So you want to contribute to the massage world?

I honestly never wanted to be known in the massage field, and it was just a fluke when it happened. I first started videotaping my techniques for my students and uploading them to various videos-sharing sites, because when they didn’t show up for class, they expected me to go over everything they missed the next day and that only lasted for about a year. Then I decided to make a website, to house all my information and that’s when things really took off. One of my students called me a massage nerd, and I grabbed that domain that night.

All the things I did on MassageNerd.com were free for everyone, and I didn’t realize that so many people are looking for knowledge and they’re craving it.  I would get emails from all over the world thanking me for the information I was giving them.  I still didn’t believe all the people I was helping, but it had really sunk in when I started attending massage conferences 3 years ago. I can’t tell you how many pictures people have taken with me, and it still makes me blush when people ask for a picture with me.


(being inducted into the 2012 Massage Therapy Hall of Fame)

At conferences, I started doing free interviews for therapists, vendors and instructors and that was a huge hit. I loved getting to know everyone at the conferences, and I really felt like I found my niche (I have slowed down on doing interviews at the conferences). I’m continuing with my live weekly massage shows and I’ve been doing those for the past two years and will continue with it, because it’s cost effective. I still get to meet great therapists virtually, and I get to educate the public.

There are so many ways to contribute in the massage world, that you just have to pick one or two and go with it.  Here are some ideas for you:

  1. Blogging
  2. Vlogging
  3. Collaborate with other massage therapists
  4. Make video tutorials of massage techniques
  5. Teach classes on styles of massage
  6. Be a presenter at massage conferences/conventions
  7. Speak your mind, but don’t step on too many digits :)
  8. Go to massage conferences/conventions
  9. See what others are doing, but don’t copy them…mix it up a little
  10. Find something that others aren’t doing and run with it.

One of the hardest things about putting yourself out there is that you have to deal with criticism. It can wear on you, but you have to realize that you have to take chances, and you will never reach your goals, if you don’t take some risks. You also have to realize that people learn in different ways and there will always be people out there that will think you are doing it wrong. Believe me, I have been bashed tons, and I still find a ways to pull through it. The benefits ALWAYS outweigh the negative comments, and it actually makes me stronger, because I can learn from them.

To sum it up, make sure you put your profession first and the money will eventually follow.  If I had it to do all over again, I would :)

Who Am I To Blog?

There it is. That nagging question that keeps me in check, and if left unreconciled, threatens to render me a useless pile of massage therapist, drooling and twitching on a Big Lots area rug.

The answer is simple: I’ve got something to say. I’ve got something to say about the way we’re treated and the way we treat ourselves. I’ve got something to say about community, support, ethics, honesty, and ideas. I’ve got something to say about fitting in, and flipping off.

And when I say “I’ve”, I mean “we’ve”. You’re reading this; you’re part of the discussion. Whether your head is nodding in agreement, shaking in disagreement, or is clutched in the agony of the realization that you’ll never get the previous sixty seconds of your life back, we’ve got a conversation on our hands. When the question arises “Who am I to passionately shake my fist at the inanimate object on which I type when there’s nary a soul to see me?”, acknowledge that I’ve-you’ve-we’ve got something to say, and unleash the beast.

Our qualifications to be heard don’t have to depend on awards we’ve won, books we’ve published, or checks we’ve taken to the bank. Sometimes others will choose to engage us, and sometimes we may end up feeling like the carton of milk accidentally left out overnight, forgettable and sour, a wasted effort. But really, who cares?

Persist. Live with integrity, embody generosity, speak your truth. Projects as dynamic as what I believe The Young Thumbs to be can emerge from something as basic as a good conversation. We best embrace our right to communicate, simply because we’ll always have something to say.

 

Andrea Lipomi is a licensed massage therapist and esthetician who lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada. She also peddles massage therapy ebooks and NCBTMB-approved continuing education courses at ConfidentMassage.com, will travel hundreds of miles for a fantastic spa experience, and craves dark chocolate and Depeche Mode’s upcoming tour dates on an almost daily basis.