Written by Julien Elis
The Art of Massage
Why I organize the European Massage Championship?
“Of all the sciences which humans can and must know, that of doing the least harm and the most good possible is presumably the most important” (Tolstoy).
In life, we are all faced with choices. And the guiding principles behind these decisions matter. Of all the careers possible, some have chosen to be massage practitioners. And here is why we want to celebrate them and their talent.
Massage therapists are an eclectic community. Many went through career conversions after having been teachers, electricians, bank employees, woodworkers etc. Some are in big hotel or spa chains, some are independent. Some have been through higher education, some not. But they all have something in common: they have chosen, consciously or not, to make the wellbeing of others their profession. In other words, they have chosen Tolstoy’s maxim as a way of life.
A massage is a very special act. One in which the client is often vulnerable from a physical and sometimes from psychological standpoint. It is a moment when the client regroups. Rediscovers his body. His pain points and pleasurable releases. But also, during a massage, thoughts are often racing in one’s head. At least at the beginning. It is the responsibility of the massage therapist to discern all of these human dynamics, both verbally and intuitively. With this discernment the massage therapist will deploy a unilateral act of benevolence, through touch, with the sole goal and leaving the clients in a better state than he was before – in his head and in his body. Through the accumulation of thousands of micro details, individually and collectively, the massage practitioner will leave an extremely deep and lasting impact on the client, both physically and mentally. A massage is a solemn moment: a lot is in play, and a lot is at stake.
Some massage therapists qualify massage as a form of art. I do not consider that to be quite accurate because it is neither permanent, nor is it intended to be seen. However, when properly administered, a massage is highly intuitive, generous, honest and selfless. As such, it is one of the most noble endeavors a human can undertake, regardless of the limited scope of its impact. It is, on a micro-level, an act of Good.
And yet…and yet, the public does not know any massage therapists. Of all the various world-famous personalities – businessmen, politicians, chefs, reality TV stars, influencers, artists etc. – I challenge you to name one famous massage therapist. Of course, this is because their impact is always personal, and never collective. But I believe this can and should change. The wellness community, and ultimately the public, would benefit from discovering these talented massage practitioners, and what they do.
What’s more, massage practitioners have very few places and events where they can meet, learn from each other, network. Often times they work within the confines of their massage cabin, somewhat isolated from the rest of the community.
This begs the question: where are these great massage therapists, and how to we identify them? This is where the European Massage Championship comes in; our proposition is to shed light on great massage therapists, create an environment where quality is defined, encouraged, and rewarded.
We know perfectly well that the award for one massage therapist on any given day might have been awarded to another the day after. We know there is a very strong element of subjectivity to any massage. In fact I wrote an article on the topic of objectivity and subjectivity in a massage and the merits of a “championship” that you can find at the end of the Blog.
Now all this is good and dandy, but how does this help SPAs? I’ve already mentioned how impactful a great massage can be on a client. In fact, I would argue that within a spa, it is the service which is most likely to trigger a second client visit. And where all the marketing tools and actions in the world are necessary, the fundamental of any business is to offer quality service. This directly ties the quality of massage therapists to the business health of the SPA. And where efficient onboarding and training processes can help, they cannot compensate for lack of talent and passion – above all when speaking of the massage therapists. It is therefore in the best interest of any spa to have great massage therapists – just as any great restaurant has great chefs, barmen and barmaids.
For all these reasons, the European Massage Championship was created, and is bound to strive and attract more and more talented massage therapists and spas. The first edition was in 2019, in a lovely castle in Spilamberto, Italy, and the 2022 second edition will be in Nice, France, again in a castle.
But before concluding this article I would like to spend a few words on the Winner of the 1st Edition of the European Massage Championship:
Bojan Miric (NewMa Member, NewMa Teacher) is born in the City of NIS in Serbia where he began to learn massage. For 15 years he built his own experience with teachers from Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, Thailand and China. He’s the First Winner of the European Massage Championship (he won Overall European Champion, Best Western Inspired Massage, Gold Western Inspired, Best Wellness Massage, Gold Wellness).
More informations about European Massage Championship (from 27th to 29th May, a Nice) here: www.NewMassageAssociation.com
And here is the link of the previously mentioned article: https://www.newmassageassociation.com/wtf-a-massage-championship/
Julien Elis (email@example.com) is the president of the New Massage Association, the founder of the Massage World, and a wellness enthusiast. He is originally from the world of digital startups and helps businesses strive in their online activities. He lives between Paris and the French countryside of La Beauce, and in his spare time enjoys woodwork.
NB: This article was conceived before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the reference to Tolstoi is not intended for any controversy or particular interpretation of current events.
The New Massage Association is collecting funds to help massage therapists in Ukraine.