By Almeda Girod
Brenda Charles grew up in Trinidad in a family of three boys and three girls. She describes her family as “being sheltered” with parents who were staunch Catholics and encouraged their children to live a life of service for others.
Brenda worked as a pharmacy assistant and later, along with her husband (retired from the Air Force), and two children moved to Baltimore in 1999. Her aunt encouraged Brenda to pursue a nursing education, and she became a registered nurse working in the emergency room of Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham, MD.
Brenda noticed patients coming to the ER with stress-related issues such as elevated blood pressure, diabetes or mental illness brought on by overwork and exhaustion. After prayer and meditation, she decided that massage therapy would often help patients avoid a visit in the ER. She had observed natural remedies such as massage and herbs used in Trinidad.
It was a rigorous schedule in 2012, when Brenda attended National Massage Therapy Institute in Leesburg, VA during the day and raced to an evening job in the ER. After passing a rigorous state board exam, she worked in local spas. She operated her own spa, Golden Massage, for a year before deciding to focus on massage therapy for the senior population and starting at Riderwood in the Lakeside Commons Salon in October of last year.
Brenda has the vision that as a massage therapist she can relieve the discomfort of aches and pains, help depression and anxiety, and reduce dependence on medications.
Alice Porkert (OP) had chronic neck and shoulder issues and three back surgeries, and now has massage therapy for maintenance. She says, “Brenda is very responsive to my questions.” Roseann Beutell (OP) has arthritis and says, “Deep massage therapy has been VERY helpful to me for my back pain. Friends have mentioned that I am standing straighter and walking better.” Lester Schaub (MS) has spinal stenosis, and massage energizes him and helps relieve his pain. Micky Siegel (CT) has massages “for pure pleasure” adding, “It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy.”