Adding Massage into Your Healthy Lifestyle

Meet Our Massage Therapist Tim Monaco

by Yoko Minoura
Although he claims no expertise in psychological issues, Licensed Massage Therapist Tim Monaco said he often feels like a therapist in more ways than one.

“It’s a sacred space, being in a massage room – people will tell you things they normally wouldn’t share with people,” he said. “(And) it’s a rare thing in this world, that you actually have someone’s undivided attention, let alone for an hour or an hour and half.”

Yet perhaps the reason some people feel comfortable confiding in him is the wide range of skills he brings to the job. Monaco – who began accepting clients by appointment at Tetherow Sport in December – is also a personal trainer, certified lifestyle coach, nutrition consultant, massage instructor, and former sponsored triathlete.

Additionally, he said he brings no agenda into his sessions, except to help his clients to rebalance and reconnect with themselves physically – and sometimes mentally and spiritually. He said he doesn’t see himself as a “fixer” or healer as much a guide to help his clients find their own path to health.

Monaco specializes in deep tissue, myofascial, and sports massage, though he also has certification in shiatsu and acupressure. He still does a bit of personal training, but massage therapy is his primary occupation.

“Because Bend is generally an active, health‑conscious community, almost everyone I see is looking for a more therapeutic, sports‑recovery massage,” he said. “There’s tons of people who just want a feel‑good, relaxation massage; I can do that kind of work, but I’ve specialized in more directive, therapeutic (techniques).”

Every session also involves constant adjustments and communication, verbal and nonverbal, in order to discover what his client wants and needs. For him, a good session involves less overt intellect and more of a ‘flow’ state.

“It’s like playing on an instrument. There’s technical elements, but once you have that, you want to turn it over to your right brain,” Monaco said. “Go with your intuition, go with the emotions.”

In more than 30 years as a trainer and therapist, he has worked with athletic luminaries including Olympians, Tour de France cyclists, and Ironman world champions. Surprisingly, though, dancers and symphony musicians sought him out when Monaco practiced in the Bay Area. He found they are particularly prone to repetitive motion and overuse injuries, especially because few think of them as athletes.

Although attitudes are gradually changing, Monaco deals with something similar.

“One of my missions as a therapist and a teacher is to bring more legitimacy and respect to massage as a profession,” he said. “Just by virtue of having that hour and a half with someone – there aren’t other places in the health world where you have that kind of time to spend with someone.”

“I think most people think of it as a luxury item. I would like people to look at is as an important part of a healthy lifestyle.”

Monaco added that he finds a great deal of personal fulfillment in his work, and described his life as “seamless,” as his recreational, professional and personal interests all dovetail. Although he no longer makes a living as an athlete, he enjoys Nordic skiing with his daughter, Simone, 13; he also coaches his 10‑year-old son Torin’s hockey team.

And, like many Bendites, Monaco now competes in the Pole Pedal Paddle every spring. He’s raced in the multi‑sport event for the last five years, most recently winning the overall men’s individual (non‑elite) title.

“It’s the Bend Olympics. If you can do well on the PPP, it looks good on your resume,” he quipped.

Monaco is available by appointment at Tetherow Sport Monday through Friday, 8 am – 5 pm. To book a session, contact him directly at 541‑948‑7018.