Did you know that my practice was built from the ground up in only 27 days? Yeah, its crazy, I know. It was built in less than a month, with only $42 in my bank account, in a city I didn’t know…with no place to live, no car, no phone, no computer, no spouse, or family. I had everything that could happen to me in 2 weeks. That was 3 years ago.
Now that I got your interest, I warn you, this Bio is not quite about me and my practice and my history or how I am trained. If you want to know about how I practice and what my methods are, please, give me a call anytime and we can talk about it. Here I want to share with you the Glory of God and how I stumbled into Him, THROUGH the building of my practice and how my husband found me. It took me a year and half for me to figure out how He stepped in and saved me from my own devices. This might make me seem like a turn off to many, maybe even have myself criticized and ‘condemned’ by others, since our society is trying to kill the notion of God from our culture, but I introduce myself to you as a Christian Massage Therapist with an anointing and a ministry of healing.
Before this, I came from “Occasional Catholicism” (on holidays), to having a deep annoyance with Christians of all types (I arrogantly considered them all uneducated and ignorant) to New Age-yoga-doing-juicing-buddha-loving-crystal-obsessed-hippy to experiencing revelations in my heart and spirit. My spirituality was like a pond with lily pads. My sense of reality was a stumbling dance as I jump from pad to pad trying not to get wet, but somehow stumbling and falling face first, almost drowning. Somehow convincing myself that this is all good and I was receiving enlightenment through my experiences.
My story starts with my life in Theatre Arts. As a very sheltered and strict upbringing I turned to the desire and need for purpose and adventure. I was hungry for it. But being a nervous and high strung child (I was diagnosed with hypertension at the young age of 17) I found my way in theatre and performance art and dancing. I have been blessed with the opportunity to earn a BFA in Dance Ethnology and Theatre Arts in 2006 from Loyola Marymount University and attended the British American Drama Academy at Oxford University and education with Yale and UCLA. My other interests included culture, humanities, dance science, and history of antiquities. (Over achiever much?) I also went swing dancing every night and competed in the university’s ballroom dance formation team. I loved to learn and I loved to dance more than ANYTHING. I even half considered that God existed because I realized that NO culture was without some sort of music and dance culture. That was all the proof I needed, but I wanted no other involvement from Him than that.)
Due to a major injury that ended my budding career in modern dance performance, I required a hip surgery at the age of 22. My ego and dreams shattered like the vase I angrily broke to hurt my mother after she yelled at me for something I did not do when I was 10. It shattered everything in my heart and body that COULD shatter and more and it even shook my soul that I couldn’t dance again. I had spend 6 months on crutches waiting for surgery, and the pain was immense and would take my breath away. However, on a whim based on a suggestion from a fellow dancer I attended classes in anatomy and kinesiology and bodywork at a massage school in 2005, which also gave me a sense of encouragement as I learned about my own body, while I was also finishing my degree during the day time.
After college my parents convinced me to relocate Northern California from Los Angeles, and several surgeons later who all told me they don’t “operate on hips”, I ended up finding only 2 Surgeons who could. One refused to take insurance, and one was an instructor at Stanford Medical School. God Bless Stanford for taking me on. In 2006, after I recovered from surgery I worked at a variety of spas in Napa Valley, St. Helena, and Sonoma for a few years. I did not believe I had any surmountable skills that made me special in any way as a massage therapist. I showed up, I did my job, I collected my pay and I left. I was surrounded by what felt like fake spiritualism and fake sense of ethics that got under my skin, as well as clients who were on vacation with no long term potential. I never made any meaningful relationships, and I truly did not belong there.
In 2012 I renounced massage and swore never to touch another butt as long as I lived and relocated to Sacramento to solidify a relationship that was intended for marriage. I found a full time job opportunity and had settled in quickly. In two weeks that relationship came to a halt, moved in with a friend, had our house robbed of EVERYTHING, computer included, which I needed for my new position. The next day my contract was cancelled since I had no access to a computer. 9 days later my car was totaled in an accident, and my cell phone also was permanently missing…turns out that in just a short time I had no family relations, no relationship, no computer, no phone, no car, no job, and no home, as of a few weeks later was about to lose a place to live too.
I had lost my voice from the anxiety and burden of having only 2 weeks left to save myself from my current situation. I didn’t know where to turn. I felt hopeless and lost. I had borrowed a laptop from a friend, who allowed me to use it so I may look for and apply for work. One afternoon while I was hunting online for work, ANY work, I had the strong innate sense to take a shower (my third for the day). I pressed my body against the icy wall of the shower stall while feeling the juxtaposed heat from the water, which felt hot enough to boil my skin off —I did not care.
“God, please, take all this from me. I can’t handle any of this. Just take it, please.” I pleed sarcastically in a throw-it-over-the-shoulder kind of way. I don’t even know what percentage of me even meant it. Probably pretty slim because I did not believe. I was pretty desperate to ask a God I didn’t believe in for help. I was no believer of any kind. I believed Jesus of Nazareth was merely an awesome teacher and that anything to do with ANY religion was not to be given a second thought. Who am I to say something in the manner that all of those people in college who swore they were “Christian” who, in actuality were synonymous with ‘typical backstabbing extremists’ in my opinion of the time.
Anyway, I turned the shower off, and took a step out of the shower stall and as soon as I put my foot on the ground, I was different. I did not know it, but I was different. I was centered, calm, collected, and did not realize that I was filled with the fire of action and unshakeable faith in the tasks I received in the form of a list in my head.
A voice in my head or my heart, or a thought, or a feeling, or whatever spoke to me “Go get situated to perform massage in Sacramento.” I called my old school in Los Angeles. I told them my situation and I was able to pay for home-schooling hours that I could finish right away to have the amount of education hours required for Sacramento County. They allowed me to pay in small chunks and even waived some fees to help me. I worked on 125 hours of work in just a week. I then called the CAMTC and applied for my state certificate. It would have taken months, I got it in DAYS. I applied for jobs EVERYWHERE. Low and Behold I landed a full time job in Folsom performing massage in just a week. I was beyond relieved that it all happened so fast and in JUST the nick of time. The question now was “how in the world am I going to get there every day and where will I be living next week?” Then, my mother called. We hadn’t spoken in months due to a falling out. She had heard what happened to me and offered to let me come home and move back in with my family. I told her I got a new job in Folsom, I need to be close by to work since I have no car. “I’ll loan you the van, just come home.”
My first month of work, I did not care how much or how little I made. I was busy and productive. I commuted over 2 hours a day and I was happy and pleased with that. I was also terrified to lose my job every day. I worked like a dog. After the first month, my boss chummed up to me and expressed how pleased she was that I had done so well for the business. I did not realize this at the time, but part of the business was making sure that you lock clients into year long monthly payment plans. Each client that I saw was bran new to the spa… apparently I had locked 84% of them in without knowing it. Which meant I was my boss’s new pet. I was, for reasons unbeknownst to me, one of the top three people there. I was third to two folks, both of which were there from the beginning, and one of which, also, the only Christian Massage Therapist I’ve ever known… however, I did not know that until several years later when our friendship deepened.
After six months or so, I was filled with anxiety. The stress and bondage of the job was too much to bear. There were cameras and microphones on us in the reception area, hallways and worse, break rooms created the sense that you were OWNED by the company. The owners would actually pull each of the employees into their offices to confront them on personal topics regarding what they overhead between employees. Conversations that were sacred, personal, and between friendships. This became too much to handle and I felt the spark in my spirit begin to dwindle.
“Today, you are going to quit and leave.” The voice said.
“You’re crazy, I have no other job to fall back on” says I on my way to work.
Around lunch time I hear “You need to leave. Today.”
“No, back off and let me do my job.” Thinking I was actually becoming clinically insane.
By 4:00: “Get out of here!”
I caved and gave in. “Alright! Fine! AFTER this client, I’ll go.”
I approached my manager, who was a sweet, kind young man. He pulled me passed the swinging doors of the reception area, around a specific corner where the cameras can’t see, and he hugged me “Are you sure?”. “Yes” I said. “I’m done, Kyle, I have to go.” He responds, still hugging me “Ok, take care of yourself. If the bosses call you…I didn’t know anything about it, ok?” The bosses blew up my phone for three days straight and I ignored it. very unlike my nature.
A week later I thought, “Damnit, Christina! You had a full time job! You idiot!”
I printed a stack of resumes and on foot I hunted for work for a couple of days in downtown. In the evening, I took a break before driving back to Fairfield to have dinner. I treated myself to Chicago Fire on 24th and J. Coming out of the restaurant, I was supposed to turn left and walk back up to 23rd street. But something pulled me to turn right and keep walking. I passed by what looked like a yoga or fitness studio and perfectly eye level was a sign in the window that said “Massage Room for Rent.” I went home as my first day as my own boss. I didn’t know what made me feel without any kind of doubt that this wasn’t going to work. Mind you, I knew almost no one in Sacramento. I had no other way to sustain myself. I signed a year long lease…with only $42 left to my name.
So what did I do? I hustled. I did everything I could think of to raise the money for my first months’ rent…you know, withOUT a job…and somehow, I got through the expenses of the first month. I also had an internal “to-do” list that I was hyper focused on daily. By day 27, I had my first client. by six months in I was working full time. This is generally unheard of for massage therapists to acquire this. I was very proud, focused, and busy.
One day I was on the corner of J and 7th in downtown. There is a little Chinese food diner that had the best potstickers and homemade sauce that I’ve ever had. I was sitting at the counter waiting for my food while scrolling through my apps and articles on my smartphone. I felt compelled to google myself, which gave me a pang of anxiety for a moment. On page 5 I came across some weird article on yahoo.com regarding the “Ten Best Spas in Sacramento”. I scrolled through, and I saw me and my practice mentioned as number 7. Not only did I find this crazy that I was on this list….but that I am not a spa, I’m just…little old me and my little massage practice. I was very humbled and said to myself “God, look what we did together!?” and all of a sudden I felt a wave of head to toe chills crashing over me. I was emotional and felt like I could really breath for the first time in years.
That was the realization that I was never alone. It took me 18 months to realize this wasn’t me that built this. My practice was planned and the building was carried out as a team. The Lord, my co-creator my life and the sole reason for my ability to be here and offer my services, was and is what guides my choices, the method in which I treat a client, and the guide of what and how to teach my classes.
For that I give all of the present and future of my practice to God. The Glory is His and His alone. Thank you, Father.