Massage Therapists

Amber Desmond, LMBT

NC LMBT #7271

For those looking for deep relaxation as well as pain relief, Amber Desmond is your gal!

After 18 years of experience, Amber has mastered a balance between therapeutic massage for pain relief and deep relaxation for stress relief through the use of hot salt stones, warm towels, and essential oils. Each session is crafted for each individual’s needs and desires. She is skilled in both deep tissue massage as well as traditional Swedish massage, combining the two to create the ultimate experience for the client.

Since relocating to the mountains of Asheville, NC, Amber’s practice has deepened on what originally inspired her about massage therapy in the first place…serving people. Her ultimate goal as a massage therapist is to provide pain relief, relaxation, and a deeper awareness of one’s body.

    Grace Alex, LMBT

    NC LMBT #18313

    Grace grew up with an athletic family in Athens, Georgia. As a child, she was already excited to use her body and explore this world with all of her senses engaged. She came to Asheville in 2014 to study at Warren Wilson College where she majored in Outdoor Leadership and was a crew leader for the Wellness Crew. There, she found so much passion and inspiration for holistic wellness and embodied living.

    Unfortunately, many of her athletic activities were put to a stop when she had an accident that took her three years to heal from. It was then that massage therapy really grabbed a hold of her and there’s no signs of it ever letting go. After graduating, she decided to expand on this magic that she found in massage therapy and quickly enrolled in the Asheville School of Massage and Yoga.

    Her love of bodywork and the natural world shows clearly in her sessions, as she incorporates breathwork and meditation techniques for grounding with the specific and deep attention that she gives each client. Her attention to detail and her confidence in her intuition help her to deliver therapeutic work that can be surprisingly relaxing.

      Zach Brown, LMBT

      NC LMBT #13201

      Zach’s journey with bodywork began out of a need to heal himself. Years ago, a back spasm left him resting on the couch for a day. Still young and headstrong, he neglected to seek treatment. This eventually led to more frequent and increasingly painful back spasms lasting a week or more each time. Even after the spasms ended, the pain persisted and spread as the surrounding muscles and tissues became overloaded.

      Zach eventually found pain relief through exercise and yoga, but also became aware that there were still areas of tension deep within his body that needed to be released. Only after receiving regular clinical massage therapy did he feel completely pain free. At that point he knew he had to become a licensed massage therapist and help others.

      While attending the North Carolina School of Advanced Bodywork, his introduction to clinical massage therapy included studies in musculoskeletal anatomy, kinesiology, and neuromuscular therapy techniques as well as foundational principles that help explain how and why our bodies develop myofascial pain. Since then he continues to expand his understanding of the body and mind, adopting a biopsychosocial (BPS) model of pain relief.

      “Living with chronic pain is not only physically exhausting, but can be emotionally depressing as well. The simple pleasures in life can become challenging and true joy and excitement may seem impossible. My goal is to get people out of pain and back to living their lives. If I can provide some relief from pain and improve your quality of life, then I’ve done my job.”

        Tricia Ockinga, LMBT

        NC LMBT #19279

        Currently not accepting appointments.

        Tricia (“Trish”) has always been passionate about fitness and nature. She grew up in a small town in Nebraska, where her passions were dance, art, biking and traveling. After high school, she set out to explore Europe and then attended art school in Denver. Here her passion for fitness and nature developed into a love for mountain biking and rock climbing. Throughout her adult life, these outdoor activities have continued to be a vital constant.

        After moving to Asheville, horticulture became her life and has been for over 23 years. Now, Trish focuses her love of the body and the natural world into massage therapy. When a close friend, and physical therapist, was in pain and desperate for relief, he asked her to “please” massage his neck and shoulder. He told her she has “intuitive hands” and that she should become a massage therapist. That moment was the birth of a new career, because she realized she enjoyed helping him relieve his pain.

        Trish studied massage therapy in Asheville at the Western North Carolina School of Massage. While there she also completed a specialty certification curriculum, Clinical Neuromuscular Therapy, and has gone on to study Thai massage extensively since her licensure.

        Trish is passionate about massage therapy and helping others find relief from pain. She finds it amazing what our bodies can do to repair and how all the systems intrinsically work together to obtain homeostasis. It brings her great joy to aid in the function of repair.

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