Massage Therapist Incorporates Personal Training and Exercise After Fate Kept Him in Chehalis

Dec. 10—Oliver Munz, owner of Chehalis massage therapy practice Alpha Body Health & Wellness, is originally from Germany and moved to the states in 2005.

Last summer, he had an opportunity to move back to Germany with his wife and three children, ages 6, 9 and 13. Come August, the move fell apart, beginning with their cab arriving an hour late.

"We got to the airport, our (COVID-19) tests for the kids were too old, like by 12 hours. And they said, 'Oh it's no problem, just test downstairs.' So we came back tested and our plane took off during that time," Munz said. "It wasn't just that we missed the flight, but all the appointments lining up with the realtor and everything, they're already waiting for us. They weren't waiting any longer ... So all that just collapsed."

Perhaps it was divine intervention, Munz said, because he soon got the chance to move into his Chehalis location, much to the joy of many of his clients. For some of them, he has become a confidant and friend.

At Alpha Body, Munz teaches patients to manage and prevent pain through corrective exercise and his background in personal training. He also practices "BodyMind Bridge" hypnotherapy, which is meant to pinpoint emotional and mental traumas contributing to pain. For example, he said, if a car crash patient heals from physical wounds, their nervous system may still essentially store the memory of tensing up the moment of the crash, making the body more likely to hold tension in some muscles.

Munz is not a psychologist or psychiatrist, he said, but he helps patients with physical pain in a way psychotherapy can't always tackle.

In his first meeting with a new client, he does a physical assessment. By the second, he will be able to "prescribe" an exercise routine and behavioral changes to counteract causes of their pain.

"And a big, big thing of what I do is I encourage everyone, no matter what age, to if you feel any angst or anything, to put our awareness to our abilities as opposed to our limitations," Munz said.

Patients who have been through injuries or major health events often say "'I still can't lift my arm' or 'I still can't do this, still can't run,'" he said.

But by focusing on ability, clients are able to see progress.

As someone who has worked in many different fields and been through physical injuries, Munz believes his background allows him to connect with patients and understand what parts of their lifestyles may be contributing to pain.

As he and his family continue to settle back into their Chehalis life and recover from the financial losses of their planned move, Munz's goal for the upcoming year is to treat more patients more effectively.

"My goal is to actually, and I tell that to everyone that I work on, which is that I don't want you or need you coming in every week. Now, that's fine for my wallet maybe, but I want you to feel better. I want you to get better," Munz said. "And as fast as possible, because usually people have suffered long enough by the time they get in here."

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