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Inflation and... Self Love

Everyone, across the country and in other countries are feeling the effects that 2020 set in motion. For some, they knew this was coming [can't shut down a globe give people money to help them survive and not have to make up for it later]. For others, nothing could have prepared them for what is happening today. They believed "The budget will balance itself". They believed what they were promised from those that they trusted. Both sides are not wrong. Both sides with the information they had at the time enabled them to interpret what they were told. Both are collateral damage left to pick up the pieces.

Back in 2019 an amazing company helped me in my physical healing after the collision and who I contribute to just one of the reasons I can walk without a cane/walker asked me to write a blog about why massage is beneficial and not just a treat. [Unpain Clinic ]. I had previously worked along side them as colleagues, the owner, CEO and I was elated to be collaborating with them again. I republished the blog in August 2022 as I myself had just begun practicing casually again and I felt that it was important for people to know that "massage is not a treat". In my life coaching practice for trauma and life changing diagnosis, it is vital to ensure that you are taking care of your body, not just mind and spirit is crucial. Otherwise you are just putting bandaids on an open gash slowing the flow vs healing the wound. You can find that blog here

I want to build off of what that blog was, and I want to validate so many of you when you say "massage is expensive". When it is a choice to buy groceries vs pay for a massage I will ALWAYS say "buy your groceries, feed your family". I remember being a college student. I was working at a casino as a slot attendant [before you got printed out a money voucher there were staff that carried a change belt that weighed at minimum twenty pounds exchanging bills for coins to put in the machine]. I never understood the enjoyment of gambling, but my co workers wanted to "have some fun" and they said "Jodi just put $5 in a penny machine and hang out with us". In 10 minutes that $5 was gone and I was soooo mad. "That could have bought me a pack of cigarettes" I said. $5 is $5 and it can either buy a jug of milk or it can go to something that is temporary. $100 for a massage is $100 and when you need to buy groceries, although $100 does not even fill half a cart now... That $100 matters and makes a difference.

When I first started my massage career the average for a 1hr massage was $65. Today it ranges from $95 - $110. That is 21 years later. I know wages have not gone up that much over the last 20 years and I KNOW that with inflation the way it is, the gap between those that can "justify/afford" to go for treatment and those that can not is getting wider. In my previous blog I talk about all the benefits that massage can give the human body and human mind and WHY it is not a treat but part of health care. In this blog, my goal is to explain self love vs self care and why self love is so vital.

I have been told that I do not charge enough for what I know/do. I've been in the alternative field since 1996 and a massage therapist since 2003. I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table with my clients. I practice WITHOUT causing pain, I specialize with the cervical spine and lumbar spine and I have learned how to not only design a treatment plan that works for the individual, but how to ensure that eventually "they don't need me". When I was in a clinical setting my commission ranged from 50%-80% pending on the location and the amount of treatments I did in a pay period. By 2017 I would make $45 - $70 off of each treatment I gave pending on length of treatment and where I was in my commission scale. Now I casually practice at home. These are some of the differences that I considered when deciding on what I would charge at home. I now can write off a portion of my rent because I use more space in the home to practice. I now can write off a portion of my utilities. My website and my third party online payment collection is only a few dollars a week so really pays for itself when I need to renew. I no longer have to "split" what I make. I no longer have anyone booking and rebooking for me. I no longer have anyone billing for me [my website is all online billing and booking]. I no longer have anyone doing my laundry for me [Being a massage therapist the glamour in being a laundry guru takes on a whole new level lol]. I have minimal advertising because I work referral only now. What I do, do for advertising such as posting in my FB group or personal page is all free. With all those slight differences I had to ask myself... Why would I charge what you would pay at a clinic?

I believe now more than ever people need to put into themselves self love. To me self care and self love are completely different things. Self care to me is getting your hair done, going for lunch or dinner with a friend, enjoying your favourite cup of coffee/smoothie etc. Self love is what you would do for anyone you were responsible for. For example your kids, you want them to be clean and healthy because you love them so you feed them good food and you bathe them. If they hurt themselves you help heal them so they are not in pain anymore. Sometimes it's a bandaid and kiss. Other times it's a cast and pain relievers. Other injuries can require physical therapy, surgery, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage or other types of treatments to ensure they heal correctly and have little to no residual effects. My question to you is this, WHY WOULDN'T YOU LOVE YOURSELF THE SAME WAY YOU DO YOUR CHILDREN OR PARTNER, EVEN A PARENT THAT IS DEPENDANT ON YOU? WHY ARE YOU LESS THAN WHAT THEY ARE?

When a body is in pain and the pain is left untreated, that pain may persist, OR that pain can go into other areas of the body that are affected [As a massage therapist I know that lower back pain will affect the glutes, pelvis hamstrings and knees and ALL of those need to be treated otherwise they will keep compounding on each other and cause even more issues and problems]. That pain can also make a person more prone to injury because they are "protecting" the hurt area and not using it like it should therefore putting undo strain on ligaments/tendons/and muscle groups that are not designed to do that specific work. Pain takes up MASSIVE brain space and can actually inhibit a persons ability to handle/deal with daily stresses Some have told me when they first see me "Ya I carry my stress in my shoulders and neck, and it used to bother me but now I'm ok". Then I get my hands on them and I feel how the muscles are locked up. They are no longer soft and pliable. In layman's terms when they move it is like they are grinding against one another like an engine without oil vs sliding over one another gracefully and easily. This tells me that the brain is working so hard to keep them "numb" because it is a problem that has gone on so long that instead of being in pain all day long and all night, the body has designed a self preservation neuropathway and has turned "off" those sensations in order to function in daily life. Study here. Our bodies are so much more valuable than the engine of a vehicle. There is no "buying a new one" when one wears out or goes over kilometres. Any mechanic will tell you, its easier to maintain a vehicle and prolong its life than to leave it and then have to try and fix it all... There is no "fixing" the human body if we leave it uncared for years and years and years. There is no "aging well" if we do not take care of what we have been given. The day WILL come when the body and brain will give up and it will shut you down in one way or another. Then it becomes more of a "management to try and help prevent further injury, further deterioration..." but aging doesn't stop and the older we get, the harder it is to heal and get our mobility back pain free.

With inflation the way it is, everyone needs job security. Everyone needs to be well enough to be able to keep doing their job and moving forward in their career. How is that even possible over time if you do not allow your body the self love that it requires? The answer is... It's not possible. You see the body does not discriminate. Whether you are a lawyer, farmer, mom, trucker, doctor eventually the BODY will catch up with you. I say to my clients ALL the time. "Your body is separate from your mind. Your body is filled with trillions of cells that their only job is to survive. That's all they care about. Your mind is what controls what you want to do, your goals etc. When your mind does not listen to the cues that the body is giving it, it will start speaking louder and louder and louder until one day it is screaming and you have no choice but to listen. But... When the body trusts the mind that you will not harm it, that you will help it do its job, THEN healing can occur, THEN the mind CAN take control because the body trusts it." Doesn't the latter sound so much better? Your body's health is your greatest ally when it comes to continuing on in your job and career. Without the proper use of your body... It is very difficult to move forward and achieve your goals.

Many massage therapists believe in "charging what they are worth". That can be education, length of practice etc. Some at home massage therapist still charge what they would if they were in a clinic/spa. For me personally I have always believed in meeting society where they are at. Society is struggling from the effects that 2020 set in motion. Society more than ever needs their bodies health to keep employment and to move through this stressful time. If I see massage as "health care" and not as a treat, and I am living in my integrity of meeting people where they are, then WHY would I want to make double from clients when I have so many more write offs working from home? Why would I want to take advantage of people when they need me most? I ethically can not do that. Now some will read this and take it as a "slight" against how they practice and how they operate their business. This is not my intent at all. My intent is to build off of that first blog and to educate that now more than ever people do need to ensure that they are giving themselves self love and that its not a "luxury" to do so, but a necessity. My intent is to show you who I am and what I believe, which is EVERY person deserves self love. Every person should be able to commission the help they need to facilitate that. Massage is not a treat. It is not just for the "privileged". It is for everyone. Not only for their body's wellbeing, but for their mental and emotional health.

No matter what part of the world you are in reading this, ask yourself are you giving your body what it needs for self love so that it can age gracefully? So it can heal properly, so that you can address daily stress easily? If not, ask yourself what you need to do in order to help facilitate the start of that? Is it finding someone who charges less? Is it going an extra month before you get your hair done, nails done? Perhaps, you start making AMAZING coffee at home [I personally LOVE my Nespresso and no longer buy coffee from a coffee shop]. No matter where you start whether it is a massage therapist, chiropractor, acupuncture and dare I say "tanning bed". [I did this regularly when my bones were still very much broken and my depression was at an all time high. I needed the vitamin D that it would produce in the body to help facilitate healing]. I say this all the time, if you are driving a car and you turn the wheel a degree, it will take you to a totally new direction. It starts with one simple step.

If you are struggling and you want to turn your wheel one degree but don't know where to start book your complimentary call with me and start getting your hope back.

Jodi Harty. RMT, CLC, CHC, CST2, SER1 Reiki Master

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