Picture it...Denver, Colorado...2017. it's August, it's hot. And I'm flying up to take a Gua Sha class.
I have been watching this massage technique for about a year online. I was really intrigued by it because of the amazing results that people seem to be getting, just from a single massage session.
I hadn't done much research into it besides watching the very few practitioners that use this technique. So when I saw a class pop up, I really felt like this was an opportunity I just had to take.
The day of the class, it was pouring down rain and, for an aesthetics class, it was packed. It was a completely full class of, I believe, 24 people. I was amazed that there was this many people that had heard about this technique and had flown in from all over the country to learn it.
In all honesty my expectation of the class was to learn this step by step routine that I could incorporate into a few facials and really relax my clients.
That was unequivocally not what happened that day.
To say that my mind was blown was an understatement. The first half of the class was 3 hours of theory and then we broke for lunch.
I remember my fiance coming and picking me up for lunch and asking me how it was. And I literally did not know what to say. I truly felt like information was just oozing out of my brain. Like so much had tried to be put in it that I physically needed to put my hands over my head to try to keep it all from escaping, because there was absolutely no room for another drop of new information.
I had been introduced to two entire fields of medicine that one of them, I barely knew anything about, and the other one, I had no idea even existed.
I had never had a class in my entire career of aesthetics cover so much in such a short amount of time.
When I came home I tried to practice a little bit for the next week, but I ended up just putting my tool down. This was so much more than a little massage routine and I knew I needed to do a lot more study in order to practice confidently.
And then lo and behold, who showed up but Hurricane Harvey.
And let me tell you there is nothing like 54 inches of water in just a few days, ripping out flooring, tearing out drywall, and having your two kids sleeping on mattresses in your room for a month to distract you.
But after all that crazy dissipated, I dug into my workbook and textbook. I learned about Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, the theories of aging, and the lymphatic system. I practiced and practiced on anyone who would let me. I started to learn how to feel into the body and make positive impacts on the skin's health. I began to understand the small, minute movements that influenced the skin deeply.
And about 4 months after I took the class, I was finally ready to start performing Gua sha professionally.
But that was just the beginning. I soon came to realize that the aesthetics I was practicing previously just wasn't good enough. It was superficial. It wasn't really affecting the true health of the skin and changing it for the better.
The products and treatments that I had been using may have been of a professional grade, but they didn't address the causes that created the conditions in the skin that my clients were coming in to get fixed.
I knew I needed even more education and practice.
I took classes on corneotherapy, wound healing, hormones, I ended up getting certified as a nutritionist, and started aligning my practices more with the theories of Ayurveda. It was at this time I realized that I had outgrown the spa that I was working at. I needed more room to be able to create the type of treatments I knew would have long lasting effects for my clients.
So here I am now, 6 years out since my "Aesthetic Awakening".
I currently see clients for truly holistic, integrative services. I offer 6-month plans to completely transform skin. I created my own skin care line that focuses on herbal remedies with an Ayurvedic twist. And I'm currently launching my online education forum for clients.
But, oh, I'm not done here. For the future I see classes to educate other estheticians on all of the knowledge I have gained. I am only one single person, and I can only handle so many clients. And this information and these services need to go out to even more people. And in order for that to happen, the aesthetic educational system must be deepened.
So to all my beautiful friends, keep learning! You never know what little class is going to spark an entire new life.