Bobby Lewis, Licensed Massage Therapist at Corrective Bodywork, answers the questions for today’s Small Business Snapshot.
What is the primary purpose of your business? Simplifying the treatment of pain. Corrective Bodywork offers massage therapy for pain management and athletic performance. I incorporate numerous modalities and techniques as they fit the therapeutic goal of an individual session. My typical client is seeking pain relief or is an athlete with specific performance goals. Stress management and relaxation are also performed yet are not typical.
What is your business background? I had a full-time massage practice start in 2000. I maintained a part-time practice once I began working at Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC). At GNTC I served as the program director and instructor of neuromuscular therapy (NMT) for 15 years. As such I developed a 1,700 hour Associates degree in NMT as well as the 1,450 hour diploma in NMT. Responsibilities as program director included curriculum design and implementation, accreditation and classroom/lab instruction. I also served as State Chairman of the Instructional Faculty Consortium Committee for the Neuromuscular Therapy Program for the Technical College System of Georgia. That means every technical college that adopted my program, as mine was the first NMT program in Georgia, had to follow the curriculum I wrote. Since leaving GNTC in May of 2018, I have gone back into full-time practice.
Why did you start this particular business? My original plan in college was to be a chiropractor as I was impressed with the pain relief I experienced as a sixth grader by means of chiropractic care. I ended up getting a Masters in Education from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky. I worked as a youth pastor for many years. I had always been intrigued with the work my mother did as a massage therapist. Time came for me to gears career-wise. I went to massage school with the ambition of working with the Atlanta Falcons or Braves. It ended up that I developed a specialty in pain management and was offered a job at GNTC. After 15 years of teaching (and still learning) while coaching 150 graduates in business and therapy, it was a natural move going back into full-time practice. It fits me. I still teach continuing education courses for massage therapists in order for them to maintain licensure.
What makes your business unique? My passion, and what may set me apart, is my clinical reasoning as to the onset and progression of pain and dysfunction. Every therapist in this area has had some, if not extensive training in NMT. The art to having optimal impact and change is asking the right questions about posture and ergonomics as well as prolonged shortening and repetitive use and making those corrections. Your first session with me will entail a lot of history and assessments. I execute a full functional assessment with orthopedic tests and dynamic postural analysis in order to find the root cause of pain and/or dysfunction. I will also refer if I do not think it is safe to work. Treatment plans are based on these findings. Each session is different as each client is different.
What do you enjoy most about your chosen profession? I enjoy the expression on faces as individuals experience pain-free living, restored lifestyle and attained personal goals. I enjoy playing a role in empowering others to be in control of their physical health. Seeing people walk without pain, hold their head and body differently as headaches are eliminated, realizing performance goals, being able to get back in the game. This fuels my passion.
What has been the biggest or most interesting challenge to overcome as a small business owner? Well, there’s the admin side of everything. If I could do the work I love and automate the business end, I’d be all over it. But that is never the case when one person does it all. The most difficult part for me is learning to operate in a tech savvy world. It’s hard to keep up. Once I get busy enough I’ll hire someone smarter to take care of such.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? I know pain. I had to cope with debilitating pain for years, often immobile. But I experienced profound and permanent healing through the hands of gifted therapists and instructors. It is both my passion and joy to help individuals who suffer from chronic and debilitating pain to experience freedom from this bondage, to be able to function at a healthy level of life and to gain control of their health and restored lifestyle. I also treat athletes in training, from Olympians to triathletes to weekend warriors. It’s really cool to share their experiences as they achieve personal goals and victories, knowing, as I am told, that I played a part in their success. I love what I do.