Pure of Heart Massage by Joshin Yamada

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8.31.200410:53 Writing quick because a client is coming

It has been way too long since I wrote my last letter, and for that I apologize. But it seems appropriate that I write one now because this year, and especially the last two months, has been a tremendous period of growth for me. I ran my first electronic ads on Craig's List, volunteered some time for a good cause, visited my family in Illinois and took some continuing education classes.

I have decided to keep running ads on Craig's List in the future because the experience was so positive. Up until last month, I had been afraid of really taking responsibility for my own success and running advertising to get the word out about my practice. Word of mouth advertising had been slowly growing my business, and everyone I met through that period has been an exceptional client to work with, but I needed to do more.

That first Craig's List ad brought in several new clients in the very first few days that it ran, and I am very grateful for them all. It has been a great opportunity to start expanding my business and reach new people.

I was fortunate to start looking on Craig's List at the same time that the Mutliple Sclerosis Society of Oregon was running an ad asking for massage therapists who were willing to donate time and money to the MS 150 Bike-A-Thon. I drove out to Forest Grove's Pacific University, a beautiful campus located part way between Portland and the Pacific coast. As it turns out, there were eight therapists, including myself, who were scheduled to attend the event. Five of them had cancelled at the last minute. I met two therapists who had also gone to East West College, but graduated after I did. Rebecca Moons (I am sorry; I've lost your card and can't check your last name) and Jesse Caroll are both really accomplished therapists with excellent therapeutic skills and bedside manners. Though we were scheduled to work only until 6 p.m., there were so many bicyclists wanting massages that we stayed working until 9:30 p.m. The sign up sheet we started for that day had to be extended to the next day (where we added another few hours to our scheduled hours) and quickly filled up. We sadly had to turn away many people who had just raised literally thousands of dollars for research into curing Multiple Sclerosis.

Thankfully, the next day, I was able to recruit my friend Matt Johnston, who went to school with me, to be a fourth massage therapist for the event. Even then, his sign up sheet filled up in the first hour. It was tremendous fun, the four of us working side by side in the heat of that afternoon, the adult contemporary rock sounds of KINK FM filling the air. There was also a live reggae band providing a soothing backdrop for our clients. I mean, never had it occurred to me that songs about religious and political oppression set to a sunny backbeat would fit in with massage so well.

Right after working at that event, I flew to Illinois to visit my family. It was a nice chance to catch up with some friends from high school, as well as go on an extended vacation to Door County, Wisconsin with my parents and my sister's family. I already felt very close to my eldest niece, but this trip was a great opportunity to get to know the newest member of the family. Beautiful weather accompanied the first couple of days of our trip, and the waters of Lake Michigan slapped against the shore just tens of yards from our hotel room porches. It was an incredibly scenic and beautiful location. The trip home ended with a re-visit to Six Flags Great America amusement park with my little sister. I re-rode the American Eagle, perhaps the greatest roller coaster on Earth.

As soon as I got back to Portland, I started a continuing education class on fibromyalgia and massage. I have clients with fibromyalgia, and it is my pleasure to continue to grow as a therapist and learn new techniques to help these people. I will easily incorporate the Structural Integrated Play techniques we learned in this class with all my clients, whether they have fibro or not.

I have to say that I think that the requirement for continuing education classes that I need to fulfill in order to maintain my licensing in Oregon as a massage therapist is an excellent idea. It was really exciting to take this class, and the Deep Tissue for core imbalances class I took a month and a half ago. Taking these courses not only underscores my commitment to you as your therapist, but it also energizes and excites me. I feel that I am really strengthening the specific, therapeutic aspects of my massage. I want to be able to perform targeted healing where appropriate in my massage, and I feel I am increasingly gaining the tools to do so. Licensing in Oregon for massage therapists makes sure that you, as a client, get the best possible service. You are assured of being able to call a therapist and knowing that they have an education in anatomy & physiology, that they have a strong sense of ethics, and that they can serve you well.

I am excited to be doing massage in Oregon, and excited to be continuing to grow in skills as a therapist. I hope to see you soon.

copyright © 2007 by Joshin Yamada