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Published on: Thu, Jan 07, 2016


Story & Photos by Haley Kilman

“One, two, three, four, five…” The numbers roll off Amber Briggle’s tongue like gently flowing water over river rocks. She sits in her chair looking at her company’s schedule for the week, counting how many patients her company sees in a day.

A man receives a massage at a local spa. Photo by Haley Kilman

A man receives a massage at a local spa. Photo by Haley Kilman

Candles, the relaxing smell of lavender and the calm and peaceful sound of a trickling water fountain greet you as soon as you walk in. The graceful flow of water is only the beginning to the relaxing ambiance. Amber, a massage therapist and owner of Soma Massage Therapy here in Denton, likes to create in her business. Even the soothing tone of Amber’s voice adds to the peaceful demeanor of the massage center. Her center has only been open for two years but has grown quickly in that short amount of time. Another room was recently added and is expected to bring in an extra 20 to 30 customers a week.

Massage therapy can mean many things. It can include getting a deep tissue, Swedish, hot stone or even prenatal treatment. It has also been known to help ease the pain of arthritis and fibromyalgia. Swedish massage is a general massage that’s based on different strokes loosening muscle tissue in any given area.

Soma Massage Therapy specializes in deep tissue work but offers hot stone and aromatherapy massages. Amber has also made it a point that specific prenatal treatments are done so that the comfort of the mother is always the first priority. There are also specialists at Soma who help with sports injuries, postural imbalances and other aches and ailments.

“Being able to fix the pain,” said Brandy, one of Soma’s massage therapists. “I mean, you walk in and I like being able to do that for somebody.”

CaptureBrandy’s hands move gracefully down her client’s back, stroking back and forth while the water fountain behind her calmly falls. The lighting is dim aside from a small lamp and the light from the fountain.

Denton is known for being original and independent, and the locally based restaurants and shops share this spirit. Soma massage loves this about Denton as well. Amber moved to Boulder, Colorado with her husband so he could begin graduate school. While there, she applied to one of the top massage therapy schools in the world and began her year-long studies which consisted of more than 1,000 hours of massage therapy training. They lived together in Holland for three years afterwards before finally settling down in Denton.

“I did not intend to be a business owner though, because I’ve never taken a business class,” Amber said. ”I know nothing about marketing, I don’t do HR or tech support, but apparently you have to do all those things as a small business owner.”

Being locally owned is significant to Amber. She wants everyone to feel at home and peaceful when they come for a treatment.

“What makes us different than a lot of other places – because you can certainly get a good, relaxing massage, in a lot of places in Denton,” Amber said. “But there’s not a lot of places where you can get a good, relaxing massage that also will structurally change your body to make you balanced and healthier.”

The waiting room is dim and lit by the candles on the wall. Below the candles, a small bowl of water holds even smaller candles that help create a sense of peace within the room. From the moment customers enter and leave, their worries are left outside the front door. Here, inside, there’s healing and relief.