CommunityVeterans In Focus


Coastal Bend massage therapist heals veterans' painful scars

Hands of Grace.PNG
Posted at 5:15 PM, Feb 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-01 20:52:50-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Massage therapist Deborah Castillo is in the business of healing. She believes her touch is God-given.

“Like, I can feel like the muscle tissue or tendon,” Castillo said, as she described having a keen sense of finding and easing the pain of her patients.

It’s one thing to love what she does. It’s even better to be born to do it.

“It’s rewarding,” she said.

Her business is Hands of Grace Massage Therapy, located at 2001 South Staples St.

Toward the back of her business, is a wall of honor - numerous photos of her family members who served in the United States military.

“These pictures are all the men in my family. That’s who I was raised with - my uncles, my father, my grandfather — they all poured into me growing up,” she said.

Family and faith lead Castillo to what she feels is her higher calling.

“Jesus is in Heaven. They (veterans) still have to walk this earth," she said. "They still have a life to live and they live it with discomfort.”

Castillo literally touches the lives of our nation’s bravest with spiritual and holistic treatment. It’s veteran affairs approved, but her patients don’t feel like a number.

Jason Weightman served in the Air Force and is battling PTSD that is military service connected as a result of a car accident. He said he gets personalized care at Hands of Grace.

“I just feel like a person here. I feel respected, valued and appreciated here," Weightman said. “That’s what makes me want to help them I guess, because they don’t know when they come back damaged.”

“They come back hurt and I see it in them and it breaks my heart," Tomas Gonzales said.

Gonzales is a 76-year-old Vietnam veteran who suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

He couldn’t even walk when Castillo started his treatment.

“He came in with that walker and it just broke me,” Castillo

Determined, Gonzales not only wants to walk again, but to dance again; like he used to with his wife of 51 years, Elizabeth.

Only Castillo would like to cut in that dance, out of pride for his recovery.

“I told him one day you’re gonna take me dancing," Castillo laughed. That day is now.

Castillo and Gonzales shared a quick dance move as he was on his way out from a recent appointment.

"It’s a blessing to have a hand in their healing,” Castillo said.

Hands of Grace Massage Therapy has two locations.

There will be a ribbon cutting on Friday, March 17 at 11 a.m. at their Ingleside location at State Hwy 361 Suite 182 Ingleside, TX 78362.

The other location is at 2001 South Staples St.

Those wanting more information can also call 361-334-1073.

More Veterans In Focus stories are available here, along with resources for local veterans.

Contact Veterans In Focus reporter Pat Simon at