Home December 2011 Just the Right Touches

Just the Right Touches

After Deby Goodman spent 10 years as the controller of her family’s multi-state building materials manufacturing business, the recession hit.  Nobody was building, and the demand for building materials dropped drastically.  The Goodmans had to lay off more than 400 people and decided to sell all of their plants in California.  While searching for a new field, they had three main criteria: the business had to carry no receivables, no trucks delivering goods and it had to be something that could not be outsourced.
Deby Goodman suffers from fibromyalgia, and massage therapy is very important to her health.  It just so happens that the field of massage therapy meets the Goodmans’ criteria.  They did some research and found that massage therapy has been growing tremendously throughout the country.  They also found that 75 to 80 percent of all Americans have never experienced a professional massage.  The Goodmans want to be the ones to change that.
On October 3 the Goodman family opened the doors to LaVida Massage in Placentia.  They held an open house, as well as a mezuzah hanging ceremony, at the facility on Sunday, October 30.  Rabbi David Eliezrie of Congregation Meir HaCohen Chabad in Yorba Linda officiated at the ceremony.  The Goodmans, who are congregants there, “knew that he would give the ceremony just the right touches.”
People gathered around outside the doors to watch as the blessing was being said while hanging the mezuzah. This will be the first massage salon in the county to have a mezuzah hanging on every doorpost.
“Today we are going to give this place a tremendous blessing, and I want to wish the Goodman family an unbelievable mazel,” Rabbi Eliezrie said.  Then everyone was invited to have snacks and drinks, catered by OC Kosher Market, who prepared meat platters, coleslaw, carrot salad and cookies.  Participants got a tour of the salon, which gives people the feeling of being in their own home.  Having the mezuzahs hanging on the doorposts is designed to make everyone feel blessed when they walk into LaVida, according to Deby and Jeff Goodman.
A big part of the Halacha talks about business ethics.  For the Goodmans Judaism is a huge part of their business.  They always try to treat their employees with respect, making sure that the customers are satisfied to the fullest extent and trying to greet every customer who walks through their doors with a smile and simply asking them how they are.
As Deby Goodman explained, “It is said that when a person dies, one of the first questions that is asked is ‘Did you conduct all of your business ethically and honestly?’  I want to know that I will be able to answer that question truthfully.”
In the Talmud it says,“You shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates, that you may look upon them and remember, and do all my commandments.”  By having a mezuzah on every doorpost in La Vida, it will help to remind anyone who comes to the salon or who works there of the mitzvot.  Many of the staff members at LaVida are not Jewish, but they are very fascinated by the idea.  They did sit down with Deby Goodman to ask her questions; as they were trying to understand the meaning behind the mezuzah.  She said that it is a great conversation starter, because she will have clients ask her what the “thing” is on the doors.  They all want to make the salon more comfortable to the observant community, many of whom have never had a professional massage.
Several things set LaVida apart from other massage salons.  LaVida is not thought of as a spa but as a massage therapy center, Goodman explained.  “Unlike our competitors in the community, there is no signature massage; the therapists make sure that the massage experience for each and every customer is made to fit individual needs,” she said.
Many of the therapists hired to work at La Vida are not just trained in the typical Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, but in other areas as well beyond the average massage.  The therapists want a challenge and want to try and help clients who may need something more than just a massage.  Some of the examples are fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, TMJ, prenatal, oncology patients, seniors and clients with mobility issues.
I was offered a free 15-minute massage and took advantage of that.  The therapist really hit the right pressure points, and I walked out of the room feeling very relaxed.  In the rooms as well, are two massage tables that are hydraulic.  They go up and down to accommodate clients who may be disabled or in a wheelchair.
LaVida offers a month-to-month membership without having clients sign a long-term contract.  Clients can cancel memberships by giving 30 days’ notice.  Also in place at the salon is a “loyalty program,” a single membership that can be shared with another member of the household.  For example, a husband and a wife only need to sign up and pay for one membership.  The philosophy of La Vida salon is that when people receive a massage on a regular basis, it can have many positive effects on their life.  This is where they tied in “The Life” benefits program where clients can experience a massage once a month and can experience the aspects and effects of this not only on their body, but on their mind and life.  One of the therapists who greeted me told me that if I was not living “The Life” before I arrived, I will be living that life when I am done having a massage at LaVida.
According to its website, LaVida Massage is “a unique massage center focused on health, education and you.  LaVida therapists are professionals who have been uniquely selected for their expertise in both the science and art of massage.  The ease of movement, pain relief, and deep relaxation that can be achieved through massage will enable you to more fully engage in what life has to offer.”
For more information, contact LaVida Massage at 1033 East Imperial Highway, Placentia, (714) 528-4324, placentia.ca@lavidamassage.com.

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