Acts of shameless boasting incoming….
I am good at what I do. I enjoy doing things I’m good at. It is simply in my nature to care a whooooole lot about the quality of my work and share the gifts of my skills with others
Like cooking! I started cooking regular meals at the age of 13 for my family. Inspired by Emeril Legasse’s night time cooking show where he’d say “I wish you had smell-ah-vision”, I tried my hand at full hand made meals. I also became enamored with experiencing other food and cultures from Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, but that is a different conversation from this. My family enjoyed and suffered my dishes as I explored and developed cooking skills. I reveled in the joy of nurturing my family with quality delicious food, not tv dinners or dried chicken my mother would overcook to make sure we wouldn’t get sick.
Adept with good taste and love for systems, I thought of professional cooking for a career. But, I am also a soft person who can only handle so much constant -ON-. I learned this from working in very fast past-present-future consciousness demanding jobs in restaurants and music halls. Juggling the timing of ever shifting priorities was a great challenge that I committed to mastering. It was fun, but my constitution doesn’t lend itself to high-stress environments. But, if I were to do it again, I know some better ways to support my nervous system. I could be even more -ON- and not burn out.
Now, I use all I have learned through that time to inform the rest of all the work I do. The business systems, true team work, hygiene, self-care in high stress, and the idea of the hospitable experience. Really understanding people’s emotional expectations of service.
I consider hospitality to be a corner stone of any service business.
A definition of hospitality I think best sums up the essence of what I understand it to be is “to extend a welcome to travelers or offering a home away from home” as explained by EHL Hospitality Business School. It’s a business of offering comfort and nurturance. Home Body Being Massage is in the business of helping people find hospitality within themselves. As well as the fabulously cozy experiences of a chunk of great rest and recuperation.
Today, hospitality is leaning more towards also being an experience to live and enjoy. A place you can recall because the experience there holds it’s own home in your heart.
Mike and I travelled to Washington state because we are Twin Peaks nerds. We stayed in the lodge that was one of the main settings of the story and visited scene locations in the area.
We had brunch there and the potatoes made me cry. It was so perfect. The ultimately ideal potato is now an experience I have lived. Wrapped up in a whole trip I will enjoy the memory of for the rest of my life.
If I had lived in the area, would my impression of these potatoes be so sharp in my mind? Probably not. But there are some foods in my area I covet. Like hot dogs at the Dawg Ally on Millbury Street. Or Birch Tree’s focaccia.
I developed a true empathy for why does someone come in for food, music/ entertainment, beauty care, sleep, massage, or any treatments where we would hope to leave feeling much better than when we arrived.
I also take great pains to remain cognoscente of what it means to receive massage, to have someone touch my body that I do not know personally.
Cooking food for someone is intimately nurturing. You are giving them a way to sustain their life in a fashion that is exquisite and hard to replicate at home. But you are not spoon feeding them. They don’t even know know your name! Still, you take great care to cook the food at the highest standard. You won’t hear how a spice in the chicken dish was a little different for someone’s taste. You probably won’t hear any feed back or learn anything about the person eating the food you cooked.
With massage, I am touching you. Through my touching your muscles and our intake conversations, I learn stuff about you. I adjust how we use our time together based on what you tell me and how your muscles feel. And you tell me how you feel after. There is feedback both ways throughout the whole appointment.
As far as empathetic understanding – just like any other sense, touch informs and is informed by experiences. I myself personally have experienced PTSD inducing situations in my life. I live life as a cautious optimistic now. But receiving massage can be stressful for me, even though I myself massage people.
Not that everyone who comes in to receive massage is living with harsh memories that inform anxiety of touch.
But I really try to at least consider what is comforting. For me that is no sudden surprises. As well as, the receptivity of the practitioner to what I am saying before and during the massage.
As a Massage Therapist, having consent and you understanding the massage process is important. Like at a restaurant – it is very rare to pick a dish you’ve never heard of before with no description or explanation.
You’re probably going to ask what is in it before ordering.
or, you order a Fish n Chips meal you’ve had a thousand times in other restaurants but this version is apparently so freaking different you shouldn’t even call it actual Fish n Chips.
Or there is a different way to prepare for eating this meal you were never informed of and the waitstaff comes to bring the food and you’re apparently not prepared for the meal.
Or the food is so salty you’re not very sure you would enjoy finishing the meal and you say something but they tell you that’s how the dish is supposed to taste
(These are food service analogies for massage experiences I’ve actually had)
So, I really take the time to tell you what I think should happen for the massage to give you a chance to understand where you will be touched and change any of the plans. If you don’t want any specific place massaged, like your scalp or your hands, it’s totally cool. If you would like scented oil or no hot towels, totally cool. If the pressure is too intense or not enough, I am more than happy to adjust to the best of my ability.
If the best approach is going to be more on the intense side, I’ll give you a heads up and we can adjust if needed.
Much like when I cook, I truly intend for the massage to be in your best interest with the best ingredients (my skills), seasonings (intensity of pressure), and the finished product of a nourishing meal (relaxation and more comfort in your muscles) – in a setting that is fitting for a cozy relaxing experience.
Healthy comforting touch is so important for us. There are so many ways and reasons massage can be good for you. Like eating the most fulfilling dish that your mouth, stomach, and brain are in unison crying “Yes! Thank God! A whole bowl of tasty vegetables and protein! No French Fries for the 3rd night in a row!”
Schedule a massage with me because it will be nurturing for your body.