About Our Team
Hello! I’m Gretchen Rivas, owner of Relax! Massage Therapy. My passion for massage began back in 2000 when I received a really bad massage! I knew I could do better and help people more, so I went back to school and after graduating I opened my massage practice. After being a one-person business for many years, I added additional massage therapists when I went back to acupuncture school and needed help caring for clients while I was gone. (My therapists are always chosen with the same high standards I hold myself to after my initial bad experience!) Relax! was still operating out of my home office until 2012, when I took a leap of faith and moved the massage and acupuncture practice to its current locations in Oleander Office Park behind Flaming Amy’s. A year later the practice expanded, and added additional space upstairs for couples massage. In 2017-18 we expanded another 1700 square feet, added six additional rooms, and aesthetician services. Now, our massage practice has ten treatment rooms, three couples massage rooms, and Infinity Acupuncture is in another building across the parking lot.
Currently Relax! Massage Therapy has many experienced massage therapists that are here for you. With a multitude of different skills, training and healing modalities, there is someone here to help you with any problem you may encounter. Whether you need to relax and unwind, get a specific issue worked on, or get your skin looking gorgeous, our team can help. We operate from a place of compassion and genuine concern for our clients, so Relax!, you are in good hands!
Take a minute and meet the team below. Please call or book online with any therapist
Hi, my name is Denise and my story begins with running a circus! Not a true circus of course…
Hi, my name is Denise and my story begins with running a circus! Not a true circus of course, but after being a stay at home mom to four boys for more than a decade, (which is about the same as running a circus), I decided it was time to pursue a career for myself.
I looked into Nursing and spoke with many nurses but was surprised to find that many in that profession were burnt out, overworked and unhappy. One nurse did say to me that what she missed the most in the profession was when they used to give their patients massages in the evenings, and how that was what she loved doing the most. This inspired me to look into the massage field, and shortly thereafter I was attending school in Phoenix, Arizona. Over the years I have been fortunate to work in Asheville, N.C. and Raleigh, N.C., with a vast array of clients that included professional athletes. Now I am in Wilmington and love working at Relax!
I have been happily practicing massage since 2004. The best part? Helping people. In so many ways, on so many levels. Having a client come in with their issues (pain, stress, etc.) and walk out feeling 10 years younger and a lot less stressed. I have found over the years that deep tissue work appeals to me and it’s an interesting therapy when done well. It becomes a type of dance with the client, to provide just the right amount of pressure without there being too much. I enjoy Hot Stone massage, and tend to give my clients a combination of techniques with some cranial sacral and reflexology techniques added in. I can’t really say which I love the most, the detailed work of a deep tissue massage or the long, flowing, de-stressing rhythms of a Swedish massage. They all have their place and are much needed in our fast paced world.
The journey to massage therapy began at age 8. My Great Grandmother and I sat on the edge of her bed…
The journey to massage therapy began at age 8.My Great Grandmother and I sat on the edge of her bed so my mother could massage our legs. I was hooked but it would take several years of trying different things before I realized that massage was my calling.
The business education I received early on never felt like a fit. I went to college and worked on a business degree, I worked in private home health care and in the restaurant industry and none of it felt right. One day, in 2006,I had an epiphany! A massage career would expand my knowledge base of holistic health and allow me to serve in a meaningful way.I went to Soothing Arts Massage School and found my true passion.
My ability to listen along with a strong drive to learn, grow and always give my best has helped me grow in a field that is ever changing and developing. Today I specialize in custom massage using many modalities. Some of the modalities I am trained in are: deep tissue techniques including myofascial release, trigger point therapy, sports massage, full body stretching, reflexology, injury rehab, oncology and lost limb care. I enjoy working with seniors. I also do Energy work such as Reiki and Healing Touch.
I love giving back in ways that are meaningful and have participated in many charity and outreach events such as Special Olympics,, Strongman and Iron Man Competitions, Panhandle Boxing Academy and Professional Body Building, Veterans Administration Medical Center and the Leland Police Department.
I look forward to meeting you soon and helping you feel your best!
Jenn SladeIf there is one thing I know to be true, it’s that my life’s purpose is to help people heal.
If there is one thing I know to be true, it’s that my life’s purpose is to help people heal. I can recall being drawn to alternative forms of healing since early childhood; I’d always known that life would eventually carry me down that path. In college, I studied marine biology believing that I wanted to be a marine veterinarian. It wasn’t until several years later, while I was in yoga teacher training, that I was first inspired to consider becoming a massage therapist. A year and a half later I graduated from the Center for Massage and Natural Health in Asheville, NC- and it has totally changed my life and sparked a passion in me that I look forward to cultivating, nurturing and growing throughout the future.
I draw inspiration from my work as a yoga instructor, history as a competitive athlete, and studies in herbal medicine and energetic therapies to inform my massage style. I believe the most healing takes place when we are able to be fully present in our own process, and that a large part of that is interwoven with growing our ability to let go of stress on a day to day basis. I specialize in therapeutic massage and Reiki. Other modalities I incorporate in to my work include hot stone, aromatherapy, stretching, deep tissue, and trigger point therapy. I love what I do for so many reasons. I love working with people on an individual level, building a treatment plan that is unique, holistic and tailored to each person’s distinct needs. I am always so humbled to see the individuals I work with thriving, and I always feel so incredibly honored to be entrusted with the responsibility of helping people to heal themselves.
Kacey GranerMy name is Kacey Graner, and I am from a small town outside of Pinehurst, North Carolina.
My name is Kacey Graner, and I am from a small town outside of Pinehurst, North Carolina. After I became a licensed Massage Therapist I decided to move to Wilmington to dive into my career. I needed a change of scenery, and what better place than the beach!
Let me tell you all a little bit about how I got interested in massage therapy… Being an athlete all my life, massage helped bring relief to my aches and pains from overexertion. My mother also raised me very holistically. She is a nutritionist; always instilling food is medicine, and preventive care was critically important to optimal health. I was always taught to treat my body as a temple. I decided to become a massage therapist because I want my lifestyle to coincide with my career. I want to help others feel their best and reach their optimum health as well. I love to run, go on long walks, and explore the outdoors with my dog, Scout. I enjoy practicing yoga, and recently have become more committed to my practice. I think it is important to stretch and understand what muscles the poses are affecting. I’ve found it improves my work as a massage therapist as well. I love learning and constantly fueling my think tank. That is another reason why massage therapy fits my personality so well. There is always something new to learn in the field, which keeps me excited and invested in my work.
As a therapist, I enjoy therapeutic massage; combining multiple modalities to best suite my client. I really like combining classic Swedish massage, myofascial work and trigger point therapy. I am eager to grow my practice in Wilmington with Relax Massage Therapy. I know there are so many like-minded people in this community, and I can’t wait to meet you all!
Stephanie ArnoldHey, y’all! My name is Stephanie and I’m a licensed massage therapist! The question I’m asked most often is “why”?
Hey, y’all! My name is Stephanie and I’m a licensed massage therapist! The question I’m asked most often is “why”? Well, I received my first massage when I was 13. I felt nothing short of amazing afterward, as I’m sure you can relate. Naturally, I wanted to provide that experience to other people. Not to mention spas are calm, relaxing, and tend to smell SO GOOD! Who wouldn’t want to work in one?! Little did I know at the time, the atmosphere was only one of the perks. Helping people holistically address physical ailments and see real results, that’s the best part.
I graduated from the Myotherapy Institute of Massage in 2012. I did not receive a traditional in-class education, but rather a one-on-one personalized learning experience. Since then my primary focus has been expanding my deep tissue and pain management techniques through hands-on continuing education classes. I have experience in both spas and chiropractic offices, bringing a unique blend of relaxation and bodywork to my table. I’m so excited to be apart of this amazing team at Relax Massage Therapy and look forward to meeting you soon!
Tracie WallaceWhat a long strange, magical, trip its been. My journey started long ago. I have always connected with the outdoors and natural healing.
What a long strange, magical, trip its been. My journey started long ago. I have always connected with the outdoors and natural healing. In my earlier days I worked as a dental assistant. As much as I enjoyed helping others in this field it never felt like my true path. I was told by family and friends that I had a great touch and should pursue a career in massage therapy. With much thought and encouragement, my journey began. While in massage school I realized I was right where I was supposed to be. It truly spoke to me the way no other career had before. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. This took me on an amazing ride full of adventure, helping me find my life’s purpose. I have worked in this field for over 20 years. During which time my excitement to know more kept me going back to school. Why stop now, right!
I believe the more I know the better approach I’ll have to make sure I am able to help others receive the healing they need. I currently practice as a Licensed Massage Therapist, Licensed Aesthetician, Licensed Electrologist, Sai Baba Reiki Master, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, MPS Dolphin Neuro-stim practitioner, and an Independent Distributor at Young Living Essential Oils. I specialize in drug-free pain management, and I am on my way to receive my Aromatherapist Certification and become a Certified Nutrition Coach.
During my career I have had the pleasure of working with some of the top Surgeons, Medical Spas, Day Spas, and Rehab Facilities in Ohio, New York, and Florida. I have also had the privilege to work backstage in the music industry. It gave me the chance to meet and work on many amazing national artist and crew from all around the world. It was truly a priceless experience. I believe in being kind and giving bank. I have helped raise money for LLS, Breast Cancer research, and worked for years with young kids from broken homes with HHH. I have also been a Big Sister for 3 years with BBBS, which has brought me just as much love as I gave.
Helping others to feel better is the most rewarding career I could ever have. I love what I do and feel very blessed to have found my calling. My path has lead me to North Carolina and I am happy to call Wilmington my home. I am very excited to be a part of such an amazing team of therapists. As your therapist I look forward to going with you on your journey to help you achieve your goals in relaxation, pain management, health, fitness, and balance in your life.
Christina O'QuinnI have been a massage therapist for five years in different areas and different settings. I am always looking for new techniques…
I have been a massage therapist for five years in different areas and different settings. I am always looking for new techniques and information to build my toolbox, so I can offer a healing approach to my clients.
I have found my calling with massage therapy. I love the challenges and creating a relaxing, restorative environment. I not only enjoy giving my clients a healing massage, but sharing information with them to help them work with their bodies so that they can feel great.
I earned my degree in marketing and management in college but never really felt like what I was doing what I was meant for. My intuition was telling me that I needed to do something that helped people, was relaxing, and had flexibility for when I was ready to be a mom, I found all those things in massage therapy. As soon as I started my classes everything felt right and came very naturally.
Chrissy MonzonHey, my name is Chrissy and I was born and raised here in Wilmington. I have been a licensed massage therapist for 10 years…
Hey, my name is Chrissy and I was born and raised here in Wilmington. I have been a licensed massage therapist since 2008 and absolutely LOVE what I do! I specialize in SMRT (Spontaneous Muscle Release Technique) of the hips and Therapeutic Massage. By using these techniques together I am able to provide full body healing for pain issues ranging from acute to chronic.
Lynn WilderHey, my name is Lynn. I attended Indiana Therapeutic Massage School in Indianapolis, IN and received my craniosacral training…
I attended Indiana Therapeutic Massage School in Indianapolis, IN and received my craniosacral training (CranioSacral Therapy and Somato Emotional Release Therapy) through the Upledger Institute. I have been a massage therapist and craniosacral therapist since 2012.
I moved to Wilmington in 2016. I love this beach town and it is in my heart and soul as deeply as healing is. By listening to my clients and my intuition, I’m able to help alleviate their pain, increase their range of motion, and give them back quality of life that oftentimes is missing.
I have been extremely successful at helping clients with TMJ, migraine relief, frozen shoulder, plantar fasciitis issues and so much more. Let me help you to be your best!
Makenzie CardinalMy name is Makenzie and I have been a Massage Therapist for 3 years and I absolutely love what I do. Massage Therapy really found me…
I’m so excited to meet you. My name is Makenzie and I have been a Massage Therapist for 3 years and I absolutely love what I do. Massage Therapy really found me in a time in my life where I was lost and needed some healthy change; it has taught me so much about myself and the true meaning of empathy. I believe everything has a purpose in your life and I’m beyond grateful that this is my purpose. I Grew up in Winston-Salem, NC and decided to start my new life adventure here in amazing Wilmington, NC and couldn’t be happier. If I had to choose a favorite massage it would be any type of therapeutic work, I enjoy helping clients out of pain and getting to the root of the discomfort; I also enjoy working with hot stones and prenatal clients as well. I look forward to hopefully working with you soon : )
Candace BrinsonI’m a rarity in these parts…a born and raised Wilmingtonian! I grew up here and although I’ve moved away several times …
I’m a rarity in these parts…a born and raised Wilmingtonian! I grew up here and although I’ve moved away several times, Wilmington is where my heart is and I keep coming back. Years ago, a friend had repetitive use shoulder pain and would ask me to massage him. I would do so to help him and he would tell me I should become a massage therapist because I was good and had a natural talent. I loved being able to help him become pain free and realized I could help others with chronic pain as well if I went to school and trained. So, off to school I went and in 2012 I became a licensed massage therapist. Since then I have traveled and worked in many different parts of NC and recently arrived back in Wilmington. Gretchen Rivas, a former teacher of mine in massage school, reached out to me about working at Relax!. I interviewed and here I am, happy to be doing the work I’m passionate about, helping people with chronic pain and other issues. I love developing a therapeutic plan with my clients to assist them in living a more energized and pain free life. I focus my sessions on what would benefit my client the most including stretches and range of motion exercises. I’ve taken many classes over the years and I’m always excited to learn more to help assist my clients better. I look forward to serving you and helping you become your best self!
Bonnie BricenoAfter working as a guidance counselor and a real estate agent for most of my career, I decided to pursue my lifelong passion….
After working as a guidance counselor and a real estate agent for most of my career, I decided to pursue my lifelong passion of helping others to be healthy and feel their best. I have always loved skin care and had a never ending thirst for knowledge in this area. In 2009, I began traveling around the country and working for a high end skin care line but, I missed my dogs and my family. I decided that I wanted to be able to stay close to home while still pursuing my dream of helping others to feel and look their best. This was when I decided to limit my work to hands on esthetics with clients all day, every day. I really enjoy getting to know each of my clients as people. I like to understand their lifestyle, concerns, and goals. I believe knowing them well helps me to formulate a plan that is customized and suits each client individually. My regular clients become my friends and with this in mind, I assist them in finding the best products and services to meet their needs. This is my passion and I am grateful to be living it every day.
Relax Staff ~ We Are Here To Help You!
Tanya Fermin-JonesRelax Wilmington welcomes Tanya Fermin-Jones as our new Office Manager! Tanya has over 20 years’ managerial, human resources…
Infinity Acupuncture welcomes Tanya Fermin-Jones as our new Office Manager! Tanya has over 20 years’ managerial, human resources, training and administrative experience. She spent the last 3 years serving as the Executive Producer for her company Fermintation Productions. Writing, producing and directing short films and movies. We are excited to add her knowledge and experience to the team. Tanya will be handling payroll, purchasing, human resources, inventory, office management and more.
Please feel free to contact Tanya anytime with questions or requests: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace DeValingerI became a part of the Infinity – Relax office staff in 2017 and I feel as though I’ve found a new family to enjoy and care for…
I became a part of the Infinity – Relax office staff in 2017 and I feel as though I’ve found a new family to enjoy and care for, along with the wonderful clients I’ve met here.
I was an OR nurse for too many years, and it’s said that old OR nurses don’t die, they just go to Central Supply! Having left nursing, I had too many loose ends, so I found something to fill a few hours of each day, and in many ways, I’m happier and richer for the opportunities I’ve found here.
Over the past 30+ years I’ve had many Border Collies in my home. They have been a big part of my life, and I have the son and daughter and g’son of my first beautiful blue merle, Bo’son. Among them they’ve got 3 blue eyes! I’ve been very lucky to have 3 generations of the same sweet guy I first brought into my home during the early 80’s, when i knew very little about how “wolfish” and driven Border Collies can be. Bo taught me so many things, they are truly the smartest canines and not only herding dogs, but also awesome companions!!
Emily CarterHi, my name is Emily and I’m Relax! and Infinity’s Education & Marketing Specialist! I am originally from Boston and made a giant leap forward to Wilmington…
Hi, my name is Emily and I’m one of Relax! and Infinity’s office assistants! I am originally from Boston and made a giant leap forward to Wilmington only a few years ago to accept an educator position at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. I have been teaching, mainly early childhood education, for over 10 years and have developed an irreplaceable passion for it. In addition, I have also gained a bachelor’s degree specializing in Environmental Studies and Marine Biology. Although my career path has changed over the years I would ultimately love to teach marine education and promote conservation and preservation of our coasts and the greater ocean. Although only working for Relax! and Infinity for a short time, I know I have found an incredible team of individuals who are dedicated and knowledgeable in this form of healing therapy. Our office provides a peaceful atmosphere that will have you feeling calm and balanced in mind, body, and soul!