Jules Torti

Jules Torti

Jules Torti has been an RMT since 1999 and a freelance writer since age six. In between massage engagements, she travels to Africa to be with chimpanzees and writes about her zany travels for Matador Network.

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There are certain members of our profession that surpass boundaries with their scope, research and accolades. Christine Sutherland is one of those steely individuals, who has explored so many avenues: massage therapist, filmmaker, teacher and author.
The portrayal of massage therapists in Hollywood has often been a thorn in the industry’s side. Stereotypes and misconceptions abound. An online search for “movies about massage therapy” pulls up all sorts of fantasy and porn that continue to taint our reputation. Memorable, loveable (but not exactly accurate) characters, who double as masseuses on TV (like Phoebe from Friends) easily become synonymous with the profession as a whole.
Self-care. Self-renewal. They are vague concepts we push on our clients for their ‘take-home’ after a massage treatment. It all seems so achievable at the moment – but where to begin? Axe-throwing? A grown-up bouncy castle? As massage therapists, are we taking note of our own homework?
In the industry of rebuilding backs, Stuart McGill’s name deserves neon light treatment. His three text books are designed “for everyone who wants their swagger back.” While Low Back Disorders: Evidence-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation was written wholly for clinicians, his second book, Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance attracted a captive trainer, coach and athlete-dominant audience.
Massage therapists fall into one of two obvious categories – we are either fiercely independent, or the ultimate team player hungry for networking in a multi-disciplinary environment. Some of us wander down both career arteries to find what's best in sync with our mission and mantra. Others know before having completed the board exam that it's self-employment or bust.
Perhaps the most dynamic part of our industry, is the story of the hands behind it. Individuals are attracted to the profession for radically different reasons and they run the gamut from sudden unemployment to health concerns to unexpected epiphanies. Often, it’s not a direct path after high school. For many, it’s a second or possibly third career choice.
Regardless of what planning stage you are at (daydreaming, writing out rent cheques or already in the aisles of Ikea furnishing your space), designing your treatment room can be daunting. When you begin taking all the critical elements into consideration, the hands-on massage would seem like the easiest part.
Whether your massage business has been long established, or you’re a shiny new grad laying the foundation of your practice, how do you set yourself apart? Learning how to be competitive yet unique in a saturated market is the easiest way to attract clientele. Social media has helped immensely with free advertising and client education. Blogging provides an interactive resource for proactive clients eager to research more about their conditions, hydrotherapy, remedial exercise and complementary therapies.
Massage therapy for animals is not a recent phenomenon. Historians trace its roots back thousands of years to Greeks who would massage both warriors and horses before battle.
Two-timers get a bad rap in the dating world, but, when it comes to savvy career moves, two jobs can make financial sense. A physically demanding position can be balanced by a creative pursuit.
When I was employed at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, my clientele was often dominated by road-weary professional athletes. I always marvelled at the physical demands of their work – which was largely talent coupled with steely discipline.
It’s easy to buy and use body products without considering the source, but with all of the recent hype surrounding the benefits of natural products, perhaps it’s time to take a deeper look at their origins.
Growing up, our family lived in the country and had a well, which meant water usage was constantly being monitored by my dad.
Shortly after graduating from massage school (when I finally found the time for recreational reading) I discovered Anthony Guglielmo’s The Walrus on My Table (co-authored by Cara Lynn)
Massage therapists are notorious for neglecting self-care. Dedicated holiday time falls by the wayside because if we’re not massaging we’re not earning money.
I felt like I was sleeping in a bed of poison ivy. I woke up scratching, and psychologically, couldn’t stand being in my own skin anymore.
Fresh-faced and percolating with enthusiasm, new grads are a susceptible bunch. We’ve all been there. Swayed by dollar signs after digging deep financial ditches to attend college, it’s difficult to rationally navigate the barrage of advice we receive from friends, family, colleagues and educators. Deciding on the right thing to do to ensure success in our chosen careers as RMTs can be an emotional quagmire.
I know the words ‘spa’ and ‘massage’ in the same sentence usually elicit a dramatic eye-rolling by most registered massage therapists. Spa massage has somehow become synonymous with all things fluffy and fruity. RMTs employed at chiropractic and physiotherapy clinics are certainly the more credible lot, incorporating all that pathology and neurology curricula and sharing it with curious clients interested in their extensor hallucis brevis and inferior extensor retinaculum.