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Healing Sound and Touch

Heartworks' massage table uses sound, vibrations to enhance relaxation

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Dave Fisher, owner of Heartworks Massage & Sound Therapy, uses sounds and vibrations coming from the massage table itself. Editorial assistant Tiffany Heberer recently spoke with him about these methods.

In a few words, describe what your business is:

I think of my business as an alternative approach to mainstream massage therapy. My technique is two-fold, one aspect is to use therapeutic massage to release tensions and contracted muscles; the other is to use sound and vibrations to disengage the stress response so that the clients have the opportunity to experience a state of deep relaxation. I have a custom-made massage table that has speakers mounted underneath the table that vibrate the entire table. I use a specially produced CD which targets the parasympathetic or relaxation state of the autonomic nervous system. The result is a complete immersion of healing sound and touch.

What are the benefits of having the table vibrate?

The vibrations in the table initiate a systemic response from your nervous system. We can either be in a stress state of tension or relaxation state of release. The vibrations move us from our tension state into a state of release. The result is profoundly amazing. Most people live in that stress state without even realizing it and as a result struggle on a variety of levels, from a compromised immune system to emotional issues such as depression and anxiety. The practice here at Heartworks helps people awaken their internal healing system so that their immune systems are bolstered and they are better equipped to deal with the daily stressors.

Is that the only method of massage that you use?

I am trained with the traditional modalities such as Swedish, myofacial release, neuromuscular trigger point therapy and craniosacral therapy.

How long have you owned the business?

I'm new to the Syracuse area. I set up this practice this past January but I've been involved in healing work for a number of years.

Were you involved in this type of business before owning it?

Yes. I was involved in the healing use of sound and vibration before I actually received my license in therapeutic massage.

Describe a typical day for you:

It includes appointments with clients; between appointments I continue development on software which facilitates new avenues of healing with sound and vibration as well as other administrative tasks of the business.

How many clients do you see a day?

It depends, but on average three to four a day.

What kind of physical ailments can be helped by therapeutic massage?

Any type of ailments that are stress-related such as chronic fatigue syndrome or nervous disorders such as fibromyalgia, any types of muscular injuries or chronic conditions such as lower back pain, neck pain or tension headaches.

In a few words, describe what you would like your business to be best known for?

I would want to be best known for my ability in helping to evoke a client relaxation response through the combined use of sound and vibration.

What's your favorite part about running this business?

I love to see people's faces when they come out of my treatment room. Many are incredulous that they can feel so amazingly good, balanced and at ease. And many are amazed that the pain they have been feeling has been reduced or totally removed.

What's the hardest part?


What led you to do this?

I took a weekend introductory course to massage therapy and was strongly attracted to it. I also studied under Dr. Jeffrey Thompson. He created the massage table which vibrates sound through it. It occurred to me that a phenomenal healing power could be realized if sound and massage were combined, thus the seeds were planted to develop software that would control the tables' sound. I went back to school for my license in massage therapy and Heartworks was born.

What's the nicest thing a patient has ever said to you?

People have been so wonderful in their feedback. I have heard all sorts of comments ranging from heartfelt thank yous to "I don't know what to call this but it was much more than a massage." One woman said to me that it was like taking a soothing break that emptied her mind and strengthened her resolve to face yet another day.

How often do you receive a massage?

Once every three weeks

How would you describe the business climate in Onondaga County?

I've had the pleasure of connecting with other similar business from massage therapists to chiropractors. The climate has been one of sharing and I love that.

What advice would you give someone starting out in a business like yours?

Make sure to remember to take care of yourself. It is so easy to try and overtax yourself with the demands of setting up your own business, even a business based on relaxation.

Is there someone in business you admire or someone you'd like to thank?

I am deeply indebted to the other three people who share this space, Linda and Deb Pernell and Jennifer Waters. Each of them has been a wealth of support as I started this practice.
© 2004 The Post-Standard. Used with permission.