People Staff
September 09, 1996 12:00 PM

HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE

Stephen Pizzella has his fingers on the pulse of the computer industry. Literally. He’s among the growing ranks of massage therapists who knead the knotted shoulders of its pooped programmers. “I’m taking them away from working on a machine and getting them more rooted in their bodies,” says Pizzella, who gives up to 20 $15 pick-me-ups a day at San Francisco’s Macromedia. “My job is getting them to relax for 15 minutes.”

That’s a real stretch in an industry where techies brag about 80-hour weeks. But the brutal work ethic—coupled with California-style New Age thinking (“An awareness of body is a crucial step to full spirituality,” proclaims masseur Todd Zimmerman)—may be why Silicon Valley has led the way in embracing massage therapy. Many therapists are themselves refugees from high-tech careers. Judy Mahan left a marketing job at Apple and now gives massages at San Jose’s Cisco Systems; Zimmerman is an ex-IBM man. “Product development cycles are getting smaller and smaller; companies are churning out new versions one after the other,” says Pizzella. “It’s hard for my clients—but it’s good for me.”

TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER

In the dog-eat-dog world of presidential races, the Web is the hot campaign tool. So Mary Vincent—Bob Dole’s neighbor at Washington’s Watergate apartments and dogsitter to his miniature schnauzer Leader—launched First Dog (http://www.firstdog.com), where the 13-year-old fluff-ball is shown in front of capital landmarks. Other GOP pols, including Phil Gramm and George W. Bush, have also sent in pooch photos. Says Vincent, who’ll donate button and T-shirt profits to the local Humane Society, Leader’s former home: “When you see pets, you forget politics.”

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