When I was in high school I entered a contest and was the winner of a gift certificate for a massage from an independent massage therapist. So, I took my gift certificate to her and had my very first professional massage. I had such a great experience and just loved it however I would not have another massage for several years later. Why? I saw it as a luxury and a frivolous way to spend money. I had bills to pay and to prioritize my hard earned dollars for such a thing as a “massage” just seemed irresponsible to me at the time.
One of my passions in life was travel. Several years later after that wonderful massage, I had saved up enough money to afford myself a wonderful ski trip with some friends to Vail CO. We piled into a small condo and I had just enough money to afford enough food, ski rental and skiing for a week. We skied hard every day from the time the slopes opened until they closed. One day toward the end of our week we decided to ski a half day and go relax in the nearby hot springs. They had a spa there and my girlfriend suggested we get a massage. I explained to her that I had only enough money for our trip and that if I bought a massage I could not ski the next day or do much else. She talked me into having a massage by offering to pay for it and I pay her when I got paid next after we were back. So I had my 2nd massage. I still remember it to this day. It felt like I was in heaven and I felt so amazing the days following. It was then that I became motivated to find a way to afford a massage at least once a month and it became a priority in my life.
I sought out massage professionals and began affording a massage once a month. If I told you what little I earned you might wonder how in the world I was able to do this and still make ends meet. I set it as priority and I planned accordingly. From then on in my home town with my favorite “staple” massage therapist and various others in the places I traveled to abroad I had a massage. I began exploring and seeking out therapists who practiced various styles, techniques and in various settings. Other than feeling great I didn’t know all the reasons why this was so important to me, it just was. Then years later while training for triathlon competitions I somehow figured out a way to afford and started receiving professional massage once a week. I had competed in triathlons before without regular massage and I quickly discovered the benefits of regular weekly massage. I actually began to win first place. Around this time I decided I needed to learn more and decided to change careers and figure out a way to go to massage school.
I’ve been practicing and evolving in massage and complimentary therapies for about 10 years now professionally. I’ve come this far by prioritizing what’s important to me, following my passion and heart and being open to the journey and discovery process. When people say to me “I can’t afford” to have massage or comment on perceiving the “price” high to them, I can remember many years ago how I felt similarly. I felt that way because I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Our health is our wealth. It is what keeps us going in any economy and in any situation really. I encourage all of you to take your own journey and discover massage and complimentary therapies from true professionals that are well trained, maintain a certain level of professionalism within their organizations and of course that resonate with you. Learn what questions to ask and how to figure out what works best for you. Take responsibility for your health. I have a saying that actually hung in my office for a long time “If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?” In what ways do you prioritize your health?