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Courtesy photo/Barb Volney

Karina Ramírez: Massage therapy can lead to better health

Denton resident Amber Briggle wants to help people understand that getting a massage should be more than something that is done once per year.

“Clinical research shows that getting a massage does have health benefits,” she said. “It is helpful when you are sick or injured, and it can be something you should add to your wellness routine.”

A massage therapist for more than eight years, Briggle is helping bring awareness of the healing aspect of her profession by promoting the American Massage Therapy Association’s National Massage Therapy Week, scheduled Monday through Sunday.

The AMTA said in its latest study that only 18 percent of adult Americans get a massage every year and as many as 31 percent receive one every five years.

Briggle said a massage should be considered more than a luxury because it is known to help many people — from women who need prenatal massage to athletes who can gain more flexibility and it helps improve circulation.                      

The AMTA also says massage helps improve cancer-related fatigue, decrease back pain, aid osteoarthritis of the knee, lower blood pressure and help in other ways.

Briggle is owner of Soma Massage Therapy LLC, a business she presently runs out of her home.

“I want to revamp it and want to expand,” she said. “I’m hoping within the next year to move [it out of] my home.”

Originally from Colorado, Briggle has been able to retain a steady clientele for the last three years in Denton. At her home business, she works with Christy Harris, an independent contractor who has been in the massage therapy field for four 1/2 years.

Both are nationally certified massage therapists. Briggle received her certification from the Boulder College of Massage Therapy and has more than 1,000-plus hours of training. Harris studied at Universal Body Wellness in McKinney and has 500-plus hours of training.

Last Tuesday, Briggle and Harris received a proclamation from Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs declaring this week as Massage Therapy Week.

To continue to celebrate, Briggle and Harris will be offering free massages this week.

“The main goal is to bring awareness of a therapeutic massage,” Harris said. “It can be something more than something you do once a year for your birthday.”

For more information, visit


On Monday, the owners of Jupiter House-Europa announced they would close their location at Carroll Boulevard and University Drive on Oct. 31.

Jupiter House-Europa opened three years ago at 503 W. University Drive, its second location for the popular coffee shop and local hangout.

Amy Hawkins, co-owner of the Jupiter House, said she and husband, Joey, wanted to recreate what they have at the Locust Street location, but it was not possible.

“We just could not duplicate what we have on Locust Street,” Hawkins said.

In the next two months, the Hawkins plan to renovate the space and open a new concept, Royal Bagels, named after their son.

The concept will include breakfast and lunch and also provide catering and serving their own style cinnamon rolls.


The annual free Thanksgiving dinner will be missed this year in Argyle.

Its host, Papi’s Tex-Mex Grill at 421 U.S. Highway 377, closed its doors Oct. 7.

Jane Gonzales and her husband, Johnny, managed the family-owned business, which made “Mi Casa es Su Casa,” a town favorite.

Jane Gonzales said Tuesday that new investors took over the building they have leased since 2007 and wanted to use it for a new business opportunity.

“It all happened so fast and sudden. We have not had an opportunity to plan what we would do next,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales said she would miss all the loyal customers, many of whom invited her family to their own festivities. She will also miss her 35-member staff, which she credits for the restaurant’s overall atmosphere and popularity. Within days of the restaurant’s closing, members of her staff were already working at other locations in Denton, Gonzales said.

Since her customers are already providing suggestions, Gonzales said the holidays will allow her and her family to think where to open next.

“We are hoping to get something in Denton next time,” she said.

Inspired by their son, who left for the Army the year the restaurant opened, the Gonzales’ began having the free Thanksgiving dinners.

Last year, with the help of volunteers, they served 400 people.

“This year we will spend it a bit different,” Gonzales said. “We are going to spend it with him, and we are looking forward to that.”


National grocer Aldi Inc. opened a new store in Lewisville on Oct. 11.

This is the first Aldi store in the Lewisville area, said Scott Huska, Denton division vice president for the company, in a statement.

The Lewisville store features high ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally friendly building materials, such as recycled materials and energy-saving refrigeration and light bulbs, according to a news release.

Aldi is continuing with its plans to open more than 80 stores throughout the country by the end of this year.

In 2009, Aldi opened a 500,000-square-foot distribution center at 2500 Westcourt Road in Denton. No plans have been announced for a local supermarket.

For more information, visit


In celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Villa Grande in Cross Roads is asking customers to donate $1 when they visit the restaurant. In return, customers will get a free fried ice cream.

For the rest of the month, Villa Grande employees are wearing pink ribbons, and each Tuesday and Sunday they are wearing pink T-shirts that read “Go Pink or Go Home,” a news release said.

Villa Grande is located at 2000 U.S. Highway 380 East.

For more information, call 940-365-1700.


Coming up

Local cultural economist, urban planner and rocker Michael Seman will provide his insight on the future of Denton during a Denton Creative Mixer, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Oak St. Drafthouse, 308 E. Oak St.

The event is looking to connect innovative people, share ideas and creations that will help enhance Denton’s creative economy.

For more information, call City Council member Kevin Roden at 940-206-5239 or e-mail


Classic Chrysler Jeep Dodge Mazda will conduct its ninth annual Chamber Mixer Chili Cook Off from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at 4984 S. Interstate 35E.

Prizes will be awarded for first through third place.

Catering will be provided by Texas Roadhouse with entertainment by 3 Fools on 3 Stools.

For more information, contact Rick Wick, general sales manager at 940-498-9800.


The city of Denton is updating its comprehensive city plan, Denton Plan 2030, and conducting community forums to gain citizens’ input. The forums will be presented during the following times and locations:

* Thursday, Nov. 1 — 6 to 8:30 p.m., LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex, 1504 Long Rd.

* Friday, Nov. 2 — 2 to 4:30 p.m., MLK Jr. Recreation Center, 1300 Wilson St.

* Saturday, Nov. 3 — 9 to 11:30 a.m., Guyer High School, 7501 Teasley Lane

For more information, visit


The Senior Care Health and Rehabilitation Center is having an open house from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 2244 Brinker Road.

Hors d’oeuvres and door prizes will be available.

RSVP by calling Jana Cox at 940-320-6300.


Karina Ramírez can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her email address is kramirez@