Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2017

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By Brandon Twyford Cultivating a massage business at the far end of the Earth isn't easy. In fact, sometimes it can be downright hazardous—like when the occasional dead whale washes ashore and residents are alerted to be on the lookout for hungry polar bears. Things like this happen where Mark White runs his home-based practice, Ohana Massage—in the remote community of Barrow, the northernmost town in the United States, at the far northern tip of Alaska. White says there's something special about being an MT in this tight-knit community. As a resident of this town of just over 4,000 people—many of whom are of Inupiaq descent—White says it's important for him to be respectful of cultural issues. With that in mind, White is considering holding a local contest to pick a new name and logo for his arctic massage practice, as Ohana (meaning "family" or "home") is Hawaiian and White wants to ensure his practice will be culturally sensitive to the town's native residents. With all the challenges that come with running a massage business north of the Arctic Circle, it's not surprising that White's thoughts on what has made him successful over 16 years of practicing massage can be summed up in one word: resilience. Favorite movie: The Time Machine Favorite band: The Who, Bad Company, and Journey Favorite food: Fried clams, lobster, and fresh corn on the cob. Favorite book: Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall Favorite quote: "A good therapist is one who helps individuals help themselves." —author unknown ABMP MEMBER PROFILE Favorite movie: Favorite band: Favorite food: Favorite book: Favorite quote: Mark White This therapist runs his home-based practice in the remote community of Barrow, Alaska.

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