There are two types of people who have the need for massage in this world. The first type is the rich, snobby folk who throw down hundreds of dollars at resorts for an hour just because it is what people with money to burn do. The other breed of people goes to "Oriental Massage Parlors" just to walk out with a smile on their faces. This was my outlook on massage and I'm sure many other people shared my perspective as well. That view changed a few years after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease or ALS. My back had been bothering me for a few years and ALS was keeping my muscles rigid when I gave into my girlfriend's recommendation of trying therapeutic massage. At The Ride to Defeat ALS in December she rode 25 miles then got on a massage table and raved about how she felt after. We tracked down the name of the young lady who treated her and found out many great things about this talented young woman, Megan Durgan. She had been treating a few ALS patients for some time and those patients highly recommended her services. I didn't know what to expect my first treatment. Megan explained things to me in detail about how our body parts mesh together. She could relate the discomfort I had in one area to an area I was favoring three muscle groups right away! Even more amazing to me was it all made sense! Megan's explanation of muscle fibers running one direction and why she massages against the fibers as well as the stretching of my limbs to increase blood flow is enlightening. Besides taking supplements, therapeutic massage is now a vital part of my fight against ALS. I just wish someone had made me privy to the benefits much sooner. But the best thing about Megan is her personable nature. She doesn't treat me as just a client and has gotten to know my family as if we were all family. After all, we ARE a family battling the hellacious beast, ALS.
— Matt June, Palm Harbor, FL
Immediately upon our initial meeting with Megan for massage therapy for extreme edema (fluid retention) of Danny’s hands and feet, we knew our connection with her would run much deeper. Danny was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Schlerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and since this is a disease considered by medical standards to be a rapidly progessive terminal condition with no known cause nor cure, we were given no hope by various specialty physicians. But because we believe in the power of prayer, and because Danny possesses an amazing will and positive energy…we began our journey through alternative health and healing. Megan is truly gifted with an energy beyond description! Danny’s body responded within two treatments of her massage and healing touch. Her enthusiasm, encouragement, and knowledge of working with one’s “Mind, Body, and Spirit” is uncanny. Among other various modalities, Megan is now applying that of water therapy which recently resulted in Danny being able to experience the exhilerating joy of “walking” in water! (He is in a power wheelchair, and has not walked in five years). As Danny’s sole caregiver and wife, I have also been greatly blessed by Megan’s genuine spirit of compassion. Her willingness to “care” for Danny in our home enables me to get out one day a week with “peace of mind”. Since he is my soul-mate, this means more than words can express! We are now ten years in our walk with ALS, which Megan has helped us to “return” as Actively Living Spiritually, and with her unwavering determination to combat “dis-ease”, we continue to joyfully live in this miracle called life!!
— Danny and Barbara Palomino, Clearwater, FL
My name is Larry Tilson and I am an ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) patient. Speaking from experience I can honestly say that Megan Durgan is a very professional, skilled and truly gifted practitioner in the modalities in which she has been trained. I have been one of her patients for about two years and her skilled hands has enabled me to maintain an elevated level of range of motion and a significant decrease in spasticity. Megan has been much more than a massage therapist; she has truly been an anchor in the swift emotional current in which an ALS patient finds oneself. Her presence exudes an aura of spiritual healing that I have never encountered before and transcends anything “modern” medicine can offer. Megan is also a very compassionate patient advocate devoted not only to patient care but to a patient’s needs on all levels including their financial and emotional needs as well as helping a patient acquirer and use an array of specialty equipment. The very foundation of Embracing Life Through Love is based primarily on patient needs. Megan is also very active in ALS awareness, trying very hard to enlighten the general public to the severity of this devastating disease. Megan is currently working and trying to form a partnership with Kasie Carlson, an acupuncturist and practitioner of Chinese medicine for those of us that choose to try an alternative approach to the treatment of ALS. Kasie is another skilled, professional and compassionate individual devoted to patient care with a different however parallel approach to the treatment of a multitude of conditions including ALS. Ms. Carlson runs a community acupuncture clinic, Calm Acupuncture in Safety Harbor Florida. Together I believe they can make a profound impact on the ALS community as a whole. With their alternative approaches to treating ALS and their compassion for patient needs their presence is truly a gift.
— Larry Tilson, Tarpon Springs, Florida
Ms. Megan Durgan has assisted my husband and me for about a year and a half at our home in Safety Harbor, FL. In that time we have experienced illnesses, accidents, and surgery, not to mention informities of advancing age. Megan has acted as day and night nurse, housekeeper, cook, yard, caretaker, chauffuer, buyer, and companion, always helpful and dependable as well as of good cheer. She is a “take-charge” person, and we are very fortunate to be able to employ her. I have had helpers for most of my 88 years, and we recommend Megan highly.
— Harris and Helen Harper, Safety Harbor, FL
"I suffered from a chronic digestive problem for two years. Megan helped me to identify the emotional issue at the root cause, and after a one hour session with her, my problem has disappeared! She is an amazing person and healer."
— Michael S., Tampa, FL
Megan has shown exemplary commitment and loyalty to patients and me. Ms. Durgan’s overall compassion, integrity, and attention to detail was to this day never been challenged by another massage therapist in my office. I would highly recommend without prejudice any future endeavors made by Megan with full endorsement and trust that she with the best of her ability will outperform even her in the right circumstances and environment.
— William A. Buhrman Jr., D.C., Safety Harbor, FL