A journey to open a therapeutic massage business in Rapid City, South Dakota, turned into a path to self-healing for Guy Siverson as well as a way to work around a learning disability for his wife, Irene.

The Siversons were living in Spokane, Washington, where Guy worked in digital marketing.

The sedentary nature of his job began to take its toll, though. One day he took his blood pressure and was horrified to see a reading of 200/100.

Not willing to rely on mainline medication, he researched therapeutic massage as a treatment. This led him to consider making massage a new career.

Irene had always been good at massage, and she joined her husband in the move. “So we decided to go back to school, and here we are today,” says Guy.

They initially looked at massage schools in Seattle, but found Black Hills Health & Education School of Massage Therapy, a state-certified 600-hour training program in Hermosa, South Dakota.

They both graduated in November, and with a temporary license in hand opened Graceful Touch Massage Therapy in Rapid City, South Dakota, sharing space with Gale and Denise Johnson’s The Fountain of Youth, a Kangan Water system dealership.

“We are the only shop in Rapid City that treats the inside with naturally hydrated water, while also treating the outside, and the two go together like hand-in-glove,” Guy says.

Graceful Touch specializes in Swedish, Trigger Point and Deep Tissue massage. Also offered are couple’s massages, Young Living Raindrop treatments and basic lymphatic massage.

Graceful Touch is also affiliated with Massage Advantage, a nationwide network of independent massage practitioners, which allows them to offer lower prices for sessions.

Earlier this month, they passed their national certification tests. Irene dealt with the reading disability dyslexia in her classes and especially on tests. She found techniques to work around the disability, including inverting books, reading upside-down, or using tinted glasses to improve her comprehension.

“With lots of help from God and feeding the body lots of nutrients to help the brain function, it all worked out,” she says. “Now, I can help people function.”

Jim Holland is a writer for Rapid City Journal. Published with permission.