Born with a penchant for serving others, Garrett Blanton began his professional life as a prison guard. "I'd always liked helping people," he says, but he soon realized that he also wanted people to be excited to see him—"a complete 180 from prison work." So, in 2008, he obtained his massage-therapist license and shortly after joined the team at Advanced Massage Professionals, where he set off on an entirely different career in corrections.
Though his expertise includes modalities such as deep-tissue and relaxation massage, Garrett specializes in myofascial therapy, which treats the connective tissue that ties together all bodily systems. He likens the human body to a sausage: "Things can't move around right if the casing's too tight," he says, not to mention the fact that it bursts when held over a campfire. After he leads them into a pale-blue treatment room adorned with Chinese lanterns and decorative dragonflies, Garrett’s clients stretch out on a biomat, whose amethyst crystals work to draw out toxins and relieve pain as his nimble fingers work. Placing hot or cold packs on sore spots as needed, he assuages muscles with raw and organic shea or cocoa butter, eschewing perfumes that might lead to allergic reactions or bees attempting to pollenate your bellybutton.