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Women In Wellness: Erika Tempro Of Detox Massage On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support

Success is a collective process that involves different persons’ inputs to achieve.

Erika Tempro founded Detox Massage LLC in 2019 to offer women post-op care, recovery, and holistic healing. She saw the need to service the lymphatic massage niche in the larger Washington DC metro area, moving her services from the United Kingdom to the United States about ten years ago. Erika furthered her education in her newfound home and finally became a licensed massage therapist in Maryland. Book Erika’s services on the Detox Massage website.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us? Myname is Erika Tempro, a licensed massage therapist specializing in lymphatic drainage massage. I developed my passion for massage therapy in Brazil, my home country, where I studied massage therapy at Physical Therapy College. Much of the experience I have, including massage treatment of cancer and lymphedema patients, I developed here. About fifteen years ago, I left Brazil for the United Kingdom, where I practiced massage therapy for a couple of years, garnering more experience in the lymphatic drainage massage niche. About ten years ago, I left the United Kingdom for the United States in pursuit of achieving my career goals and acquiring more experience. While in the United States, I furthered my education, after which I became a certified massage therapist in the state of Maryland, specializing in lymphatic drainage massage. Lymphatic drainage massage involves the gentle arousal of the body tissues to allow lymph fluid to flow through the lymph vessels. Lymph flow prevents body tissues from clogging with lymph fluid, which results in conditions such as lymphedema.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story? Alright, this is a funny story. I once had a male client who was lying face down chewing his gum as the massage went on. I finished working on his back torso and asked him to face up. He dropped the gum but didn’t know where. I remember him shouting at the top of his lungs, telling me not to move. I became scared for a moment, stood still, thinking something bad had happened. He saw the gum on the massage table, picked it up, and kept it. I giggled so hard enough to lose this client. The main lesson I learned from this experience, on a lighter note, is never to step on a client’s gum.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that? Starting a spa business, I failed to hire additional therapists to assist with the massage service provision. Soon the number of clients grew day by day. I could no longer handle this rapidly multiplying number. I realized and learned that I had to borrow a helping hand to offer clients timely therapeutic massages without compromising quality. So I hired two qualified professional massage therapists who I trained on providing long, gentle, rhythmic, and therapeutic lymphatic massages subject to clients’ instructions.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that? Husband’s and family support. Success is a collective process that involves different persons’ inputs to achieve. If I were to mention names, you would have to read this piece for a couple of hours. However, generally, my clients are my number one inspiration to succeed in this business. They awaken the lion spirit in me in inexpressible ways. Some clients without underlying medical conditions book weekly, biweekly, or monthly sessions to improve their overall health, even when they are not financially stable. This cluster of clients does all this despite not undergoing mandatory massage to revert medical conditions like lymphedema. Another way my clients push me to work harder is through customer feedback, whether negative or positive. Even though positive comments are overwhelming, I always look forward to negative comments, however uncommon. I love negative comments because they challenge me to do better, and truly set me apart from other massage spas if I keenly take note of the constructive criticism and apply the recommendations. My clients are the drivers to Detox Massage’s success and my greatest treasure as a spa business owner.

Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world? My work as a lymphatic drainage massage therapist is beneficial in preventing or minimizing conditions resulting from injury or compromised lymphatic drainage systems. Primary lymphedema, tied to hereditary/ genetic causes, affects about 1 in every 100,000 persons. Conversely, Secondary lymphedema, caused by injury to the lymphatic system, cancer, cancer treatment, affects 1 in every 1000 Americans. The statistics above show that quite a huge population of America gets affected by the lymphatic system conditions, either directly through contracting the diseases themselves, or indirectly, for instance, through the death of a breadwinner. Also, many lymphatic system conditions do not have a cure. Detox Massage offers lymphatic drainage massage to alter such devastating effects of lymphatic system conditions.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each. My top five “lifestyle tweaks” for wellbeing:

  1. Exercise Daily: Do at least one hour of early morning jogs, late evening jogs, or weight lifting exercises. These exercises increase body metabolism and increase toxic waste flush out from the body, boosting the body’s immune system.

  2. Drink plenty of water: Drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Water hydrates the body, helping the lymphatic system keep a balanced fluid amount in the body and body tissues.

  3. Walk, walk, walk: Take long walks/ treks as much as possible to energize muscles, burn fat, and sweat out toxins out of the body.

  4. Avoid excessive sodium intake: Limit sodium intake to avoid some lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure. Avoid processed food that has a high-sodium content and use little pinches of table salt only when necessary.

  5. Eat more fruit and vegetables and less red meat: Accompany every meal with at least one fruit and a vegetable serving to make it a balanced diet. Fruits and vegetables are mineral-rich. Minerals are vital for bodily processes, fighting diseases, and nutrient intake. Red meat like beef has numerous adverse health effects. Eat white meat instead. White meat includes pork, fish, chicken, amongst others.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be? I would start a movement dubbed “Massage4All”, featuring a campaign to sensitize the society that massage is not only for leisure but a mandatory health practice. Many people regard massage as a luxury activity and not a primary want. While that may seem true from a distance, it is detrimental to the progress and milestones in health set by massage, especially in patients that have somewhat or wholly recovered from severe conditions treatable or manageable through massage, including lymphatic system diseases and stroke.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? I wish someone or a mentor laid out a firmer foundation upon which I would root my massage career, especially when starting. These are the five things I wish a mentor had told me before starting:

  1. The client is always right. Thus, the massage service should tailor to the client’s needs and preferences. They have the right to direct the amount of pressure applied, the kind of music played in the background, and so forth.

  2. Different clients respond to treatment differently. The therapist must keenly note what works for each client despite the general framework for carrying out the procedures.

  3. Two heads are better than one. One needs a helping hand in handling their business from the onset. I wish I hired my trained workers earlier on in the spa.

  4. Negative customer feedbacks are the fuel for “real” growth. In the beginning, negative customer feedback would demoralize me a great deal. Nowadays, I keep looking forward to negative comments as they identify which part of the business needs improvement.

  5. It is all about earning the clients’ trust, and not the money. I have learned over time that earning the customers’ trust by offering individualized and effective massage sessions is better than following the money. Such great care makes clients loyal customers, earning you money consistently as they keep coming back for more.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why? I have a passion for mental health advocacy, being somewhat intertwined with the massage. Massage is therapeutic in the sense that clients feel relaxed upon completion. This kind of relaxation releases bodily stresses and ultimately mental issues such as depression.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media? Follow Detox Massage on Instagram @detoxmassage.

Thank you for these fantastic insights!

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