My Life In Motion (My Blog)

Massage Therapist or ‘Healer’?


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. ūüôā

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…

pet massage

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. (

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! ūüôā

Yours in health,
Brian aka Cuojoe




My road to health, aka, “Why I stopped eating whole apple pies before going to bed…”

So, it’s October, the New Year is around the corner. For me, it’s a time when holiday invitations bring palatable dread. The temptation to overindulge¬†is EVERYWHERE.

I have written about my ongoing battle with Type 2 Diabetes a little, but given the format that was a very condensed version of my story. I had abused my body by eating shitty most of my life, and the accumulative effect of that self-abuse lead me to have full-blown diabetes by the time I was 38.

There are a lot of people who have Type 2 Diabetes that don’t know it. Those particularly at risk tend to be low-income folk that might not have healthcare benefits. Or who have insurance, but don’t get regular check ups.

Over the past few years, as I’ve made the transition from duly employed office monkey to my pleasant but inconsistent life as a beginning freelance MT I haven’t had health insurance.

I generally consider myself to be a healthy eater, but since May my habits haven’t been the best. As a consequence, I began to feel ‘heavy’ inside, with an ever so slight malaise.¬† Also, I started feeling a light tingly to the skin, reminiscent to the electric shocks I felt from the neuropathy I suffered through when my symptoms were at their worst.¬†(Like swimming in a swimming pool in Palm Springs at noon, it just didn’t feel good.)

I decided to go get a check up. I signed up for MediCal (the state of California’s version of Medicaid) and had a long overdue physical. A few days after my blood work came back. My blood sugar, that I thought I had under control, was now at around 400 mg/dl.¬†

The normal range should be 70-100 mg/dl, or around 135-140 mg/dl after a meal.

I had BBQ sauce for blood. 

Another downer, not helped by the high blood sugar at all, was my testosterone count was below 300. :-/ Which for a man’s health can be a very bad thing.

So, for the second time in my life, I have had to make the choice between eating empty calories (Whole apple pies before going to bed…), or eating for my health.

I spent a good half hour of shaming myself for being a dumbass. Then I went downstairs and cleared out my cupbaords of carbs. Crackers, flour for making baked goods, anything sweet and unnecessary, all gone.

For this last week, I have been weaning myself off the taste for carbs and sugar. All my meals have been low carb, and I only eat when I’m truly hungry. I drink plain water, unsweetened green tea and coffee, and water with citrus, vanilla and/or rose.

The past 5 days have been a mixture of heaven and hell for me. Already my body has been adjusting to this new way of eating. The main thing I notice is that the flavor in my food, like the subtle sweetness of lemon, mushrooms and salad greens are far more pronounced. With eating a breakfast full of fat I have less hunger by the afternoon that if I had a high carb breakfast. This morning I had an egg fried in brown butter, a side of mushrooms, red bell pepper, and a wedge of sharp cheddar cheese served on a 6 inch salad plate.

Everyone is different in their nutritional needs, for me I feel healthiest when I eat moderate amounts of red meat and pork, and foods like whole yoghurt and butter, nut butters without additives, garlic and onions, and green leafy veggies, bell peppers, beans, low sugar fruit like berries, and mushrooms.

For whatever reason, I have never been big on most fish, and I only eat chicken if it’s prepared by someone else, and will go for the fattier portions even then. My body thrives on healthy fatty food. So I’m eating a modified low carb cross between the Keto and Paleo diets.

So yeah, day six and I feel much better. But this isn’t a passing phase, this is my life now. As is my current focus on massage therapy and writing.

So as I finish up this post I wish you the best in your own journey to health, through diet, relaxation and massage! Hopefully my experience will help you somehow! Food is fuel!

Thanks for reading!

B.C. Tolbert, The Humble MT

1st Meal
My first ‘low carby’ meal a week ago. Well, with the exception of the beans and the sparse crotons. ūüôā