I recently had the privilege of sitting down with one of Centered’s massage therapists and yoga instructors, Josh Saxton. I wanted to know about his background, why he chose to work in the wellness community, and learn about the types of offerings he provides to clients. His desire to learn about the human body and how to care for it came about as a young boy. He would give his mother foot and shoulder massages to help with headaches. A soccer injury in high school sparked his desire to learn even further.

While in high school, his initial occupational goal was to become a physical therapist. He enrolled in a PT program but quickly realized that the traditional college environment was not for him. Armed with the understanding physical therapy was not his chosen path, he was introduced to a massage school, the Cayce Reilly School of Massotherapy, in Virginia Beach, VA in 1995.

What was his initial reaction to the culture of massage school and his mentors?

“I thought they were strange, a bunch of people walking around hugging each other and saying they loved one another. I was raised in a military family, and the culture was quite different.”

But the hugging loving family he was introduced to quickly grew on him, and soon he was part of the clan. His first exposure to yoga came about the same time when a cute classmate asked if we wanted to try yoga on the beach. Unable to resist the offer, he gave it a try for the first time. He described yoga as a struggle, he wasn’t flexible. He couldn’t bend over and touch his toes. Yet, he recognized the benefits right away. His body felt better, experienced less pain, and he enjoyed the connection to the earth doing poses feeling sand between his toes, the warmth of the sun coming down from overhead and the sounds of the ocean beside.

Fast forward to now and Josh has over 24 years of experience as both a yoga instructor and massage therapist. Through the years, he has learned a vast range of modalities including deep tissue, thai massage, lymph drainage, therapeutic bodywork, special needs massage and yoga, stone massage and Reiki. What I thought was interesting was when scheduling an appointment with Josh, you don’t schedule specifically for deep tissue or another modality. What you schedule for is body work. I’ve received massages for years and this was a new concept to me.

Bodywork is the integration of our physical, emotional, and spiritual realms, while utilizing whatever technique best fits the needs of his clients. He can blend and adapt so as to improve movement patterns, release emotional and physical trauma, and renew connection to the spirit.

So, the approach is quite different than a typical massage. Josh has an outstanding knowledge of the human body, movement, and how best to approach various sources of pain, lack of mobility, or other dysfunction within the body. In his own words, his approach is “much more rehabilitation and long term relaxation oriented.” Though take my word for it, immediately after a massage and bodywork appointment with Josh, you will feel plenty relaxed. Who isn’t more relaxed when experiencing less pain, and when we can lighten the burden of stored emotional trauma.

If you have ever visited a massage therapist with a specific ailment: neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, etc., only to experience temporary or no relief? Do yourself a favor and visit with Josh. Your body will thank you for it!

Perhaps my favorite thing about Josh is the passion and humility in which he goes about his work.

Now one of those strange, loving huggers himself, it’s quite clear he loves what he does. During our time together picking his brain he was gracious enough to provide a lot of details about his life and experiences. But, when I asked him why he chooses to work with the public in a holistic wellness center, his response was concise.

“I just love helping people, man.”

To learn more about Josh and his offering as a therapist or yoga instructor stop in and pay us a visit or schedule an appointment. Thanks for reading along, have a blessed day and week! Till next time!