To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Best Practices: Jason Goodbrake,” in the November 2013 issue. Article summary: Jason Goodbrake, 29, of Arlington, Virginia, is a structural integration practitioner. He graduated from the Institute for Structural Integration in Miami Beach, Florida, and is a dedicated apprentice of the school’s founder, John Latz. He returns to the school multiple times each year to take continuing education classes. He serves a wide and varied clientele in his practice, NoVA S.I., which includes connective-tissue massage, since 2008.
How do you define business success?
A: I feel successful in my business if I am able to bring in enough money to pay all of my bills, make a little extra, continue my apprenticeship each year and still be available to the rest of my life. My successful business is one that supports and enhances my life, and doesn’t leave me perpetually exhausted or worried about making ends meet; it is also self-perpetuating and busy. Right now, for instance, I have reached a point where I no longer have to look for clients; people simply call and refer. That feels like success.
How does connective-tissue massage contribute to your sessions?
A: Connective-tissue massage contains all the elements necessary to perform powerfully effective, elegant fascial work. It represents various rudiments of the practice of structural integration broken down into their component parts. It was created to introduce massage therapists and other aspirant practitioners of structural integration to the work, to begin to teach people to touch fascia in a way quite unique to practitioners of structural integration. It is such a great way to learn the touch vocabulary and body mechanics required for both great success and career longevity in any kind of fascial work.
For me, connective-tissue massage has been the foundation of my success as a practitioner of structural integration. For any massage therapist, it could be an excellent, inspiring new take on what is truly possible in the realm of fascial manipulation.
What advice can you give to massage therapists who might be considering education in an advanced modality?
A: First, it may be misleading to use the term advanced modality. Any therapeutic modality can take on sufficient depth with enough years, practice, bodies and heart. It is easy to point at various models and cite their flaws, but if you find a practitioner—of any technique—who has really given him- or herself over to it and who knows it and lives it inside and out, it can be a complete experience in itself, lacking nothing. Also, I know a lot of therapists who elect to become educated in numerous modalities, sometimes too numerous to keep track of. So we have jacks of all trades, and we have those who choose to sink deeply into one or two techniques. I prefer to work with people who have worked with one style, in a focused fashion, than those who claim to be able to accomplish all the many miracles of their 12 different modalities.
What is the best way to market a new technique or specialty to clients?
A: Show it to them. Even if you’re great at talking to your clients, giving them a taste of your new technique is the best way to market it. If this requires a transitional approach, perhaps you could open or end a session with just a few minutes of it.
If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently starting out?
A: I would not have wasted money on online advertising and search engine optimization campaigns. I would have hit the pavement more, talked to more people, and given more sessions to office managers.