Ka'ala Healing Arts
Dec 29, 2014 07:46PM
● By James Occhiogrosso
In late 2002, licensed massage therapist Jeff Ramos, and his wife, Jennifer Piltz, also a licensed massage therapist, wanted to set up not just a massage therapy business, but a center where multiple healing arts professionals could offer their different services under one roof. The couple, who had been practicing therapeutic massage and Zen shiatsu in Haleiwa since 1996, searched the North Shore community of Waialua for just the right building. Ramos and Piltz discovered a 90-year-old, 3,000-square-foot building nestled onto a slice of shaded land along Farrington Highway at the foot of Mount Ka’ala. While this very old building had been long empty, Ramos was able to look beyond the peeling paint and cobwebs and envision what would eventually become Ka’ala Healing Arts. In 2009, Ramos became a Honolulu firefighter, which provided some additional security for the couple while they put their vision into place.
Today, with its fresh, muted yellow paint, a waiting room decorated with pottery, artwork and stylish bamboo furnishings, and the new windows Ramos added to the lobby to provide a view of the yard and trees outside, Ka’Ala Healing Arts enhances the community and provides a haven of serenity to visitors. Ramos says proudly, “In 2004, I received the Holomua Award from the North Shore Chamber of Commerce for the building renovations.”
The two-story building features three ground floor offices and six second-floor offices that share a common lobby. In addition to the massage clinic, the building houses selected healing arts professionals—one of Ramos’s top priorities. “Signing a 25-year lease on the building took a lot of faith that I could make my vision work,” he comments.
“Now that the initial hurdles are over, I am always thinking through new ideas and working out how to put them into action for the long term. It is essential to me that tenants leasing space in the center have integrity, compassion and professionalism, and are very good at what they do. It is very important that everyone brings a positive vibe to the building.”
The practitioners at Ka’ala Healing Arts provide acupuncture, ashiatsu, Zen shiatsu, Rolfing, Electro Pressure Regeneration Therapy, herbal medicine, colon hydrotherapy, counseling and life coaching. Two companies that make their own products, Green Tea Hawaii and North Shore Goodies, also call the center home. Besides Ramos and Piltz, other massage therapists practice at the center, which the couple will typically visit to experience other specialties in order to make client referrals. “We don’t see other massage therapists as competition, but as colleagues,” explains Ramos. “By utilizing the services of the people who lease from me, I am assured they are providing excellent service.”
The center’s tenants have become like family to Ramos and Piltz, and they all bring their families together for picnics and parties. “I feel good about helping to grow these families,” Ramos says, adding that he is pleased with the center’s success, as well as his own. “There is a high rate of burnout among massage therapists. The fact that my wife and I are still providing massage is an accomplishment.”
Ramos and Piltz share a common belief that optimum health is best achieved with a program that includes a variety of alternative healing therapies. By providing the community with a conveniently located and comfortable resource for such therapies, they have achieved their goal.