HC: Why did you get into massage?
Marrana: I was working for a credit card company and sitting behind a desk all day and I absolutely did not like it. I knew there had to be something more to do in the world. My mom and family were always into holistic healthcare, and I knew I wanted to help people, so massage therapy always made sense in that regard. Then as I was contemplating this transition I met a guy and he told me he was going to massage school. He ended up massaging my feet and legs.
HC: And then what happened? You canít see us, but weíre winking.
Marrana: Ha. I woke up the next morning and started looking up massage schools.
HC: Fine, be that way. But weíre guessing your decision to go to massage school was probably pretty popular amongst your friends and family, yeah?
Marrana: In the beginning, there is definitely no shortage of volunteers. Everyone wants to ďhelpĒ you with your studies, but the requests always came in the form of elbow-jabs. Like, hey, if you ever need someone to practice onÖ wink wink, insert phony laughter here. As I got more serious with it, people became more respectful of it as my career. Every once in a while, Iíll have a friend who will show up rubbing her neck, and Iím happy to help if I can. Thatís why I got into the business in the first place.
HC: But since the average American isnít exactly Brad Pitt, you probably have to perform some nasty procedures, no?
Marrana: My least favorite would be foot massages. I like working on peopleís feet. I donít like working on dirty, smelly feet.
HC: Ew. Whatís up with people? Showering is a good idea before a massage, right? Thatís like, common courtesy?
Marrana: YES. Show up early. Take advantage of the showers, and please donít come in right after a workout. Shower off, you know, scrub those toes. Give yourself time to relax in the waiting area, have some tea or water. Prepare mentally for the massage by clearing your mind and focus on being in the moment. Wipe away all the distractions of the day.
HC: Yeah, so, letís talk about distractions for a minute. Seriously, whatís up with all the talking when we're on the table? How many one-word answers do we need to deliver before a masseuse gets the hint?
Marrana: I typically say if the client is talking, you can talk but donít make it too much. Donít make it about you. A little back and forth is okay but itís not something where you need to have a full on conversation. There are people who want to talk through the entire massage, but if they start giving one word answers, end the conversation.
HC: Does that annoy you as a masseuse when someone wants to talk the whole time?
Marrana: I wouldnítí say it is annoying, but I do lose my focus. I lose where Iím at trying to keep up with the conversation, so you jeopardize your massage when you talk to me too much.
HC: Ever get any odd requests from a client? There's some pretty weird people, you know, out there.
Marrana: At the end of the massage, one man wanted us to tickle his back. I donít know if it was something from his childhood or what. And every once in a while weíll get someone who requests something inappropriate. But thatís only happened three or four times in my fifteen years.
HC: So other than not requesting a happy ending, any tips for people coming to get a massage?
Marrana: Yes, wait for your technician to leave the room before disrobing! Some clients are in a hurry or running late and want to get on the table quickly, and Iím trying to do my intake and ask them questions and theyíre coming out of their robe. Iím not shy or prude, but please, wait until the door is closed.
HC: So much for our go-to icebreaker. Thanks for your time Marrana!
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