Sole Shine has been steadily growing and that means it’s time to hire someone (or 2) again. When I go through the hiring process, it’s always an opportunity to reflect on what we’re creating and what we’re going to create for the future. You may have noticed in our social media, there’s been a shift in our message. There’s a valid reason for the shift. Let me explain.
I’ve been very actively involved in the massage profession since I hit the scene in 2008. I worked for the most well-known school in St. Louis and since then I’ve been invested in my profession and community. That’s why I’ve also started teaching barefoot massage. I find this is the most sustainable way I can directly effect this group of therapists. And ultimately, share what I’ve learned on a bigger scale. Here’s what I’ve learned over the past 11 years. Massage Therapists tend to make some pretty wild claims about what they can/can’t do and I’m just exhausted by it. Here are some things I’ve heard recently that blows my mind:
- Massage can effect dandruff (Ummm..what??)
- Massage can cure cancer (Seriously?!)
- Massage clear toxins (Let’s talk about what the word Toxin means…)
Some of the things clients come in with that other massage therapists have told them…blow.my.mind. It’s embarrassing and needs to stop.
Somewhere along the way, relaxation wasn’t good enough and wild claims took over. It’s pretty common knowledge that stress is the leading cause in many ailments we see as a culture. Why can’t relaxation be enough?
Massage therapy’s main function is to soothe, coax, relax, & restore the client through physical touch and modulation of the tissue & joints.
That should be enough. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why the wild claims were created. In our “no pain, no gain” way of being, it’s hard to get people to understand why relaxation is so incredibly important. Since I started my business in 2012, I have always been mindful of the wording I’ve used to market my services. And I provide one of the deepest massages because I use my body weight and gravity. Pressure shouldn’t be painful. Massage should never hurt. If you’re experiencing pain, your nervous system isn’t allowed to do it’s job.
Relaxation does not have to be light & fluffy. Relaxation does have to be safe, communicative, and productive.
You want to feel better when you get off the table, not 2-3 days later. You don’t want to feel worse before you feel better. <–That is another myth that massage therapists have told their clients. I’m not sure why nor do I really care. You shouldn’t feel like you were ran over by a truck the next day and then 2 days later you feel better. That, feeling better, is simply called the bodies natural recovery. We shouldn’t need to bring the body into a worse state in order for the client to feel better. It’s unnecessary. Often that “feeling worse” feeling is from your nervous system bracing from pain sensations or holding your breath.
There’s power in the, “I don’t know.”
We have a ton of experience. Like, a whole bunch. In the thousands of hours. There are so many things we can rely on in our experience. I’ve seen certain tissue types and lifestyles continuing produce similar results. That does not mean I get to make the claim…this is what ALWAYS happens….. no…. It’s just my experience. There’s a huge difference between anecdotal experience and a bonafide claim. I have found there’s so much more power in saying, “Let’s see what happens.” And then putting the power in the clients hands to report how they feel after the session rather than giving them a placebo or nocebo effect.
The delicate dance of boundaries.
There are few components to consider when delivering a massage. Boundaries are in place so everyone feels protected. We create the space for you to feel safe. You set the tone, speed, pace, and what feels good. We create boundaries for which you can feel safe and ultimately, to keep ourselves safe. Sometimes this delicate dance is difficult to articulate. The lines are firm but gentle. We want you to feel like you can speak up and guide the session but we are also professionals with a ton of experience and know where there are certain lines to be drawn.
- We won’t let you ask for too much pressure.
- We do have a good sense of what your tissues are asking for. When you ask for too much pressure, that’s a sign to us that something else is going on.
- We won’t let you push us around.
- Sometimes clients think our gentle, kind nature is a way to push our boundaries. We have definitely seen the clients who want more time or to pay less or whatever. We set our prices and our times boundaries so that everyone knows what to expect.
- Firm but Gentle.
- That’s our motto. We want you to feel nourished and taken care of but we want you to also feel empowered. This client/therapist relationship should be a synergistic one where each of you feel the other is working with the other.
- Slow & Steady is far more productive.
- We often find where you need more less pressure or stretching but immediately note a boundary that you’re not ready for. We understand that over time, you will begin to feel more safe with us and with our modality and you will begin to allow more relaxation and restoring into your experience. That is why more than one massage is not only ideal but preferred.
- You choose who you see.
- We have several therapists on staff for a reason. Not only because we have so many clients that one person couldn’t see everyone but also because we know that you may jive better with one person versus another. We welcome you to see everyone but we also honor your wish to stick with one therapist. If that is what allows you to feel safe, by all means, we’ll do everything we can to ensure you see that same therapist every time. Either way, it’s your choice.
We want to celebrate your victories and hold space for you when you’re struggling through something. We know, through our experience, that emotions and stress effect your body but we understand that our scope of practice doesn’t warrant “expertise” in that area. We are happy to make suggestions from what we’ve seen other clients do but that our proficiency is truly in relaxation using massage therapy techniques.
Here at Sole Shine, we’re clear about what we’re creating. We want to pour our energy in creating super therapeutic sessions where you feel serious results during your time. That’s why you may feel a different vibe at our location than other spas. We’re less interested in ambiance (although that’s a portion of our equation) and more interested in your complete health history and the goals you’re looking to accomplish. We take relaxation seriously. We don’t consider ourself a spa. We are a studio where we believe anatomy is art and we’re co-creating with you for you to find relief so you can #LiveYourBest.