What is this

What is this?

I’ve been having intense conversations about brand, curriculum development, marketing and creating funnels to onboard students into my programs and offerings. I’d hit a new plateau and then out of the blue having a conversation with a friend I realized I don’t Really do 50% of what I know how just out of societal convention.

Everyone needs a box. A safe comfortable way things are done. I mainly at this stage teach massage therapists but as I grow you’ll hear murmurs about, “this isn’t massage.” I take these casually asking usually, “what is massage” in response but answering questions with questions is what got Socrates put to death. #corruptingtheyouth

I realized Very clearly that my situation used to be different. I had a home studio where I taught yoga classes and students came in and I asked where they were having issues. Upper back and neck?

Ok grab a foam roller a few blankets and let’s get to work. I essentially could recreate this at any yoga studio in Austin. There’s no Real vinyasa. It’s not Working out. It’s just taking care of our bodies breathing and creating space for our souls to permeate our flesh suits. Every student loved this. They always told me it was So Different than any yoga class they’d taken before and honestly because there was no pressure to perform this way or that and make it more mainstream I just did my thing.

In a space of freedom I was free.

Recently a yoga teacher and studio owner I know was looking for a teacher and I wrote her just to chat and feel out the situation. Though I offered what I do it was pretty clear that though I could take a job, I wouldn’t obey rules I couldn’t be confined and in a sea of vinyasa I’d just improvise curriculum live based on student needs.

I was politely turned away. 🙂

Now, given that I can do something akin to yoga therapy on steroids. The fact that I think we could easily charge $60-$100 for a 90 minute “class” with me for up to say 10 students, who wants to offer these in Austin? Contact me.

There needs to be more weird in this city. #rulebreakers shall inherit the earth <3

The Beginners Mind

Beginner’s Mind

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.”

I agree.

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.

Direct to consumer

Direct to Consumer

I’ve been having this stuggle for a few years now. After Intro Thai, Table Thai, Phase 1 & 2 I knew that I’d only given students a basic template to go through material I was teaching them. Since we’d accomplished that I decided to start the subscription.

We have a private facebook group for subscribers and I put out 600+ hours of video instruction on top of the 700 pages of sequence manuals and 9 dvds of template, sequential content.

Now what?

When I did a webinar years ago it nearly shut down because all the students wanted suspension. They literally ignored everything else I was teaching and wanted to skip steps. I was deflated. I continued adding to the vault getting materials ready for release and we do so on 1/3/2021 with a masterclass course in addition.

4 camera angles, filtered audio and anatomy on screen. I’ll work with those students until the end of April then go back to 6 hour CE classes on various topics.

I’ve continued sharing and teaching and have what to my knowledge is the most documented bodywork practice in history. We release new footage each week and as things grow I’ll work with students, supplement, organize and do a host of other ventures to help students along.

Still I’ve been horribly frustrated.

I’d have conversations about how students don’t get it. They’re not growing as fast or as far as I’d like etc. It’d been so persistent for so long I was getting personally annoyed that I’m banging my head against a wall trying to get things that frankly aren’t really reasonable.

I kept repeating, “I can turn on my cameras in 30 minutes and teach a global audience live.” Crickets….

I can share info with you for 75% less daily, I mean, Every Day. Crickets…

You see. I’ve fundamentally broken massage education. I know no one sees it yet but I’m tired of dragging massage therapists along who tell me, “but..we can’t learn online.”

That is to me the complete doldrums. I spent years setting up my current studio and learning software to do what I’m doing only to blaze a trail so far so fast that I’m told what I do isn’t massage and furthermore that the students can’t learn online anyway.

I believe that’s wrong. I will continue working with Lmt and deprogramming them slowly but there’s no need to argue. I knew deep in my gut that something had to give.

The Thai massage jam® ran for 8 solid years and only shut down due to covid. It’s odd because it never made $, in fact it cost me more to run than it made, but it’s the thing I’m oddly the most proud of. I started considering why and it’s just that I showed up, mats were put down and we all got to work.

The public showed up never asked about certification never asked about licensure and were eager to learn and work on each other. Lmt made up a small amount of our group but most were from the Austin acro community. In all the years that we worked it was well attended and just grew or the facility that we were in grew tired of us and kicked us out. We were misfits. We didn’t really belong anywhere.

So why did that make me happy?

It’s not $. I thought a lot about this and yeah I need money and it helps me do other things in the business but why did I get a buzz off of the jam? The answer at its core was that the attendees were excited.

I’m regularly getting murmurs of, “the Austin massage community hates you.” I always ponder that if it’s true and why then realize that the Austin massage community and money from classes I taught it what helped build the business. I mean sure some do but many just don’t like the constant video production and made an assumption based on something else someone said. In other words, low level fame.

With all this swirling around I kept feeling frustrated. Massage therapists on the whole aren’t really interested in what I teach. I’m told too often it’s not massage and frankly they’re not really interested in change. The change I represent is so fundamental that I can sorta understand my regulators, school owners and other educators or Lmt dislike me. It’s challenging to be challenged by someone saying something so contradictory to the foundations we were taught in massage school.

I used the internet to go direct to consumer. I bypassed rules regulations and geographical hurdles to sell most of what I do for $7 a month. There’s no credit for that though. It’s not even recognized as a legitimate way of teaching. It’s worked but not enough for my taste.

Head meet wall.

For 2 years I’d been pondering this then recently it hit me like a flash. I’ll continue serving the Lmt community and teaching. I’ve considered teaching other groups like pilates instructors, yoga teachers or personal trainers but those audiences will have additional questions. Can I do this legally? I don’t know get a lawyer is always my answer to a bunch of very unsatisfied students.

The answer after having gone direct to consumer is just to find new consumers.

I want to teach the public directly.

They’ll likely not argue that they can’t learn online. They’re not interested in licensure or regulation. They just want help. Couples massage on steroids coming up.

In addition I can work with individuals using my camera setup to help them work on themselves and build new audiences to reach out to.

This seems simple but after dragging Lmt for years I feel free again. I don’t want to be frustrated and I particularly don’t want to fight therapists. Working with new audiences feels fun and it’s a new challenge with different issues that I feel more inclined to deal with.

Most of what I’ve done going direct to consumer can now just be applied to a new audience. 🙂 I’m very happy to shift focus and work with new groups of students.

Thai Fisherman Pants, Shea Butter & Thai Foot Sticks

Thai Fisherman Pants, Shea Butter & Thai Foot Sticks

Years ago I started wearing these since it gave an air of dressing different since I did something different. I was teased on youtube and other places for my “weird pants” but over time these have grown in popularity. I’ve listed different purveyors below on Amazon that I buy these from.

I have a tendency to buy a single pair from a seller then if I like the style fabric etc. I’ll go back and buy multiple colors in the same size as the ones I like. As with all things your mileage may vary. 🙂

These are nearly perfect for our practices. Different dress says we do different work. If you’re dedicated to a mat based practice this is a good way to make yourself stand out. Cotton is warm in winter and cool in summer. I find these for my climate in Austin Texas to be year round wear for a casual attire.

I don’t use lots of oils creams or lubricants. The big divergence is in abdominal work where I use coconut oil and in Thai style foot massage where I use shea butter. The shea is thick with some grip to it and it’s amazing stuff not just for clients but for our feet. If you find your feet are dry or cracked, you can slather this on after a good shower and before bed. Put on socks for the night and this stuff is very hydrating making the feet soft. It’s also an all natural product much like the coconut oil.

Thai foot sticks and tools will save your hands if you’re doing deep work on the feet. I don’t recommend using just your fingers to deliver pressure.

This tool is my favorite for an extended foot session. The curves allow it to fit in my hands in various ways that make the foot work easy to use.

In person classes are dead

In Person Classes are Dead

Now before you have an emotional response to that, give me just a few minutes.

What if I could give you education for 75% less, make it more time effective, lower the cost to nearly free for many attendees and manage hands on feedback on pressure and touch?

Wait a second. I thought you said in person was dead? Well it is.

This is how my classes go in the future.

Students and our industry will adapt to online education but this will take years to implement at scale. I am using 4 cameras audio with filters and anatomy on screen to stream essentially globally via youtube. Information is set free. If a student wants CE credit and their state accepts NCBTMB homestudy CEs then awesome but what if you just want to learn?

What if one student pays $100 for their CE but that same student wants 5 colleagues to work with them? Invite them in, work on each other, call or text me Live and give Feedback on Hands On Pressure as a group. If the student who wants CE credit charges the other 5 students $20 a piece? Your CE credit is now free. I didn’t see it. I don’t know it. I just know life does what it does and I’m here to provide more information as rapidly as possible.

Look at it for a second from my angle. Students Love in person classes. They’ll constantly announce, “but I like hands on.” What they don’t seem to realize is that in an in person class with 24 students how much time do you really spend with me getting hands on attention? Very little. In fact it’s small enough that a 3 days class at $500 is $27.8 per CE hour (my classes are usually 6 hours each day.)

Online is not perfect. I’ll admit that but we’ve jumped a huge precipice and it will take years for the industry to understand what’s happened. Not only can you study with me Live Interactively once, you can do so each month. If there are 6 of you in your group, you’re putting me up on a big screen tv engaging in a #CEparty and having fun together as a group building community eating from a charcuterie plate and drinking wine (again, what I don’t know won’t hurt me) and you’re studying with a top notch educator not once but Every month for 6 hours. You’re getting feedback working with a partner and learning the work incrementally building the education of our industries future.

If there are 6 of you and the $100 cost is split it’s $17 a month for attendees. $17 each month for a year is $204 a year per attendee.

An in person class with 24 students is loud. Lots of chatter. An online livestream with your group is only as loud as your personal group. 10k students could study with me simultaneously for the moment across 4 time zones in the U.S. and it’s pretty quiet on my end.

Direct to consumer is the model. I’ve no wish to have gatekeepers take a cut, charge fees or get in between the information I’m trying to deliver therapists. I read facebook groups. I see the pain massage therapists are in and I have a solution. I can show you. I can show you for pennies on the dollar of what educators charge. Don’t believe me?

My subscription service is free for your first month.

After that it’s a whopping $7 a month. In a year that’s $84. After 10 years studying with me using a prerecorded vault it’s $840 I don’t have to tell you what the ROI or return on investment is doing 3 hour sessions for $300 is.

Every day I get feedback like this:

I’ll keep working to improve things. I’ve an undying unquenchable desire to make our industry better. I want you and your friends on board with me building the future.

I’ll see you in August for Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Pain Relief.

Camera and Tripods

Cameras and Tripods

This is a detailed list and growing daily. This is the exact equipment that I use to run my business. I’m heavy on video production and currently run 4 cameras simultaneously through my computer to do livestreams to a growing roster of students. It’s some of the most cutting edge education in the massage industry and shows no signs of stopping.

I formerly had a Lumix but a friend suggested this Sony A7 II camera for my ongoing use. I currently use 4 of these for my multicam livestreams. The batteries on these work fine but you must charge the battery inside the camera as there’s no external charger. Because I stream for prolonged periods of time at up to 6 hours a day I needed a consistent power supply and it’s why I keep the batteries charged but use a wired power supply listed below.

The wired power supply is a key piece of equipment since I don’t have to worry about switching out batteries while I’m streaming.

I’ve tried some other microphones but the Sennheiser AVX Digital Wireless Microphone System – ME2 Lavalier Set is top notch. I used this to record all of my subscription service and class videos and just recently purchased a second one since the first was 8 years old. Really solid sound, very little issues and easily rechargeable. I can easily get 3-4 hours of a video shoot without a recharge.

These can plug directly into your camera or in my case now my computer via some additional equipment. For this post I’m going to isolate the cameras and mounts/tripods then have a post with the computer and additional audio equipment.

I have 4 MACTREM Professional Camera Tripod DSLR Tripod for Travel, Super Lightweight and Reliable Sturdy, Ball Head Tripod Detachable Monopod with Phone Mount Carry Bag, 21.5″ to 62.5″, 33lb Load. I’ve had a few with some plastic pieces on the legs that have broken (likely after years of use in my case) but have found these to be really solid for regular use.

Make sure your order includes a phone holder. That’s ideal for social media and you can plug your sennheisser microphone into most android phones (not sure about iphones) to get lavalier quality audio.

Self explanatory but between cameras, phones and my modem router I needed a place to charge things. The usb plugs are nice if clients need to charge their phones while we work. 2 Pack Surge Protector Power Strip with 6 Outlets 2 USB Ports 5-Foot Long Heavy-Duty Braided Extension Cords Flat Plug 900 Joules 15A Circuit Breaker Wall Mount for Home Office ETL Listed

I’m not moving to mounted cameras on my walls for ease of access and putting wires on the ceiling. My studio is currently covered in wires and this will be the easiest way to get the camera angles I need with things out of the way. A few of the cameras will be placed in positions where I can easily move them or put them on a tripod if I need to switch angles.

These are heavy solid mounts that I’ll use sheetrock anchors to secure to the walls to hold camera weight. You can find less pricey but as they hold pricey cameras I didn’t want to skimp on these. Wall-Mounted Camera Support with Ball Head

I don’t have a favorite yet for these but I’ll let you know if I decide later. I bought several to try them out and see if one gave me more ease and functionality for unlocking the camera to move them around while filming. Both can be attached to the 1/4″ thread on the camera mounts.

Neewer Aluminum Alloy Quick Shoe Plate Adapter with 1/4 3/8 inches Screw for DSLR Camera Camcorder Tripod Monopod, Compatible with Manfrotto 501HDV 503HDV 701HDV 577/519/561/Q5

Camera Quick Release Plate, FALCAM F38 Quick Release System QR Plate Camera Tripod Mount Adapter for Canon/Sony Cameras/Zhiyun/Feiyu/DJI Switch Between Stablizer/Tripod/Monopod/Slider/

The computer itself then additional audio equipment is under another post. To be clear I have 4 cameras, 4 battery packs to make them wired, 4 tripods, 4 mounts etc. Anything you do once you’ll need to do for every additional camera you use.

Computer and Audio Equipment

Computer & Audio Equipment

I broke my equipment into three sections to make it more concise. I’ll update these posts over time. 🙂

My computer is the thing that I didn’t put together. I had some friends who are programmers and pc nerds in Austin assemble it after giving me a list of parts. I just knew I needed something that’d last several years and give the processing power to crank what I was doing. This is a long list but here are the parts for my current livestream setup.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler

Do I know what all of this does? Not exactly. I’m just giving you some info to get started. This will also rapidly evolve as our needs change for computing and video production.

Fractal Design Meshify C – Compact Computer Case – High Performance Airflow/Cooling – 2X Fans Included – PSU Shroud – Modular Interior – Water-Cooling Ready – USB3.0 – Tempered Glass Light – Blackout

EVGA 06G-P4-2066-KR GeForce RTX 2060 KO Gaming, 6GB GDDR6, Dual Fans, Metal Backplate

EVGA 220-G3-0650-Y1 SuperNOVA 650 G3, 80 Plus Gold 650W, Fully Modular, Eco Mode with New HDB Fan, 7 Year Warranty, Includes Power ON Self Tester, Compact 150mm Size, Power Supply

ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) AM4 Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 & 3rd Gen Ryzen ATX Motherboard with PCIe 4.0, Dual M.2, 12+2 with Dr. MOS Power Stage

Patriot Viper Steel DDR4 16GB (2 x 8GB) 3733MHz Performance Memory Kit – PVS416G373C7K


If all this looks confusing don’t worry it would be to me as well. We can’t be expected to know everything and when I started my journey I was in my front yard near tears because I couldn’t build the business I wanted. Years later I said, “I can’t teach online.” Now I believe I can’t afford to teach group classes in person. 🙂

It takes time and you have to use your resourcefulness not just your resources.

Beyond the computer itself I needed additional wires and equipment.

Elgato Cam Link – Broadcast live and record via DSLR, camcorder, or action cam in 1080p60, compact HDMI capture device, USB 3.0

Just like the cameras etc, I needed 4 of these. One for each camera. Same goes with wires, USB 3 etc.

This is the lighting setup I pieced together. There are tripods for these but I’ve now mounted mine on my walls so they’re out of the way in my studio. You can use the stand to move the light around or use the wall mount to attach it to your walls as I did.

UBeesize Selfie Ring Light with Tripod Stand & Cell Phone Holder for Live Stream/Makeup, Mini Led Camera Ringlight for YouTube Videos/Photography

I use this primarily when I’m sitting at my computer or doing a podcast video. For my main lighting I use another set for our livestreams.

BlueRigger USB Extension Cable 7.5 Meters (25FT, Active, USB 2.0, Type A Male to A Female, Repeater Cable) – Compatible with Game Consoles, Printer, Camera

I ordered many different cables to run my cameras into my USB 3 ports. A quick note. A USB 2 carries 100X less data than a USB 3. Blue tab? USB 3. Black tab? USB 2. I had to figure this out the hard way. 🙂

USB 3.0 Extension Cable 20 ft,Ruaeoda 22 AWG Long USB Extension Cable SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Type A Male to Female USB Cable Compatible with Printer,Xbox, USB Flash Drive, Card Reader, Hard Drive,Camera

USB Bluetooth Adapter for PC – Bluetooth Dongle for PC Windows 10/8/7 – PC to Bluetooth Adapter – Bluetooth USB Receiver 4.0 for Computer/Laptop

These next items are one of my more geeky moments when I learn enough to solve problems myself. I have hotkeys on OBS. (I’ll go into software on another post.) I need a smaller keyboard to be able to press a button and change cameras/scenes/graphics. Necessity is the mother of invention. 🙂

Bluetooth Number Pad, Acedada Portable Slim 22-Key Wireless Bluetooth Numeric Keypad for Financial Accounting Data Entry, Advanced 10 Key for Laptop, Notebook, Desktop, PC, Surface Pro, etc – Black

Strenco 2 x 4 Inch – 15 Pcs – Adhesive Square Hook and Loop Tape – Heavy Duty Strips – Sticky Back Fastener

Robert, you’re saying you created a tiny wireless keyboard that connects via bluetooth to solve a problem? 😀 Yes! I grinner from ear to ear. 🙂

Gymboss Armband

Cat 7 Ethernet Cable 25 ft Shielded – Solid Flat Internet Network Computer Patch Cord, Faster Than Cat5e/Cat5/cat6 Network, Slim Cat7 High Speed LAN Wire with Rj45 Connectors for Router, Modem – White

Amazon Basics XLR Male to Female Microphone Cable – 6 Feet, Black

This XLR will connect your Sennheiser Lav Mic into the next audio interface.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First

The focusrite allowed me more control over my audio before heading into the computer. I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, both the cameras video signal and the audio signal from my microphone have to be turned into a signal that my computer can process and use. This is a simple easy solution and I may add a second microphone eventually.

Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 SD Card Reader for SDXC, SDHC, SD, MMC, RS-MMC, Micro SDXC, Micro SD, Micro SDHC Card and UHS-I Cards

I needed a card reader for SD. My computer didn’t have one installed but you can use this work around to take the SD card from your cameras to get the files on your pc.

SanDisk 256GB Ultra SDXC UHS-I Memory Card – 100MB/s, C10, U1, Full HD, SD Card – SDSDUNR-256G-GN6IN

These come in different storage sizes just like any hard drive. You can pick the size you need but I prefer having a 256GB just in case.

You back things up right? It’s a simple solution. I move tons of data around. I regularly record files that are 60GB and with that much I need a backup and occasional additional storage. You don’t want to lose footage.

Seagate STHP5000400 Backup Plus 5TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – Black USB 3.0 for PC Laptop and Mac, 1 Year MylioCreate, 2 Months Adobe CC Photography, 2-Year Rescue Service

Toptrend 4K HDMI Cable 12ft, CL3 Rated 18Gpbs High Speed HDMI 2.0 Cable Supports 1080p, 3D, 2160p, 4K 60Hz UHD, HDR, 30AWG HDMI Cord, Compatible with HDTV, Xbox, Blue-ray Player, PS3, PS4, PC

My monitor is great and I’m really glad I chose a larger 43″ screen. I use the HDMI cable to connect the monitor to my pc.

AOC C32V1Q 31.5″ Full HD 1920×1080 Monitor, Curved VA Panel, 4ms 75Hz, Frameless, HDMI/DisplayPort/VGA, Flickerfree, Low Blue Mode, VESA, Black

I spend inordinate amounts of time massaging a keyboard. I absolutely love this monitor for it’s price and size. The large screen makes me eyes rest (I need reading glass for my phone. If you ever see posts with misspellings it’s likely done from my phone when I didn’t have on reading glasses.) 🙂

I bought another monitor for my studio and an HDMI splitter. It means that with the press of a button I can switch to the monitor in my studio without having to move my original back and forth. 🙂 I also needed a long HDMI cable to run across my ceiling and reach into my studio.

Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo, WisFox 2.4G Ergonomic USB Keyboard with Phone Holder, Full-Size Keyboard and Mouse Set for Computer, Laptop and Desktop(Green and Black)

I could have settled for my wired keyboard but with so much moving around filming wireless was easier for me to move around and handle. 🙂

To save space on my USB ports (I needed 4 just for my cameras) I needed an additional supplement for non necessary devices or things that didn’t need to be wired as directly into my pc.

Powered USB Hub 3.0, Atolla 7-Port USB Data Hub Splitter with One Smart Charging Port and Individual On/Off Switches and 5V/4A Power Adapter USB Extension for MacBook, Mac Pro/Mini and More.

I know that’s a lot of stuff. Don’t feel overwhelmed. I know that I felt overwhelmed doing all of this but I still need to make posts on my clothes, attire and then the software I used. I spent a year juggling and working with all of this to assemble it into what we’re doing now.

I’m completely changing the face of massage education and it’s because of my friends support and help in addition to a solid work ethic where I believe I could achieve anything. Here’s what we’re Doing with this equipment.

You can study with me live, globally.

If you want your free CEs you can sign up here.

Hope that gives you something to chew on. 🙂

What kind of mat do you use

What Kind of Mat Do You Use?

I’d been waiting on this sort of post for awhile. With so many changes in my business students kept asking me to have my own merch my own mats and as much as I like the idea the business isn’t large enough to go into that sort of retail shipping packing etc. I buy most of my work supplies via amazon and have made companies lots of money.

In the back of my mind I kept going, “why don’t you set up affiliate links?” Of course it’s just a matter of time and mostly what these links do is save you time. I get to promote the products I specifically use and make a small cut. So, here’s the list and I’ll update this periodically on my FAQ as well.

I use two of these mats (4×8) to make a large 8×8 mat connected via their included velcro. The come in multiple colors and you can also select a larger size that goes to 10′. These are light foldable and nearly perfect for what I do. I can take one for an outcall with it’s included handles then make a large mat by connecting the velcro included.

I’m picky about mats for functionality. You need enough softness for your knees and client comfort but some push back for a compression on a client. At around $160 for two I can buy a new set each year and give the old ones to students. These are ideal.

Sheets & Sheet Holders

Bed Scrunchie

Using the above mats I need Cali King flat sheets to cover them. I find these work well with nice colors that don’t fade and the sheet scrunchie allows me to tighten or snug the sheet up so it doesn’t come off of the mat or bunch up. I don’t mind if the sheets aren’t snugged for a client but for filming I think it just makes things look nicer and more clean for photo and video production.

The bed scrunchie is what I currently use to snug the sheets to my mat. Because the 8×8 mat is not a standard bed size it’s a bit of a squeeze and I prefer the cali king sheets since I have more fabric to allow me to connect the scrunchie with.

Here are the blankets I just purchased. These are thinner than my original ones of unknown origin and I’ll sample more over time and update as I try different ones. They’re not bad but they’re not as thick as what I currently have.

I hope that helps. I’m adding other posts on the cameras or electronics I use. 🙂

I didn’t want to mess around with Austin allergies anymore. I decided to get a heavy duty air filtration system to improve things. 🙂

What makes a good bodyworker

What Makes a Good Bodyworker

The artform I work within is unknown misunderstood and frankly exists as a statistical anomaly. I was watching Searching for Bobby Fischer and often wonder about various art forms and the people who push it to new heights and limits.

In music I think of Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Fela Kuti, Sun Ra and John Coltrane. In painting it’s Picasso, Van Gogh and Matisse and a host of others. In various arts people stand out. Cooking and the culinary arts have their heros and within our lifetime due to mass distribution we know of various chefs pushing the edges not just of fame but molecular gastronomy.

What about bodywork?

I mentioned this to a colleague during a podcast. If you’re Really into food you’re a foodie. There’s no comparable term for someone who geeks out about massage and bodywork.

Even the line between massage and bodywork is a massive blur. I tend to shy away from using the word massage unless I’m looking for youtube SEO. I don’t like it. I don’t think it adequately represents the art I teach and frankly if I must label what I do and make a box I will make one to my own specifications. If I live in limitations I prefer they be self imposed.

As I look back over the artists I’ve seen in my industry one thing stands out. Those that I’ve noticed aren’t just good at bodywork. They’re good at connecting with people which builds sales. Most of them have this uncanny knack something they can’t really teach and find difficult to explain to others.

In my own experience my first teacher did this. She tried and did well to explain some things but I got the bodywork the first time. I understood it and had to practice but I got the basics. Marketing? Eh, not so much. That I had to learn on my own by trial and error.

If I’d not gone into bodywork I likely would have gone into culinary arts. As a long time cook I was mostly self taught and relied on Good Eats with Alton Brown and a host of other food network stars to extract enough chemistry to get to work and start improvising. I think I was good at it just because I worked so hard at it and practiced.

Bodywork? It’s really the only thing I’ve ever been good at other than public speaking. Most would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy but I loved it since I was in my teens. I could command an audience verbally. Oration is a long lost art form. Not gone but well things have changed with the advent of tiktok. 🙂

Why did I become so good at this particular art? Pain. I don’t really think I’m gifted. I don’t feel like some anomalous autodidact who just could do the stuff. I remember family members saying, “remember when you were a kid and would rub my neck?” It was as if they knew what I was going to do from their vantage point.

Pain pulled me so deeply into my nervous system I just had to process it all. I had to stretch lengthen strengthen move things around develop balance coordination and do whatever I could to get the pain to go away. In that came the gift. I graduated massage school in 2002 and next year I realize it’ll be 20 years in my industry. I’m 43 horribly young and likely in some of the best shape of my life or at least pain free.

Focus and practice. That’s what made me a good bodyworker. That and a desire to set people free.

beer with Robert Gardner
enjoy your vices

I’ve seen it in clients. They just can’t believe someone could spend time with them and focus on them for 3 hours. Quiet? Sometimes. Chatty? Sometimes. Present? Sure and I meet up with my psychic stuff and meet up with the clients as well. I don’t think I’m special. I teach because I believe anyone can learn if they truly wish to.

Touch is so basic it’s overlooked. In a #metoo era where we find out how people are abusing power over others I see touch and a remedy. You learn boundaries barriers consent pressure and more when it’s part of your culture growing up. Much like sex education though we can’t quite figure out who should be doing the teaching. Family? or via school and government programs?

I’m direct to consumer in my approach. I’ve seen the prison Thai massage jam® the one at the school and the after Sunday service praise Jesus Mahalia Jackson playing version as well. The vision is there. It just takes time to build.

You change a culture one person at a time and I started with myself.

So what makes a great bodyworker? Mostly I feel it’s a desire to help people that’s crafted and honed through ongoing repeated education.

Many seem to think of a massage as a I learned it in school and I’m done affair like an oil change. Cars haven’t changed that much over the years so once you know you know. Bodywork and bodies though are so variable it’s hard to explain improvisation to students who are just trying to learn to use their legs and feet on a mat.

Communication and connection are two of the biggest factors. I relish the chance to connect with someone deeply across gender race creed and class lines to our basic humanity. Nothing seems more human than pain. Even when I do a verbal consult with a client and ask them about their pain I can see it in their face.

They lower their head, look away and have a harder time making eye contact. In a world with no cure for pain (morphine is temporary and yes I love the band) we’re not really encouraged to discuss it as since there’s no cure it’s hard to others to listen.

I often read into these verbal intakes just to see how the client is relating to their own body. The communication and bodywork you see starts long before we step onto the mat.

I think a good bodyworker does have some basics of anatomy but of the things that comes to mind currently I think compassion, a desire to help ease suffering in addition to communication and connection are key. Only when you mix those in the right percentages do you get the bodywork our communities desperately need.

In Person Classes

In Person Classes

My business during covid has had to transition. I was already leaning on online education quite heavily and when brick and mortar business declined I spent enough time massaging a keyboard and computer to wind up with 4 camera angles, graphics and anatomy on screen with wireless filtered audio.

It’s not perfect but we’re about to unleash a new pc and 3 new cameras to that same setup. Listen to me and read this 3 times:

I can livestream to you every day for several hours a day 365 days a year.

In person classes in my practice will never recover to their pre-covid levels nor should they.

I’m running hybrid classes. I can teach you for 50 to 75% less $ and I can do so in the comfort and safety of your home or studio.

#CEParty is the future of massage education.

1 person has to pay and they get CE credit from NCBTMB but anyone else? 5 friends? 3 colleagues? All of them can train with us for free. Feel free to negotiate splitting up the fee with colleagues.

4 camera angles. Wireless audio. Anatomy on screen. We’re about to improve this but this is the “bad” version. The version that’s not as high quality.

I will continue teaching in person as time and safety permit. We have Introduction to Thai massage for 18 CEs coming up in March. The payment plan is 3 payments of $98.99 and includes the shipped workbook and dvd.

Sign up now to learn mat based work in depth.

I still offer in person private training. It’s $80 an hour and I usually max at 6 hours a day. If you want to fly into Austin to study let me know.

512 905 2298

Robert 🙂



I notice themes after 43 years.

I was hit by a drunk driver and did what I had to to survive and get out of pain. Then I passed that information onto an entire of industry of massage therapists who fight struggle strain get carpal tunnel syndrome and declare me unprofessional.

A colleague at a local massage school told an educator they were working with me and the teacher said, “oh yeah Robert, we’ve heard good things about his work but he’s….controversial.”

I don’t act right. I don’t speak right. I don’t tow party line or kowtow to tradition. Your traditions nearly killed me and led me down a path towards oxycontin and heroin addiction.

I’m pain free. After being hit by a drunk driver at 22. I never Really wanted to be a massage therapist. I wanted to be free of pain. I wanted to share what I’d learned about being pain free. For that? I’m likely one of the most hated educators in our industry.

It’s ok though. I’m in good company. Socrates was put to death for corrupting the youth. A rabbi I know of was crucified because he helped people healed people and didn’t instill a tradition but broke them down.

What else do you expect from me? I don’t break any laws but I do resist your rules. Rules laid down by a very sick culture.

I teach what I do for nearly free. I mentor for $7/month. I do interactive livestreams to raving fans who are helping people and receiving top notch education while I’m told it’s impossible to learn online.

It is possible. I will show you the way. Now let me and my fans go have fun.

Questions from Students #1

Questions from Students #1

I see you keep saying that if we have any questions to contact you so here I am. I don’t know how anyone can be bored. My time off has been filled with educating myself, but that’s just me. I don’t know if I have questions exactly. I guess I just want to know what your response is to these two things or what you think about them, I guess. My first thing is that I tested out some moves that I saw in the membership videos and I did it on the clinic director where I work. She said that she didn’t want to get undressed and I said that was fine. I put my leg up on the table and she asked me if I was going to spoon with her! I was like fuck you! Then a few weeks ago, before my professions were all put on the cease-operations list, I found out she told the owner because they started teasing me about it. I was like, “You told her?!” I was actually pretty pissed about that. Number one, because I’m a professional and I was trying something new that I felt got thrown in my face. Number two, because she went and told the owner and then it got thrown at me again. Thankfully, it was the clinic director, but I don’t want that to happen with a patient or a client. I DEFINITELY don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. That’s my first thing.

My other thing that I wanted to reach out to you about is that I notice that you talk a lot about the clients groaning. I was in the middle of watching one of the videos on the membership while you were working on someone. I don’t know if it was just this person’s voice or what, but the way she was talking and the sounds that she made sounded very…. inappropriate. I’ve had that before where I had a client that was, full on, the entire time moaning. It was one of the most uncomfortable experiences I’ve had as a massage therapist. I asked another therapist that worked with me at that spa if the woman had done that to her and she laughed and said, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that.” How do you forget about that?! One of my worst fears is having someone hear that going on in my room and thinking something else is going on in the room and then having everything that follows. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s experience, but I also don’t want to be uncomfortable during a session because they can’t contain themselves and I don’t know how to stop it. Or stop that politely. Everything that comes out of my mouth sounds way bitchier than I mean it to sound. On the other hand, being a female therapist I don’t want to have a male client making those sound effects and I think it’s fine and it turns into something else.

I lied, I do have one more thing. I am tiny. I just watched a live class this morning and the instructor told us how much his bulldog weighed and I was like holy shit that dog weighs almost as much as I do. I’m small, but I’m mighty and I know that I can put in a good amount of pressure using my arms. When I’ve tried using my body on a guinea pig, they said exactly what you always say that they will say about how it’s less pointy and they prefer it. My challenge is that I can’t “feel” how much pressure I’m giving. Knowing how small I am, I feel like it’s not enough and I can’t “feel” the response of the person’s body.

I look forward to hearing what you have to say about all of this.

Thank you!–Student

I’ve many thoughts on what you’re saying and have noticed that students experiences parallel the things I’ve dealt with as a therapist. At least in your case you have someone to email and ask questions of.

Years ago I worked at a spa called Salon Londyn. It was at that time the nicest and ritziest spa in Baton Rouge and I’d studied Thai massage with my original teacher. I loved mat based work and was forced to improvise what I could on a table.

The staff did not like me. I was never certain but I suspect the other therapists were very intimidated by me and I’d no notion or kowtowing to public demands for massage mediocrity. I received review cards that rated my sessions as the best the clients had ever received. I’d done stellar work and was only out of school by a year or so at this point.

The spas lead therapist came in to check out what this Thai massage was and got on the table clothed since we’d no mat space in the facility. I worked on her and eventually performed a move where you slide in between the clients legs to access the gluteals. She immediately commented, “oh my god, the clients junk would be hanging on my leg if I did this.”

Part of the issue is that mixing table work and mat work confuses and perpetuates the worst of both cultures.

People who are used to a nice box for western massage are put at odds when you leave clothes on. They’re put at odds with passive body contact like your leg and they don’t really have a cultural context for what’s going on. Part of the reason I’m moving away from Thai massage and moving away from the dominant culture is that it is deeply deeply sick and toxic.

To survive I had to adapt.

My body mechanics are different on a table and I was young and trying things that I’d not full experience performing on a table. I had to make this mat based box I loved fit a western cultural context.

I was fired from that job shortly after. My comment cards with 5 stars were in the break room. I was called into the office and told, “here at Salon Londyn we’re trying to build a team. Sometimes the team works and sometimes it doesn’t so we’re going to have to let you go.” I was asked if I had anything to say. I was prepared to trash the entire infrastructure but what good does that do? It doesn’t allow me to build anything professionally and in the end this business will be gone soon enough. I said, “Business is business and shook the owners hand.”

Later they went out of business. Mine is still growing 18 years later.

Trying to make my work fit into spa culture is like trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole.

If you really want to do what I teach. If you really want to help people that’s not available in massage facilities. Quit and work for yourself.

It’s ok if you can make it fit somewhere but no one will believe me until licensed massage therapists do my work at a scale that essentially renders the spas and clinics obsolete by not creating a superior service. I don’t offer relaxation as a standalone. I offer pain relief that’s also deeply relaxing.

Groaning in session is to me a good sign. Usually it just means we’ve hit a sweet spot in the client’s nervous system and people express that vocally. If you remove that vocal track it could likely be mistaken for pornhub. 🙂

Part of the issue is working on naked people who are moaning is different than working on clothed people with my feet digging into their shoulder blade who are groaning as something releases. Context including cultural context is everything.

When you put your leg up and the person asked if you were going to spoon them is a normal response for someone with very limited touch contact from other people. Who do we touch in America? At most we give handshakes and at it’s max someone gives someone a hug and it’s considered an edge. Imagine hugging someone who doesn’t want a hug?

See the response and pullback? My work and what I’m teaching you is more intimate and more connected than other forms of bodywork but it’s far less sexual. That’s hard for America coming from a puritanical culture and you can check pornhub statistics to see what Americans do in their free time. They’re obsessed with sex! We use it to sell everything and advertise but we don’t want to openly discuss it because it’s a taboo.

When I interact with clients having done what I do for 18 years I operate from a very odd vantage point. I’m Deeply intimate with clients and often touch them in ways that no one has ever experienced.

Think about that for a second. I’m a married white male touching people in my home in ways that they’ve never had before. If you think the public doesn’t get it, don’t stop there. Massage therapists don’t get it either. I was banned from two different WA state massage groups for posting the following:

Helping clients? Great.
Connecting deeply to help people in pain? Awesome.
Pissing off massage therapist by working in ways they don’t understand by massage people with your butt? Priceless.

My own community banned me. 🙂 It’s ok. I know it’s hard to accept when you when through schools and businesses that accepted mediocrity. I know that the oxycontin epidemic and the Sackler family are ok by how you behave and how you vote.

I chose a different path. It’s not for everyone. It’s for the rebels. We don’t break the law but we break all the rules.

You can’t film here! Why? Why can’t I record my sessions and teach people in sub Saharan Africa from their cell phone so they can work on people in their village?

Most people are average. That’s the definition of average. My students are not. My students question authority. They think for themselves. They speak and communicate with clients to help ease their pain and we do a really solid good job of it to the point where we’re being questioned as to what we do Is In Fact Massage.

If it’s not I’m going to teach it globally online and no one can stop me. That’s what happens when you resist and push back against an anarchist until he discovers the internet and global distribution.

Here’s a conversation I had with a student the other night:

Nathalie Gregory is dealing with the same pre pandemic struggles other students are. She’s trying to save her body and help clients. Does the facility care?

Usually no. People resist fight and rebuke change on every front. The clients want what we do and the facilities that refuse to allow it will not exist 10 years from now. We get to choose what we do. I will always always recommend that therapists study with me, quit their jobs and start private practice where we only answer to happy pain free customers.

Lastly each client will want a different amount of pressure. Talk with them. Ask them for feedback. Do they want more? Do they want less? Do they want you to shear? It’s their body and their session. Honor that and don’t compromise your body as you work.

Everyone’s tools are shaped differently. Your elbow main be pointier. My client might allow more pressure cause my elbow is broad so there’s no definitive way to determine pressure except to break a long standing rule and stop being silent for the whole session. Stop giving massage and start helping people with pain by Talking to them. 🙂

It will be even more complex once you start using your knees and feet to feel with. You’ll develop touch sensitivity but it takes time and much practice. Practice I might add that is not allowed in any major massage facility in America. #renegade

I hope this helped and shed some light. I’ve zero faith than any massage facility in America will listen but that’s ok. In the middle of global pandemic we have a yoga community and stretch facilities to teach online.