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Massage can help people, especially for those over 50, with managing anxiety, easing pain, and improving sleep.
Massage can help people, especially for those over 50, with managing anxiety, easing pain, and improving sleep.

Health, Santa Monica, Women, Hot Flash

There's More Than One "Happy Ending"

Barbara Bishop, Columnist
Santa Monica Mirror Archives
Barbara Bishop, Columnist

Posted Jul. 11, 2013, 8:22 am

Barbara Bishop / Hot Flash Columnist

Sunday 7 am. I woke up, went downstairs, and made some coffee. I took a shower, put on my white bathrobe, read the paper, and drank my coffee. My husband woke up half an hour later, got into his cycling clothes and left for several hours. ‘Bye, honey!

8 am. A handsome man pulls into my driveway, a man I know well. Fernando. I let him in. We go upstairs to the bedroom. He sets up the bed. Time for my two-hour massage!  

Since I got injured training for the LA Marathon two years ago, Fernando has been a big part of my life, twice a month for one-and-a-half to two hours. I over-trained, and was diagnosed with three herniated disks – two small ones and one rather large one!  

I now ask myself, “What the hell were you thinking, 52 years old, never running before and running 26 miles?” My running career was over for good.

I can’t take steroids, and when I asked the surgeon if he were me, would he opt for surgery? He said no.

When a surgeon says no to surgery, you listen.  

So I devised my own healing regime, with the help of some very knowledgeable folk.  

I first needed to strengthen my body. I enlisted the help of popular Santa Monica trainer, Fit by Fabian.

Next, I began walking 20 minutes a day and doing morning stretches. At the same time, a friend of mine recommended Fernando. He has an office in Culver City, but his specialty is going to people’s homes.  

I used to consider a massage something frivolous I did when I was on vacation, but now it’s a critical part of my fitness plan. I learned that massage can help with the following, especially for those over 50:

• Manages anxiety and depression (sometimes I feel this way)

• Eases pain (check - the number one reason for me)

• Improves sleep (sound like a good secondary reason)

• Boosts immunity (sounds like a good secondary reason)

• Helps with PMS (Yey!)

• Raises energy (Yey!)

• Curb headaches (I am not a headache girl, but I will fake it for a great head massage)

• Helps tour face maintain its youthful texture (everyone has to say yes to this!)

• Ease cancer treatment (I thank god that I don’t have to worry about this one, but I know it’s helped with many loved ones who have had cancer)

Back to the bedroom. Step one – the massage bed is assembled, and Fernando sprays a lovely scent on the sheets and the head rest. He then leaves the room, I get undressed, and get under the sheet. He comes back when I signal, and starts the massage.  

The great thing about an in-home massage is that it’s not just a typical formulaic rub down. He spends at least an hour on my spine and neck.   

One thing that really helps me is to massage the actual spine; not just around it.

He is an expert at this and helps my back to relax and eases my pain.  

The rest of the time it’s about the legs, arms, hand, feet (awesome), shoulders, and neck.  

Before Fernando, I couldn’t wait until my one-hour massages was done. No energy or care was really put into it, I became very bored.  

Now, two hours fly by! I am so fortunate to have found amazing people to help me to be healthier, look younger, and feel sexier. He’s one of those peeps.

The second best thing about Fernando is that he’s very cost-effective.  

He charges well under $200 for a 90-minute session at your home! A smokin’ deal.  

I asked him if he would share his contact information. He actually said yes! My secret massage will be a secret no more.

Fernando can be accessed through his website at But don’t even try to book Sundays at 8 am! 

Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments, suggestions, email

Hot Flash Universe is the go-to source for women over 40 looking for insight into the hottest, most current trends, products, and issues. Topics are approached with candor, intellect, and a healthy dose of humor. We search for the best Santa Monica has to offer for women of any age to be sexy, smart, and savvy.

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