It’s true what they say- you have to love what you do (especially if you want to actually make a difference). And last year, Covid helped me realize that while I loved my massage job, I could love doing something different even more, especially because it (Covid) made me see just how limited I was in being able to help others find the lasting relief they were looking for.
To be fair, I still don’t see myself giving up my previous massage work completely. There are so many wonderful benefits that come from massage and heck- who doesn’t prefer to have someone else do the work while you relax?! But after 13 years and hundreds of clients, I can say the massage therapy model is a little broken. When I was in school, we were taught that the goal was to help people get better, and then get them on a monthly maintenance plan (that is how we were going to build a business). And for years I never questioned it because- it’s massage! Why shouldn’t you be getting one every month? But once I was forced to close, it began to dawn on me there had to be a better way. I was hearing from clients almost daily about how much they missed me and how they couldn’t wait for me to be open again (which I’ll admit originally had me gushing). What I realized though, is that they were missing me because they were in pain… again.
So what I had first thought was a great offering (and one I was darn good at), turned out to be an offering that created a dependence on me. My clients were writing me and needing me because they didn’t know how to help themselves. And the worst part? I knew exactly how to teach those skills.
I had already been trained as an exercise scientist (someone who learns all about how the human body creates movement, how that movement impacts other areas of the body, and how our movement expands and contracts as we age), plus I was a Certified Rossiter (someone taught all about connective tissue functioning and release) and a Certified Stretching Facilitator (someone who can appropriately assess the correct type of stretching for each client based on their needs). So why was I only doing massage?
I think the truth was, I was scared to try a different approach. If I was truly to help others find lasting relief, it would mean I would be switching to a totally different income model- one where the goal is to help as many people as possible, instead of helping the same few over and over again. And the feedback I got from other respected professionals when I asked them how they felt about that model (simply helping the same people)? “Well yeah it’s not great, but that’s what we call job security.”
Hearing those words made me feel so sick. And I knew I had to make a change. Not just for my peace of mind, but for yours as well. And maybe even the alternative health industry as a whole. We (in the alternative health realm) talk about whole body wellness, but why not lasting wellness? Or even education on how to make better decisions so we don’t constantly end up in pain? As I asked more and more questions, I realized there was such a need for an alternative solution to our already-alternative solutions. And one I could offer, and feel GREAT about offering, was movement re-education.
For years I had seen the connection between how others used their bodies, and the pain and discomfort they were having. And the World Health Organization had also already identified that “the majority of our persistent (non cancer-related) pain is musculoskeletal in origin” (meaning it’s the direct result of how we move). I knew if I could teach others how to move properly again, it would eliminate their need to continue making the time, and spending the money, to come see me (unless they wanted to, of course!). And I’m confident that not only are there plenty of people out there who can use this type of retraining, but that it also has the power to completely transform a life- your life. For the better, and for the long haul.