The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 23, 2014

Jo Ellis: Carthage natives open local massage oasis

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The journey from working with explosives to being a massage therapist is unusual, to say the least.

For 24 years, Carthage native Doug Osborn’s workplace involved highly dangerous materials that could shred flesh into tiny bits in the blink of an eye. Now, his workplace deals with mood music and making flesh just feel soft and wonderful.

The former Dyno Nobel employee is a massage therapist who, along with partners Nita Robinson and Sheril Von Holten, opened The Palms, 341 S. Main St., in December on the west side of the Carthage square.

The three are Carthage natives, and each graduated from the Edge School of Massage in Fayetteville, Ark. Before their joint venture, Osborn was employed at Body Needs for two years.

Joining them recently was Kristin Fierro, a nail technician from Alba. Their business on the square is in the former law office of Nate Dally. Osborn said they chose the square location because it was the best place for walk-in traffic.

The Palms has a nice reception area and three separate massage rooms, including some that are large enough for couples massages. Those were a popular option for Valentine’s Day, Osborn said. The business also offers hot stone therapy, reflexology, clay mask facial treatments, a pedicure chair and full-service nail options.

The owners are installing a shower in order to offer body wraps and salt scrubs. Their plans are to hire an esthetician who is licensed to do body waxing, microdermabrasion and chemical peels.

“Soon we will be offering free classes to the public,” Osborn said.

The first one, on energy, will be offered in May. It will feature Lastacia Ross from Pittsburg, Kan., on the chakra theory.

“It’s using your mind to help heal your body, so that energy flows through your body in the right way,” Osborn said.

“The beauty of having a large space like this is we can host things like the (Carthage) art walk, and we want to do that.”

He also is hoping to add sessions on acupuncture.

“Everybody’s afraid of acupuncture; maybe we can take some of the scare out of it,” Osborn said.

The owners soon will be offering free classes on massage for carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis and golfer’s elbow, and that universal malady: headaches.

“We’re Americans; we have headaches,” Osborn said.

“In the next couple of weeks, as soon as our shower is finished, we will begin offering the body wraps and salt scrubs. We’re hoping for a grand opening in mid-March. We anticipate running specials then.”

A planned grand opening in early February had to be canceled because of inclement weather.

“Valentine’s Day was really big for us,” Osborn said.

Other special offers will be forthcoming for St. Patrick’s Day and for a Facebook scavenger hunt. Facebook and word-of-mouth have been the business’s best advertisers, Osborn said.

Osborn is excited about learning new advances and techniques in the personal massage business. “You never stop learning,” he said. “I am still taking classes because I want to get to where I can teach.”

ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE to Jo Ellis, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email

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