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Free classes spread healing, one massage at a time

Massage exchange
Michael Mueller gets help from Roxanne Derkson at the Massage exchange Movement as he learns how to massage his daughter

A Victoria massage therapist is hoping her free massage movement will one day spread from the sidewalk outside her clinic to the rest of the world.

Roxanne Derkson is hosting free massage classes outside the front door of ViVi Therapy in Fernwood every Tuesday until the end of March. She calls her initiative the Massage exchange Movement, and hopes her “feel-good movement” will one day be global.

“It’s a way to nurture the people in your own environment,” Derkson said of the role massage can play in fostering more compassion and human kindness in the world. “I want people to learn how to do this for themselves.”

Touch therapy, she said, can help people on various levels, from the emotional to the physical, and if people learn how to massage, the world becomes a better place. From helping along the healing process to addressing postural problems and tackling depression, “body work is really good for that.”

“We really truly help people feel better (and) feel good,” said Derkson, who has about 20 years of registered massage therapy experience behind her, and offers more in-depth classes at her clinic.

To add to the therapeutic environment of the free workshops, there will be tea offered, incense burning and music playing. Up to eight massage chairs will be on the sidewalk outside her clinic.

She will be teaching a new technique every week that can be used at home on willing family and friends.

From the ‘c squeeze’ to spinal walking, Derkson will take her pupils, which can be kids to seniors, on a hands-on educational journey featuring kneading, squeezing and stroking techniques.

“You can actually make a difference in somebody’s day and how somebody feels physically about themselves,” she explained. “Often people leave here feeling inspired even if they’re struggling in their lives.”

Massage lessons are every Tuesday until March 29, 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. at ViVi Therapy, 1608 Camosun St. For information, please call 250-298-4484, or visit