After doing extensive research, I began seeing Heather in September of 2019 after relocating back to Thousand Oaks. I was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in November of 2017. With ALS you slowly lose the ability to control your muscles as the signal from your brain to the respective muscle deteriorates. It leads to paralysis but the course of the disease looks different for everyone.
In my case, I had left limb onset, meaning it affected my left hand first and then about six months later I started to have similar loss of function in the right hand.
By the time I met Heather I was in a wheelchair but still able to walk with assistance. She immediately started to research the disease and became a student as I shared everything I learned over my time with the disease. To summarize the results is really quite simple. Heather not only helped relax my extremely tight muscles, but I believe her massage techniques greatly slowed the progression of my disease.
Today, I am six years in since symptom onset and I am still standing, transferring with some assistance, and able to do a great deal on my own. Bear in mind that only 10% of people with ALS live past five years, and I am one of the 10%. I see Heather twice a week and do a 90-minute massage. Together we have had to adjust to my limitations and her creativity and focus on my comfort is unmatched.
In the beginning I was able to lie comfortably on the table in a more traditional way, but four years later I stand and lean over the table as she works on my back and neck. I then sit in my chair as she works my upper traps and legs, and we finish with me lying back in my wheelchair so she can massage my neck, jaw, and scalp. Her understanding of the muscles is beyond that of a typical massage therapist and her willingness to learn about ALS put her in a league of her own.
If you are looking for a relaxing massage that is second to none then Heather is the answer. If you have a complicated case like mine, then Heather is willing to go the distance to help treat your disease. Without question, Heather has helped extend my life and dramatically improve the quality of life along the way. She is not only my massage therapist, but over four years time I consider her part of my family. She cares for me deeply and I am certain she treats every client with the same level of care and compassion. You can’t go wrong with Heather, and you will know it the first time you meet her.