Massage & Bodywork


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ABSOLUTELY! I have made it my life's work to fi nd new ways to be healthy. I implement each new health hack into my massage practice—either on the table or off. Health isn't static or perfect, but I believe our energy affects our clients, and the healthier we are, the better we are with them as well. TOBI LESSEM For me, exhibiting a healthy lifestyle shows my clients that self-care is important. When my clients see that my body is healthy, and that the massage therapy session is focused and addressing their needs, it gives a sense of discipline. Also, my work refl ects treating the whole person for mind and body. So, when my mind is healthy and clear, it shows that I am knowledgeable and prepared when I talk with my clients about at-home care and how it has helped other clients. SPEAK YOUR MIND Is it part of a practitioner's job to exhibit (outwardly for clientele and inwardly for self) a healthy lifestyle— physically, mentally, and spiritually? Why? I feel that spirituality is an individual practice; with that said, for me, meditation, prayer, and practicing gratitude enhances my life and work. I believe clients can feel/sense that through my touch. ALIYA BASKERVILLE It's defi nitely the practitioner's job to work on the inner self—spiritually and mentally—because the landscape of your mind and spirit have a subtle effect on your client. If you have chaos on the inside, you can bet your client will not be falling asleep on the table, no matter how slow and relaxing your touch may be. A centered and calm spirit creates a centered and calm space for your client to go deep and feel safe. MIINKAY YU Learning to respect and honor my body during the process of healing an autoimmune disease has made me more intuitive and compassionate when working with my clients' bodies. It's as if their bodies respond to my touch differently because I am better at listening to my own. The more I learn to care for my body and commit to my own healing, the better I am able to hold that space for my clients and their bodies. I think it is important that anyone in a healing profession be committed to living this way, knowing that "healthy" encompasses a spectrum of experiences and views. We can only go with others as far as we have gone ourselves. SYDNEY KRANZ FROM FACEBOOK We need to be human. Period. Authentic humans, yes, but humans. I'm a damn good therapist, regardless of my weight or nutrition or whether I am vegan or carnivore or eat organic or drink soda or have tattoos, and I can see more clients in a day than my yoga practitioner coworkers, while still doing a great job. If your clients see you as perfect (or perceive that you think you are perfect), then your practice will shrivel up and die. Most of my clients aren't in perfect health, and they are still loved and accepted. It's certainly not my job to make them feel bad in any way about who they are. Nobody's coming in because we "look" a certain part—people come to us because we are high-quality professionals who do our jobs well. You can be the thinnest, healthiest, most nutrition-minded person in your entire city, but if you've got a bad attitude or suck at your job, it doesn't matter. I fi nd this kind of thought hilarious from a profession that keeps trying to make strides into being recognized as Western medicine, like doctors or nurses. How many unhealthy surgeons have you seen? Nurses who smoke a pack a day? Yet, I don't see this being a question for them. BECKY HILLMAN MAGILL 18 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j u l y / a u g u s t 2 0 1 9

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