Meet Denise Willinger, 2019 Most Admired Woman — Beauty & Fashion
Denise Willinger is the 2019 Most Admired Woman winner in the Beauty and Fashion category. Photo by Melissa Donald
As a massage therapist for over three decades, Denise Willinger knows the mechanical issues that joints and muscles can have, but she also understands how much mindset plays a role in a person’s overall wellness. She regularly tells clients to flip the switch on their thinking. Rather than saying “I have fibromyalgia” or “I have arthritis” or “I am depressed,” she encourages them to think of their disease as an experience, not the entirety of their lives or who they are. With the publication of her book, Is Your Job a Pain in the Neck?, Denise is striving to take her wellness message to a wider audience.
What motivates you?
I’m very excited about helping people relieve pain and be happier and healthier in their lives. That’s my biggest motivation other than my family.
Who or what influenced you?
My aunt was a big influence. She was one of the first women to open a day spa back in the 1980s. I worked for her in Florida. There were lots of experiences that directed me toward having this career. I also had acne as a teenager, and that was very painful. Going into skincare was something I was very passionate about. My first massage was when I was having headaches, and the therapist said, “Who are you mad at?” I was 19-years-old, and I was like, “I just have a headache.” Growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s, doctors were gods. A headache having to do with my emotions was a totally unheard of concept. Learning that massage and relaxation could help manage not only the physical pain from stress but the emotional aspect as well blew me away.
What is a challenging aspect of owning your own business?
Being a boss is challenging. I am an entrepreneur at heart and a practitioner. Directing other people’s careers has been a learning experience for me.
What seminal moment has impacted your professional life?
The most recent has directed me into energy healing, and it started with my granddaughter being born at 26 weeks. I was guided to a group of Quantum Touch practitioners on Facebook. Hundreds of people all over the world responded, and they were the most loving, kind, supportive, and selfless people I’d ever come across. I needed to know more, so I downloaded Richard Gordon’s book, Quantum Touch: The Power to Heal. That has directed much of my life for the last two years.
Are you a role model?
I think you become a role model as soon as you become a parent. Much of what I’ve done with my life is to help my daughters to be who they are. Now I have the opportunity to do that with my staff and people who read my book.
What indulgences do you allow yourself to stay sane and focused?
I love getting a massage and spending time at the beach. I don’t need things. I like experiences much more. The beach is my happy place.
What is a bucket list goal that you have achieved?
One of my goals was to be a bestselling author, and I achieved that last month. I got the Amazon Best Seller badge. It was pretty exciting!
What is your Superwoman skill?
I’ve been blessed with the gift of touch. I can feel where someone’s pain is and know the right thing to help them overcome it.
What future goals do you have?
I’d like to take the principles from my book and the things that I’ve learned through Quantum Touch and do some webinars and courses. I’d like to mentor other massage therapists and aestheticians.
How has your life turned out differently from what you expected?
When I was really young, I thought I would be a business woman or CEO of a company. I didn’t think I wanted children. I was completely wrong. Now I own a small business, and having my children and grandchildren has been the greatest joy of my life. I wouldn’t have missed any of that for the world. My life has turned out better than what I imagined.
Reserve your spot at the Today’s Woman 2019 Most Admired Woman event, and hear more about what it’s like to walk in Denise’s shoes.