Loni Meyer

Still going strong at 88

By Susan Pomfret
[ABMP Member Profile]

Loni Meyer’s vitality and positivity are literally attractive. Clients—new and regulars—line up for one of her chair massage sessions at Natural Grocers in Tucson, Arizona. Store employees stop by for a smile and a hug. Meyer leans her weight into her strokes. Her strong hands deliver a powerful massage. Those who can pay, do; those who can’t pay receive the same caring touch.

Like many massage therapists, Meyer uses volunteer work to give back to her profession, donating two afternoons a week giving chair massages at the health-food store. But Meyer is unlike other massage therapists as she enters her 13th year of this work—Meyer just turned 88 and is still going strong.

“This is Not My Business. This is My Life!”

Growing up in Germany during the depression and World War II, natural medicine was the only type of health care available to Meyer as a child. Mothers were the “family doctors,” administering poultices, gathering plants for herbal teas, and using touch to ease pain. It was this upbringing that ignited Meyer’s passion for natural health care; her work teaching healthy living as a missionary in Belize further informed her path.

But one piece remained missing for Meyer: massage. A friend convinced Meyer that she should become a licensed massage therapist and helped her enroll in a 700-hour massage therapy program. Meyer worried that being older than other students would cause problems. In fact, she became the class mascot! 

Meyer works on clients in her home, but also visits those who are at the end of life. For these people, Meyer says, “Touch, faith, and the laying on of hands are the most powerful tools to ease pain and to facilitate their passage.” As she works, Meyer provides not only a service to her clients—she provides inspiration to all massage therapists!