Questions and Answers

Some Q & A with an LMT

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Always know you have the power to control the massage experience. I hear too many people say they got rotten massages. I ask if they spoke up and asked for more or less pressure or a change of focus, and they always say 'no'. I always invite feedback. I adjust pressure and area of focus. My clients know they will ALWAYS get the massage they're looking for.

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. I'd always recommend getting bodywork from an independent massage therapist. If you pay a little more money, you will get that back in quality. The store-front massage places pay their massage therapists a pittance, and often those therapists are mopping the floor when they are not doing massage. Why support that? In Ohio massage is licensed by the Medical Board. Mopping the floor for $12/hour is sad. Support the profession by going to an independent massage therapist who's been in business for years.

Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Ask about length of hands-on experience. Ask how much continuing education they've received. Ask them how they did on their State Medical Board exams. Ask about passion, about involvement, and about their lifestyle. You can't get health from an unhealthy person.

Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. The best question a new client can ask themselves is, "Am I worth it?" or "What am I worth?" Really. I know what Massage and Bodywork can do. It can not only bring comfort to the body but it can also bring huge changes on a Life-Level! So when someone says massage and self-care as unaffordable, for me that is very sad. Just because the cost is 'out-of-pocket' many people think it's too expensive. When someone questions whether my massage is worth it, I remind them that "YOU are worth it'.

Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
Every massage therapist has passion for their work. I also have that. What I also offer is Passion combined with Heart, Commitment, Good technique, a wide range of skills and tools. I humbly say I also have a lot of Empathy for my clients, because I've had to overcome some serious health issues of my own. I know about a wide range of supporting things my people can do to make them feel better and live better every day, not just on the day they get the massage!

Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
I have a few that come to mind.
1) 2 diff clients cured over night of months-long sinus infections with Lymphatic Drainage Therapy and Aromatherapy.
2) Lomi Lomi is the most relaxing and transformative massage you'll ever get. My clients tell me that. Get it. Hawaiian massage is incredible!
3) Testimonies from my corporate clients that are all very positive and totally unsolicited.
4) Now working with a cancer survivor to alleviate pain and extreme swelling and edema in right leg.
5) Raindrop Treatment (w/ essential oils) for electrician/body builder with extremem candida overgrowth, so bad that big brown patches of the stuff all over his back and so tired he could only work 2 hours each day before fatigue and exhaustion. 2 treatments and he was back to work for 8 hour days. He quit the sessions at that point for some reason, maybe because most people are used to mediocre health and are happy with that. (sorry- had to say it. I see it all the time)

Q. What do you want people to know about you and your business?
I wish people would realize that compassion, nurturing and care could come from a male. I know many female massage therpaists that are successful because they are female, not because they are good, or great. Our society, but not all societies are prejudiced against male touch. Men in our society touch through a hand shake, violence, and sex. Men who are massage therapists these days are slowly bringing a positive change to our culture: men giving themselves permission to open their heart, touch another person and still be... men.

Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?

A. I got into my line of work by getting pretty sick years ago. I mean I ate poorly and never cared what went into my body. I handled stress by having beers or wine with friends after work. My job on Madison Avenue (yes that Madison Avenue) just about killed me. I had to wake up or slowly die from digestive issues, stress, diet and lifestyle. I had to get sick before I could wake up and get better. I'm lucky in that I did wake up, to holistic and preventative self-care. A famous ancient Greek doctor said "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food" and I had to learn that the hard way. Now, my healing is in my past and I am healthy enough to help others wake up a little. We're all kind of lazy (bless us!) and it takes a bit of cheer-leading from someone other than ourselves to help us see how easy it is to change our habits. I do that to some extent in my massage practice. I like seeing people do better. Massage and meditation changes everything. And it's actually easier than most people think...

Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. Here's a story about Lomi Lomi, the Hawaiian massage. This incredible gift from the ancient healing culture of Hawaii is so powerful, so beautiful.

I had a new client call me because she saw one of my Lomi postcards with a big ocean wave on it and it's just a beautiful postcard. She called me and came by for the Lomi Lomi. Before the session I usually say a few words of gratitude basically. An invocation. Sometimes I mention how we are all Sacred Beings, all of us. And when two sacred beings are in the same room then the room is sacred. I reminded her the whole world is a Sacred Place... This moved her to quiet tears, these things of value...

The invocation is to help people understand they are special and valuable no matter what. And to let people know Lomi is a special experience. Lomi can be HUGELY transformative and it's the Sacred nature of the work that does that.

So we got started and I think she was feeling the energy of Self-Love. We then started the music and all during the massage she sighed and laughed and cried. Her easily released emotions isn't exactly typical of all sessions but it isn't rare with Lomi Lomi.

I learned that this emotional release is the letting-go of emotional stones. Harry Uhane Jim, a real Hawaiian Kahuna says we all carry these emotional stones and the stones are the anger and resentment, the sorrow and hurt we've all experienced and hold onto for one reason or another.

When the client does this kind of thing, I was trained to just get out of the way and be there w/o judgement as they emote during bodywork. It's an honor for any of us to be present to another person in a nonjudegmental way while they feel free and safe to just let it all go.

Lomi Lomi usually lasts anywhere from 50 to 75 minutes, depending on the person's process. After about 70 minutes the massage ended and she was still heaving big sighs, eyes closed. Her teaching for me was to let my agenda and schedule go, to just re-prioritize my time in those moments. That was her gift to me.

After a while she opened her eyes and looked around. Her eyes were very clear and bright, and her face was just luminous. She was smiling and quiet- very at-peace. I left the room and she got up, got dressed and after only a few words, she left.

Her visit that day was a huge gift we both gave each other. Lomi Lomi is a huge gift from the Kahunas of Hawaii. It's a healing of one that heals us all. This is an accepted fact in Hawaiian teaching/healing. The Lomi allowed us to bring in Love and Self-Love, and I think God was very present to do the real work that day.

Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. The latest developments are all pretty basic. Topics in soft tissue care are all Low tech things. Fascia is a recent development and yet it's been in the human body since Day One. Developments in my field that excite me include Neurostructural Integration Technique, which I am now learning. It's a simple and effective way to balance and heal all kinds of structural and emotional issues in the body. Look it up, then call me in Sept '11 and I'll hook ya up!

Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. My pricing is simple. $60 for $60 minutes for almost any modality, and they all can be combined in a single session.

Of course some things work better together than others. Relaxation, Swedish massage, hot stones and a little aromatherapy are great together. Deep tissue, Myofascial Release and Trigger Point Therapy work well together.

Lymphatic Drainage is best done either by itself or with Essential oils. That combo is $75 and is good for immune system boosting, sinus congestion/infection, flu season prep, reducing inflammation and edema, and detoxification.

Lomi Lomi is $65 for 60 minutes and is excellent all by itself.

Raindrop technique is $75 for a session, which lasts aout 70 - 80 minutes.

Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Forget it. Sorry but that's how I feel. The people who own the local schools have been on the State Medical Board and changed the rules so they can pump out new Massage Therapists more frequently and in shorter times. I've been doing evaluations for students at a local school over the years and the quality of the work being done in the Student Clinics has been dropping along with the time it takes to graduate. Now the curriculum can be finished in 9 months and that's simply not enough time to really teach the hands how to do massage. The number of people who fail the exam is going up while the time it takes to finish the curriculum is dropping.

Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. What is my favorite massage modality? By far, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi is my favorite massage technique. I learned Lomi Lomi from Tom Cochran from California. When I give Lomi Lomi, it is indeed a Sacred experience. I can't say that enough. In today's world we call our everyday life 'mundane' and it is not that, ever. We can get caught up in mere routine, but the world we live in is awesome in its subtlety, its beauty and its basic mystical nature. Lomi Lomi brings the Divine back into our lives like nothing else. It's a journey to Bliss, and that bliss in the mind, body and spirit can be felt long after the massage ends. We take that feeling with us into the 'mundane' where our point-of-view changes everything we experience. Every time I explain Lomi Lomi in this way I fear I've set expectations too high. But the Lomi always delivers this transformation and peace.