I was doing a bit of an office clear out recently to keep on top of things.  Being a bit of a filing freak, I find it hard to let go of any file, just in case I might need it again.  This mentality has hindered my goal to go completely digital and also resulted in a laptop nearing its storage capacity.  As it’s January and a time for “out with the old”, I dived into my laptop files, finding some forgotten personal and professional gems along the way. The many wonderful memories of being a massage therapist and running my massage tool company, Kneads Must, made me smile and cry in equal measure.

I once was a massage therapist

Una at LSM after NMC Win 2019

One great memory was an interview from 2018 that Bhavesh Joshi kindly arranged at the London School of Massage to promote students who had won awards at the National Massage Championships that year. I had won an award in the chair massage category and the two-minute answer I recently posted on the Kneads Must socials demonstrates – at least to me – how much I love massage. It was all bittersweet viewing, because I have not massaged for nearly a year due to COVID-19. Due to health reasons, my husband and I have shielded from the very start. Although it’s not quite twelve months, it seems as if it was a lifetime ago.

So many industries have been decimated by the pandemic and the alternative therapies industry must be one of the hardest hit.  Massage is a close-contact activity and although using a massage tool like the Kneader over clothese might help minimise cross-contamination, it’s still not worth taking the risk.  Mario de Souza, who won the 2019 World Massage Championships in Copenhagen, is a fantastic therapist and a cautionary tale.  He takes a very disciplined approach, mentally and physically, to his work and life in general.  Despite all of that, he contracted COVID at the end of March.  True to his honesty and generous spirit, he candidly posted about his 4 months of serious illness followed by his residual health struggles throughout 2020, urging all of his fellow therapists to take heed and take care. Thankfully, he has fully recovered but, sadly, not everyone will.

Perfectly bad timing

There’s a saying that “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans” and ain’t that the truth.  Nobody realised how COVID was going to change our world, our lives and our businesesses forever. Kneads Must was no exception.  After a full year of working incredibly hard with Napoleon Creative to create my online Kneader Chair Massage Course, we were finally ready to launch. The course looked great, all of the insurance and accreditation was done and the initial marketing was sorted.  There was only one snag –  it was March 2020.

We delayed the launch a bit hoping that COVID would blow itself out, but it only got stronger. We finally launched on 5th May 2020 to an understandably muted response. The last thing unemployed massage therapists wanted to do was to invest in yet another therapy that they mightn’t be able to practice. However, one of the many pros of an online learning is its flexibility.  So the course remains on it’s learning platform, waiting for a time when we can once again have human contact without the fear of impending hospitalisation.

Many businesses have fallen victim to the pandemic and many more continue to do so in 2021.  All we can do is evolve with the new shape of things. I, for one, look forward to when I can once again pick my Kneaders and give lots of lovely chair massage.

Until then, be safe and well and, of course, happy home massaging with the Kneader!

The Kneader