A publication of the Cedar Mill Business Association
|Volume 2, Issue 4||
Simply Divine Massage
The first time Sandi Fitts-Freeman encountered massage was at a party where some “LMTs” (Licensed Massage Therapist) were giving footrubs. “I didn’t grow up in a touchy-feely family,” she says, “but that’s changed now.” It felt so wonderful that she was hooked, and this experience led her to study massage.
Sandi had spent the first part of her working life in factory and warehouse work, but she knew she had to find something else. In 1988 she finished her training at the Oregon School of Massage and in 1989 she got her license. She worked for several years as a therapist in a clinic in Cedar Mill, at one point providing chair massage for employees of Mentor Graphics. “That was a great start. I got a plaque for doing 1600 massages!” she laughs.
Financial pressures forced her to go back into assembly work for several years, but she kept up her license, and finally opened her massage studio in Cedar Mill in 1999. For a while she worked three twelve-hour days at her assembly job and “spent the rest of my time here,” she explains.
" Here" being the unique geodesic dome on Filbert just east of McDonalds. The little dome was originally built as a play structure for a church that used to be located on Murray. It was later enclosed and served as a space for youth groups, and then became a recording studio for Luis Palau when his headquarters was located nearby. Now it houses Sandi’s office and two therapy rooms. “I love the location here, between the commercial and residential areas. I’ve become friends with a lot of the neighbors,” she mentions.
In 2001 she was diagnosed with cancer. She’s fine now, but she says, “having massage during my own cancer experience was the one time each week when I felt in control, and there wasn’t something icky or painful happening. It was truly a blessing, and I want the same thing to be available to other people.” To help bring this about, Sandi has become involved with the non-profit The Caring Touch Fund, which provides grants for up to 10 half-hour massages to low-income elderly, chronically ill, and dying Oregonians.
Clients are paired with participating LMT’s, who are reimbursed $25 for each massage through the fund. The LMT’s apply to the fund, to ensure that they have training and experience in working with medically fragile individuals. Therapists often visit clients at home or in the hospital, so there is a real commitment involved. The fund was started by LMT’s who recognized that often those who most need massage don’t have the resources to pay for it.
This fund is available to any Oregon resident who qualifies. Sandi says, “many of us know someone elderly, chronically ill, or dying. If they have little in the way of financial resources, we want them to know about the CTF.” Information is available at caringtouchfund.org or by phone at 503-799-5912. And they’re always interested in recruiting more therapists into their program.A fundraiser will be held on April 24 in Metzger, with a silent auction, free desserts, chair massage, and a DJ dance. They are soliciting donations for the silent auction and pledges for desserts. They are also challenging groups to donate gift baskets filled with items representing a theme of some sort (e.g.; gardening, relaxation, movies, automotive). Contact Sandi if you want to donate or participate in the auction.
Sandi’s regular hours are weekdays 9 am-7 pm but she’ll make special arrangements when needed. Her standard price for a one-hour massage is $50, and she offers gift certificates, “Frequent Relaxer” discounts, massage packages, and a “refer-a-friend” bonus. Contact her at 503-520-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website: simplydivinemassage.com for more information.
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The Cedar Mill News
Published monthly by the Cedar Mill Business Association, Inc.,
P.O. Box 91177
Portland, OR 97291-0177
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229