On meeting Bobbi Payne for the first time over 4 years ago, several words came immediately to mind: sunshine, light, balance, motivation, energy. The list goes on. Bobbi brings a sense of joy with her wherever she goes…and shares it with whomever she meets. She is passionate about massage and helping people. This passion has helped her grow her business from a small one-room office, to a multi-therapist wellness center – bringing massage to so many.
What surprised you about Massage Therapy in general? I thought I’d really like doing massage, but I had no idea it would completely change my life. I feel like the doors to life blew open after I began my journey into massage therapy and it has led me to live my life completely different than I had before.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? My business will own the property; I’ll be employing people; and it will offer much more than massage therapy!
Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up just outside of Ithaca, playing in the dirt and working between two local State Parks. I went to college at Alfred State where I met Adam & moved to Rochester after graduation in December of 2005. I attended OSTM in 2008 and began practicing as Bodywork by Bobbi later that year. My practice is now on Monroe Avenue in Brighton & we own a home in Greece with our miniature schnauzer Schotzee and our papillon Frank, who are both rescue dogs.
What is your favorite trick or tool as a therapist?
I don’t know if I’d say it’s a trick or a tool per say, but for me it’s intention. Before I start every session, I set the intention to be of service giving this client whatever it is they need from massage and to make it the “best session they’ve ever had.” Anyone on a massage table knows if you’re just going through the motions or if you’re really focused and giving an intentional massage. It’s one thing I love about massage, it’s very close to a meditative state where time doesn’t exist (except it does because I have to keep an eye on the clock!).
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you as a therapist?
I met a guy about my age who works at one of the companies I go to regularly for chair massage. He was reserved about getting massage, but after chatting with him at the company’s health fair he decided to schedule a session at my office. After filling out paperwork, I walk him into the treatment room. As I am explaining things, I see him look down at the table and his eyes got really wide. When I looked down there was a spider crawling on the face cradle! Obviously, I screamed like a little kid and was absolutely mortified. My scream must have scared the spider off because we couldn’t find it so we ended up using a different treatment room to save time changing the table over. At the time I certainly did not think it was funny, but we laugh about it now!
What is your best marketing advice for other therapists?
You’re not only branding your business, you’re branding yourself. There should be a consistency in the person you are personally and professionally. When you are being your authentic self, it’s easier to connect with people and inform them of what you do and how it can help them. When the connection is there it won’t feel like you’re selling. And please remember that when you are in public marketing yourself, dress and act professionally. You not only represent yourself and your business, you represent the entire profession of massage.
Are you nationally certified?
Did you have a mentor when you first started your business as a massage therapist?
I thought I did. It’s a long story, but you can read about it on the Writing a Blue Streak blog here: http://writingabluestreak.com/
I now have a handful of go-to colleagues, but my main mentor is not in the massage profession.
What is your favorite sound?
Children laughing because you cannot help but smile and giggle too. And it just reminds me to not take life so seriously.
What is your least favorite sound?
Hearing people chew their food.
How many clients do you see in an average week?
I never do more than 5 sessions a day, so usually between 15-20.
Do you have any healthy obsession? (shoes, Johnny Depp, chocolate…)
Coffee, I love it! And massage, I love that too, just not at the same time!
What do you wear on your feet when massaging?
Depends on the day & what I have going on, but usually varies from Vibram FiveFingers, Dansko clogs to going barefoot.
What massage music do you prefer?
I’m not picky I guess, anything that is soothing.
What music do you crank up in the car?
Joss Stone, India Arie, Pink, Beyonce, Jessie J, Dave Matthews, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson
Carnivore, vegetarian, or vegan?
Mostly vegetarian, but occasionally I eat meat. (It has to be locally raised, grass-fed, no hormones/antibiotics etc.). I couldn’t be vegan because I like eggs and cheese too much!
Swiss or Cheddar?
What is the last book you read?
The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle Laporte
What is the last movie you saw?
Tom Shadyac’s film ‘I Am’
What is the last Continuing Education course that you took?
I recently completed Tracy Bell’s online course: Nuts n Bolts: NY 78.5 Continuing Education Requirements. In April I finished my requirements and am now a Certified Educator of Infant Massage through Infant Massage USA.
Who is your greatest inspiration?
This is tough. I get inspiration from so many people! I am constantly seeking it out, I don’t think I have just one! Mostly, I strive to be an inspiration to others.