The more you learn about massage and bodywork, the more you learn about life as a whole. I have been a therapist now for 35 years and a teacher for 25. I have run my school, The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in Austin, Texas, for 23 years. I’ve learned that the same principles that apply in every bodywork session apply equally to every aspect of our lives.
As a matter of fact, it seems we can only have both success and satisfaction when we attend to these things. Some of these principles are: to be centered: to meet people openly; to really get to know our clients through their tissues, nervous system, history; to take actions that will profoundly help them; to monitor and make sure we are helping; and to periodically disengage, re-examine how things are going and celebrate our successes.
I have evolved out of this learning a way to apply these principles to growing your business. Let’s call it “Deep Marketing”.
The beginning, middle and end of Deep Marketing is centering yourself. Without being centered you can’t do anything well! It is the precondition for all success in the practice and in the business of bodywork. For instance, we all know if your heart is not in what you are doing, there is little satisfaction. The same holds true for the rest of the body!
Marketing with your body means attending to the following with respect to being centered. Often when I sit down at work, I will center myself before I initiate any other work. And I connect with these seven levels of body/mind.
1) Are you grounded? Do you feel literally and figuratively supported by the earth underneath you? Realize that however high our aspirations, we are each just another animal inhabiting the earth. Feel supported by your legs and feet. What do you really stand for? Who and what principles do you stand by?
2) Are you excited? If you can’t contact your excitement for growing your business, you will not mobilize the energy required. This is associated with so-called second chakra. Awkward to say but the successful therapist cultivates an irresistible attraction to his or her massage practice. Get excited!
3) Do you use your gut in helping you make decisions? Freud said all important decisions are made on the basis of insufficient information – the mind alone is an insufficient tool. It is your gut, the feeling in the pit of your stomach, that you also must listen to. And we have to have “guts.” To be successful and to maintain it over time, takes courage, takes guts, inner resolve. Do you support yourself through your lumbar vertebrae and through sufficient breath to give you the energy and determination you need to succeed?
4) Is your heart into what you are doing? Is your heart passionately connected to where you are working? to the clients that you have? Let your heart do the talking and listen to what you truly love and want to do. There are few things more exciting than seeing someone and being someone whose heart is totally into their work and business. The person who loves their work is an irresistible force.
5) Do you feel confident in what you say about your work? When people ask you what you do, do you have words that you feel great and honest about? Word-of-mouth is most important in business-building and most importantly, your mouth, your words! I like to think that the best marketing is like a song sung because you really mean it. Take the time to let your mind and your heart participate in the co-creation of statements you make about your work that optimize people becoming and staying your clients.
6) For all the time we spending thinking, the mind is often underappreciated. Use your incredible mind, both the logical and imaginative sides, to slow down and make well-considered decisions about how you want to grow your business. And, as the previous five points have indicated, don’t let your mind try to run the show in isolation. Make all decisions asking yourself – is this grounded, am I excited about it, does my gut tell me it’s right, does my heart say yes, do the words ring true?
7) Be open to inspirations from beyond your usual self. The best ideas seem to come out of nowhere or from “on high”. Cultivate your openness to your “higher self”. Sometimes, facing a difficult decision, I will just sit with the problem, being receptive, until a solution just appears in my mind that is perfect. Some of the greatest successes and satisfactions arise from an unfathomable place of inspiration. All great art and science tell us this.
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Massage and bodywork have their power by never forgetting to honor the role the body plays in lives well lived. So your success as a massage professional must arise from this same grounded place. Take refuge in the wisdom of your body and watch your great work grow and grow!