Business Spotlight

Beating the Burnout: Self-Care at Sierra Madre Massage Company

Sierra Madre Massage Company

Previously known as Pasadena Massage Company, Sierra Madre Massage Company offers a larger space with new services like couples massage, conveniently located in downtown Sierra Madre. – Photo by Emily Glory Peters / Beacon Media News

By Emily Glory Peters

Burnout. Once a catch-all phrase for wearisome workaholics, burnout is now a diagnosable condition as stress made manifest in the body—yet most coverage on the subject lacks recommended cures. So if a long-term tropical location or quitting your job altogether are not reasonable options, we’ve got an alternative for you.

“Everyone can benefit from massage,” says Brianne Ernst, owner and founder of Sierra Madre Massage Company. A seasoned massage therapist with expertise in specialized massage like prenatal massage and reflexology, Ernst views her practice as integral to a self-care regime.

“We focus a lot on medical and therapeutic massage with people who have specific or chronic issues. We see everyone from ten-year-old gymnasts to baby boomers dealing with injuries from when they were teenagers,” she says. “For some, I’d love to say they’d greatly benefit from a weekly massages, but that’s not always financially reasonable. But if there’s an acute issue, we always encourage people to consider it monthly or every six weeks. There’s really no downside to massage.”

For Ernst and her team of therapists, part of the appeal is in tracking down the root issue—something she refers to as a “treasure hunt.”

“Referred pain is interesting. Someone came in the other day saying ‘My left trap is so terrible! I can feel this knot and it shouldn’t be there!’ But the therapist knew that it was really coming from his right side,” she explains. “That’s why communication is so important when picking a massage therapist—they’re there to solve a mystery, and their version of finding the treasure is when they’re able to release your pain.”

Brianne Ernst, owner of Sierra Madre Massage Company

Owner and founder of Sierra Madre Massage Company Brianne Ernst has 18 years’ expertise as a massage therapist, focusing on pain relief for those with specific or chronic issues as well as specialized services like prenatal massage. – Photo by Emily Glory Peters / Beacon Media News

Ernst has cultivated her detective prowess for many years. Previously known as Pasadena Massage Company, Sierra Madre Massage Company came to be when Ernst moved her team to a new location in the city in 2019. A beautiful new buildout has allowed her to expand both clientele and services, like couples massage. Still, some may a little persuasion to get in the door.

“Some men struggle to come in,” she notes, “even when they’re injured. Couples massage can be a good way to overcome that.” She’s got a solution for those averse to disrobing, too.

“We start you on a chair, fully clothed, and begin with some gentle compression. Once you feel comfortable, the therapist can transition,” she explains. “Letting go is all about trust.”

With nearly two decades of practice under her belt, Ernst has learned not only to listen to her massage clients, but trust her instincts—and to prioritize her own health.

“What I’ve learned in 18 years is that to stay strong and protect yourself from injury, you have to receive regular massage and exercise. But you’ve got to get some down time, too: zoning out, reading a book. Let your body restore.”

That’s a prescription against burnout that we can get behind.

Sierra Madre Massage Company is located at 140 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. in Sierra Madre. To learn more, contact Brianne and the Sierra Madre Massage Company team at | 626.585.1964 and follow Sierra Madre Massage Company on Facebook @sierramadremassagecompany and Instagram @sierramadremassage.

June 20, 2019

About Author

Emily G. Peters Compulsive writer and champion of all things San Gabriel Valley. I especially love spotlighting local businesses, nonprofits and neighborhood game changers. Got one in mind? Drop me a line at

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