"I was taking a yoga class and there was an introductory massage class going. I participated and I knew from that class immediately that's what I wanted to do. I was 22."
Denise L. Hughes (just call me Hughes) began her journey into the healing arts in 1980 at the San Francisco School of Massage and never looked back. She became an LVN.
In 2000, Hughes hung up her shingle on El Paseo in Palm Desert, and opened The Beauty of Health. After three years of serving the desert community, the shop closed due to the sale and repurposing of the building. She has continued to serve the desert community, providing massage at Two Bunch Palms and working as an LVN at Desert Regional Hospital.
Hughes cared for her ailing husband for 12 years. Through this experience, she was able to talk to the patient (her husband Frank) in a personal and intimate way about the care she was providing. From this, she came to understand the unique way hospice massage should be administered and what it can mean to the patient. The true epiphany came when Hughes was treating a former Broadway dancer who was having lymphedema issues. She realized that the primary goal of hospice massage should be to provide comfort and eschewed the traditional bodywork approach for a kinder, gentler approach. Her patient rose and struck a dancer's pose, and said: "Y'know, I never knew how gentle it could be!"