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96 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k n ove m b e r/d e ce m b e r 2 0 2 3 FACES OF BODYWORK Kei Yumoto ▲ Oakland, California ▲ Graduate of Southeastern School of Neuromuscular Massage in North Carolina; Tokyo Rissho Women's Junior College, English major ▲ Owner, Kei Yumoto Massage and Bodywork Massage & Bodywork: You have an interesting educational path. Can you elaborate on that? Kei Yumoto: I feel my "real" education began after graduation f rom massage school, when I realized I was doing scripted massage strokes just like everyone else and needed to take continuing education if I wanted to have any expertise to try to excel. I took a 10-day deep-tissue massage class, and it totally opened my eyes to what I didn't know. But it also gave me confi dence in what I could learn if I set my sights high. By far, the most benefi cial training was an extended mentoring with Art Riggs . . . He really emphasized having a clear intention of what I wanted to happen in the body with every technique and stroke rather than just doing strokes. He said, "A stroke without intention is an empty gesture." M&B: What are some of the lessons you've learned along your massage and bodywork journey? KY: Have a "conversation" with the body rather than just giving it input. Get good at fi nding painful or sensitive spots or restrictions and give them extra time. Don't try to make things happen; let things happen. Don't be hard on yourself expecting miracles or that everyone will love your work. Instead of focusing on how much you don't know, think about all that you do know. Read more about Kei and her transition into private practice at updates/blog-posts/ faces-bodywork-kei- yumoto.

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