photo by Marlo Wise
Holly Odom, owner and operator of Thrive Austin has been a licensed massage therapist and Active Release Techniques (ART®) provider in Austin since 2005.
Her journey began when, as a collegiate swim coach at Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, NJ—her home state—she began to notice gaps in the prevention and care of common soft tissue swimming injuries. Upon further research she discovered ART®—a manual approach to treating scar tissue and nerve entrapment—and realized this could help treat many of the problems that were keeping swimmers out of the water. This led her to massage therapy school (Institute for Therapeutic Massage, Red Bank, NJ) and then certifications in ART® Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity and Spine followed. Holly is presently maintaining her ART® full body certifications and enjoys the influence it has on her practice because it allows for a specific and successful approach to treating soft tissues.
A move to Austin, TX was prompted by work as the volunteer assistant to the University of Texas Women’s Swimming Team for the 2005-2006 season and she happily stayed put. Holly’s love for all things aquatics has kept her coaching on and off around Austin and stems from a lifelong relationship with water. She grew up near the Atlantic Ocean and swam competitively as a Division 1 scholarship athlete at St. Bonaventure University and worked several summers as a beach lifeguard and participated in tournaments. She enjoys taking all levels of swimmers through the fundamentals of swimming: breathing, balance and movement and helping them rid of wasted efforts and inefficiencies that might be present. Her main goal is that everyone has a safe and positive experience with the water.
Her dream of blending her two professional disciplines was finally realized in the fall of 2015 after the completion of a private teaching pool and office space. Applying the problem-solving skills learned over ten years of treating bodies on the massage table in real-time to a swimmer in the water has taken her work satisfaction to a new level and will be a new focus of her practice.