Therapist brings ancient techniques to Northbrook

Ramon-Mascarenas-of-PalmLeaf-Massage-Clinic-683x1024by LIZ BIBB, Assiant Editor, Northbrook Tower, April 16, 2015

Northbrook residents looking for a massage incorporating serious pain management and spiritual well-being can find a one stop shop in Ramon Mascarenas. Mascarenas is trained in the Lomi Lomi Ka practice, an ancient Hawaiian mas-sage technique. “Ka means to circulate,” he said. “It mimics the mortar and pestle.”

The practice has been adapted over the years, but Mascarenas said he uses more of the traditional techniques. He gives multiple types of massages for different needs — from wellness to pain management — but he said Lomi Lomi is a common theme. “All my work is inspired by Lomi Lomi,” he said. Mascarenas operates the PalmLeaf Massage Clinic out of HealthSmart at 2565 Shermer Road in North-brook and A Touch of Health in Buffalo Grove. He is in Northbrook Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Most of Mascarenas’ clients come in for pain management, he said, and to treat them he begins by looking for the trigger points of the pain, which may be unexpected. “I find the source, not the pain,” he said.

For example, he said lower back pain can often be caused by tension in the lower abdomen. Mascarenas targets the trigger point of the pain and works that out. The body isn’t the only focus, though. Mascarenas said Lomi Lomi treats the mind, body and spirit, and he said he benefits from the experience as well. “I get my energy from my clients,” he said. The Lomi Lomi technique Mascarenas practices typically begins with meditation and breathing exercises, then physical motion to get blood circulating before moving into a deeper massage. Lomi Lomi massage has a personal connection for Mascarenas. He was born in the Phillipines and lived in Hawaii for three years as a child in the early 1970s. After spending years working various jobs as a graphic designer and photographer, Mascarenas became interested in massage therapy and found his call-ing. Mascarenas also developed a unique style of massage, which he calls the PalmLeaf Massage. The PalmLeaf Massage is a two-part session. It starts with something similar to a sports massage to get a full range of motion in the body. Mascarenas said trigger point massage techniques can also be incorporated at this stage. The second part is more of a meditative experi-ence, dealing with balance, harmony and relaxation. After a session, he meets with the client to assess their needs and create a treatment plan. Mascarenas’ clients are expected to do more than just lie on the table for their massages.

He teaches them techniques to maintain their wellness outside of the massage room. “I’d rather have clients to have a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “My goal is to teach the client self care and use me as maintenance.” Mascarenas encourages using a tennis ball to work out shoulder pain and utilizing fitness balls, foam rollers and different methods of stretching.

In addition to working at HealthSmart clinics in Northbrook and Buffalo Grove, Mascarenas volunteers twice a month at Arlington Heights Senior Center, giving free 20 minute massages to seniors. For more information about PalmLeaf Massage Clinic, visit

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