“THE STRUGGLE IS REAL…”
Self employment as an MT in Los Angeles has had it’s fair share of challenges. As I begin my career, I feel a little frustration as I constantly see posts on FB from friends and acquaintances about how they had the best $15 massage, ‘It was so relaxing!’. I just don’t know how to compete with that, or to respond to their posts without throwing major shade. 🙂
The market here in Los Angeles is SATURATED with MT’s, Day Spas and Massage Parlours. Where is a bearded, newly born MT to go in a city that seems to understand the necessity of massage BUT is also looking to save a buck by bypassing you and going straight to the Red Lotus Inn for the $25 groupon special?
So I meditate and mull on what makes me different, why would you want my touch versus an 80-year-old Korean woman with a killer grip, or a half-naked masseur with 500,000 instagram followers and a bio on Smutjunkies? Why would you want The Humble MT versus a Reiki / Shaman / Tantric master who specializes in energetic Yoni massage, or a Sports massage guru who promises to cure what ails you just by looking in your general direction?
So I guess step one for me, for my own peace of mind, is to relax and breathe into this as if I were performing a massage session for myself. That tension I’m feeling is like a slight tightening in my glutes. I just got to knead and squeeze the hell out of it and then I’ll feel looser…
Okay, so now that I feel a little bit looser, what exactly do I offer vs the other types of therapists above?
Essentially, we all offer the same thing, right?
Well, yes and no…
Not all types of manual therapy is the same. While some people might do well with a simple touch massage, others will do better with a full on ROLFING. (Spits that word out with a exaggerated German accent for emphasis.) So not every therapist has the same type of touch. I tend to be energetic and connected, and depending on whom I’m working on the pressure of touch will just naturally adjust with the flow.
The type of massage I do is essentially a relaxation massage on steroids.
My thought regarding bodywork (in general) is that it is a necessary component for good health. Not just the manipulation of tissue that occurs during a straight forward massage, but the practice of touch therapy in general. The research of Tiffany Field regarding the benefits of touch is a good example. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiffany_Field).
I am a full-time private therapist now. And I enjoy the freedom that it gives me, but again, how to differentiate what I do vs. what they do?
A few fellow MT friends of mind have pointed out to me, that, essentially, we are all a ‘tribe of healers’. That sometimes the type of healing varies, and that some people will connect with you instantly. This isn’t a competition here. This is a community.
I appreciate that line of thought.
And adding to that, I say that I am not the healer, but that the client is. That ultimately what we are doing as bodyworkers is awakening the ‘healing energy’ that we all have, whether it be through a simple touch massage, energy therapies like Reiki, structural bodywork (that feels like you’re being run over by a steam roller), (Cough cough) Tantric massage (Cough), or just simply talking. We can help open the doors to that inner healer in you.
(Lights a little patchouli incense and sagely strokes on my beard.)
I’ll have to mull on this further. My thoughts regarding this subject will most definitely evolve. I question myself the more I learn, and the more I communicate with other MT’s. And I believe that to be a good thing.
A very good thing.
So now, back to work! Thanks for reading!
Any thoughts or words of wisdom from other MTs, ‘healers’ or seekers is much appreciated! But in keeping in line with the ‘healing comminity’ vibe, please leave any cynical shade in the lighting aisle at The Home Depot. Thanks a bunch for being awesome! 🙂
Yours in health,
Brian aka Cuojoe