Anthony Pantazopoulos, the artisan of well-being (By Yves d’Avignon)

By Marek Zielinsky | Research by LUZ Garcia de Zielinski

For more than 18 years, IKRA Massage Academy has had a storefront in Verdun, at 5101 Wellington. Anthony Pantazopoulos was first the director of the establishment, before acquiring it with the building that houses it, 16 years ago, to make it the most important massage therapy training center in the province.

During the pre-pandemic years, IKRA offered, in parallel with courses, massages and spa-specific services and treatments, but has since had to reduce its activities exclusively to training. Today, nearly 150 students per year are introduced to massage therapy and perfect their knowledge in all its forms: Swedish massage, Chinese massage, reflexology and kinesitherapy. The 400-hour courses, divided into two levels, are carried out under the supervision of recognized and experienced teachers. An online course component has also been put in place to counter the health measures due to Covid. The new session begins at the end of January and already has 83 students, which confirms the growing interest in massage therapy.

IKRA has grown over the 16 years of its existence and now has three branches: in Verdun, Villeray and Dollard-des-Ormeaux. Without the Covid restrictions, there would be many more, all over the province. This development project is still being considered and is just waiting for the right moment to be launched. The demand for training is not declining, it is quite the opposite, and the quality of IKRA’s teaching practically guarantees a job in the field of well-being through massage.

The success is the result of long years of work and above all the vision of Anthony, a passionate adept of massage therapy and other forms of wellness activities, such as tai-chi, qi-gong and also martial arts, which he practices at a quasi-professional level, having even won gold medal at a competition in the Philippines. IKRA was able to survive the restrictions only thanks to the adaptability and creativity of Anthony and his team.

Anthony is concerned about the harmful effects of sanitary measures, not only on the physical health, but especially on the mental health of the population, particularly among the most vulnerable such as young people and the elderly. He deplores the extremely high suicide rate among teenagers. On a more positive note, this exceptional situation will result, Anthony is convinced, in a new society, freed from old worn and obsolete models and ready to reinvent itself. Its training centers prepare dozens of instructors and masseurs every year, thanks to which access to complementary medical care will be facilitated. It is a major factor of change in our approach to health and well-being.

Let’s leave the final word to Anthony who sums up his philosophy well: Stay positive and get a massage!

Yves d’Avignon
Journalist by training… In 44 years, I went from being an editorial clerk to this position of “dispatcher” as my present day employer would call it, so from a daily paper to this local hyper media in Verdun. Pride can be found in

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