Good day to you all,
I hope you all are doing well!
Me? I’m doing good! My next semester of school begins at the end of the month, and I’m excited to jump back into it after a much needed summer break.
On top of school, and planned palliative care training over winter (With the Heart Touch project) I’ll be finishing my first novel and going through the process of starting a micro book publishing business. It’s a busy time for me but a good time.
I will be taking online classes the entirety of this next semester. This will help me stay well rested during my studies, and have an open availability for massage.
So my hours are the same, 8am to 8pm. With final massage start time for new clients at 7pm for a 65 minute massage.
The other changes I’ve made are for my rates.
A 65 minute massage is $80 (from $75), and the 90 minute is $115 (from $100). I no longer offer 120 minute massage.
Even with the slight increase, I’m still inexpensive given the type of massage I offer. That flow-y, all body massage that you know and love. (Which now includes sensual elements on request.) I keep my rates below market for Los Angeles but still offer a quality massage that comes from clinical and spa training.
A therapeutic massage is always apart of every treatment.
Keeping the flow going in stressful times can be difficult.
Learning how to embrace calm is not something that suddenly happens, you have to work on it, practice it.
During a recent massage, my right shoulder stiffened up to the point that if I continued, there was a possibly I might injure myself. My flow was disrupted, and I felt it and stopped about 45-50 minutes into the session.
This is what I did, I stopped the massage.
I tried to explain, not so eloquently, that I wasn’t strong enough for the session and needed to stop.
I offered to refer the client to someone who could give them the type of massage I at that point couldn’t, and mentioned the other masseur to be ‘a bigger guy’.
I didn’t charge them for my time.
That all seemed reasonable to me, but the client took what I said to a dark place.
Especially when I mentioned that the other masseur was ‘bigger than me’. He assumed that was my way of saying that he was ‘fat’. Upon leaving, he said, “You should say you don’t massage fat people in your ads!” and stormed out.
To say that I was shocked about his interpretation and reaction is an understatement. It left me floored but I didn’t feel bad about his dig for long.
On my side, I did everything as a therapist I was supposed to do.
The main thing is, I listened to what my body was telling me and stopped the massage before I possibly fucked up my shoulder. I can’t afford ANY downtime as an MT. And stopping the massage didn’t help my finances, but neither would getting messed up and not being able to work for a few weeks.
So that’s what I learned from THAT experience that I would like to pass to you.
I work on your bodies. And when you are on the table you are in my care. This is regardless of your height, disability, weight, race, hairiness or age.
It’s worth addressing because so many of us have experienced body shaming and prejudice in our lives.
When my client said what he said, I felt bad. But not because of anything I did to him.
I felt bad because I couldn’t apologize for what other people might have said or done to him in his lifetime. I can only respond to his anger with acceptance and kindness. (And an ‘Oh well, Fuck it!’ type of attitude.)
I work on all body types, all races, all ages. And most of the people I work on have some form of touch deprivation. And I address that with the most loving, connected touch I can muster.
But here is my personal rule…
I will not work on a client if I feel out of sorts, ill, sore or strained. There was a time when I was in a mad hustle and I went against that rule, to the detriment of my health and well being. And in effect, my massage.
So this is my wish for you. That if you ever feel strained, ill or out of sorts that you stop for a moment and listen to what your body is telling you.
(Exp, If you feel like you’ll fuck up your back if you try to move a stove on your own, it might be best to check yourself.)
This is an important form of self care.
If others get upset by you addressing your pain, then respond as kindly as you can.
But listen to your body. Always, listen to your body.
Thanks for reading!
Your MT, BCT
If you like what I write here you can tip me through the Venmo app! I do not use Venmo for massage payments, only for tips! All tips and contributions go toward helping with monthly expenses and education.
Brian Tolbert – @BCTolbert
Thanks for your kindness!