November 08, 2009

Meeting of the Massage Minds: Rachel Beider

I visited Massage Williamsburg for a full body massage with owner Rachel Beider just a short while ago. Luckily for me, Rachel then took the time to speak with me over some delicious good-for-you food! I learned that Rachel graduated from the Swedish Institute a few short years ago. Her business has grown quickly and her enthusiasm for being a Massage Therapist blooms bigger as well! Before we even sat down at our table she was ready and willing for me to pick her brain and soak up whatever she had to offer...

Rachel moved to New York and along the way found she needed a change. She didn't want an office job and didn't want to be tied to a 9-5 clock. So, she took a bit of a break and traveled! Rachel booked a trip to India and Thailand - where she became certified in Thai Massage at the WatPo Thai Medical Massage School. The bodywork she experienced there lit her passion for massage therapy, so she started researching training programs in the US while she continued to travel.  Rachel actually mailed in her Swedish Institute application from Vietnam!

Before heading up Massage Williamsburg, Rachel gained a great deal of practice and experience in a variety of venues - a chiropractor, a wellness center, and even a doctors office where Rachel was able to have experiences with medical massage.

Both as a Massage Therapist and as the Business Owner in charge of hiring fellow LMT's at Massage Willamsburg - Rachel is firm on the fact that Massage Williamsburg must be able to think, speak and act intelligently with their body work.

"You want to be able to explain to people what might be the cause of their pain. Pain is scary - but if you know whats going on, it's less so. Suddenly, the meaning of the pain changes and both of you are looking at the issue together."

Rachel exudes intelligence on all sides of this profession. She knows the body through Anatomy and Myology. She also knows that people need to be spoken to about this kind of body work, not spoken at. She communicates on a level that lets you know she is coming from a firm educated background, but wants to make it available to anyone who comes to her for healing.

Rachel is a fruitful resource for ways to help me with my journey! She talked to me about what classes I need to know back to front and sent me home with physical homework (to help stretch specific muscles she knew were in need). I also headed back to Park Slope with a list of books to read.

One of the things I absolutely loved about Rachel is how she is advocate for her community. When she launched Massage Williamsburg, she reached out to the other businesses to show that she was there to work with them. She talked about how there are many people who can benefit from massage, and while Massage Williamsburg is a very strong option - it doesn't have to get caught up in competition. She stays in touch with all things Brooklyn by offering products from the local business Brooklyn Flavors,  as well as featuring local people and businesses as a part of the Massage Williamsburg blog. Recently - Massage Williamsburg sponsored a local fund raising event and I'm sure that they will continue to find opportunities to make Williamsburg proud!

About being a therapist she says:

"I love this job! I get to be the best part of my client's day, every day." She continues "It's amazing to help people heal. I'm very lucky. I feel like I'm contributing some good to the world"

And I know that the employees and large family of Massage Williamsburg clients are happy to join her!

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