Erik Taylor came to a career in massage therapy from a most unlikely direction. He started by painting cars. A high school passion for cars and flames, and a desire to combine the two (in a non-arsonistic way) led to his 20+ year pursuit of automotive refinishing. And while it wasn't ultimately as rewarding as his current vocation, it did teach him the value of attention to detail and customer service.
"I've been interested in massage for many years now. Oh, not on a grand “I want to be a massage therapist when I grow up” level. But a couple decades involved in martial arts (and over forty years of everyday life-in-general) have given me my fair share of sprains, spasms, strains, aches, pains, bumps, lumps, bruises, twists, and pulls. And I’ve spent much of that time rubbing, squeezing, stretching, and nursing said ailments back to health. Along with all this self care has come an understanding of what feels good, and what dissolves those pesky knots and spots of tension we all endure. And while I had enjoyed applying this experience to the backs, necks, and shoulders of my friends, I suffered from the bane of the amateur: poor posture and sore thumbs." -- Erik
It took a repeated barrage of “you should do this for a living” from those he had touched to get him to consider turning pro. In addition, he became aware of the disconnect between his (then) profession working with chemicals and machines, and the rest of his life and philosophy. (Creeping up on 40 tends to make you introspective)
He enrolled at the Palmer Institute of Massage and Bodywork (Salem, MA), where he learned the names of the muscles and techniques that he had been using for years.
"I also learned much about how to put my knowledge and experience into a comprehensive treatment regimen, how to smoothly transition from here to there, and how to properly drape the human form for warmth and privacy. I also learned some cool new moves."
After graduation and some experience earned, Erik joined the faculty at the Palmer Institute to help raise up the next generation of skilled therapists, revamping the advanced massage curriculum and developing a course on Body Dynamics.
"At the Aikido dojo where I train, it is taught that the highest form of thanks for your teachings is to pass them along to your juniors. Returning to Palmer as an instructor not only continued with this tradition, it gave me a new perspective on my own technique, and the impetus to refine it."
Erik is certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and is a Certified level member of the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. He is also licensed by the State of Massachusetts to practice therapeutic massage.
His continuing education and professional development includes time as a student of John F. Barnes, a leader and innovator in the discipline of MyoFascial Release, in addition to various other skill enhancement seminars.
Regular aikido practice also keeps him grounded, and is a constant reminder that meeting resistance head-on is almost always futile; an awareness that his clients reap the benefits from.
"If you're coasting, you're going downhill." -- Dr. Greg Bauer