The Best BBQ Advice You’ll Ever Get (from a Massage Therapist)

A guest post from Leslie Forrester because she’s awesome (and wrote about food). 

bbqAdmit it, you clicked because you were like WHAT???  This is the story of stories.  You’re a massage therapist, you know you can help people, but you get the blank stares and the “Oh, I’ll call you”.  But your table is empty more often than you would like.  What to do?  You’ve tried advertising or social media.  But eventually you have to go out and talk to the general public.

Many people who are unfamiliar with what we do have misconceptions about massage – some of them are completely incorrect and some are just a little a little outdated, shall we say?  With all the continuing research, even the most seasoned massage “junkies” in our practices need some updated information.  But how to go about that?  It’s very easy to dazzle people with our knowledge – our own knowledge base is very different than the general public’s, and there is a danger in getting too technical – and often you can do damage to a potential therapeutic relationship by overuse of jargon.  You want to be technically correct but it can be to the detriment of their overall understanding.

WWJD?  I’m not saying that I bring religion into the session – but I do use analogy very extensively when I am out and about in my public networking and during my intake process and the conversation that happens during and after the sessions.  I embrace the parable and the analogy.  It brings our work to the public in a way that all the jargon and modality talk can never do. There are a few specific examples I’ll share with you.

The Bridge

I use the bridge extensively with clients or potential clients who are involved in chiropractic care.  I live in Tampa Bay, where there is a gorgeous suspension bridge called the Sunshine Skyway.  Think Golden Gate – cables, bridge, arch, etc.  The point of it is about tensegrity – the body working together.  The basic wording I use goes like this:

The body is like the Skyway Bridge – If you want to move the bridge, you need to loosen some cables and tighten others – if you don’t it means either the bridge is going to go RIGHT back to where it was or fall into the sea.

The Beef Jerky 

I use Beef Jerky as an example with clients in intake when I have to explain fascia and myofascial release.  Lots of clients are men doing physical work that makes them sore and that’s how they end up on my table.  This analogy really speaks to them.

Ever try to rip really good homemade beef jerky in half?  You know the white stringy bits – it’s not just in cows and pigs, it’s in us too!  It wraps around all the muscles and in the spaces of the body, making it hard for muscles to separate and work properly.

Cobwebs – I use cobwebs to describe fascia to the non jerky eating set.  Fascia looks like cobwebs and acts like cobwebs, sticking to itself and everything around it.  Who hasn’t walked into a web and had it stick to their face?

Let’s get to the BBQ advice, though.

Clients and people who get to know me want to know how I can tell, what do I feel, how do I know what hurts?  Obviously it’s not as simple as JUST the information in the above video, there’s a lot of anatomy and school and everything but that doesn’t help them to understand in the same way that explaining if your body in general feels medium-rare and I come across this one little spot that is well-done…that’s probably the problem area.

If you didn’t click through on the video, there is basically a handy temperature guide for red meat  – on your hand.  If you touch right at the fleshy part at the base of the thumb (abductor pollicis brevis, for those who are keeping score) with all fingers loosely extended, that’s rare.  Put down your middle finger, that’s medium, and if you make a fist, that’s well done.  So STOP cutting into your meat to check the temperature, it lets out the good juices that make steak yummy.

And if you want to make your body feel yummy, get a massage.

Leslie Forrester is the owner and solopreneur at Quality Life Massage Therapy, located just outside Tampa, Florida. She has used these and other networking techniques to fill her practice from scratch in just two years. You can find her on linkedin, Facebook, and at

Image courtesy of artur84 /

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