Deena Wade: Traveler, actor, writer ... and, oh yes, massage therapist

Barbara Hootman

Deena Wade heard Black Mountain speaking to her in a peaceful, creative and accepting way, so she made it her home and business location almost two years ago.

“I’ve lived and traveled all over the country, from California to New York and many other states,” the massage therapist said. “It was my dad’s death two years ago that influenced me to settle closer to my mother in Georgia. Also, my sister, Deborah Reeves, who lives in Cashiers, suggested that I explore the Black Mountain-Asheville area.

“I took numerous two- to three-day trips, and I kept coming back to Black Mountain. I was drawn to the area by the physical beauty, the size of the town, its vitality, and tolerance for different kinds of people.

“I love the descriptive phrase ‘Black Mountain is Mayberry with hippies.’”

Wade has many interests in life. She describes herself as a bodywork therapist, actor, writer, creative cook, nature-lover, slight introvert, wanna-be acrobat, laid-back entrepreneur and dog-mom (Fleur, her Border Collie/Black Lab, goes to work with her). As a child, Wade had a wide-eyed interest in many things and was encouraged to explore her curiosities. She continues to explore interests that allow her to express herself.

Wade began her academic studies in art school in New York, and then earned a bachelor of arts in environmental studies in California. A master of fine arts in writing and poetics came next from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. She studied massage therapy in Boulder a year after she completed the master’s program.

“I realized I needed a job, and I’ve been a massage therapist for 11 years now,” she said. “Bodywork combines my love of natural wellness and my desire to connect one-on-one with people in a meaningful way. It is also very creative and quiet. And the body is endlessly fascinating.”

Wade has added cranial sacral therapy to the bodywork that she does.

“It is such a beautiful and effective modality, subtle and different from massage, requiring an even more focused quality of attentiveness and deep listening with my hands,” she said.

The therapy supports the flow of cranial sacral fluid by releasing restrictions in the cranium, spine, sacrum and connective tissue, she said. It benefits people who suffer from headaches, chronic pain, anxiety, autism, post-traumatic stress and other maladies, she said.

Clients appreciate Wade’s expertise in massage therapy.

“Deena has created a tiny oasis right here in the heart of downtown Black Mountain with her business,” Serpentine Arborvitae, a jazz singer and client, said. “The experience of stepping off Main Street into such nurturing and healing environment is magical. She is deeply empathic, courageous, curious, authentic and mindful in her interactions.”

Wade studies acting at NYS3: The Meisner Conservatory for the Southeast in Asheville. She has recently began to audition and perform. Her most recent performance was a music video for Asheville band “The Honeycutters” filmed in Black Mountain’s Town Pump.

“I spent an entire day hanging out in a bar - a place you’ll rarely find me - working on a video that, once edited, will end up less than five minutes in length,” Wade said. “It was great fun and I was surrounded by talented, generous people. I have loved acting since I was a small child. I am from a working class family and pursuing the arts wasn’t an option, so I stopped acting when I was 20 years old. But it hounded me through my life, and I am happy to be studying it again. I can explore my vulnerability and transparency.”

Wade also takes weekly classes in acroyoga, aerial silks and pole fitness in Asheville.

“I take these classes because they interest me,” she said. “I don’t like to go to a gym to work out. I like what I call ‘hard play’ for exercise, and I like exercise that is fun and challenging. It keeps me in shape while I am having fun. Also, I love being upside down, and I enjoy the circus arts classes and culture that Asheville offers.”

When not taking classes that interest her, Wade travels. She has visited India, Guatemala, Spain, Portugal and Mexico. She hopes to travel to Morocco and various parts of Asia soon.

Wade’s massage office, Sensible Bliss Massage Therapy (, is at 100 Broadway Ave., Black Mountain, just around the corner from Town Hardware. She recently celebrated her first year of business.