Strait On: Relaxin’ at the Oasis Day Spa

Microdermabrasion, hot stone massage and other techniques help relieve pain, fatigue

Photos by Rusty Strait/The Valley Chronicle
Manager Brandon Marten greets customers with a smile at Oasis Day Spa.

■ By Rusty Strait / Senior Reporter

Brandon Marten does not present himself as what one might perceive to be the manager of a massage parlor. However, owner Sammie Deangelo assures me that he is indeed the manager of her Oasis Day Spa located at 2363 San Jacinto Ave. in San Jacinto, and that she has the greatest confidence in his management abilities.
Brandon, tall and slender, has the facial features of a sophisticated Asian-American, very charming and self-assured.

Q1: How long have you been in this location and how many people work here?
We’ll be here a year this fall. We currently employ four people and are considering a fifth.

Q2: What were you doing previous to working at Oasis Day Spa?
I spent about four years in Los Angeles and then worked at a spa in the Temecula area. When I first came to work in Hemet, it was at another massage parlor off State Street.

The hallway leading to the massage rooms.

Q3: You say you are unique. How would you describe your uniqueness?

There are lots of places where you go in and it is just massage and out the door. I look at my job as more clinical. My objective is always to isolate the client’s pain and focus treatment in that area. Sometimes folks come here with walkers and feel so good after treatment that they leave, forgetting their walkers in the massage room. If you do something right, you’ve done your job. When I assign a client to treatment, I want it to be the right treatment, not just a procedure.

Q4: Tell me something about your background.
I first got involved through a best friend who worked for Sammie in one of her previous two establishments. We talked to Sammie, she liked me and paid my tuition to a school that prepared me to work in a management position.

Brandon Marten demonstrates how to operate the sauna.

Q5: Did you attend school in this area?
Actually I attended elementary school and West Valley High School in this area. As to my specific schooling for this position, two doors down from this location a wonderful lady named Doreen Block operated the Academy of Holistic Health Arts. She accepted me as a student and after graduation I came directly to work for Sammie, who had sold her other facilities and has concentrated her efforts on this particular site.

Q6: How do you see your future in this business?
Growing more toward my own business. Training my own therapists in my particular style of therapy. No matter who you are as a therapist, the physical exertion will wear you down. That’s why I prefer being in management – I want to own and direct.
I intend to take some business classes so that I am able to handle both the therapeutic and business ends. This is my first managerial position and I’m learning something new every day. When I am in the position to have my own spas and therapeutic business, I believe I will be thoroughly prepared to handle it from all levels.

The garden area in front of the saunas at Oasis Day Spa.

Q7: Do you ever feel stigmatized by the spas involved in sex trafficking? I mean do men show up here sometimes expecting more than the physical therapy you offer?
To be honest with you, I’ve worked in probably six different massage facilities – no matter where you work you will always encounter somebody who is looking for something else. Whether it is a phone call or a walk-in, it happens. All you have to do is explain what services you offer and if they’re looking for something illicit, they quickly get the message and move on. I would never work in any establishment that offered anything immoral or illegal.

Q8: Are you originally from the San Jacinto Valley? Where does your family live?
I was born in Glendora, but pretty much grew up here. I like to think of myself as a San Jacinto Valley product. My mother, father and two brothers all live here as well. One brother is in construction, another in the warehouse business. Both are married with families. Myself? I enjoy being a favorite uncle. I’m only 26, so I’m still building a career.

Q9: Most massage therapists have a following. Do you still have clients come here from the days when you did massages yourself?
Sure. It happens all the time. Today I direct the treatments, rather than performing them myself. That gives me wide latitude in providing my style of treatments.

Q10: Is there a scientific secret to your methods of treatment?
I treat according to each particular need. People come to me with all kinds of physical aches and pains, both chronic and acute. My theory is to direct treatment to the problem. We offer a variety of therapies; acupressure, deep tissue and Swedish methods. Sometimes we mix them. Whatever is necessary to relieve pain and suffering, including hot stone massage, microdermabrasion, oxygen treatments, sea salt detoxifying body scrubs, and facials.

I’ve never personally had a professional massage, but there have been times, after working seven or eight hours in the garden, that I would have tried anything to ease the backache.
Maybe next time? Who knows. How about you? Just sayin’.

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