Author Archives: David

Moving Massage from Acceptability to Accessibility

For as long as people have been paying for therapeutic massage services, practitioners have feared being mistaken for prostitutes. That fear was the primary driving force that, in 1983, led the American Massage Therapy Association to re-brand “massage” into “massage … Continue reading

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The Leg Problem in Chair Massage

Steve Knobles called today from North Seattle Community Acupuncture clinic. He recently started seating patients in a massage chair because it allowed easy access to their necks, backs and arms for needling and was often more comfortable than lying on a … Continue reading

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Toys for Touch

Touch is far more important for childhood development than technology. I was reminded of that while reading an article in Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle about innovative local toy companies.A number of them explicitly sing the praises and benefits of tactile … Continue reading

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Thomas Alva Edison

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. (1903)

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Make Your Business Persistent with Consistence

Note: This is the third in a series of four articles called “C”-ing Your Way to Success about  the value of Conviction, Clarity, Consistency and Change-ability in business. In a sense, consistency is the practical result of a commitment to … Continue reading

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“How often should I get a massage?”

This is one of the most common questions I hear from customers. It’s an important question and the response needs to be considered carefully because the answer will set the character and tone of all future interactions with that customer. … Continue reading

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The Commercial Viability of Massage Approaches

Laura Allen recently blogged about the reasons why some practitioners have a difficult time getting repeat customers. One section mentioned how some practitioners try to sell energy work or other non-massage techniques to people who think they are buying massage. … Continue reading

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How Massage Became Therapy

The year was 1983 and the oldest national association of massage practitioners was about to change the face of an industry by turning “massage” into “massage therapy.” This is the story of what led up to that moment. The association … Continue reading

Posted in History, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Seeing Your Way Clearly to Success

Note: This is the second in a series of four articles called “C”-ing Your Way to Success about  the value of Conviction, Clarity, Consistency and Change-ability in business. While having conviction about your work is fundamental to a successful value-based … Continue reading

Posted in Business | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Should hugs be banned?

Admittedly, since my oldest grandchild just entered second grade this year, I have been out of the loop regarding school board policies dealing with public displays of affection (PDA) between students. I guess, after watching Glee for three years, I … Continue reading

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Is it time for massage to embrace touch?

Which profession should hold the keys to the storehouse that contains all of  the world’s  knowledge about human touch? Besides bodyworkers, is there any other (legal) occupation with more practical and theoretical knowledge about touch? I don’t think so and … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Politics, Touch | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Successful Businesses Start With Conviction

For an entrepreneur, conviction is where it all starts. An exciting idea enters your brain and gets your juices flowing. You can’t stop thinking about it so you start testing the idea out in conversations with friends. After that reality … Continue reading

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How Steve Jobs Revolutionized the Massage Industry

The first time we nervously walked into Apple Computer’s Macintosh division in 1984 to provide seated massage with our matching grey slacks, white polo shirts and blue blazers, we felt overdressed. At a time when the largest computer company in … Continue reading

Posted in Chair Massage, History | 12 Comments

584 People Receive Seated Massage on Thai Beach

Last week Phuket, Thailand, featured two of its most famous tourist attractions–beaches and massage–as the Ministry of Health hosted one of five preliminary events leading up to an official attempt in November to break the Guinness World Record for most simultaneous … Continue reading

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Quality Control Through Katas

When I first began developing chair massage sequences in 1982, one of my students was also a student of Haruyoshi Ito, who had introduced a Japanese movement form called Shintaido to the United States and Europe during the mid 1970s. … Continue reading

Posted in Bodywork, Business, Chair Massage, Education | 11 Comments

Why I Do Chair Massage – Part Two

When I was a kid, my Mom and I used to lie at opposite ends of the couch with our legs entwined. When I was a kid my Dad used to kiss me goodnight. Then, somewhere around ten or eleven, … Continue reading

Posted in Chair Massage, Touch | 3 Comments

I Believe in Touch

In 2004, National Public Radio (NPR) began airing readings of brief essays entitled This I Believe written by youth and adults from all walks of life about the core values that guide their daily lives. It was based on a … Continue reading

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July 21, 1911 – Happy Hundredth Birthday, Marshal McLuhan

The author of The Medium is the Massage, Marshal McLuhan, deserves a space in the massage almanac for the positive PR impact he had on the early days of contemporary massage, not to mention my life. In 1967, the year of … Continue reading

Posted in Almanac | 1 Comment

Creating a Fitness Lifestyle

We all believe in the importance of fitness. Heck some of us are selling it. But what is fitness, and how do you achieve it? My idea of fitness is a broad one. It includes physical, intellectual, social and spiritual … Continue reading

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The Curious Disparity of Ambidexterity

After an operation in 1974 put my right shoulder out of commission for a couple of months, I realized how little dexterity I had in my left hand relative to my right. What’s that all about, I thought. Who made … Continue reading

Posted in Fitness | 2 Comments

Globalize your website

“What do you call someone who speaks three languages?” Trilingual. “What do you call someone who speaks two languages?” Bilingual. “What do you call someone who speaks one language?” American. OK, OK. It is an old joke that is, fortunately, … Continue reading

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“Sound is touch at a distance.”

That wonderfully rich quote comes from Anne Fernald, the head of Stanford Institute’s Center for Infant Studies during an interview on a  RadioLab podcast, one of my favorite  NPR science programs. The program segment was titled Sound as Touch and … Continue reading

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The Story of the First Massage Chair

My love affair with chair massage began in 1982, four years before the first professional massage chair came on the market. This is the story of what it took to get that first massage chair built. The problem The team … Continue reading

Posted in Chair Massage, History | 28 Comments

The Best Technique for Chair Massage

Oils and lotions were out. That seemed obvious back in 1982 when I first began exploring the idea of massaging people in a seated position. Fortunately, because I had been trained in traditional Japanese massage (Amma), that was not a … Continue reading

Posted in Chair Massage | 7 Comments

Why I do Chair Massage – Part One

“You can’t call that massage!” The year was 1984 and the irritated voice on the other end of the phone was the owner of a well known massage school in New York objecting to my description of chair massage. “A … Continue reading

Posted in Chair Massage | 9 Comments