Body Therapy ROI (return on investment)

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Maximizing Your Return on Investments (ROI) in Body Therapies

Hello, my name is Tim and I’m one of the owners of the Tummy Temple.  I am writing this article for you in the hopes that you will greatly benefit from the years, emotions, energy and money that I have invested in body therapies both personally and professionally.  I believe that most people only get about 1/20 of the value of their bodywork sessions and I am here to help you achieve the 20/20 results.

To appreciate the following advice it is worth noting that until I was in my early 30s I had not had much of any professional body therapy support.  I frankly didn’t understand it and know how to justify it.  It seemed a luxury of the rich.  Fortunately my wife and Tummy Temple co-owner, Kristi, is a body worker.  Through trust in her, having her book EVERY one of my initial sessions for the first few years, and eventually experiencing the results of the ‘forced’ body therapy sessions (I say this with humor), I was sold.  The results spoke for themselves.

My history is one of a lot of self-inflicted body abuse from sports (football, lacrosse, mountaineering, ice climbing, skiing virgin mountains, sky diving, biking, and more), reckless abandon and a complete lack of awareness around how to care for my body.  To add to that, on two separate occasions, I was in two car accidents whereby my cars were struck my car at high speeds from two different impact directions.  I used to pride myself on how much pain I could tolerate until I had to replace a vertically cracked tooth into the root I had lived with (without any pain killers) for 2 years, only to crack one more just after I had that one removed.  By the age of 33 I had such severe neck and lower back pain that there were many times I would have to lay in bed for days, incapable of holding back tears, suffering from such extreme pain and fear that, if I moved, bones in my neck and lower back would break or fracture.  For over 3 years I slept uncomfortably with the sensation that I had a fist buried in my lower back.  My knees were so bad that I could not bend them much past a few inches before they started to hurt, bending to the ground was not possible without special positioning and relying almost completely on upper body strength.  Earlier in life I had worked them so hard I crushed the meniscus to pulp in one knee.  On three separate occasions over a 20 year period my knees were so bad I was convinced I would never summit another mountain, jog or even be able to walk fast.  At times I could hear odd suction like sounds coming from one of my knees every time I lifted it off the ground and I could feel the lower part of my leg drop millimeters from my knee joint.

Today I have NO back pain, NO neck pain, NO cracked teeth, and I am able to jog, run and do short hilly hikes pain free.  I still have a long way to go before I do the Iron Man or hike a mountain with my children.  I can tell you that both of these are things I have in my bucket list and I am encouraged that the path I am on will support them happening.

As co-owner of the Tummy Temple I have worked directly with over 20 body therapists over the past 10 years, served over 50,000 body therapy sessions in our business and received work from countless body therapists oustide of the Tummy Temple around the United States.

With all of that said, I sincerely hope you embrace and appreciate the following keys to maximizing your return on body therapy investments.  I consider monthly, and sometimes weekly, body therapy to be the foundation of my health insurance (longevity) policy.  Of course I include in that plan dedication to joy and vitality, an optimistic attitude, quality food choices, a lifestyle designed for diverse movement and growing my capacity for love, gratitude and compassion.

  1. Humility
  2. Responsibility
  3. Plan and Prepare
  4. Learn
  5. Build Trust
  6. Relaxation is Key
  7. Tune into Your Body
  8. Set your Practitioner up for Success
  9. Integrate the work you have received
  10. Set reasonable and ambitious goals for your sessions
  11. Choose who to share your experiences with WISELY
  12. Ownership of uncomfortable shifts = opportunity
  13. Doing a series vs. doing a session
  14. How to handle a Plateau
  15. Life outside of the Session [If you want change you must change]
  16. Gratitude and Recognition (to all those that have helped)
  17. Pay it Forward
  18. The Big Picture [Integrating Therapies]
  19. Become a Self-Practitioner
  20. Refer Others
  21. Educate your Community



1. Humility:

This is perhaps the single greatest character value you can invest in to get the most out of body therapy.  Be modest; avoid being a ‘know-it-all’ and ‘showing off’ with what you can handle.

The path of humility is lined with blossoms of ‘aha moments’ and profound paradigm and wellness shifts. 

2. Responsibility

Assume responsibility for the outcome and perceived value of your body therapy sessions.  Most people take a passive approach to body therapy and this is the #1 reason for poor results.  Do your homework before, during and after each session.  Reading this article alone will take you leaps and bounds beyond 95% of the people that receive bodywork towards achieving worthwhile results. If you find yourself blaming the practitioner, the environment, the weather, the traffic, someone in your life, or anything else for a bad body therapy session consider it a red flag for not taking responsibility.  Use the red flags to catalyze an empowering shift now and for the future.

3. Plan and prepare for your sessions.

– The week before your session:  Start thinking about your session.  Get excited.  Feel the pride in yourself for taking action on what you are doing to live longer and healthier while increasing happiness in the here and now.  Vision what it is going to be like.  Think about all the things you can do to make it the BEST session you have ever received!  If you have never received body work then be sure to read this whole article and start preparing with joy.  If this is not your first time then take a few minutes to reflect on previous sessions.  What made them great?  What didn’t you like?  How can you MINIMIZE RISK and INCREASE the chances of making this session awesome?  Start ENJOYING your session before it even happens!  This is HUGE on maximizing ROI.  Enjoy a session for 1 hour, 1 week, 1 month….you decide.Start hydrating well now (1/2 your body weight in ounces daily), eating healthy foods, chewing your food, supplementing with multivitamins, fish oil and probiotics and gently increasing your movement and exercise.  If you have never received this type of body work before then do your best to get reasonable expectations of what to expect by talking directly with the practitioner, researching on the Internet or talking with people you know that have had the work (beware of skewed and negative perspectives!).  Make sure you plan for non-stressful activities or liesure for after your session now… as best you can.

– The day before your session consider give yourself the gift of a 15 minute cleaning of your car (assuming you will be going by car).  If you do it I promise you will be very happy when you ride to and from your appointment.  If you haven’t done so already, take at least 15 minutes to formulate your #1 goal for the session and write it down if necessary.  Make sure you know the directions to where you will be getting your session, consider traffic patterns and beware of construction zones on your path, get parking information, make sure you have money for parking lots/meters if necessary, know where the entrance is, where you go once you enter the house or building, what you do to check-in or not, if you need to arrive early to fill out paperwork, etc.  By eliminating suprises and doing your homework you will position yourself for maximum relaxation.

– Before the session on the day of:  Shower well that morning as body odor can be embarrassing in a small therapy room.  Don’t plan on covering it up with perfumes, colognes or essential oils as they will likely disturb the practitioner (and you want a happy practitioner).  Be sure to pack your favorite RELAXING music, some good water (spring is ideal), a breath freshener and health snacks for before and after the session.  Cap off your hunger before you start your journey to your session. so you are not driving and munching.  Make sure you will have a relaxing and calm trip to your appointment (remember to play your music, turn off all communication devices including your problem-solving brain).  The fastest path to your destination is usually not the best.  A stressful trip of high speed defensive driving is not good preparation.  Rather, give yourself an extra 10 minutes travel time, take the back roads YOU KNOW [do not get lost] and plan to arrive 10 minutes early.  Again, make sure your hunger is capped off and don’t eat too much.  Plan to sit, breathe and relax in your car for 3-5 minutes to bring the energy of the session into the car vs. the stress of a drive into the session.  I like to take a short walk to slow my energy, thinking and movements down while tuning into the nature around me before a session.  Plan to take off your shoes (it might take a fresh pair of socks or sandals that day) while you wait to start your session. Plan to breathe, relax and communicate directly with practitioner.  Plan to hydrate well after the session for days, eat well, move your body in new ways, smile a lot and feel a deep sense of gratitude for what you have given yourself.

– After the session on the day of:  #1 goal is to stay with the relaxed state as long as possible.  Smile, keep your eyes relaxed, take long deep breaths often, hydrate, eat well and be proud of what you did for yourself.

– SPECIAL NOTE: Don’t Over Plan: Too much is too much.  If you do so much body work that you can’t integrate it then 1) you will likely resent it and the time/money you are putting into it, or 2) the benefits will be cancelled out by the stress.  Pace yourself.  It is better with bodywork to take the turtle’s approach with regular consistent work rather than extreme intensive do-it-all-now work.

4. Learn about the therapy and YOUR BODY.

It’s this simple, the more you understand the therapy you are about to receive, why it was created and how it can be used the better you will be able to use it.  The more you understand your own anatomy and physiology the better you will be able to leverage the therapy pre, during and post session.

Education is a never ending opportunity.  Know that a practitioner can study and provide a body therapy their whole lives and never stop learning.  Therapists at the Tummy Temple are learning every day.  We learn from our peers in a collaborative environment, workshops, audio and video presentations, reading and re-reading, product sales reps, hands-on clinical experience, working on ourselves, clients, experimentation, unexpected epiphanies, and drawing parallels from other  therapies and ‘things in life’.  As a client the best you can hope for is an understanding of the fundamentals at first.  That alone will dramatically affect the results of the work you receive.  It will help you set reasonable and ambitious goals for your sessions, communicate with your therapist using mutually understood vocabulary, and know how to leverage the work after the session is over.  The amazing fact is that this approach is how many body therapists got their start in this incredibly rewarding field = results drive passion for more!

I find that seeing body diagram charts and pictures helps me tremendously in understanding my body. I use wikipedia a lot to understand terms.  A great place to check out the body on many levels is Google Body and Google Images.

5. Build Trust with your practitioner, the business they work at and the space.

Trust is key to achieving great results!  What does it take to trust your practitioner and their space?  For everyone it is different.  Here are a few things to consider.  Do EVERYTHING you can to build the highest level of trust.  It will allow you to EXPOSE your deepest vulnerabilities and it is in that space that amazing things will happen.  Trust is heavily tied to safety on all levels.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • TRUST YOURSELF.    Do you feel safe with how you are being treated on every level?  This is especially important with regards to sexual energy as receiving bodywork, often without clothes [always with appropriate draping such as sheets, towels or blankets] is uncommonly exposing.  You should always feel that the therapist’s energy is ‘clean’, honoring and appropriate.  Do you feel like you are truly being listened to when you share your needs, concerns and feedback.  Are you excited for your session or completely stressed out by the thought of going?  Listen to your gut and your feelings.  Address them however you need to in order to ensure that you feel as safe as possible.  Reading articles like this, sharing your experiences with other people you trust for feedback, doing your homework to understand what you are receiving, and finding out as much about your therapist as possible are great ways to build your ability to trust yourself.  Instinct alone will limit the depth at which trust can be achieved.
  • Is the practitioner’s gender (male or female) going to affect trust?  This aspect can be huge for some people, not all.
  • How well has the practitioner educated themselves and are they consistently investing in their education whether formal or informal?
  • How long as the practitioner been doing what they are doing and, almost more importantly, how many sessions have they done?  I usually consider over a 500 to be a worthy start.  If they work in a business, how long a business has been in business?  It’s hard to stay in business if the community you serve does not trust you.  This does not mean that a business that has been in business for a long time is guaranteed trustworthy, it just means it is more likely.
  • What are other people saying? = the reputation of the practitioner and/or the business.  Warm referrals from people you trust and respect with regards to their health, and related choices, will go a long way.  Sites like Yelp, CitySearch, InsiderPages, Judy’sBook are all great sites to check out if you don’t know anyone personally.
  • Has anyone done a background check?  At the Tummy Temple, we do a lot of the work for clients by being experts at choosing therapists that are trustworthy on as many levels as possible.  We do criminal and sex offender background checks on everyone.  We look into their education, references, and experience their work first hand before they work on you.
  • Is there clear mutual respect and positive regard for each other?  Do you feel honored and appreciated for being a customer?
  • Is the practitioner holding your needs above theirs?  Is the session about you or them?  Are they keeping you as a client to support their practice when they should be referring you to someone who could better help them?  Are they doing their best to maximize the value of your time, money and energy for efficient results?  Are they teaching you about how to better care for yourself so that you need to see them less?

Of course there are many other things to consider.   I encourage you to tune into the “TRUST FACTOR” for yourself to figure out every possible way to build REASONABLE trust.  Remember that you cannot fake trust.  Even if your head says you trust someone your body may not.  It will hide and protect vulnerable areas.  This can actually cause problems as your body creates armoring where there was little or none before.

From personal experience I can tell you that only in the last few years have I STARTED mastering the TRUST opportunity.  Once I trust the practitioner’s skills [technical and communication], intentions, ability to be focused on the ‘here and now with me’ vs. lost in their head on personal issues I then move to the most powerful level of trust I can achieve.  With what I am about to say I expect you to modify it according to your beliefs.  I tell myself that God (click here for other ideas on what may work for you)  is working on me through them and in doing so empower them to catalyze significant change knowing that everything they do is for the better.  It is at this point that, for me, that mind, body AND spirit receive integrated and intentional results.  Remember, again, that this about TRUST.  On how many levels can you achieve trust?

6. Relaxation

From what I have seen and experienced, the most profound healing and revitalization occurs in the relaxed state.  It has only been in the last year that I have begun to scratch the surface of the POWER of relaxation.  Until I get back to finishing this article I will leave this with all of you……  Every therapy has the ability to create deeper states of relaxation.  Meditation, a calm and safe environment, putting your hands in the soil to tend the garden, holding your loved ones, taking your shoes off on the plane and Yoga are a few of the infinite things you can do to relax yourself.  With that said, three of my current favorite relaxation therapies are beer, tv and the couch.  Just kidding!  Craniosacral, micro-current lymphatic drainage, and massage are topping my list.  All of these you can receive at the Tummy Temple.

Stay tuned

I will continue to build out the rest of this article. My thanks to everyone reading this for being my inspiration to writing it.  I know that what I am sharing with you, if used, will expedite your healing and vitalization while saving you a lot of money, time, strained emotions, and energy.  My wish for you is that every day you wake it is with gratitude for life and excitement that everything is ultimately heading in a great direction.

Upcoming sections that will be expanded upon include the following:

  • Tune into Your Body
  • Set your Practitioner up for Success
  • Integrate the work you have received
  • Set reasonable and ambitious goals for your sessions
  • Choose who to share your experiences with WISELY
  • Ownership of uncomfortable shifts = opportunity
  • Doing a series vs. doing a session
  • How to handle a Plateau
  • Life outside of the Session [If you want change you must change]
  • Gratitude and Recognition (to all those that have helped)
  • Pay it Forward
  • The Big Picture [Integrating Therapies]
  • Become a Self-Practitioner
  • Refer Others
  • Educate your Community

Feedback & Suggestions: 

I sincerely invite your input.  Please share your thoughts by emailing me at .  As I receive massive amounts of email I apologize in advance if I do not personally respond to all emails.  Thank you, Tim.