Tamara Ray is an amazingly successful woman. She is the owner of L’Art du Massage of Pinole and is a Certified Massage Therapist specializing in Neuromuscular Reeducation or soft tissue trauma. Additionally, she is a vocalist and song writer and if that were not enough, she is a single mom of eight, yes, eight children. How does she do it all, you might ask? Tamara shared this with me when we met.
Prior to our interview, Tamara invited me to see her therapy office, which is beautifully done in subtle purple hues – cool, calming colors. Grapevines border the tops of the walls and her massage room is wonderfully tranquil with a fountain, soft lighting, candles, and a comfortable massage table. In addition to the other characteristics above, Tamara is also very artistic and creative! After viewing her therapy office, we proceeded to her home to conduct the interview. She recently purchased an older Victorian home and renovated it completely. The same tranquility of her therapy office is also evident at home and her creativity abounds and is shown by the color combinations and architecture throughout her house. As we settled in for our interview, Tamara told me of her first love of being a mom. She graduated high school at 17 years old and married very young at age 18. She moved to Utah with her new husband so he could attend engineering school. Over the course of her marriage, she had eight children, six boys and two girls. Eventually, she moved back to the Bay Area with her husband, where they resided for 16 years before divorcing about 10 years ago. Following her divorce, she was able to successfully co-parent and support her children until it was evident that she needed to have a career of her own. Coming into the workforce later in life is no small feat, but Tamara did so successfully. She had attended nursing school previously, so armed with that knowledge, she decided to obtain her certification in massage therapy which fit in nicely with her prior expertise in the nursing field. Tamara says that she has very strong hands, so being a massage therapist seemed the perfect thing to do! Her focus is in Neuromuscular Reeducation which deals with various soft tissue traumas. Her goal in this work is to locate the painful area and release the tension in the muscle through massage. Though this can be painful at first due to the muscle being tense, once that tension is released, the patient feels much better and can have a wider range of motion and most times, do more than they were able to do before. Tamara began her massage therapy business in 2000 and has been at several locations throughout the county and has established her permanent therapy office here in Pinole. She regularly increases her knowledge through training and continuing education opportunities.
Massage is not Tamara’s only talent! She is involved with the performing arts and is an accomplished vocalist and songwriter. She began performing at the Pinole Farmers Market and landed gigs at the Antlers, Pear Street Bistro, and various weddings and other events. People heard her voice and liked what they heard! Tamara not only sings, but writes songs as well, and has an official song pitcher in Nashville and an agent that helps to mix her music. Tamara offered to share with me her most recent song, which is an upbeat melody and one that she wrote in a day. She told me it was a rough cut, but when I heard it, I felt it was a finished gold record! She is a very talented individual!
In addition to her accomplishments as a massage therapist, vocalist, and songwriter, perhaps Tamara’s most rewarding accomplishments are her children – yes, all eight of them. I had the privilege to meet several of Tamara’s children and it was very evident how much they love their mom and how deeply she loves them.
Tamara’s warm and caring demeanor is evident toward others, whether it is her family, friends, or clientele. Her creativity, passion, and enthusiasm for her career and songwriting are evident when you meet her and this radiates through all that she does. Balancing work, family, and personal interests are a challenge, but Tamara has shown that anything is possible.