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Meet Christopher Manning of Mindful Massage Miami

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christopher Manning.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Christopher. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been a Florida state licensed massage therapist since graduating from the Florida Academy of Massage & Skin Care in 2002. Upon graduating the program in Fort Myers, Florida, I moved to Orlando with the goal of becoming a massage therapist at the world famous Walt Disney World Resort. It was a great first experience in massage therapy and also a master class in customer service!

Soon after, I relocated back to NYC where I transitioned to spa management. I worked for exhale mind body spa as Director of Training, where, over the next 13 years, I helped to open 27 new locations for the company; training their front desk and management teams.

I was called back to south Florida to spend some quality time with my father as he fought his battle with lung cancer. This also marked my return to full time work as a massage therapist working for notable Miami spas such as the Standard Miami and exhale mind body spa.

My dad’s battle reminded me that life is short — too short to not take risks! So, in 2013, I opened my own mobile massage business, Mindful Massage Miami, while still working part time in the spas. In January of this year (2017), I took a leap of faith and rented a space inside a cozy, exclusive brow design studio in the heart of Coral Gables. I do very little mobile massage now as I have a beautiful studio to work in. I am happy to say that my business continues to grow and I am blessed with an amazing clientele who seem to want to support me in my growth!!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road to where I am today in both life, and in business has been relatively smooth. I LOVE what I do, and I have the skills to back it up. I feel like once I got out of my own way and released my fears of success (work in progress, lol), my private practice really began to grow. There are days when I feel the stress because my work schedule is light, but I’m learning to appreciate that down time and am trying to fill it with personal activities — I’m trying to find that balance of hard work/hard play! Miami is such a beautiful place to be — the beaches, the parks, the people! Not every day is easy, but when I step back and look at the big picture, I am truly living a blessed life.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Mindful Massage Miami – what should we know?
I LOVE massage therapy. I view it as a creative art, in that everybody is different and brings its own set of challenges. My approach to every client must be focused on what is happening in that body on that particular day. It’s always different. Even the same client on different days, presents with different challenges, so it’s never boring.

I think that I am different from other therapists in that my intention is never to give a good massage. That may sound odd coming from a massage therapist, but my intention is always, first, to make a connection with the person on my table — to find the way to help them in that moment. I rely on my knowledge of anatomy and physiology for the work, but I think, that what brings my clients back to me is that connection. As I said earlier, I feel like many of my clients come back to me whether they feel they need a massage that day or not, simply because they want me, and my business to be successful. We have entered into a therapeutic relationship where we are both helping each other.

In my massage space, it feels like an oasis from the heat and the hectic pace of Miami life. It is important to me that my clients feel they can “turn off” their cares and worries while they are in my hands. I try to create a space that feels warm and comfortable and a that is a safe space for touch therapy. In my style of work, I utilize deep tissue techniques, but approach it from a relaxing standpoint. Meaning that by working slowly and applying gradual pressure and using long flowing strokes, the guest relaxes, allowing me deeper into the muscle fiber where very specific work can be done.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There have been many people along my journey who have lifted me, and I would be remiss if I didn’t start with my parents who always taught me the I could be, and would be, successful, no matter what path I chose. More importantly, they taught me the lesson of what success actually looks like – which has really shifted my perception. My dad lost his battle to lung cancer, but if you watch my Facebook page, you will still see my mom dropping pearls of wisdom and encouragement to my every step forward!

I was also lucky to have met and worked with two amazing people during my time at exhale… Wil Lewis is a master massage therapist who not only taught me specific techniques and modalities of massage therapy, but Wil is probably my single biggest teacher of what it means to work from the heart. I learned from Wil that the connection…. the story….is much bigger, and more important, than giving a “good massage”. My other mentor from my time with exhale is Julia Sutton, exhale’s COO. I worked alongside Julia for 13 years and the single biggest thing I learned from her was that no job is too menial for you, no matter what your position in the company. In 13 years working together, I never felt like I was working FOR Julia, but rather always WITH her, side by side working to make us all successful.

Pricing:

  • 60 Minute Mindful Massage — $85
  • 75 Minute Mindful Massage — $95
  • 90 Minute Mindful Massage — $125

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Venfield8
Juan C Sanchez
Pedro Pomare

Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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