New SK business gets the massage

Annette Johnson deals in hands and feet.

She practices reflexology, a non-invasive method of stimulating the reflexes in the hands, feet and ears through touch, which corresponds to every gland and organ in the body.

And Johnson, a licensed massage practitioner and the owner of Velvet Touch Massage and Reflexology, believes all aspects of your body can be reflected in your feet and your hands.

“The feet have over 7,000 nerve endings, so basically if you’re having problems ... reflexology really helps with bad movements,” she said. “It gets all the toxins to be released.”

Additional benefits are said to include stress relief, an increase in mental and physical wellbeing and pain reduction.

As for massage, Johnson says benefits include an increase in blood circulation and the lymphatic system. “Diabetics, for example, have a lot of problems with their lymphatic system and if that gets clogged up, there’s a lot of problems that way.”

She compares massage to changing the oil in your car — “it’s a maintenance thing.”

If you don’t fix the aches and pains, she added, they “can become chronic.”

Johnson, who runs Velvet Touch out of her home, has run her business since earning an associate’s degree in massage studies from Clover Park Technical College. She said she got her massage license a few weeks ago.

Her massage techniques include Swedish, pregnancy, deep tissue, hydrotherapy and lymphatic drainage.

She charges $45 for an initial reflexology appointment (with a discount for paying in advance) and regulars then pay $30 for reflexology and $50 for massage.

And she’s available when clients need her.

“I make myself available Monday through Saturday,” she said. “I also am mobile and have some clients where I go to their homes.”

Gay Neal, a client since late 2004, said Johnson’s technique has made a “huge difference.”

Neal broke her left tibula and fibula while chasing her puppy through high grass along the Oregon Coast. “I was in pain all the time,” she said, adding that she met Johnson at a Christmas show and decided to try reflexology, which she now does once a week. “I spent 15 minutes with her on a Saturday and I went home that night and felt like a new person.”

And now?

She can walk from the ferry dock to Safeco Field without pain.

“I just started coming weekly and now I can walk without all the Tylenol and Ibuprofen,” she said. “If you have problems with your feet, you need to get reflexology.”

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