A massage is a wonderful gift to give loved ones, friends, family and even yourself. With so many places offering massages, how do you decide where to go? We talked with the head of our massage-therapy team, Jeff Burk, LMT, NMT, who taught massage at the Cincinnati School of Medical Massage for 10 years, to find out why he believes AIM offers the best massages around.
AIM: Good afternoon. Thanks you for spending a moment with us.
Jeff: I’m happy to chat with you today.
AIM: Please tell us a little about your education and how you came to work at AIM?
Jeff: Let’s see… I gradated in 2003 from the Cincinnati School of Medical Massage and began working in the office of a chiropractor. After six years, I started a private practice and was hired to teach at my alma mater. I came to AIM in 2013 after a mutual acquaintance told me that AIM was looking for a new massage therapist. After the interview, which was interesting, I only started working part-time at AIM because I was still teaching full-time. I stopped teaching this past year so that I can finally do what I enjoy most… helping others heal.
AIM: Why did you say your interview “was interesting?”
Jeff: It was just different. My education and work history weren’t the only factors in my hiring. Of course, part of my interview was meeting with the medical directors, but the other part was actually doing massages on AIM staff. That was the interesting part… the entire office, not just a few people, decided if I was a good fit for the practice. It made me feel like I was really joining a team.
AIM: Oh… that’s a nice way of viewing what sounds like a difficult interview.
Jeff: In retrospect, it was actually a very smart way to hire a massage therapist. By working on the staff, they had an opportunity to learn my personality, my techniques, and my ability to address different muscular issues. This way they had first-hand knowledge on which patients should be referred to me. We actually hire all of our massage therapy staff by doing this. That, in my opinion, makes us one of the best teams in town.
AIM: Can you tell us anything more about your team?
Jeff: Oh yeah! They are all great! We have wonderful massage therapists here who have been practicing for years. At a chain massage-therapy business you often get therapists who are recently graduated, those with less experience. Unfortunately, this can lead to more bad experiences there than good ones. As a result, clients will often go through a number of therapists until they find a good one. When you come to AIM, you know that you are getting an experienced, tested therapist the first time. Also, the atmosphere at AIM helps keep us happy and healthy ourselves.
AIM: What do you mean by the atmosphere?
Jeff: Most places that offer massage will try to set the proper “feel” or tone by having low lighting and soft music, that makes for a nice, calm, relaxing atmosphere outwardly. AIM does this as well, but they also understand that the mood of a practitioner can affect a client’s experience.
They support a healthy atmosphere for us by allowing us to be in control of our own schedules; when we’re here, it’s because we’ve chosen to be here. Also, we receive free treatments from other practitioners at AIM, and we are not dependent on tips for income. Since we have a comfortable, mentally-healthy environment in which to work, it helps to improve the environment for all.
AIM: How else are massages at AIM different?
Jeff: The difference is not found in things like what organic, hypoallergenic massage lotions we use – it’s more in our education and ability to spend time with our clients.
We have all been practicing for several years and been educated in different massage techniques, or therapies, meaning that we can detect a variety of issues and know how to address them effectively. Since we work within a medical office, we can easily refer to the AIM physicians and converse with them regarding our findings, thereby improving the overall care of our clients.
In addition, when you pay for a 60-minute massage at AIM, you are getting 60-minutes of hands-on time with a highly-trained, massage therapist. At many of the chain, massage-therapy businesses you only get 35-40 minutes of actual hands-on time since they count talking with the massage therapist and undressing/dressing time into your 60-minute massage.
AIM: Let’s say someone wants to get a massage with you. How should they prepare?
Jeff: Drink water. Massages can mobilize the lymphatic system, the sewer system of our bodies. When the waste, or toxins, within it start moving, we really want to wash them out quickly with water. Hydration before and after a massage is very important. And only water counts as water – not soda or coffee or tea.
AIM: Well, thank you so much for spending a moment with us.
Jeff: Any time.