Back pain can be debilitating—and in the most extreme cases leave people unable to walk. Daniel Ford learned that firsthand. Years ago, Ford felt excruciating back pain for three weeks, making it difficult to move. As a result, his sister signed him up for a massage. After the relief he felt, he decided to put the magic into his own hands and go to school to become a massage therapist.
This year, Ford is celebrating 10 years as a massage therapist at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.
“Daniel joined our team just six months after opening and has been one of my all time favorite people to work with,” says Kristen Stephens Sharma, founder and owner of A Massage Oasis. “His accountability, compassion and attitude have been impeccable for ten straight years. We feel blessed to have his loyalty.”
From helping people relax to combating more serious cases such as the intense back pain he once felt, Ford has seen it all after performing over 14,000 massages.
“My own back pain inspired me to get involved in massage therapy, and being able to help people with the same severe pain I experienced is why I continue,” Ford says.
In his ten years, Ford has seen thousands of patients, and with the new same-day appointment scheduling option, he is seeing more than ever.
Ford explains that in one case, a man in a wheelchair quickly scheduled a massage after arriving too early for his physical therapy appointment. Upon inspection, Ford spotted five knots in his back, each about the size of a pea. After working on three of them for 20 minutes, the man was able to walk, and he left his wheelchair in the lobby to pick up later.
“That man had the same back pain I had, so it felt rewarding to help him,” Ford says. “It’s bewildering how much pain these tiny half-a-centimeter knots can cause.”
However, while Ford believes massages can help some patients immensely, he stresses that people should see a physician before trying to fix any pain with a massage.
“I aim to work in harmony with the hospital, not as an alternative,” he says.
“I enjoy helping people in high stress situations,” Ford adds. “I feel grateful that I am able to alleviate suffering in so many people.”
For more information, visit amassageoasis.com, or stop by the Fountain Entrance Lobby (Elevator C, Level 1).