By TOM LAVENTURE
AAP staff writer
MINNEAPOLIS (October 5, 2010) – After ten years of experience working in spa settings and chiropractic clinics, Narate Judie Keys has a new massage therapy clinic in the Koficore Studio, the renovated former carriage house of the Semple Mansion at 104 West Franklin Avenue, Ste 100, Minneapolis, MN 55404.
Narate specializes in massage therapies but emphasizes her skills with trigger point therapies in treating musculoskeletal pain that stems from auto accidents, sports injuries and medical conditions such as fibromyalgia. She credits her work in a chiropractic clinic for gaining experience working with pain issues.
She also works on chronic back pain issues such as lower back pain and migraine headaches. Here, she identifies the pain and works with the source through trigger points on areas away from the actual discomfort to help alleviate the pain.
“It is similar to acupuncture except I use my hands and elbows,” she said. “For someone who doesn’t like needles they may prefer something that is more like relaxation. It releases tension and headaches right away instead of over several sessions.”
Massage can help with releasing muscle tension and headaches, regaining energy and reduced stress. She also practices techniques for pregnancy massage.
“I tailor my massage to individual client utilizing Swedish, deep tissue, and trigger point techniques; using different modalities and styles,” she added.
The new space also offers Narate a creative environment with which to practice her poetry and songwriting. She began her poetry in high school and though she only records for herself, she said her music is jazz and hip-hop.
“It was just really a way for me to express myself and release my thoughts and release my stress,” she said. “When I write poetry it kind of calms my neurons down and helps me to just focus better.”
This past March Narate published her first chapbook, “The Good Life” (Catalyst Graphics), which is a collection of poem that illustrate her life experiences, and about the Cambodia she only knows through the stories of her parents.
“These are poems of inspiration, my personal struggles and my mom’s story is in here,” she added.
The illustrations that accompany the poems were the work of Lisa Price, a mural painter and a client from her days at the Beautiphy Spa.
“I gave her my poems and she just drove within that poem,” Narate added.
The book and her own post card line are available at Saigon Far East in Rochester, or in Brooklyn Park at Dakota’s Beauty or at Demetrius Charles Agency.
She said poetry was a healthy activity during the slow times and the spa, and she still makes time for it when she is not doing massage work. Narate is also now working on a novel.
Robinson said that Narate is a great addition to the space in that she brings spa style massage therapies and aroma therapies that happen to be very popular right now. Several other practitioners at Kofi offer personal training and group fitness, and all forms of holistic approaches to healing and conditioning, from life coaches to yoga and massage, to sports medicine, acupuncture, T’ai Qi and Chi Gong; Reiki.
“Narate brings something completely different,” said Robinson.
As the personal trainer with his own space to provide the privacy and personal attention that some people prefer to the big box health clubs, Robinson trains in strength, balance, and nutrition to achieve and maintain health and fitness levels at any age.
Narate said her interest in massage as a teen when her mother had a muscle spasm on her hip that prevented her from walking. She massaged her and found a trigger point that helped her condition. Watching her mother’s relief was enough to motivate her to become a massage therapist and it is going on six years now.
“It is like an instant reward, seeing people walk better and breathe better,” she added.
She said that to open her own practice meant saving money and accepting the risk of stepping outside of her comfort zone to create the setting. She said that working in the suburbs limited the range of her clients and that this spot between uptown and downtown is ideal for a central location with free parking.
Narate was born in Chon Buri, Thailand, at the Site II refugee camp in 1975, where her Cambodian parents escaped the Khmer Rouge. At age 10 her family emigrated to the United States and settled in East St. Paul.
She graduated from Harding High School and attended St. Catherine’s University for three years before completing the massage therapy program at Globe College in 2005.
“I was intrigued by the many benefits of massage therapy; therefore I decided to pursue this as a career,” said Narate.
She found work as a Cambodian/English translator in Minnesota and in Fresno, California, and was a teacher’s assistant for three years. She also worked with her uncle Leoung Khi, when he was director of United Cambodian Association of Minnesota, and continues efforts to create a youth program to teach the Cambodian alphabets and culture to future generations.
“My goal is just to help in which ever way I can and teach,” she said.
Narate worked her way through in nail salons doing nails, and was a chiropractic assistant for about a year. After graduating she began massage work at her sister’s spa in Rochester and at the spa of a friend in Brooklyn Park.
“With this it just gives me an opportunity to do what I love, and I created something that is different than the 9 to 5,” she said.
Narate will hold a community open house on October 23, 2010 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The event will offer a free chair massage, gifts, information sessions about healthy living, and a poetry reading. For more information call 763-607-2752 or visit online at www.naratekeys.com, or email [email protected]