, so she scheduled a second surgery. She came in to see me twice a week for two weeks, and by adding what I did alongside her physical therapy, she was able to cancel her second surgery. I also gave her tips on things she could do herself to maintain her healing. We give lots of homework (about stretching, meditation practices, reducing inflammation) because we want our clients to be as successful as possible.