Things in Erin’s Brain 

Before we dive into this week’s topic, I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who supported me last week by offering up YOUR favorite stories from my book. The highest rankers:

1) “If it’s the day after we move, I’ll be fine.” (’cause we all gotta hold on to faith).

2) The “Orange Theory” story (because me trying to outsmart the natural side effects of living through a trauma is… well, it’s just FUNNY).

3) Graft vs Host Disease. One of my readers messaged me, “I appreciated your vulnerability in the GVDH story. That fear is exactly how I felt too.” 

4) The one out of left field… the story about the bologna sandwich… and it’s funny, that one almost landed on the cutting room floor!

Thank you all, AGAIN for always showing up for me. I love you.

Because it’s all about love…

Massage Minute brought to you by


When I was barely twenty, one of my best friends and I ran out of good birthday gift ideas. We decided that instead of exchanging physical gifts, we would go to the spa and get massages and facials. For my birthday she would research and plan. For her birthday I would research and plan. It was written in the stars – we were born six months apart (plus a handful of years) so at minimum I was in a massage establishment twice a year. During those years I learned about the things that made me enjoy my massage more, and things that made me go “hmmmm.” It’s really the decade of being a massage therapist and hearing from my clients about their experiences with “the other” massage therapist.

Please chime in! What did I miss? What things do you HATE about massage?

#1. The oil. Greasy. Slimy. Matting up the back of your hair. Okay, okay, this one is probably 80% mine. I don’t like massage oil. If I’m the client, I don’t like it unless there’s a full locker room facility where I can wash my hair and make myself semi-presentable. As a massage therapist? I have zero control with oil. I get it all over the place. It messes with my Spidey-Senses and I just can’t FEEL things like I want to. It also just doesn’t have enough grip for me to actually work the muscles instead of sliding over them. 

In my practice I use Sacred Earth Botanical Lotion. It’s the most boring lotion on the face of the earth. No scent (fragrances can be irritating to some people). No heat (that comes with my hands). No nut oils (some people are allergic). It’s got just the right amount of glide to apply those massage strokes that just feel good (like that little ditty I do down the spine… IYKYK), but it gives me plenty of grip to feel what I’m doing. Yep, I extra for it. It’s soooo worth it. 

#2. “I spent $300 and all she did was rub oil on me.”  I hear ya. Once I get past #1 above, then there’s the issue of a massage therapist literally just rubbing the oil on you. It happens. Sometimes it’s an issue of skill level. Sometimes this is what a spa offers as their “Swedish” massage (and it’s what makes people believe “deep tissue” means “firm pressure”). I love a good spa for the spa experience. Crystal clear pools, steam rooms that smell of deep cedar, cotton waffle robes, chilled water with cucumber and mint, someone bringing me snacks while I lie on a plush chaise lounge gazing at the ocean… the massage is just a happy side effect. 

But when you’re looking for massage to support your health and wellbeing on an ongoing basis, you’re looking for someone who is licensed (licenses with photos must be on display by law in the State of Florida), someone with extensive training, hands on experience, and someone who will listen. 

#3. “I never know what massage to pick.” As massage therapists, we like to get fancy with our names. “The Bliss Package.” “Total Escape.” “Swedish.” Admittedly, creating a massage brand can be challenging. Massage therapists can’t test their own product. We know what we hope our clients will experience. We pick up on the comments that trickle from clients’ lips as they float out the door.

Even my Integrative Massage can be confusing to people. But it was the simplest, most direct way I could think of to say “it’s everything I do and everything I know.” The runner up was Kitchen Sink Massage, and that sounded, I don’t know, a tad AGGRESSIVE. Not everyone works this way, but basically I massage three ways: with my hands, with my feet, and with my energy. You get to pick what feels right for you.

When you’re interviewing massage therapists (YES! You can do this!! You don’t have to walk in blind), tell them what you’re looking for. Ask about their training. Ask what they love about what they do… you’ll learn a lot just from the sound of their voice.

#4 The Music. Oof. This one is a tough one for me. Sometimes all the relaxing things at once feel overwhelming. Especially if you’re going, going, going, and are then expected to just… STOP.

Spa music can be like nails on a chalkboard for some. I’ve got two different playlists comprised of hours and hours of music I’ve collected over the years. Some is more meditative (which I’ve been using almost exclusively lately), and the other has cool instrumental versions of popular songs (always a big hit when I was more active in the corporate massage scene). Every now and again, someone will mention that they didn’t like a song. Repeat offenders get the axe (haha – the songs not the people). Example – For about a day and a half I had a jazz playlist. Everyone hated it. EVERYONE. It was almost amusing how polarizing it was! It’s gone. Songs with chanting…  Again, it’s a love / hate thing. Personally, I don’t care for the sound of wood flutes while I’m working. So I don’t have songs with wood flutes on my playlists. (Fun Fact: If I don’t like it, it’s not in my space. You won’t find ylang-ylang essential oil either because YUCK and the sounds of me dry heaving over your back is NOT the music you want to hear my friend).

BUT – if my clients have music they like, I will happily allow them to connect their phone to my Bluetooth speaker and play whatever their hearts desire (yes, if all you REALLY want is wood flutes, then FINE, I will allow it, for an HOUR). One client likes their Country tunes, Spanish guitar brings another joy, and another always requests the chill versions of popular tunes. 

#5 I don’t like to be touched. Usually I get this question from a spouse or partner who really, really, really wants their significant other to get a massage, “Erin, what do you do to convince people who don’t like to be touched to get a massage?”

I don’t do anything.

There’s a million reasons why people may not want a semi-stranger touching them. For some, they may be self-conscious about their bodies. Others may not feel safe having a stranger touch them. Some just don’t believe in the power of touch. 

My space is a safe space. I’m always happy to co-create sessions with my clients so they receive the most value, and the most love out of their sessions with me. 

Because it’s all about love.