Chapter excerpt from New Age Crusaders
Zen And The Art of Healing Cookies
(adapted for Facebook & Blog)
By David J Meredith ©2012
Go to that still silent place, within you… Reach out to your own source of life. Be still and present to hear the voice of healing in the wind of your silent breath.” These are words I often evoke when in quiet reflection, meditation, prayer, shavasana, etc. Words I often speak while leading a group or a recipient into a healing bodywork session.
Personally AND as a professional healer, I have grown to understand that healing is to be accessed through quiet breathing and meditation. Weather applied in Yoga, TaiChi, or as I do on the Massage table, when we are still and fully present, we touch, with our consciousness, that "place or level” (for lack of an accurate description) within each of us, which is the source of our existence, including the ability to heal. It’s like accessing a production line where we are created in every instant, and when we are there, or should I say "HERE NOW", we are like the owner of the company being present in the factory. And if you ask anyone who owns a business with employees, they will tell you that things run better when they are there. Their presence inspires the production of a higher quality product. So too is the case when YOU are present with yourself. When you are deeply mindful of the NOW within yourself, you optimize the quality of your own creation.
Having seen it at work in my own life and with countless clients, I am fascinated by these processes… For those who are entertaining this thought for the first time, consider that many have presented these theories before. Here are a couple of examples...
Studies done by Herbert Benson M.D. (and many others), have shown that focused breathing while meditating on words or an image repetitively stimulates a healing reaction called the “relaxation response”. Most obvious is the suppression of adrenaline and the extra release of serotonin, when this state is evoked, there are numerous physiological changes that jump into action. Benson’s book called “The Relaxation Response” is a must read for new healers and teachers. It presents studied and proven methods, which include simply breathing slowly and repeating a word or phrase that makes you feel good. I achieve similar results by replacing the word or phrase with pressure points and massage techniques.
Deepak Chopra M.D. explains in his classic book, Quantum Healing”. Written many years ago, it is still a powerhouse of healing thought well worth your time and attention. I hope I can do it justice here by my summery, but here goes… Inspired by quantum physics and ancient traditions from east and west, the basic premiss is that in every instant, everywhere, energy is miraculously created that becomes us and our experience. Like tiny "big bangs" on the quantum level of physics, seemingly nothing mysteriously becomes something - something pops into being. That something being energy, which manifests into the various depths or levels of our experiences including the cells of our bodies and physical world. This deep inner place is kind of like a matrix that surrounds us and creates us in every instant. It IS us. Some call this place “God" or perhaps “The Void”, but regardless of how we interpret this place/level, it is a ground of being from which we are continuously generated. It’s that “ reduction line” I referred to before.
Our bodies are constantly regenerating and being replaced by new and almost identical copies, over and over, faster than we can even grasp with our minds. The bodies we have RIGHT NOW are not the same bodies we had when you read the words "RIGHT NOW” earlier in this sentence. We are constantly changing in a habitual way that keeps our forms consistent. This is why we have a liver that always looks and acts like a liver, and hearts that look and act like hearts, etc.
That is not to say that we are stagnant however. We change constantly, but we just don’t notice the changes as they happen in the same way that we tend not to notice the movement of clock hands. Usually, when there is change to our forms, it is gradual, kind of like frames of a film or animation. Each one looks the same as those before and after, but observed in a wider “ (holistic) scope as they go by fast, one can see the movement - the storyline.
By that logic, it stands to reason that when you are sick or in need of healing, it is because this production is making it so. And it further stands to reason that by being fully mindful, one can alter the pattern of their creation to change and heal in accordance with their highest good.
And once again, it all comes back to breathing and meditation… If you wish to attain this mindfulness and healing, one great portal to access it is by way of meditating on the breath. Focused attention - meditation - on various states of breathing, mostly soft, slow, and mindful breathing.
Of course, I am laying out my own perspective here, which is very effective for me, but may not be the way others see it, and that’s okay. It’s okay because there is no “one size fits all” way of healing. That’s where conventional medicine get’s it wrong. And it is also why integrative healers, who rigidly follow one healing energy theory or another, become frustrated at lack of effectiveness consistency. They ask "WHY”?
To them I reply, “It’s like eating cookies”… “Huh?”, you might be thinking. Well… that’s something I will explain in part 2, which I will post soon. Stay tuned and please feel free to share this with others interested. And if you wish to understand this further, the best way is to experience it. Click the link below for more information on my healing practice and coaching. Feel free to contact me for appointments and also offer your comments in this thread. Looking forward to hearing from you. Until then, Thanks for reading and best wishes! ~ Dave Meredith
Training for an event? Overcoming a long term challenge? Building a business? Whatever the quest, this one’s for you… This shot taken by our good friends Manne and Patti on Half Dome. When they started their hiking and scrambling just a few years back, they never dreamed that they would be scrambling to the top of mountains like Half Dome. But with steady training, there they stood enjoying the views and shooting pictures on top of the world. And the quote in the photo… A wise truth expressed in the Martial Arts based learning classic, “Mastery” by George Leonard. The reality of which, I have seen expressed in those training hard and achieving great goals over time.
Like watching the hands of a clock move or a flower blooming, progress is often invisible due to it’s slow and steady growth. We can often get discouraged, thinking that it is not happening, because it happens so slowly. But with steady and disciplined dedication to the process of our training, we can see our growth in retrospect. When we reach the mountaintop, we can enjoy the view and appreciate just how far we have climbed. And this is not only true in Martial Arts or Mountain Climbing. It is applicable in all experiences . For instance, the health progression of our son, Logan, can often be frustratingly slow and hard to perceive. But we can look at where he is now and compare it to where he was last year, or just a few months ago, and we can see great progress.
So whatever you endeavor. Whether training, or healing, or building, etc… Find a steady and trusted method, and while applying it, stay focused on the process. Below is a link to the book on Amazon! It’s a great read folks! Also below is a classic Zen story that reflects a similar sentiment. Keep both eyes on the rocks you are climbing, and when you reach the top, enjoy those views, then keep on climbing… ~ Dave Meredith
ZEN Story : (Taken fro the book “Zen In The Martial Arts”)
A young boy travelled across Japan to the school of a famous Martial Artist. When he arrived at the dojo he was given an audience by the sensei.
"What do you wish from me?" the master asked
"I wish to be your student and become the finest Karateka in the land," the boy replied "How long must I Study/"
"Ten years at least," the master answered
"Ten years is a long time," said the boy "What if I studied twice as hard as all your other students?"
"Twenty years," replied the master
"Twenty years!, What if I practice day and night with all my effort?"
"Thirty Years," was the master's reply
"How is it that each time I say I will work harder, you tell me that it will take longer?" the boy asked
"The answer is clear. When one eye is fixed upon your destination, there is only one eye left with which to find the way"
Quote by George Leonard (Taken from "Mastery” linked below)
“It’s fine to have ambitious goals, but the best way of reaching them is to cultivate modest expectations at every step along the way. When you’re climbing a mountain, in other words, be aware that the peak is ahead, but don’t keep looking up at it. Keep your eyes on the path. And when you reach the top of the mountain, as the Zen saying goes, keep on climbing.” ~ George Leonard
Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment:
Create Your Masterpiece
Massage table, Tibetan singing bowl, a conducive space, and a repertoire of healing Bodywork techniques are some of the important tools unique to my trade. The most important tools, however, are not limited to my practice alone. They are within us all if we can quiet our mind and go within to access them. When we go within and listen mindfully, eventually certain insights arise where we realize our body is a machine or vehicle if you will - an animated structure manifested to move about in this depth of existence. The mind is a computer that extrapolates data in tandem with that machine. Much like when your car’s computer causes mechanical malfunctions, so too can your mind cause problems with the body. And it works in reverse as well. Sometimes issues in your car’s engine can damage or throw off the computer. Just like the relationship between your body and mind. And without proper guidance and maintenance, the two can fall into a cycle of disfunction. This is especially apparent in the mind as it can fool us into thinking that it is all we are by drowning out all other realization with it’s incessant rambling and calculating.
A lesson conveyed by countless masters then and now, the key to breaking that cycle includes the insight that, while being parts of you, the body and mind are not you. At least not the “whole” you. One mentor of mine,Joe Brennan, often encourages us during his Yoga class, to go within and let go of “who you are” so you can realize “what” you are. And that “what”, that you are, is much bigger than the mind and body It is the controller of the two. It is you. You are the spirit that animates the body and mind. That spirit that is beyond your temporary ego.
This is the identity that one feels when meditating and identifying with “the watcher” or “the witness”. That part of you that is witnessing the coming and going of thoughts and physical stimuli. They are like clouds in the sky, some being stormy while others are calm, but none remain forever. They come and go while the eternal part of you observes. That is the root of Pema Chodron’s statement, “You are the sky. Everything else - it's just the weather.”
So whatever your practice, the rules are the same. Weather it be Yoga or Bodywork, Music or Cooking, Martial Arts or Dancing, Medicine or Carpentry, or most importantly, just simply living a fulfilling life - it behooves you to know that your body and mind are sacred tools employed by the master craftsman that is your spirit. Maintain them well. Use them skillfully. Create Your Masterpiece.”
The Issues In Our Tissues
"Emotional Release"… Relaxing "feel good" stuff, spiritual and energy work, clinical and athletic. I do a wide verity of Massage including my own signature style. The short version of this post brings to light what, so frequently over the years I have heard from clients who came in for relaxation or relief from physical discomfort, and say after their session in their surprise, "I didn't think it would fix THAT too".
There is a saying in the Bodywork community that goes, "Our issues are in our tissues". Ever wonder what that means? It has long been known in the advanced Massage & Bodywork community that emotional stress is held in the body long after the event that caused it has passed. In cases of trauma or long lasting injury or illness, these stressful tension patterns can stay for a lifetime if not properly channeled.
Have you ever heard a song that you haven't listened to in years; and when you hear it you are flooded with memories and emotions that, perhaps you had forgotten since back then? Or perhaps instead of a song, it's a certain smell, or image, etc? Well… The same effect can happen with stress in your body. Various forms of Massage & Bodywork can bring on this effect so that negativity and it's associated stress is released.
Many seasoned Bodyworkers specialize in finding and opening up these areas, which when released, can liberate the receiver from long held stressful emotions. This often manifests during a session as an "emotional release", which is how Massage therapists refer to it.
During a session (usually deep tissue), the client can suddenly feel a need to talk about a long forgotten event, or even well up with tears as the long held emotions process from deep within the psyche as a result of releasing the stress in the associated body parts. Once processed properly, the old hurt can finally heal, both in Body, AND Emotions.
Of course I do my share of Massages that are just for relaxation and pain relief, but on a deeper level, I find this phenomenon to be among the most fascinating elements to my work. As a client or therapist, have you had this experience? Read on and feel free to tag yourself in the picture and/or share it, and share your thoughts in this thread…
Read on below or (if cut off in your browser) in the comment thread… Okay… So on we go…
In a very, VERY basic way, it kind of works like this… Something happens that causes tension in a given part of the body; let's say that your shoulder is tight and raised. Due to all the external emotional chaos, the internal stress of the event goes largely unnoticed.
As time passes, the overt emotional state eases and can be forgotten, but after a time of consistent stress in that originally associated musculature, a habitual pattern has been created by way of "neuroplasticity", which is explained in the attached video link below. A default, so to speak, where the brain and nervous system are now sending out a programed command to the body to remain stressed in that originally troubled area. This experience is transformative and quite common, especially while receiving regular Deep Tissue sessions from an experienced, competent and empathic therapist who knows how to handle these situations when they arise. When working with clients who are experiencing emotional releases, I often encourage them to explore additional ways to channel them properly, such as Meditation, exercise, cleansing, dialogue, and even counseling when needed.
I have long advised that Hatha Yoga is among the most powerful tools in your emotional release toolbox. Like in Bodywork, the active movement designed to release tension both in the body, mind and spirit, can serve as a perfect vehicle to expel held negative emotions. In addition, the Yoga practitioner is building new empowered positive strengths as the negativity is moved out via the mindful "Vinyasa" or "flow". I especially like this term and style since it is the most compatible with my Hybrid sessions.
There are many other disciplines that Yoga brings to bear to help in this process, such as Breathing techniques and Meditation. As with Massage Therapists, there are a great many Yoga instructors out there, and I recommend finding one that is experienced and, especially, encourages their students to "go within" and be mindful during the exercises.
Have a look through my friends list and you will find many great teachers who embody this teaching style. Of course, they all have very unique approaches, so I recommend getting out and trying many to find that perfect fit.
Massage not only releases the emotions, but stimulates the body's flushing mechanisms to clear out toxins as well. Thus another important tool is cleansing. Removing all the toxins from your diet to clear out junk, and adding all the right nutrients and wholesome foods to boost the body's system. You might be surprised to find that purging the body of physical toxins can stimulate the same kind of emotional release. In fact, many of my clients have had these experiences on my table, while going through a cleanse.
When cleansing, especially during times of emotional release, I recommend seeking out help and coaching from experienced dietary professionals. I have done many cleanses over the years and now recommend the "CLEAN Program" by Alejandro Junger. I believe that the overall Holistic approach to the cleanse, and especially the coaching support connected to the program, makes it a powerful tool for transformation.
Of course, there is so much more to this subject and it could go on and on. So to wrap it up I will invite you to join the conversation and share your thoughts or questions... If you share an interest and/or actually work with emotional release, please feel free to tag yourself in the picture, or share the post.
Cheers! ~Dave Meredith
Neuroplasticity: Change is Possible!…
Excerpt from Dave’s Upcoming Book
When I was young, I had a spiritual experience that gave birth to my life long passion for Spirit and healing. While in the NICU at CHOP, I was contacted by an author named John Muciaccia researching for his book called "Spirit Lives!" (http:// drjohnmuciaccia.com/), which tells stories of hope in the afterlife and accounts of spirit that give the comfort of knowing that our Loved Ones, who have passed, are still with us in spirit. John asked me to write my event, which until then had never been told in writing. I wrote this and other material, some of which were posts here on FB, while our experience in the NICU rolled out. Some critical times (including the days that followed this photo in July) and some miraculous (including the unexpected recovery of Logan in the weeks that followed)- the times and the writings inspired a few projects, including a couple of soon coming books - one spiritual and the other about our time at CHOP. Below is an excerpt from a chapter in the spiritually minded book. This excerpt is somewhat autobiographical, but the book is not… I would love to receive your feedback so feel free to comment and/or inbox me… Also... Have you had a similar experience? Please share it in the comments.
So here it is...
An excerpt from New Age Crusaders
By David J Meredith
“How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself anything less than a god.”
― Alan Watts
from 'The Book' on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
At an early age, (mid-teens) I started reading books and receiving teachings that were vastly different in opinion, from that of my Roman Catholic upbringing. Through my Martial Arts training, I was consistently taught principles and disciplines from Eastern traditions, while I experimented with a wide variety of alternative perspectives. I was and still am a big subscriber to Bruce Lee’s empowering philosophy of Jeet Kune Do, and as is the case with most people who travel similar paths, I grew to embrace much of what resonated with me and discarded much of what did not.
Early on I had become very well read in the Eastern classics like the Tao Te Ching, Bagavadgita, Zen, etc... I practiced various forms of meditation, QiGong and Yoga. I was, however, still young and wasn't quite mature enough to fully appreciate the non-dualistic nature of practices like Buddhism, etc. So from gurus to crystals, I couldn't quench my thirst for external spiritual validation. I was swimming in what I have heard Buddhists call, 'magic mind', which has its pro's and con's. and like the 'beginner's mind in Shunryu Suzuki's classic, 'Zen Mind Beginners Mind', Magic Mind can be a great asset because it is a state of mind that is curious and filled with wonder, open minded and free. But as can happen with too much of any good thing, Magic Mind can also be a blockage, because we can often get trapped in an unrealistic search for supernatural miracles and spiritual magic tricks.
A good friend and spiritual brother, Charles Robert Fritsch, had turned me on to the works of Linda Goodman. After reading Linda's book, 'Star Signs', I was introduced to, what she referred to as 'purple plates'. These were actually purple colored metallic plates that come in various shapes and sizes. While I can't say one way or another if they actually work, proponents of purple plates believe them to draw in and intensify the, as of now, the theoretical tachyon energy, thus enhancing healing, amplifying intuition, inducing vivid dream states, etc. So wearing medallion sized plates around my neck hanging" over my heart chakra; and doing dream work while sleeping with a large record album sized plate under my pillow, a new "magically minded personal practice was born.
I used these plates regularly with some interesting results until one pivotal night when I had a mystical experience that changed my whole perspective. More vivid and lucid than any dream I had ever had before or after, I was fighting for my life in what felt like a very real battle between good and evil. I was in the threatening presence of the energy or entity most often associated with Satan.
Like a shield, I held before me the large purple plate that I, at that time, believed would protect me. I shielded myself from the horrifying dark presence bearing down. The pressure was overtaking me and the props were not working. The plate then crumbled in my hands and fell away leaving me with no shield. As I reached total exhaustion and could no longer hold back the attack, I turned to my roots and recited the 'Lords Prayer', the 'Our Father', which was still very ingrained in my spiritual vocabulary thanks to years of indoctrination. Quickly, the words of the prayer faded and I had nothing left but to drop the props and go within.
At that moment I heard a powerful, deep and penetrating voice repeating, " “I am the WAY and the truth”. It was the words and voice of Jesus Christ, shouting out from my heart area. I heard the words but still I braced for the inevitable destruction that came next. To my surprise, however, destruction didn't befall me, but instead backed away. The voice, billowing from my heart, continued to sound out, and with each repeat of the phrase, the evil satanic force was pummeled back.
As the voice continued, the words changed to, "I AM the power, I AM the light!", with emphasis on the "I AM". With each repeat, I could feel and hear the impact, like a deep and powerful punch, blasting back the evil force. At first the punches emanated from the powerful incantation shouting from my heart; and then mixed with actual blows inflicted by my own empowered fists. With each power punch, the demon cried out in pain, until it was gone. I was safe, the evil was defeated, and the powerful energy that saved the day, came not from crystals, purple plates, crosses, or recited prayers, but rather, from the faith and power within me...
And who knows if the purple plates actually had something to do with it. I don't know, but to me, that consideration is irrelevant. I do believe however, that within this mystical experience I was interacting with very real currents of energy, which manifest as ultimate Evil & Good forces. They have no absolute identity and can be totally relative to those who experience them. At that time in my life, the images I most associated with those forces, were Satan and Christ so those are the images my mind used to facilitate my epiphany. I grew to realize that even those names were but props and that the good and evil currents that the names represented, were totally free of “identity” and also flowed through and from me. Now to those of deep religious faith, please know that this is not a statement to debunk or disprove your faith. For instance, this is not to say that Jesus doesn’t exist. Instead that the thing that some call "Jesus" is beyond names and identities that we humans tag on to it.
This experience knows no theological or cultural boundaries. It can, and does, happen to anyone of any religious persuasion - even atheists, although they hate to admit that. I believe that this is why so many people, from various and even opposing theologies, have spiritual visions, miraculous healings, and near death experiences, that are very similar in nature, but include imagery and/or dialogue with whatever religious personalities they happen to subscribe to.
A similar event changed the life and direction of Carl Jung, who's work went on to become one of the primary legs upon which modern psychology stands, and taught us that this deep imagery from the collective unconscious psyche happens within us all as long as we don't suppress it with dogma and closed mindedness. It was mostly this experience that marked an enlightening change in my views regarding spirit. This new outlook of experiencing spirit was further cultivated by reading books like 'Conversations With God' and absorbing the works of greats like Dan Millman, Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts, the Hidden Meanings teachings of Bill Donahue, etc...
I also grew to realize that I wanted to devote my life to passing on this understanding. This is what led me to work in the Holistic/Spiritual Healing profession. I have been teaching and practicing tirelessly ever since, and I still wear the purple plates around my neck, not for their alleged metaphysical abilities, but rather, as an ironic reminder of my epiphany. That epiphany being the wake up call that drives home the truth told to us by great masters like The Buddha, Krishna, Christ, and countless others before and after, that says, "God is within you." Within each of us is the ultimate power.
As I write this, it is decades later and I am realizing a different kind of epiphany as my newborn son is in a neonatal intensive care unit at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia which has become our home. He really has become my latest and greatest mentor as every day I can see that power within him, expressing freely, like a beginners mind, without the blockage of dualistic thinking, ego, or philosophical bias. I know that someday, as happens to us all, he too will lose some of that freedom, and he too will have his own epiphany where he is challenged to realize the truth of his divinity. I hope that it won't take as long for him as it did for his dad.
Every day we play and I tell him about the healing power of our purple plates. Like children who believe in Santa Clause until they outgrow the fantasy and realize the moral lesson, he will develop his faith by believing in magic and myth. He will hear stories of Jesus, Krishna, Buddha and more, but as he grows to understand the deeper mythological meanings of these myths, he will be free to understand the truth about himself. That truth of his divinity. The truth that within him, and us all, is the infinite power to accomplish anything against all odds. Feat's of the like, that I know right now, he has already accomplished, before he can even speak or crawl.
So to plant the seed that someday will bloom into his own epiphany, each day together we look in the mirror and I speak our very own simple poem that evokes a very famous and very universally infinite statement spoken by the same great master who spoke from my heart during my experience so long ago. Like the word Namaste, which tends to get thrown around trivially as a trendy way to say hello or goodby, but actually expresses that deep truth I speak of now.
The truth shall set you free
That truth about you and me
That looking within we see
The expression of God are we
These are the "magic mind" musings I offer to my boy when we look together in that mirror and within, who happens to be my teacher, and he doesn't even know it. Some true accounts, some myth. Some personal, some universal. Some that encourage you to have a look in your own mirror and realize what you REALY are! Divinity itself…
True Then, True Now
Yoga Teacher, Bodyworker, Shaman, Doctor, or any number of others who have chosen to be a professional in the field of healing? Perhaps you are a Mom, Dad, friend or simply a stranger paying it forward with kind words… Bottom line is that ANYONE can be a strong healer if they follow some basic steps laid out here in this YouTube clip by Neale Donald Walsch, who tells us to... "See Smile & TOUCH"
This post has a quick version featured above and an extended piece below and in the comments... Cheers! ~Dave Meredith
And The Extended version goes like this…
Shortly after I opened American Eastern Wellness Center, a friend gave me this issue of Life Magazine to frame and display on my wall, which had been released around the same time as my grand opening. It was August of 1997 and this cover story was among the first of many emerging signs that there was a new "Healing Powerhouse" on the scene.
No longer relegated to New Age circles and obscure European spas (with all due respect - not that there is anything wrong with those), Massage Therapy, with Yoga and Acupuncture at its side, was the first of the Holistic modalities to drive into mainstream American lifestyles ushering in the new paradigm of health & wellness.
To the chagrin of many established mainstream & alternative specialists, reports were abound from Massage clients about how their chronic pain and stress related issues were gone after only a few sessions with a well trained therapist. Respected studies were to follow that, then and even today, continue to pile on the evidence that proves Life Magazine's cover statement true. Suddenly Massage & Bodywork were seen as a proven means of therapy and transformation best had regularly, and not just a luxurious indulgence to experience on special occasions. It was a great time to be a Massage Therapist.
Like most professionals, I was proud of my growing achievements in the field, but wanted to keep my main focus on what this image represented. No matter how many diplomas hung around it, this image stood center stage. It represented my PASSION to heal and create positive transformations in others as well as myself. A practice that expressed itself through a true integration of Holistic healing and the best conventional clinical applications available.
Even more, then and now, it serves as a reminder that with the uplifting of respect and legitimacy of our industry, comes a responsibility to keep it real and constantly improving. Even more than THAT, we should strive to not only improve, but INNOVATE. This is the source of my drive to create my own signature style of Bodywork. A hybrid of advanced styles that propel the evolution of our tradition and industry. It was THAT kind of innovation that brought it to where it was then, and it is THAT kind of innovation that will keep it real today.
This was a lesson gifted to me by my first formal Massage Teacher & Mentor, Larry Heisler. Apprenticing with Larry gave me the honor of first hand witness to someone who mastered the standards, and then raised the bar by inventing and improving upon what was there. Anyone who trained with him has a very recognizable style, because it is based on HIS style. Larry continues to be a powerful voice in the Massage and Bodywork field, through his own private practice, his work in education, and the countless graduates and leaders in our industry, including myself who credit him as being an integral source of their love and passion for healing. His school is one of the last truly authentic annexes of learning for Massage & Bodywork in this area and offers classes that are well worth the time. Have a look…
Today I look around at my industry and I see lots of evolved up's and down's, and wish to make a suggestion to new therapists and clients…
One down side is that over the years I have witnessed a watering down of the industry due to an over-abundance of large inexperienced schools mass producing under trained therapists, and most unfortunately, the growing trend of huge franchise chains like "Massage Envy", that offer Massage at a discount at the expense and exploitation of new Massage therapists. They exploit inexperienced therapists that are desperate for work in a bad economy, paying them an insulting amount of money, which leads to a burn out due to lack of income. Ironically, over priced spas usually do the same thing.
My suggestion to new Massage Therapists is to avoid franchise chains if possible. Get out there and empower yourself with continued education. Create a practice that clients want to stay loyal to. If you consistently notice that clients don't return, don't think that discounted rates are the solution. Instead, have an honest look at your work and get feedback from others in your field, especially from those with more experience. Constructive criticism can be your best friend and the changes it can bring can turn your whole practice around.
My suggestion to those looking to find the best in Massage related care is to make choices among the therapists that work for themselves. Look for practitioners that have their own practice and a loyal steady following that mostly pays out of pocket. That is a major sign of someone who is worth your time and money. Yes, your sessions may be more of an investment, but the experience you receive will make it all worth it.
Let It Be...