I wrote this flyer many years ago to leave in the waiting room where I shared office space. Only two people responded to it. They have become beloved clients. I don’t feel the same way I did then, about knowing everything in the body and how it works. I know so much more now about how much I don’t know and oddly I have taught more and more. I do feel this passion still and I want these words as part of my offering. If this speaks to you I will do my best to live up to my bravado and may be thanking you years from now for sharing so much with me.
My Flyer 2007
My name is John Ellsworth. I love what I do. I massage people. There is nothing more satisfying for me than relieving pain, restoring range of motion, relaxing tension, or just helping someone feel very very good. I enjoy the challenge of discovering and working on hidden restrictions. I love the way muscles feel. There is a surprisingly large range of textures that stress and injuries can create deep beneath the skin. I like to explore the shape, depth, flexibility, and strength of these movers. As I get to know a particular band, bit, or knot of muscle I find that one or another technique will end up loosening the knots, smoothing the kinks, or quieting the body’s painful reactions to adversity.
When it comes to knowing the body I am very much a nerd. I know almost all of what is inside the body, how it works, and how to make it work better. I have taught anatomy and palpation as part of a teacher certification program for yoga instructors. I teach couples how to massage each other (without effort or discomfort for either of them). I teach massage therapists new techniques and injury prevention. I know what I’m doing, I’m excited about what I do, and feel most at home and happy when my hands are moving.
As much as I love the mechanics and meat of massage, addressing the rest of the body is just as important and satisfying. The human body is not as compartmentalized as we have been told. Skin is not just a covering or a bag that contains us. It is the largest sensory organ we have. The type of information that we receive through this organ has a huge impact on how we feel and how we function. I have spent some time at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami in Florida. I have massaged premature babies still in their incubators. I have taught pregnancy massage to partners of expecting mothers. There is already a lot of research on the effect of these massages. Babies are healthier, gaining weight 50% faster than the control group. Mothers deliver their babies better, faster, and with less surgical intervention. Even adults have a cell countable increase in their immune system.
The most important thing in addressing the extra musculoskeletal body is the quality of touch. There is actually a lot that can be done with technique and I love the artistry, beauty, and execution of such movement. But even more important than this skill, is the energy of the therapist. If the person touching you is confident, comfortable, happy, grounded, peaceful, passionate, and content then you will feel the difference. I am particularly fortunate in this area. I love life. Life is good. It is my mission in life to stop and take pleasure in the roses. It is lucky for me and my clients that I take even more pleasure from every single body I touch than from the most wonderful rose.
The whole body is a beautiful thing. But there is more to the being than just the body or even the mind. People often reveal an inner divinity, a soul, a greater subconscious, or a sovereign will when working with me. It is a beautiful thing and commands all the respect and attention I can present. I have studied Shiatsu, Thai massage, QiGong, Reflexology, Polarity, Craniosacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation, and Somato Emotional Release. All of these modalities address the energy of the body. None of them tell me more about helping my clients than my clients own sovereign will. I am always mindful and respectful of this aspect of the being but generally focus more on the temporal body. If you would like to experience more of this please feel free to ask. Most importantly feel free to ask anything and tell me what you need and want.