Practitioner Survey: Erin Busby
What healing modality or modalities do you practice?
I primarily do a rehabilitative style of massage, based on neuromuscular theory (but I’m not an NMT), incorporated into Swedish (because I work in a spa). I have strong training in pre-and-postnatal massage. I also do CranioSacral (CST) and reiki, and I have training in several styles of shiatsu, as well as in cupping and moxibustion. I do hot stone massage and body treatments occasionally.
Why do clients typically seek your particular style of work?
Clients typically seek rehab work when they have specific muscular complaints that they want addressed, when they want to relax their tissues and to retrain them to follow healthier and more comfortable patterns of movement, and when they have trigger point referrals. I also see people who want areas of their bodies addressed that aren’t typically touched during a standard Swedish massage, like the anterior neck muscles, the deep abdominal muscles, or any of the other small muscles that tend to be forgotten about, but which I have found to be fairly crucial in fully relieving common tension patterns. For CST, the majority of people I’ve seen have a history of pain or discomfort with their heads — headaches, TMJD, tinnitus, vertigo, etc.
How did you get interested in doing what you do?
I fit the profile of the “wounded healer” archetype. I started randomly losing my vision when I was 14, for brief spells of a couple seconds to a couple minutes at a time. I spent many years trying to figure out what was happening through traditional medical care, but it was finally a massage therapist who suggested it might be a structural problem involving my occiput, atlas, and occipital muscles, and a craniosacral therapist who relieved my symptoms completely. I believe that both traditional medicine and complementary/alternative medicine have a great deal to offer, and I want to contribute to the dialogue between the two.
Additionally, massage was something I taught myself for fun starting in high school. I was a cheerleader who worked on wrestlers on bus rides home from meets, and in college, I worked on castmates during breaks from theater rehearsals. When I graduated, I wanted to follow some kind of career training that would be supplementary to and supportive of my artistic pursuits, and I thought bodywork would be a good match. Once I started school, I fell completely in love with human anatomy and physiology — it’s entirely impossible to know everything there is to know, so there’s never a chance to get bored!
I truly believe that being able to follow this career path and to interact with clients is the greatest honor I could receive — I love that people come to me when they want to celebrate, when they need to grieve, and when they want to shed stress and pain. Being present to support any and all of those processes amazes me every day, teaches me so much, and inspires me to keep learning so that I can do so more and more effectively. To anyone I’ve touched who may be reading this, thank you for giving me such a valuable opportunity!
How long have you been in practice? Has your practice always looked like this, or have there been variations?
I started school in the spring of 2005, right after I received my BA in Theatre Arts. I started practicing professionally in 2007. I’ve since worked in several spas, a chiropractic clinic, and traveled for a basketball player. There have been really wonderful things about all of them, and downsides, as well, but I’m happy with the practice I’m currently in.
Where and when did you do your training? Was it formal or informal?
I went to CenterPoint Massage and Shiatsu School and Clinic from 2005-2006 (formal). I was in the last class of the Comprehensive Integrative program, before the school changed its curriculum. CI is roughly equivalent to what is now called the East/West program.
Is tipping appropriate for your business? Why or why not? How much?
It is. Tipping is a deeply appreciated expression of gratitude, and for practitioners who are employed by someone else, provide a significant part of one’s income. It’s never required, but typically, 15-25% of the service total is what is left for gratuity, similar to other service professions. Your generosity is always greatly appreciated.
What are your rates? Do you use a fixed or sliding fee scale? Are taxes included?
The rates of the services I provide are determined by the spa at which I work, and are not based on a sliding scale. They can be found at http://www.phreshspasalon.com/body-minneapolis-stpaul-salon-spa.html. Massage is a taxable service.
Are clients clothed or disrobed during your service? What kind of draping can they expect?
It entirely depends upon the service provided. For massage, clients disrobe to their level of comfort — sometimes fully, sometimes leaving underwear on — and are draped with a sheet and blanket at all times, providing for modesty and warmth. During CST or reiki sessions, clients are clothed, wearing something loose and comfortable, like gym clothes (pants and shirt).
What are common fears you have encountered in new clients that you’d like to allay?
I don’t care about cellulite, unshaved legs or armpits, or light sweat. I have worked with a wide range of body types, and my main concern is to support yours in the best way possible for you. Also, many of the things people find potentially embarrassing during massage are actually signs of relaxation — flatulence, tummy gurgling, erections, snoring, sighing, twitching — unless you make them an issue, I won’t worry about them.
How frequently and for how long do you recommend receiving treatment within a typical treatment plan?
It depends entirely upon your personal goals for the work. If you’re trying to address a specific complaint, more frequent sessions will be more effective — after about 7-10 days, the body forgets the lesson, and whatever it learns is essentially new, starting over. Typically, I ask for six weeks of consistent work before we reevaluate, to allow for the full healing process to take place. During that time, you may hit plateaus, there might be healing crises, and there might be a sense of being totally healthy, but seeing it through to the end is the best way to ensure that the tissues retain the experience. For maintenance, every four weeks is sufficient to allow the body to relax, but it’s not likely to change major habitual tension patterns.
Are there other modalities you would consider complementary to your work?
Absolutely, which is a huge part of why I’m doing this blog. I think that everyone has different wiring and that many things will be helpful, and that some things will be more helpful than others, and that it depends entirely upon who you are and what you want to accomplish.
How long does a typical session last? Are there reasons for doing longer or shorter sessions?
The most common session lengths for me are 60 and 90 minutes. There are shorter sessions, 30 and 45 minutes, which are really good for specific, focused work. Longer sessions allow enough time to either commit to a specific area of the body and address contributing muscles from a variety of angles in a very specific way or to address the full body. The longest session I’ve ever done is 2.5 or 3 hours, but that is highly unusual and was for a very tall, muscular person who wanted specific work throughout their body. 60-90 minutes is usually sufficient in a spa setting.
If I don’t live in the same city as you, or if I want to experience your modality while I’m traveling, are there resources for me to easily and safely find a skilled practitioner in other places?
There are websites like www.iahp.com, www.massagegps.com, www.amta.com — all great resources.
What kind of licensing do you have? Are there legal standards that apply?
I have licensure in the city where I live, but I work in an unlicensed state. I am insured through the AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association). In Minnesota, the CAM law applies — MN Statute 146A.
Are there any common missteps that clients have made? What should clients know to avoid awkwardness?
Anyone who’s sincerely worried about awkwardness probably isn’t going to cross any major boundaries, but to set minds at ease: don’t make sexual advances toward me, don’t come to your session intoxicated, don’t come if you have a fever, and don’t come if you have a contagious illness or skin condition. Wait six weeks after surgery or any other major procedures.
What kind of records are kept about clients? Who has access to them?
New clients fill out a client intake form, which is filed in a locked filing cabinet. After each sessions, notes are made in a computer databank. Practitioners only have easy access to these records within a few days of your appointment, without searching through months of records to find yours specifically. Administrative and front desk staff are able to search for your information for the purposes of confirming appointments and mailing correspondence.
Is there paperwork to fill out, and if so, how much time does it typically take to complete?
New clients are advised to arrive to appointments ten to fifteen minutes before their scheduled appointment time to complete intake forms for body and skin care (depending on service).
What kind of products do you use during your sessions?
I use Dual-Purpose Massage Creme from Biotone during the majority of my massage sessions, but never on the face. I occasionally also locally apply Biofreeze as an analgesic gel for particularly sore or reactive tissues, but I always give clients the option to not use it. During hot stone massages, I use a Mimosa Champagne body oil by Eminence Organics. During CST and reiki, I use no products.
What kind of sanitation practices do you adhere to?
Sheets and towels are washed after every session with detergent and bleach. Surfaces are cleaned with disinfectant solutions such as Lysol. In the case of hot stone, the rocks are cleaned individually with antibacterial soap.
If I have questions before/after my session, what’s the best way to get them answered?
Call the spa directly at 651-288-4040. The receptionist may have an answer for you, but if that isn’t satisfactory, do request to speak to a practitioner. You may request me specifically, but I may have to call you back if I am otherwise engaged.
Do you have a website?
The spa website is http://www.phreshspasalon.com, and my personal bodywork blog is dancingbeeadventures.com.
How do I book an appointment?
Call the spa directly at 651-288-4040. Have an idea of the service you’re interested in receiving, but do ask any questions you may have.
How do you take care of yourself?
I have long weekends. I spend time with friends, and I also make sure to have enough time for myself. I have this blog, which ensures that I’m getting bodywork on a regular basis. I also occasionally do Shiva Nata, yoga, and other forms of stretching and meditation, but I’m not as regular with any of them as I could be. I write a lot, and I read. I draw. I sleep. Sometimes I get acupuncture. I also just tried Past Life Regression not too long ago, and found that helpful. Sometimes I do ecstatic dance in the privacy of my own home. Also, I travel as frequently as I can — having a trip scheduled is the best tactic I know for keeping upbeat and engaged in the rest of my life.
How can I continue the work we’ve begun here in my daily life?
Hopefully, by experiencing your body hands-on, you will feel more connected to it and find yourself able to listen to its signals more effectively. That’s the biggest thing, I think — providing yourself with a new level of attention and intention, respecting the work you demand from your body and supplying it with the resources it needs to perform it and recover from it.
Will you provide me with specific self-care homework to help me take this work deeper?
I don’t follow homework very well myself, and I won’t hold you accountable, but we’ll discuss ways of supporting your body’s specific needs, and I will suggest things for you to do in order to integrate the work in the way that is easiest for your body to handle.
Read Full Post »