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Fair Trade Massage Therapy

Shifting the culture of massage therapy.

"Fair Trade Massage is my vision. I don't believe it's values are unique to Water House Wellness, we are just the first to coin the phrase. Many businesses provide excellent work environments and I'm excited to promote Fair Trade Massage to create a new industry standard.

Besides the wage standard that Fair Trade Massage implies, I believe there is a deeper concern in the industry pertaining to the work environment of massage therapists.

Regular breaks and the ability to influence your professional presentation and environment create a higher quality of life.

The spa industry has made it standard to think about massage therapy as something that occurs in a dark room by a technician who is applying a routine.

Fair Trade Massage asserts that the typical spa environment needs to be challenged.

Why are we putting artists in uniforms? Can the music be relaxing without being expected?

Can we give some creative control to our massage therapists?"

Fair Trade Massage logo

"Having suffered my own severe car accident in 2013, I understand that everyone has to find their own path to healing. Ultimately being handed some control to influence my recovery made the most difference. 

My experience with healing has framed how I view the alternative health professions and also how I view my role as a business owner.  I find that the most passion arises in my own work when given room to experiment and get into a flow. I wanted this for myself when I opened Water House but I also wanted to surround myself with other artists that were great at things I wasn't great at, so that I could learn and be inspired and have a community of people around me with the space to do their own thing. 

This took a long time and I've learned many lessons on how to lead that mostly involve standing back and offering unconditional support. 

While my personal philosophy about massage and business hasn't changed over the years-  it definitely took some work and fine tuning to get to where we are today. It's something of a project to be in a life, isn't it? And this knowing that people can change and grow and get better at things is precisely another reason why I enjoy being a business owner. I want to give my staff that space to make mistakes and get up and start over. Mistakes are not definitions of who we are, how we respond to them is. 

Massage therapy is about creating change and transformations in the body and life are sometimes subtle. 

Sometimes being on the massage table reminds us of a time we were not worried about work or money or our relationships. Remembering what our bodies feel like without this stress is like putting a tent stake down. It's one way to ground ourselves. 

Other times, we want to feel what has been hurting and it validates our concerns when the therapist reproduces the same ache we've been holding all by ourselves. 

Being with another person where they see you is powerful. Seeing and being seen is the work.

I feel incredibly thankful for what the business has brought into my life and the ecosystem of connections it has created around me. 

Our community of clients truly becomes our family and each person is my teacher. Beyond that, I'm blown away by my employees that inspire me everyday to be a better boss and human. The balancing act of running a small business is a lot of spreadsheets and emails, phone calls and calendars, but it is also knowing and honoring the small family of people that make the company run each day- a family that is truly the reward of doing work like this. 

Kelly Fitzpatrick, Try a new Massage Therapist, Four Pack for Fit