"Brian, I'm a musician myself, and I'm so glad you came, because we're going to heal you up."
After years of losing sleep due to incessant and varying degrees of pain in my neck and shoulder, I was losing hope, and I found myself weeping buckets in the office of Milagro Massage in Berkeley CA. It was the middle of a 2nd bout of frozen shoulder which kept me in constant pain, unable to drum, and unable to concentrate on my jazz studies at the California Jazz Conservatory. I had tried chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, yoga, and had not yet found a practitioner who could figure out what was going on. But on this fateful day, the owner was working the desk, and received my pleas for help in the most gracious and sympathetic way, that it still brings tears to my eyes as I write this.
She introduced me to Shannon Haslip, a no-nonsense woman who walked in, listened to my story, and said,
"Well, Brian, I've helped countless people just like you and I'm sure you'll be another client that sees me in the street a month from now and runs up to jump on me to thank me for getting their body back."
"I've seen so.....many people and....nothing has worked...." I sobbed.
"I will help you" she said, "but you gotta trust me, ok?"
This was the point that got me over the hump to break the chronic pain cycle.
I began practicing massage on friends, and within two months, decided to withdraw from jazz school and enroll in the Maui school of Therapeutic Massage, where I would study under hall of fame massage pioneers for 15 months. As I healed, it reaffirmed my dream to create a healing center designed for musicians like me, who often suffer too long with chronic pain, which keeps us from enjoying our craft, making the music that the world so too enjoys. We are essential workers too often under-valued, and these centers, which will be created throughout the world, will be an epic support system for musicians of all disciplines - a home they never had.
I came back to work in spas in San Francisco, had a private practice, traveled to India and Thailand to study music, yoga, and thai massage, and moved to Charlottesville Virginia to create Catalyst Music and Healing Arts.
The day after I came back from San Diego, where I wrote a business plan for the Catalyst Retreat and Music Center, Virginia's lockdown went into effect. So I used this time to assemble my team. Hours of phone calls, interviews, and monthly meetings continued as we fine-tuned the vision, and after realizing that NY's Hudson Valley was the region that made sense both personally and professionally for our headquarters, I moved in August 2020.
We are a passionate and well-rounded team currently working together to seek on-going support, funding, available homes, and land to manifest this dream all over the world.