The Story of Eye Street Massage Therapy

The Story of Eye Street Massage Therapy as they Mark 2 Milestones

For owner Pamela Moyer and her happy, healthy coterie of 11 healers, this spring marks two important milestones: It’s been 10 years since Pam took over the business, and it will be 20 years this May since Eye Street Massage Therapy was born.

Pam Moyer

Once located at 1917 I Street, the company was founded by Lory Bedotto in May 1997. The office was conveniently located a few blocks from the IMF, World Bank, GWU and the K Street corridor. The business soon developed a reputation for deep tissue massage, and it served clients with chronic and acute pain.

When Pam was hired as a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) in 2004, Eye Street Massage consisted of five licensed, part-time massage therapists, offering neuromuscular therapy, sports massage, deep tissue, Swedish, reflexology, and prenatal massage.

The following year, Lory asked Pam to take over as office manager. The year after that, Lory asked her if she wanted to purchase the business.

“I thought it was a test of some sort – possibly a test of loyalty!” Pam jokes. “But she was serious. She wanted to devote herself to starting a family and had just gotten pregnant with twins. Of course I was interested! She got two other offers, one of them offering substantially more that I was willing to put on the table, maybe in the tens of thousands. However, Lory chose me. She could have gone with one of the other buyers, but I think she knew I’d take care of ‘her baby.’ I’m glad she had that faith in me because I’ve helped Eye Street grow and become stronger since then.”

Today Eye Street has relocated to 1634 I Street NW (Lower Level 125) and is both steps away from the Farragut West metro station on the Blue/Orange/Silver lines and one block from the Farragut North stop on the Red Line.

“We now have 11 healers on board and are reaching more and more new people every day, with many of them becoming regular clients,” Pam says. “We’ve also expanded our treatments to include many other types of massage and energy work that you may or may not heard of.”

Those services, Pam explains, include abdominal visceral massage, craniosacral therapy, lomilomi, manual lymphatic drainage, medical massage, myofascial release, reflexology, Reiki, Pranic healing, and more. In addition, Eye Street offers an onsite chair massage business where healers will visit downtown offices.

But the way Pam sees it, Eye Street provides something beyond massage.

“We don’t provide just massage at Eye Street, we provide relief from stress and pain, so that you feel comfortable being in your body, owning it, feeling good in it, and being able to engage in the sports, work and other activities you enjoy.”

And that’s kind of the point of the whole endeavor – why Pam took the risk in the first place of buying, owning and putting her own imprimatur on the business.

“I like to help people. I know I have the skills to help relieve certain types of muscle or soft tissue pain, and I think my own pain helps me have empathy for others who are also dealing with similar issues. I figured I’d like to do something to make it easier on all of us. We can all help each other get by, and make it a little easier for each other. People need to be seen, heard, and validated, and they deserve to be pain-free and to feel human again. I give them some relief from their stress and discomfort when their bodies are holding on to tension.”

When she works on her clients, Pam says, she “enjoys seeing them leave looking relaxed and renewed after a session. The goal is to have clients go back to their lives feeling much better and more positive about life.It’s amazing and awful what chronic pain does to the psyche. Long-term physical pain can cause a lot of mental and emotional distress. All of these things are connected and can go in both directions. The work we do at Eye Street can help with relieving some of those conditions.”

We don’t provide just massage at Eye Street, we provide relief from stress and pain, so that you feel comfortable being in your body, owning it, feeling good in it, and being able to engage in the sports, work and other activities you enjoy.”

As with many people who work in the healing professions, the whole concept of helping is what underlies Pam’s business philosophy. “On the business side, I want to take care of the therapists and make sure they are happy and are getting enough work,” she says. “For clients, I want them to get top-notch treatment, and an excellent customer experience. I want their experience to be pleasant from beginning to end, and for things to go smoothly and easily when they need to make their appointment or want to check out, so we offer online booking and have a receptionist. Also, all therapists are trained and capable of assisting clients with most questions or requests.”

Pam continues:

“Our massage mission is to provide quality massage to clients in need of stress relief, and also to those suffering from muscle pain, injury, and chronic pain. But as I said before, it’s not really massage that we’re selling. It’s the tool we use to help people feel better, get better, and be at their best when they have to go back into the world and their responsibilities or other activities.”

This philosophy is borne out in the way Pam chooses the healers who work with her. “I look for not only competency in massage skills, but also for healers who share my philosophy in treating clients,” she says. “I hire people who genuinely care for people and want to help them, who have a real interest in the art of healing and continuing to develop their skills, intuition, and ability to communicate with clients.”

Pam says an intense focus on the needs of the client in a relaxing, calming environment where no one is rushed is one way Eye Street stands out.

“We give clients the full 60-minute massage,” she says. “We build in a buffer period between clients so that neither they, nor the therapist, feel rushed. We listen to the client and ask questions to determine their need or areas of discomfort or pain, and customize the massage according to need, and issues the client would like to have addressed, rather than have the client pre-select from a menu of services.

“Some places just want to fill their studios with lots of workers to perform massage and they do a volume business, booking clients back-to-back with hour-long massages that are in reality only 50 minutes long, so their LMT can start the next client on the hour. At Eye Street, the massage may start on the table, but truly begins earlier than that when we have a conversation about what you need and what you are experiencing. It also doesn’t end when you get off the treatment table. We may show you stretches and give you homework, but even when we don’t, we try to do work on you so that you continue to carry that feeling of relaxation and well-being, or of feeling looser and clearer, or even more positive about your day.”

As Eye Street marks its 20th birthday (and Pam her 10th anniversary of ownership) look for specials throughout the year. Pam plans to offer discounts and coupons for a variety of services – all aimed at Eye Street’s central mission: Not massage for massage’s sake, but for the sake of stress relief and healing. And that’s something all of us can use from time to time.

Join Us This Wednesday May 24 at 4:00pm-7:30pm for our Birthday Celebration

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