I’ve spent many years teaching and slamming up against intellectual blocks from students and failures from my end to adequately explain and brand/market my work. I got a message the other day and it was simple enough.
Do you teach orthopedic massage?
I gave a calm beneficial response but like usual I sit and go, “what?” Why all these labels and challenges related to something so simple that it’s common to all of human anatomy and physiology? To take it further my friend’s pets, cats and dogs mainly, love me because I massage them with the same enthusiasm because well, we evolved on the same planet from mammals and have very similar nerve endings and biological parameters.
I just looked up orthopedic to get a definition: relating to the branch of medicine dealing with the correction of deformities of bones or muscles.
I’m not sure it fits what I do but Thai massage came and went. Before you draw too many conclusions understand that I have the most documented bodywork practice likely in history. I wrote 4 workbooks, consisting of 700 pages of sequence manuals and 9 dvds of core content to…get students started. I then went on to record every class I’ve taught since 2017. That’s another 800 hours of footage, much of which is sampled across my social media.
As business grew, no one compared Thai massage to orthopedic massage. Students when I made my first specific issue course, carpal tunnel relief, declared that it was all “sciency.” ? Huh? When I looked at it I suspect they saw me take out anatomical drawings, talk about nerve and cardiovascular supply but isn’t that what everyone does? Don’t we as bodyworkers think about those things as we’re working?
I was told long ago that my work was not Thai. When pressed they declared, “it’s not Thai unless the theory is Thai.” My retort was that if the theory is Thai it’s based on thousands of years old outdated information, refuses to update itself and doesn’t work outside of a Thai cultural framework. I taught work that was common to all of humanity not people from a single geographic location. My work was global.
Ok I don’t teach Thai massage. Cool. Next.
I filed a trademark for Reboot. After a 3 year wait and much consternation the trademark was declined. Everyone around me wailed and gnashed teeth while I, who’d paid thousands of dollars, just said, “we’ll repackage and pick a new name. It’s window dressing.”
So here we are. Still debating what xyz is and of all the moments I’ve seen, when students complain that it’s not fair that I have to wait for a trademark review don’t seem to understand is that the engine of my work is hard to build. The paint job? That’s easy.
When I first talked about reboot in a class, a student, who was a teacher at a school but very open to my ideas started chanting, “reboot! reboot! reboot!” I was slack jawed in amazement. They’d never chanted Thai massage. Why?
Brand is an amorphous challenging thing. Having spent likely 10k on lawyers and paperwork over the years I’ve come to look at the idea and concept regularly. The above is what I really do.
What a good trademark does isn’t explain what you do but create beginners mind. 🙂
Next Level Pain Relief™
It’s a pain relief and mobility service. It’s not even massage.
Thai massage though beneficial as packaging to a point presented it’s own challenges and problems both for myself and students. Thai massage is to me a misnomer. Nuad boran that’s another story. 🙂 To this day, I can’t just explain what I do because they’re so busy comparing it to this or that other style of work. I’m told that what I’m doing is foolish. Just like I wrote in my first Thai massage workbook, I honor the teachers who’ve come before me but it’s time to push forward with confidence.
Name changes? Oh no worries. I can make up a word if this trademark fails and we’ll keep working at it til it sticks.
What do I teach? It’s some of the best science informed specifically pain relieving manual therapy in the marketplace. I accept none of my society’s social conventions or norms. I deliver work to people in pain to help them with common sense and a large dose of humor.
Argue amongst yourselves about whether it’s orthopedic. Argue about whether it’s Thai massage or yoga or yoga therapy. For years when I bring it to the massage community, they stand agasp at my mat and insistence on better body mechanics from mat based work. They announce, “this isn’t massage.”
It’s Next Level Pain Relief™
I take the work into a yoga studio, everyone loves it and raves but then the studio owner looks over at what I see as massive potential and says, “I don’t understand. This isn’t yoga.”
Neither community I draw from actually seems to Want what I teach. You’re right! It’s not yoga.
It’s Next Level Pain Relief™
Well what the hell is that? The sessions are mat based only. They’re 2-4 hours long and we focus on client’s capacity for mobility and reducing pain using active and passive techniques to unwind tension, induce relaxation and change lives.
Massage is table, cream, glide and nudity.
Next Level Pain Relief™ removes the table. Removes the cream. Removes the glide. Removes the nudity.
It’s coming to a city/state and locale near you. Anyone on earth can study with me for $7 a month.