Through his business, Eagle Therapeutic Massage, Luc Garceau is doing his part for world peace.
“Massage clears you mind, lets you focus on your body and helps you relax,” he said.
“No one goes out after a massage and starts a fight.
“If everyone received a massage everyday there would be no war.”
Garceau is a registered massage therapist with a background in sport massage, Swedish massage and reflexology.
But what sets him apart from the dozen or so other massage therapists in town is his massage chair.
And we’re not taking about a vibrating Lazyboy.
Garceau carried a large black bag, about the size of a hockey bag, into the office and set it down on the ground.
Unzipping it revealed an intricate folded chair made of aluminum and red leather padding.
The portable massage chair means that Garceau can take the massage directly to his customers.
You make an appointment and he comes to visit you at your office.
And in only 15 minutes Garceau provides a message that will have you feeling more alert and less stressed.
A minimum of five appointments has to be made within each business or building to justify the trip.
Garceau has been running his therapeutic massage operation in Whitehorse since 2004.
“It helps you pay attention more and increases productivity,” he said.
“People need human touch, it helps them have a better relationship with other people around them.”
Massage uses several techniques to work out knots in the body and increase blood circulation.
He starts at the head and works his way to the shoulders, back, arms and hands.
The techniques used with chairs also allow you to keep you clothes on, which means no massage oils are needed.
It’s also a big plus for those who are more bashful.
The job can be tiring, said Garceau.
With 15-minute sessions, he can’t do much more than 12 to 15 massages a day.
“When I was working in the skyscrapers in Montreal I once did 24 in one day,” he said.
“I was tired for two days afterward. It was the first and last time.”
People are beginning to see that massages are not just a perk for upper management, he said.
Its ability to reduce stress and flush out chemicals trapped in the body is being recognized as a form of prevention.
Many company health plans will now cover the costs of massages — to a certain extent of course.
Garceau was exposed to massage therapy at a young age.
Growing up on the south shore of Quebec, his parents used to take him to retreats where he felt the benefits of massage firsthand.
Afterwards he would occasionally give massages to friends and family.
He would receive comments about his “good hands” and “knowing how to find the spot,” but it was never something he took very seriously.
Garceau taught cross-country skiing in British Columbia before he moved north looking for more of a challenge and more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
He has called Whitehorse home since 1994.
“I’m a social person, but I like to work for myself,” he said, describing why he decided to return to Quebec in 2003 to study massage.
“Also, my background is in recreational sports so I like working with sports people.”
“I’ve always been concerned with health,” he added.
“I guess the main reason, I got into it was to help people live healthier lives.”
After two years of education and training, Garceau returned to Whitehorse in 2004 to set up his own practice.
Garceau has set up an office for himself at the Dazhaw Du Chiropractic Clinic.
He frequently works at a number of businesses around town and has even taken his chair up to Old Crow.
Garceau is adamant about the benefits that massage has to offer.
“If you’ve tried massage before and didn’t like it you should try a different type of massage, a different pair of hands.”
“It’s a personal thing.”