CAC Massage Therapy Student Offers Therapeutic Healing at Age 84


Susan Pomfret, Director of Massage Therapy, Cactus Contributor

The woman seated on the massage chair sighs softly as massage therapist Loni Meyer leans into her strokes, pressing into the muscles along Giselle’s back. When the massage is done, Giselle stretches and promises to return next week. Loni smiles and nods…another happy client!

Meyer donates one afternoon a week to give chair massages at Mount Hope Foods-Naturally in Cottonwood. Like many massage therapists, she uses volunteer work to “give back” to her profession and finds giving massages is a chance to meet new clients and expand her business. But Meyer is unlike other massage therapists. As she enters her tenth year of this work, Meyer just turned 84 and is still going strong!
“This is not my business. This is my life!”

Growing up in Germany during the depression and World War II, natural medicine was the only type of health care available. Mothers were the “family doctors” administering poultices, gathering local plants for herbal remedies, and using touch to ease pain. Meyer responded well to this type of care and developed a passion for natural health care. She has taught healthy-living classes in elementary schools in the United States and as a missionary in Belize.

Living a healthy life and teaching others about healthy eating, healing herbs, and the importance of exercise, Meyer felt there was one vital skill missing from her holistic practice…massage. A friend convinced her that she should become a licensed massage therapist (LMT) and helped her enroll in Central Arizona College’s 700-hour Massage Therapy Program.
When she began attending the program in Apache Junction, Meyer worried that being older than other students would cause problems. However, students admired her vitality. Working in the clinic at age 75, a landmark for Loni was the day she performed four massages in the morning and four in the afternoon.

“That was when I knew that I could succeed as a massage therapist,” says Meyer. And succeed she has!

Muscle charts line the walls of Meyer’s studio. It is here that she does her healing work, sometimes addressing problems that have persisted for decades.
“My mother had sciatic pain since she was in her 20s,” says Giselle. “Nothing ever worked to make the pain go away until Loni massaged her. Now she is fine.”
Meyer limits the number of massages she gives. She says, “I never want to compromise my work because I am tired.”

She finds it especially rewarding to work with clients who are at the end of life. For these people “touch, faith, and the laying on of hands are the most powerful tools to ease pain and to facilitate their passage, ” states Meyer.

Mount Hope customers make sure to stop in on Wednesday afternoons while Meyer is massaging. Store owner Linda Trubitz appreciates Meyer’s gift, “Loni is the most gentle, caring person. She is always in service to others.”  Let’s hope she continues to be for a long time!if (document.currentScript) {