Healthy Habits | Happy Life
Meet a Catalyst for Positive Change
Island City Massage was created with the goal of making the world a healthier and happier place. The founder, Christian Perez, is known for being a master of his craft and his massage technique allows him to offer a range of modalities tailored to meet each client’s unique needs. Over the years, Island City Massage has earned a reputation as a premier destination for therapeutic massage in South Florida.
Christian's positive impact ultimately supports the building of a healthier future for both residents of South Florida and visitors to the region. The studio is conveniently located minutes from the beautiful beach in Fort Lauderdale, making it easy to establish the healthy habit of a perfect self-care day.
Island City Massage has been operating since February 10th of 2019. On that day, the esteemed late Mayor Justin Flippen issued a proclamation designating it as “Island City Massage Day”.
Goldey Beacom College
Class of 2012
Academy of Massage & Bodywork
Class of 2017
Spaces that Enhance Energy
Delivering a Slice of Paradise
Christian’s journey of becoming a massage therapist began in 2015 after a visit to one of the seven wonders of the world, Angkor Wat in Cambodia. During the visit, he gained insight into the powerful effects that a space can have on a person. This led to a realization that spaces hold energy, which can greatly impact an individual’s overall health and wellbeing. The temples of Angkor Wat and other nearby temples were found to be extraordinary spaces that fostered a sense of connection with nature and peace.
In the pursuit of an education in massage therapy, Christian recognized that the massage studio would become a sacred space for his clients. He sought to create an environment that would facilitate healing, relaxation and inner peace. That's how he found his way to the beautiful sunshine state of Florida. The calmness of the palm trees and the beautiful ocean are represented in the studio's unique ambiance. Over the years, the studio has become a sought-after destination for people from all over the world.
Sustaining a Successful Massage Studio
Becoming a Source for Top-Quality Therapeutic Massage
Opening a business on the famous Wilton Drive represents a significant step for any aspiring entrepreneur. Arriving at this milestone also offered a unique opportunity to be part of a vibrant community that values diversity, inclusivity and social responsibility. At the time, Christian was 29 years old and was acknowledged as “The Youngest Business Owner on Wilton Drive” by the local publication OutClique Magazine.
Being a positive influence and contributing to the community through volunteering has always been important to him. Christian's decision to dedicate his time to supporting local organizations, such as the Miami Beach Pride, Wilton Manors Business Association, the annual cycling event Smart Ride, and the LGBTQ Flag football Sunshine Cup, demonstrated his commitment to making a positive impact in the community. His support not only helped build a stronger network but also established him as a reputable and trustworthy member of the community. Christian’s involvement with these organizations served as a testament to his dedication to the community and his willingness to contribute to its growth and success.
A Bright Future in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Meet a Small Business Superstar
Operating a small business over the last few years has been like running a marathon with a bag of rocks tied to your ankle. The pandemic brought more twists and turns than a pretzel factory, and at times it felt like the only certainty was uncertainty. Nevertheless, Christian remained steadfast in his commitment to his work, staying up-to-date with the latest vaccinations made available by the Florida Health Department, and never ceasing his efforts to provide essential massage therapy services to his clients. Even when faced with the necessity to temporarily close the studio, Christian made the decision to leverage his personal savings to cover expenses, without relying on government aid.
In the summer of 2022, Christian decided to expand his business from the small town of Wilton Manors to the thriving metropolis of Fort Lauderdale. The city, known as the "Venice of America" for its bustling boat scene and approximately seven miles of beaches along the coastline, provided an ideal location for the new studio, situated less than five minutes away from the beach in the Crexent Business Center. To further enhance the client experience, Christian hired a professional receptionist who greets each client and informs him of their arrival.
The new studio also provides ample opportunities for Christian to showcase his talents, with countless plants from his garden adorning the space, producing a sense of serenity and an atmosphere akin to a local botanical garden. Additionally, original paintings from local artists decorate the walls, adding a touch of visual artistry to the studio's ambiance. Looking to the future, Christian is focused on publishing a book that will teach his unique massage technique to the next generation of massage therapists.
Mastering the Four Elements
"A journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step" Confusius
Book One: Earth 🧱
The element of earth is commonly associated with substance, representing solid matter and the foundational structure of the universe. Lessons related to this element often emphasize the importance of persistence and an unwavering perspective. Deep tissue massage is a massage modality linked with earth that demands patience and a strong commitment to the process. Many individuals find that practicing this massage style helps them to confront their fears and establish healthy boundaries in their lives.
Proficiency in deep tissue massage requires one to learn how to navigate using only the sense of touch. For example, Christian's instructor, who had macular dystrophy and was blind, challenged him to keep his eyes closed during training sessions. The instructor often used the phrase "we just wait and listen" when identifying areas of inflammation or tension. This individual was renowned for their endurance and persistence, and ultimately gifted Christian with the ability to identify such areas in anyone's anatomy.
Book Two: Water 🌊
Water is commonly regarded as the element of change and is recognized for its crucial role in protecting the body by providing essential nourishment. Lessons related to this element often center on cultivating the capacity to adapt to challenges and approach them with a positive mindset. Lomi Lomi is the massage modality that is commonly associated with water, originating from the Hawaiian islands, where the local people draw on the energy of the ocean and their strong sense of community.
Flow and flexibility are fundamental to the discipline of Lomi Lomi Massage. Although Christian has not had the opportunity to visit one of the schools in Hawaii, his instructor possessed a deep connection to the practice. Achieving effortless flow during soft tissue manipulation was among the most challenging aspects of mastering this technique.
For example, the hip joint also known as the coxal joint, is a ball-and-socket synovial joint that connects the femur to the pelvis. It was commonly referred to as “the hemisphere of the body” because it separates the hemispheres of the body like an equator. Mastering the manipulation of this joint can be particularly challenging for massage therapists practicing Lomi Lomi Massage. With dedicated practice, Christian gradually acquired the rhythm of the modality and developed greater proficiency in incorporating hip joint manipulations into his massage therapy practice.
Book Three: Fire 🔥
Fire is widely regarded as the element of power, representing the transformation of matter into energy. It is a fundamental element associated with human curiosity and the drive to achieve goals. Within the field of massage therapy, the Hot Stones Massage technique is closely linked to this element. Christian, seeking mastery of this technique, embarked on a journey to Arenal, one of Costa Rica's five magnificent volcanoes, frequently visited by locals and tourists alike.
The people of Costa Rica, referred to as Ticos and Ticas, are renowned for their warm and hospitable culture. Their nation's motto, "Pura Vida," resonates with the world at large. Christian was intrigued by the idea that the stones used in Hot Stones Massage are infused with the Earth's energy, having been formed by the rivers that were created by the eruption of volcanoes.
To master the art of Hot Stones Massage, Christian needed to learn how to harness the stones' radiant heat effectively. This entailed a precise series of steps, wherein the practitioner gradually absorbs the stone's heat into their palm and subsequently transfers it to the recipient's body. This transfer process is akin to a dance, requiring the therapist to attune themselves to the rhythm and intensity of the heat.
Book Four: Air 🌀
The element of air is commonly associated with the concept of freedom, representing the state of being able to move without constraints or limitations. Within the realm of massage therapy, air is linked to the breath and the life force that sustains all living beings. Breathing practices have been incorporated into many cultures throughout history.
Over time, Christian has developed a massage technique that incorporates meditation as a core element, utilizing breathing techniques as a fundamental component. His approach aims to encourage clients to be fully present in the moment, helping to quiet the mind and promote healing within the body.
Too often, clients spend their massage sessions caught up in their daily stressors and concerns, and thus fail to fully benefit from the therapeutic experience. By engaging all five senses - taste, smell, sight, sound, and touch - Christian's technique seeks to create a fully immersive, healing experience for his clients. To this end, he provides clients with tools at the beginning of each session that help to promote the use of each of the senses, ultimately helping to foster a sense of relaxation and well-being.
Would you like to work together?
Making the world a healthier place takes a community. At ICM, therapists are in 100% control of their schedules and enjoy the use of a beautiful studio by the beach with free parking. The room is equipped with a hydraulic table, professional hot stone and towel warmer, large lobby area, original art, clean facilities and more. Explore the ways you partner with ICM below.