SOUTH FLORIDA REVIEW BLOG
South Florida's Source For Local Happenings
SOUTH FLORIDA REVIEW BLOG
South Florida's Source For Local Happenings
INTERVIEW WITH THE BEST MASSAGE THERAPIST, WESTON FL
Interviewer: Tell me a little bit about yourself. When did your business start?
Nicole: My official business started in 2013, but I’ve been doing therapy since 1998 primarily for physicians, doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons. That kind of environment. Then I went on my own in 2013.
Interviewer: Okay so a little bit about yourself; you are from Jamaica?
Nicole: I am.
Interviewer: And how long have you been in the US for?
Nicole: A long time… since 30 years.
Interviewer: What gave you the drive to pursue massage therapy?
Nicole: I had a really bad car accident coming back from summer term in college. Five cars hit me on the Palmetto. So I found massage through that way because I would never have found it to any other way. Because it's not culturally what we partake of, or in leisure, or for necessity. I was told I had three herniated discs. I went to see a chiropractor That was awful; he hurt me. Then I went to see a you're a muscular therapist who within six months of going to therapy with her I went back – I was feeling much better – and got x-rays and no herniation. No anything! And I was amazed that she could do that with her hands. I was already into two years of nursing school and I completed nursing school then stopped that and started massage. When I researched it, the school was in the same Tallahassee school that I was going to. So I went right back to Tallahassee and completed two years of massage school.
Interviewer: So what would you say is your ideal client?
Nicole: Probably between 40 and 60, that works– You know, that weekend warrior or who likes to exercise, or loves to be active and for some reason, some past injury or some preventative – something that prevents them from going forward, harder than what they are able to do right now– would be my ideal client. Because sometimes the body needs to just get balanced and opened up to get to your full potential but if you have an old injury that does not allow you to strengthen the way you want to, you can't be as active as you want to. So that type of client who wants to be more active. Or, who wants to maintain their level of activity even though they have some kind of structural - a knee replacement, a hip replacement, but they want to maintain their level - that would be my ideal client.
Interviewer: So do you see children?
Nicole: Yes, I do see a lot of children who have repetitive use injury. So a gymnast, or a volleyball player who uses the same arm over and over again, a lot of tennis players, a lot of soccer players, football or kickers we just use that one –they have a lot of imbalanced because they they are predominantly using one side of their body and when they develop, to go into a different sport they can't developed equally because their body is not equal as it should be. Or, they've suffered some kind of injury; some tear and they want to get back to their level, then they come to me.
Interviewer: So you basically help him to find a balance again?
Nicole: Yes, so their body can grow, heal and go back to working at its optimal level.
Interviewer: So if a customer was to choose between you and three other businesses just like it, why would you suggest that they try you at least first?
Nicole: I would suggest they would try me first because I have an intuitive spirit that allows me to see with my hands, where the problem is. So not only am I going to treat your pain or symptoms or what you view as your problem, but I'm going to find the root cause of why this problem is happening inside your body so that it can heal itself. Because to put a Band-Aid on something is okay for a while; but if you really want to get to the full potential of your body you have to get to the root cause of whatever is stopping it from going where it wants to go or doing what you want to do. I think that is probably the main difference from somebody else. God just gave me that gift – to just find that – I see it in my head and so my hands just go there automatically.
Interviewer: Wow, that's so awesome!
Nicole: Yeah– especially the left hand! That's what the clients tell me. I don't recognize what this hand is doing because it's the slayer - this is the one that's going to go out to the problem [motioning with right hand]. But this hand [motioning with left hand] looks to see where it's releasing. So if I know that I want the to release but the problem is here, I'll be massaging here but this hand [left] will be up here, trying to feel for if what I'm doing is communicating. So this hand communicates what I'm doing with what I want to happen. So if I'm not feeling it there, I have to move this hand so that I can try to figure out to get the result here what do I have to do here. So that's how they work kind of together that way.
Interviewer: Wow, thank you for explaining that!
Nicole: [Laughs] I didn't realize that for many years and then one client said to me, “you know, I come here just to kind of see where the left-hand is going to be today. I was like, “what are you talking about?” And she said this this hand– I don't know if you notice - travels all of the body in unrelated places. Probably maybe five years into doing this, I used to work them together but this had would go static and I never really paid attention to it and she said something to me. She said, "you know if you watch that hand, it kind of goes …” and after that I started to really pay attention. I really had no mental connection with this hand. I wasn't aware of it at all. I'm aware of this hand only when they're working together, but sometimes they separate. And this is doing what it's doing with the elbow - while I'm working with the elbow – while this one is somewhere else.
Interviewer: So you're probably directing energy?
Nicole: Through them– you know? Because if I were to videotape myself - cause still to this day I can't keep track of it, because I'm over here. If I massaged you today I would know kind of consciously where this is going. It just goes and then when I'm looking at it I'm seeing it. It's funny.
Interviewer: What is the number one way you currently bringing new customers?
Nicole: It would be word-of-mouth. Not me, I don't do a really great job but my clients– 95% of my business is word of mouth. Very few people find me on the Internet. Very few people have looked me up somewhere. Always it's "so-and-so told me", "the chiropractor told me", "the orthopedic surgeon told me", "the PT told me" ... So that's the way I would get a lot of clients coming in. Clients will refer to me as well. But I have a lot of housing– when I say "housing", I mean like a doctor who will refer the patient to me.
Interviewer: How has the Internet played a big part?
Nicole: For me it hasn’t. I can't tell you that I've had somebody go and click on it and just find it. I've had three people in the last three years who found me by looking up “Massage in Weston, FL” and they found me; I don't know how they did, but they did.
Interviewer: What are your short-term– six months to a year goals and where do you see yourself?
Nicole: In six months I want to have a schedule that's full between about nine and five. I want to work Monday to Friday, from 9 to 5.
Interviewer: So right now you don't have that?
Nicole: No, right now I work nine to four. I have to stop working from four to seven, right? Peak hours for a massage! Pick up my kids, drop them off and then come back here between seven and nine. Then I work all day Saturday: 11 to five-ish, because I know I'm building something. So that's my goal for my schedule.
My goal for my business is to have an assistant here, pretty much from three to four days a week - somebody that can greet my clients on Saturday. I'd like to have a little bit more interface and a little bit of a better handle on the clerical, schedule - that type of thing - I want to have it set to where I know what I'm going to have because I know the clients are booked in advance because they've been contacted. Someone to greet them happy birthday etc. I have 80 client files to keep updated but because my focus in the therapy, there are too many people for me to manage all that data. So I really need to get those two things because one affects the other. So my six term goal is to get an assistant and get it running. For sure.
Interviewer: Is there anything you'd like your community to know about you?
Nicole: Just the fact that I am passionate about what I do, 19 years after doing it - which is difficult to do if you're doing something for such a long time. And, I really feel the need to let people know that they don't have to live in pain. The body has a way to heal itself; it just needs the directions. That's really all I do. All I do is: talk to your body in the way that it understands, because when it's itching and burning and crackling – The stomach is –those are always the way your body communicates with you. There's not a class out there that shows you how to talk back.
What do I do when it's burning?
What do I do when it's itching?
What do I do when it's hurting?
We have been taught to shut it up, because we don't know. So just like everything in life, we fear it, we want to clamp it down. We take a pill, we take a shot, we cut it out - those are the ways that we deal with something that we don't understand. The body can heal itself and every part that is talking to you is just begging for you to communicate back. And that's really all that I do. I communicate with the body on a level that he understands.
Interviewer: Perfect! You get really passionate about this! You just need someone to ask you the right questions.
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