No matter what we do, what we do matters.
Meet Grace. Grace is a Massage Therapist at Asha Salon and Spa in Yorktown, IL. Grace is determined in her work with her clients to not just give them a relaxing experience, but to provide deep therapeutic healing to promote wellness from the inside out.
GG: You massage clients day in and day out. What you do is pretty repetitive. I have personally seen you now for a while, and I always feel so well taken care of when I leave. How do you manage to make everyone feel so good when they come to see you?
G: I’ll be honest, it’s hard sometimes on some days to push past that feeling of going through the motions and make sure that I bring my A game. When people come to see me, I want them to leave all their troubles at the door. It’s important to make them feel that way. I chose to do this, and I am going to keep doing it until I can’t do it anymore.
GG: How did you choose to get into massage therapy?
G: I grew up in a household with holistic chiropractic medicine. My Dad is a chiropractor and that field helped me to understand how our bodies are such amazing systems. It taught me the mechanics of it all. At first, I thought I wanted to be an athletic trainer. I also tried physical education, but when I graduated, I saw a lot of those programs on the chopping block at schools. Meanwhile in the summers during college I had always worked in my Dad’s office giving foot massages. The feedback that I would get from these patients was amazing. I thought about Massage Therapy school and everything just seemed to make sense, and it just clicked.
GG: It sounds like the feedback that you got from those patients really lit your fire. What was it about that that made you want more?
G: I knew the power of touch, and that it is so important in peoples’ lives. There is so much that can happen when someone gets that healing touch. It can alleviate symptoms, stress, pain, anxiety. This is the world we live in. The power of touch was just something that I loved. It all starts with infancy, and there is so much evidence to support the power of massage starting for babies even. If a new Mom gives massage to her baby, it decreases the risk of Postpartum Depression and helps with bonding.
GG: What do you see and hear from your clients about what they get out of their sessions with you?
G: A lot of the clients that I see here at Asha are not just here for the relaxation. It’s almost like they come to me to “fix them”. I love a good challenge. I look at bodies, and I love to see how I can help them. I’ll ask them “What do you want me to work on?”, and I don’t want them to just tell me “relaxation”. A lot of my clients really like the deep tissue, therapeutic work that I do for them. It’s just my thing.
GG: You also give good tips for what clients can do when they leave to get the full benefits of their work with you. You look at the whole picture for the client, not just their time on the table for things they can take into their lives. What do you usually talk about with clients?
G: I like to give clients stretches and things to work on. I encourage them to try yoga. Sometimes a client will pop into my head when I am doing my own workouts so I think to tell them about a certain stretch or something that I tried that may help them. I had one client who had a huge muscle all knotted up that was stemming from a herniated disk. I got in there and in addition to working on the muscle, I gave her some tips and things to try, particularly at her job where she stands all day. I try to help people overall with their lives.
GG: What are the general benefits of massage?
G: Improved circulation. An overall improved sense of well-being. Detoxification. Breathing can be deepened and improved. Stress and anxiety can be relieved.
GG: What you do is very energy-driven. You give a tremendous amount of your physical energy to your clients, and when someone gets a massage, I believe there is a bit of an energy exchange. Do you sense that or feel that that is true?
G: I am very in tune with each and every one of my guests. No guest of mine is the same, and that is how I treat you. You come in and You are You. You are not who I saw before, and you are not who I am going to see after. This is all about you. I try to remember certain little things about people. I really try to personalize my massages when guests come in. When I give a massage, I am giving 100 percent. And I am giving everyone 100 percent. I think that’s my personal touch. I just care.
GG: Do you ever feel your clients’ negative energy?
G: I do. But I don’t back down. I just keep giving them what I’ve got until I hopefully feel that release. That negative energy can be a real challenge. Like if someone doesn’t want to be here. I still just do what I can do. I walk them out, and tell them to have a good day. And then it’s on to my next client. I can’t dwell on that. I’ll do my best.
GG: You are a high energy, positive person. You just give off that vibe. What are the things in your life outside of work that inspires you and helps you bring your A game? What motivates you?
G: I have deep faith. I am a firm believer in Christianity, and I think that is such a big part of my life. That’s where my good vibes come from. I have good support. My parents have always been there for me supporting me and motivating me. Growing up, we were always called out if we had bad attitudes, and we were taught that having a good attitude is what keeps you going. I also take care of myself and I don’t feel bad in doing that. I exercise. I surround myself with good energy. I surround myself with family, friends, and faith.
GG: I think people sometimes feel such guilt in practicing self-care. I think it’s good for people to hear that. What do you do to help keep yourself physically strong to do what you do?
G: I agree. I don’t practice getting massage for myself as much, but I do think self-care is so important. I do a lot of weightlifting and cardio. About a year ago I started doing yoga, which helps me with breathing.
GG: Do you see yourself as a healer?
G: Yes. I am constantly trying to learn more about healing. I think that stems from my Dad. He is a healer. Watching him has been fascinating. That’s how I am trying to be. A healer through touch. If I can have more knowledge, I can help people in even more ways.
GG: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
G: I woke up! It’s a good day. Life. Every day is a good day, even if it’s bad.
To connect with Grace, visit ashasalonspa.com or call (630) 953-1400