Feelin’ all right

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Even Dave Dequeljoe admits he gets a lot of grief about his career change.

The former Navy fighter pilot is the owner of the new Massage Envy clinic that opened in Harbour View on Tuesday.

“My Navy friends will call me, and they joke around asking me how I like getting pampered,” Dequeljoe said. “You’d never think a fighter pilot would have a massage place, but I believe everything happens for a reason.”

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In fact, had Dequeljoe never been a fighter pilot, he never would have found his passion for massage therapy. While flying one mission, Dequeljoe had to eject from his plane, which resulted in a back injury. After several weeks in pain and discomfort, he was told to see a masseuse.

“I thought, I’m not going to a massage, that’s for girls,” Dequeljoe said. But eventually he relented, and it made all the difference.

“I was sleeping better. I felt better,” he said. “There were all these benefits.”

Soon massage therapy became a passion for Dequeljoe, and three years ago he and his wife opened his first location of Massage Envy in Chesapeake.

“I saw the franchise, and it really resonated with me,” Dequeljoe said. “It’s something we really believed in and could get behind.”

While the Chesapeake location grew, Dequeljoe began thinking of another location. A Riverfront resident, Dequeljoe saw the enormous potential for business in North Suffolk.

“It’s an exciting time for this area, and this location is perfect,” he said. For a year and a half, he worked on expanding the franchise to Suffolk.

Finally, on Tuesday, the work paid off.

The clinic has 12 rooms, two of which are couples’ rooms that make for a perfect date night, Dequeljoe said.

“You can go see a movie, go grab some dinner, and come here and have a massage together,” he said. “It’s perfect.”

There is a staff of 25 working at the location, and Dequeljoe said contrary to popular (and his former) belief, the clinic sees a wide variety of customers.

“We have all types of clients: men and women, all ages,” he said. “There is a huge range of people who see the benefit of coming in.”

The clinic offers any variety of massage, and can even customize massages based on the client’s needs. And, Dequeljoe added, if people have never tried a massage before, the staff on hand is equipped to begin their regimen.

“It’s OK if you’ve never had a massage before, we’ll walk you through the process,” he said. “You’re really going to enjoy, and I can tell you, it’s going to make a positive impact on your life.”

Massage Envy is located in the Harris Teeter shopping center, off of Harbour View Blvd. It is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 638-9888.