I often tell my clients that massaging is like a trance for me. After massaging for so many years the preparation time may be interesting to some. It all begins of course with intention. I cannot stress the importance of having my head on straight while I work. I always try to open myself, my head and heart must be “in it” even before meeting my client. I always take some time beforehand to summon all the energy and spirit that I can. Sometimes I use simple breathing exercises, and other times it is a light meditation a half hour before, however I focus in on the work at hand and forget about day to day life. My own problems and worries can be saved for later, now is the time to be present. Setting up the table can be extremely valuable time to hear my clients state of being. Some people really come in need of compassion, others with muscular aches, and still others just wanting to take a break from their own personal stress. No matter the reason I see the time I spend with a client on my massage table as sacred. It is my commitment to the human body which makes the process so special. Massage therapy has never been just a job or a way to make money for myself, it is out of a genuine love and inspiration that I do what I do. I love working for myself in my chosen location (Costa Rica) and feel downright gifted to do what I do. I feel respectful of the nature of the job and go about it accordingly. I think that is what is lacking in most spa environments. When people come to me it is me they are after, I am obligated to be the best I can be with the valuable time we have together. Although not a religious man, I always ask for a blessing while washing my hands while my client gets on the table. From there on I try to tap into my client’s breathing and let my experience and hands take over. Having trained first in Shiatsu, I was introduced to body work through our energy meridians. Acupuncture, acupressure, Thai massage, and Shiatsu are all the same principles of unlocking energy flow and stagnation. This is my mind set, which leads to the actual physical manipulation of muscle and fascia. Sometimes I actually lose a sense of time while I work. I try to “sink” into my client’s body, all the while with peace and love in mind. My work is intense for me, and thus gratifying.