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At his new Old
Town Massage, Arnold Martinez creates healing through touchMore
La Quinta — After
a long day stooping in the fields picking vegetables, Edelvira Martinez would
collapse on the bed and ask her son, Arnold, to rub the knots out of her back Arnold Martinez was just 7 years old then, but he dreamed of becoming a massage therapist, "My passion has always been to give massages," says Martinez, now 42. As so often happens, though, life threw Martinez some unexpected curves. In December, he finally opened a shop in La Quinta, Old Town Massage. Martinez was 21 when his mother was killed by a drunken driver. At the time he attended Cal Poly taking phychology classes but dropped out to help care for his your siblings, four of whom were minors. "They were going to put the kids into foster care," he says. " I had to grou up really fast to become a parent." So he spent his days in menial jobs carting his bothers and sister to and from scholl and attending PTA meetings. After a second unfulfilling management careerin health care about five years ago, Martinez says he was looking for a change. "The pay was great, but I thought, 'I'm just killing myselft,'" he says. " I wanted to do something for myself." Maritnez put money aside for three years until he had enough to pay the tuition for a nine-month program and his expenses. Inside his Spa, the lights are soft and dim. Maritnez is a country music fan- he counts kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley among his favorites. but in his day spa, Martinez plays an eclectic mix of Asian and American Indian flute and guitar, what he calls "spa music." He pampers his clients with aroatherapy or eucalyptus for those who have alost their sense of smell and deep tissue at no extra cost. "We give five-star treatment on a budget," Martinez saids. "I believe in customer service. I want them to be pampered." Martinez has always worked jobs helping others his your brother, Junior Elizondo, says. "I think I have him to blame because one of the only ways I can fall asleep is to have my back scratched or rubbed," say Elizondo, 29, of Santa Maria. "He just has magic hands." Marcie Kjosa agrees. A former bodybuider who still favors high-intensiry workouts, Kjosa gave Martinez a try when he moved into Old Town La Quinta. A cramp in her hip had been waking her up at night before Martinez got his hands on her. "I sleep better," Kjosa said. "My problem areas he knew exactly how to address them. He really pays attention to his clients. He loves to do massages. He loves the art of it and helping people."
Arnold Martinez, CMT