I was an actor since ... birth? I remember my first role as "Randy the Nerd" in our fifth grade musical. I was hooked, and from that point I knew I was an actor. I moved to New York the day after I graduated from college with a role and an agent. It wasn't long before the reality of life hit me. To succeed as a professional actor in NYC required elements I had not considered, and my joy for the craft began to diminish. I was not ready for the politics of it all, yet I was also not going to give up on my dream. I continued working (five jobs), auditioning and loving the fact that I was living in The Big Apple! At the ripe old age of 21, I just knew that success was around the corner.
At 23, while still living in New York, I was offered a role in Philadelphia. The change of scenery sounded good, and I took a 3-month break from NYC. That was in 2004.
I'm still in Philly.
It was not an easy decision, but I made the move and joined the Philadelphia Theatre scene. I acted and was a barista. I also cleaned homes. It was tough work, but flexible & lucrative. Did I mention it was tough on my body? In my mid-twenties, everything hurt! While complaining about my aches and pains over margaritas one evening, the conversation somehow turned and a friend suggested I go to Massage School. A week later, I was sitting in a classroom. I cannot say I did deep soul searching. I just sorta did it. The following 14 months were challenging, as I battled the idea of "giving up" the one thing I always planned to do with my life and accepted this new chapter of my life.
Not to leave you in suspense - I did get through Massage Therapy School, despite being my own biggest challenge to overcome. However, I did not hit my “stride“ as a Massage Therapist until I was out of school and was working at a spa in Center City. Despite feeling a bit lost, I had secured a great job where I met amazing, experienced Therapists. One in particular became my friend, inspiration and mentor. She challenged me to get out of my own way, and appreciate the many gifts that this job has to offer. Her ability to see potential in me to which I was blind still amazes me. Her willingness to work patiently with me until I realized that potential is forever humbling. I am so grateful to her, and to every person who has gifted me with a reason to continue on my journey as a Massage Therapist. If I have helped a single person understand their body and live a healthier life, I owe it all to those awesome individuals.
It is amazing how fast 13 years can go by... and I have recently realized that there are many other passions I need to pursue in my life. I would never have realized my passion for Natural Wellness Coaching, Public Speaking, Storytelling & for empowering the world with simple yet powerful wellness concepts had I not spent the last decade+ listening to my clients. I’ve had the privilege to witness lives changed by hard work, education and the power of the human spirit. My own life has been impacted tremulously by all I have learned from my clients. Now it is time for me to share what I’ve learned with the world. Stay tuned as I figure out exactly how to do that!
Please follow me on Instagram or Facebook @TheNaturalGuineaPig to see where this path takes me.
Hydrate prior to your massage. Have enough food in your stomach so you do not feel hungry or full- just right. Plan to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. If you have a question about anything, ask it. Nothing is silly, and thoughts left to roll around in your brain only take up space. Arrive with a desire to feel your best, and tell yourself that you can & will feel great. If you believe that, your body will allow me to make it a reality.
Just about every single person, receiving their first massage, is going to wonder how much clothing to take off. It’s normal. There is no shame in asking! Your comfort is most important, & your modesty will always be respected. This is why all clients are draped. You may choose to remove lower undergarments, or not. Every effort will be made to ensure that you feel at ease during your massage, and please inform me if I can do more!
The time you spend on my table is all about you, which means you may talk, sing, laugh, cry, snore, or be silent. Talking to someone as they massage your body may help you feel more at ease, so go with it! I like to talk, but will always follow your lead. At times, I may point out an area of tension, so we can reference it after the massage. This is done sparingly, and with the goal of educating to help improve your overall quality of life.
Some people will fall asleep while receiving a massage. Some will drift off to a place that is somewhere between being awake and being asleep. Others will be aware throughout the massage. There is no right or wrong. My desire is, simply, that you enjoy the process. That is the most rewarding outcome I can hope for, because it requires trust. There is no greater gift than trust, and I will do all I can to prove myself worthy of that gift.
Each client’s unique history and health needs, muscle responsiveness, comfort level & goals for treatment will dictate how often massage is recommended. So there is no simple answer to this question. I work with my clients to foster a sense of self awareness, so that you can hear when the body tells you it needs a massage. Until that sense develops, many people receive a massage every two weeks when starting up a massage therapy regimen.