School: The Healthy Lifestyle School of Massage Therapy
Licensed since: 2003
Continuing Education: Precision Neuromuscular Therapy, Ashiatsu barefoot massage
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Jesse graduated from the Healthy Lifestyle School of Massage Therapy in Muncie, IN in August 2003. He moved to Austin and was licensed in Texas in late 2005. Since then, he has done a great deal of work in a variety of different professional settings, including spas, chiropractic clinics, hospitals, sporting and entertainment events, community wellness education, and volunteer and charity work. Jesse’s modalities include Swedish and relaxation, deep-tissue, sports massage, chair massage, myofascial release, trigger-point release, Precision Neuromuscular Therapy (PNMT), and most recently, Ashiatsu barefoot massage. The PNMT modality is focused on assessment and specific treatment of soft-tissue injury, pain, and dysfunction. Ashiatsu uses overhead bars which the therapist holds to massage and manipulate the client on the table from above using the feet and weight.
How long have you been a licensed massage therapist?
How many hours of training do you have?
I have 1000 hours of training.
Why did you choose massage therapy as your career?
I had talent and resources and support, it’s good work, it helps people and I can feel good about my job and my career. Really I feel like it chose me because people have always come to me, even as a child, and I was always told I was good at it. My immediate family members are all health professionals. When I started studying and working professionally, I quickly realized that my mentors were some of the most powerful, knowledgeable and effective hands-on healing practitioners and educators. Now I’ve had over a decade of people telling me that I changed their life or gave them the best and most effective work they’ve ever received. I had to accept that life was offering me opportunities with gifts for helping others, and to honor the teachings, the teachers and the people who reached out for help.
Where did you go to school for massage?
The Healthy Lifestyle School of Massage Therapy.
How do you describe your massage/work to others?
I like to do work that engages and resolves issues as much as possible without going over the line of producing a threat and defense response in the body. Often working with pain, injuries, structural and mechanical dysfunction, stress, tension, restriction, inhibition, and any other physical, psychological, neurological, emotional or spiritual issue involves some work, discomfort, effort and patience. I like to work with the body and the client and not against them. Ultimately it is up to them what they hope to get out of the work, and I try to be flexible and resourceful with my training and experience to help them get there. They are paying for a service, and I am being paid to serve, and I like to operate from that foundation. I try to accomplish as much as possible within my therapeutic scope in the time they have with me.
I have a lot of specialized and clinical training, and experience working with doctors and other health professionals in issues of acute injury, chronic pain and musculoskeletal structure and function. I can do very deep and aggressive work, but I still like to approach it slowly, gently, listening with finesse and flow, and integrating it into the client’s conscious self-awareness. Sometimes even with really deep and tough issues it’s about subtler approaches than force. I think systematically about issues, but also try to listen to intuitions and be open to new discoveries. I like to explore challenging areas and come out of a session learning something new and giving the client something they can take home and continue to apply in their life: an observation, idea or recommendation.
What are some examples of Continuing Education you are interested in and why?
My current focus is Ashiatsu barefoot massage. There are things I can accomplish (depth and breadth of pressure, motion and stretching, particularly with larger clients) that aren’t possible with the hands or arms standing on the floor. And while the reverse is also true, I think the synthesis for me will be a fusion of hands and feet and bars, and integration of other techniques. As a therapist, I enjoy the workout, the more active and upright mechanics of using the overhead bars, and the mindfulness that “dancing” in the air above the table requires. It has been the most demanding continuing education ever for me in many ways: time, work, money, strength, balance, precision, attention, detail, depth, angle, pressure, contact, motion, transition, communication, contraindications, my prep & setup, training, certification… Part of the appeal for me was that I knew I would have to make a significant personal investment that would be worth the return. As health professionals, I think we should always challenge ourselves to learn and be more.
How has receiving massage affected you personally?
I have had many muscle and soft-tissue injuries and restrictions, and structural and mechanical issues, resolved through bodywork. By receiving, and being more aware of my body and how I treat and condition it, I am in better shape, have better body mechanics, and feel better, than ever before. I learn about what is happening in my body, and I learn about how to help others with theirs.
There is a psychological, neurological, chemical, emotional and systemic relief that takes place during healing touch, where some of our pain, stress, worry, fear, grief and suffering is alleviated. There is a symbolic and physiological gesture that takes place between giver and receiver, of good will, faith, trust, caring, valuing, respecting, honoring, supporting, helping and healing. It improves our feelings, our attitude, our thoughts, our actions and our experience, and gives us more reason to pass on a loving and genuine act to others in our lives.
What do you do to stay healthy?
Massage, music, yoga, daily meditation and exercise (including practicing Ashiatsu barefoot massage!), diet, active lifestyle, education and intellectual challenge, hard work, hydration, time outdoors, walking, swimming, and activities that bring me joy and physical wellbeing. Mostly improving my attitude.
What do you like about working at Myo Massage?
Myo is my favorite job ever! I like the business, the space, the owners, the therapists and the staff. After working here for over seven years, many of them have been very influential and meaningful in my life. The atmosphere is professional but natural and comfortable. The clientele really love the place and give a lot of compliments and appreciation. The business is run by massage therapists who are very conscious and informed about caring for the client, the practitioners and the service. Communication is effective, and standards and values are healthy. I feel good about giving my time to this work here, and enjoy and appreciate the people I spend it with. I see clients all day coming out of treatments happy, relieved and thankful, and watch talented practitioners making an honest living doing quality work. I am so grateful to work here!