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Massage Today
July, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 07

Wellness Company Acquires Massage Envy

By Kathryn Feather, Senior Associate Editor

Massage Envy, the largest employer of licensed massage therapists in the U.S., has been acquired by Veria, a natural health and wellness company based in Arlington, Texas.

Veria was founded in 2007 and encompasses a variety of wellness products, services and expert advice through local wellness centers, a Web site and television programming on the DISH Network.

The acquisition seems to underscore the growth trend the massage industry has enjoyed in recent years. Massage Envy arrived on the massage scene in 2002, and has grown to 420 clinics operating in 36 states. The company also has another 350 clinics already in development. Massage Envy is not only the largest employer of massage professionals, but also is investing in the future of the massage industry, as evidenced by a recent $20,000 donation to the Massage Therapy Foundation.

According to Veria President and new Massage Envy CEO David Humphrey, Veria has no plans to change the model of success Massage Envy has achieved. "Massage Envy is a tremendous success story. We have no plans to change its fundamental concept. Massage Envy will remain a distinct business and will continue to offer the same massage services that have made the company so popular with millions of Americans. The identities of Veria Wellness Centers and Massage Envy clinics will remain separate. This is true for both current and planned Massage Envy clinics."

"Massage Envy will help more than one million Americans this year relieve stress, work out everyday aches and pains and relax," said former CEO and Massage Envy founder John Leonesio. "Veria's fast-paced growth, focus on natural wellness and integrated lifestyle business model can perfectly complement and accelerate our own rapid expansion. I'm convinced Veria's contributions will take Massage Envy and its franchise network to an even higher level of success."

The first Veria Wellness Center opened in October 2007 in Plano, Texas, and a second center opened in Arlington earlier this year. A third center opened last month in Bethesda, Md. The company plans to open future locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., San Francisco, and Scarsdale, N.Y. "Veria Wellness Centers offer an inviting atmosphere for wellness-minded consumers and features a complete range of products and services that are designed to help them look, feel and live better - from relaxing spa treatments and natural beauty care products to nutritional supplements and organic fiber clothing," said Humphrey.

How will Veria incorporate its philosophy into Massage Envy's existing model? "We definitely see opportunities to incorporate Veria TV into the Massage Envy community. In addition, we'll look for opportunities to provide Massage Envy franchisees with our exceptional range of natural health and wellness products."

Veria Wellness Centers offer a wide range of massage treatments including deep-tissue massage, foot massage, pregnancy massage, sage-stone massage, an ayurvedic head-and-foot treatment, a thermal back treatment, a dosha balancing treatment and various facials, among other offerings. The wellness centers also offer classes with topics ranging from aromatherapy and meditation to nutrition and stress reduction to exercise classes covering Pilates, tai chi and yoga.

"Veria is committed to promoting total well-being that encompasses physical and emotional health for those in pursuit of a healthier, happier and longer life, and therapeutic massage is certainly a core component of that," Humphrey said. "Since Massage Envy is America's leading provider of therapeutic massage services and is at the forefront of the industry's growth, it was a natural fit for our business."

Humphrey envisions a match made in heaven between massage and wellness, and sees Massage Envy as a critical component to future success. "The company has a tremendous network of clinic staff, franchisees and regional developers, and an experienced management team. Together we plan to help consumers understand the benefits of massage as it relates to improved health and wellness."


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