Have you ever met a massage therapist who aimed to help people fall in love with their faces and with themselves? And have you ever had a massage during which you could feel the love in the massage therapist’s touch? Extraordinary, right? That was my experience when I received my first inter-oral massage from my Page 1 Woman™ Lynn Rae - genuine caring, warmth and love.
‘When you treat the body, tissues, and muscles with love, they respond more positively’.
A facial massage therapist, she has a long-standing career in preserving and nurturing the body and a passion for the face. And what makes her unique is the service she offers to those with stress-induced facial tension and facial disfigurement resulting from strokes, Bell’s palsy and scar tissue or surgery from facial cancer. Having had first-hand experience of Lynn’s service, due to an attack of Bell’s palsy several years ago, I’m a raving fan.
A survivor of breast cancer twice over, Lynn is living proof that you can heal yourself of the most scary of illnesses, including cancer, through daily visualisation of befriending and healing each cell one by one. She is also living proof that you can approach your business as a hobby with a few clients one day and the next they’re queuing at your door. Put it down to luck if you like – Lynn certainly did. But unpack it further and you’ll see it was due to the courage to leave her comfort zone, make and nurture relationships with influential people, and an added huge dollop of generosity and love plus the help of a coach.
Read on and learn more about Lynn’s journey.
Describe your work.
Lynn: I’m a sports and remedial massage therapist, specializing in working on the face and the jaw. I treat people with clenching and grinding problems and those who’ve had facial surgery, strokes or Bell’s palsy. I look at their body and posture as a whole, and do an in-depth assessment which gives me a picture of why and where the stress is coming from and any bad habits that can be eliminated.
I massage the neck, shoulders, head and face and then inside the mouth and release tension and relax muscles. I help them build an internal picture to create muscle awareness, and muscle memory of how the muscles feel when relaxed, making it easier to retain the feeling. On finishing the massage I give them exercises to do at home to eliminate bad habits and break their stress cycle. Working on the face and the head helps to improve the nervous system, and the whole body.
What essential steps did you take to get to where you are now?
Lynn: Training as a professional make-up artist before training as a sports and remedial massage therapist. This increased my knowledge of the structure of the face and my fascination with it.
Whilst applying make-up, I was more interested in how it changed the character of the person than in what I was putting on the face. I worked in places such as the film industry, and on photo shoots, so it was very important that I did a good job, and simultaneously help make the person feel good.
As a sports and remedial massage therapist I got to know the whole body. Then I started working with a physio and body teacher with an interest in the face and jaw. I learned how jaw tension connects with the posture, and the whole body. And I decided to specialise in this area. So, I did a course on inter-oral massage followed by other related courses.
I work privately and with a dentist in Wimpole Street, and I've learned a lot from him about the connection of breathing with the growing shape of the face, the effect on where the jaw sits and the importance of where the tongue is. I've also done a breathing course and I’ve learned about the mind/body connection in causing stress and ill health. Because most of the people coming to see me are suffering various levels of stress, and sometimes trauma, when you release tension on the inside of the mouth it's very deep work.
I had a vision of what I wanted to do as a career, but I didn't know how to get there until I was coached by you. Although I enjoyed being a make-up artist I wanted to connect to something deeper. I chose the dentist route because it was health related and good health is the foundation for beauty.
What was the one most significant thing you did that got you into your current position?
Lynn: The thing that shifted me the quickest was having an article in ‘The Sunday Telegraph’. It brought me over 200 clients. It was scary. My dad was terminally ill at the time so I had to be really organised, so that I could visit him in Yorkshire and plan and keep my appointments. Suddenly, I felt really professional. And having all those people trusting me with the inside of their mouths was a privilege.
Even before I get my hands on my clients, I see them walking in and I get them. The more clients I see, the more I'm learning, and becoming more effective, confident, more of a leader. And they’re getting great results.
What was your greatest challenge?
Lynn: My greatest challenge has been having breast cancer twice. The second time around, I healed myself into remission through daily meditation and visualising the tumours melting away one by one. And in doing that I totally learned that the mind has power over the body.
At a workshop with Richard Moat, I learned that only 3% of illnesses are caused by genetics, 10-12% by diet and lifestyle, and around 85% by stress which means that individually we have the power to overcome it. The diagnosis is that I have cancer, but I feel that it's gone, although I respect the fact that it's there. I remind myself every day that I’m in control. So I eat healthily, build a healthy lifestyle and mix with positive people. I pass the message on to my clients, many of whom live in fight or flight mode, adrenaline addicts, that stress is unacceptable. I changed my diagnosis and I’m really healthy, so you can change anything.
Having cancer was an awakening and a blessing because now, I truly accept that life and health are the most precious things. Because I don’t fear death, whatever my clients bring, I’m comfortable with. I provide a safe place for them to talk, whilst I listen without judgement, or cry and release emotions. They don’t have to put on a brave face, like they do with their family. When you come and see me you can be whoever – no pretence, you don't even have to talk. Just lie there and totally chill. I totally tune in to your body and love it. And the muscles respond positively.
What was your greatest light bulb moment?
Lynn: A couple of years ago, someone organized a workshop for me for charity. There were about 19 people attending the first one. I'd never delivered in front of so many people, and I thought ‘how can I teach all those people, because I can't catch their eye?’ But as soon as I started interacting with them, I realized that it was fascinating, and I had their attention. I knew I had a message to deliver and I could make a real difference.
What key resource has been crucial to your success?
Lynn: Having business coaching with you, and learning how to run a business. And treating what I do as a business, as opposed to just offering a massage. When I started seeing it as a business, I eliminated my embarrassment about charging. And as I got busier and comfortable with charging what I charged, people didn't bat an eyelid.
Also, getting my website. This brings me clients from all over the country. There are a lot of people suffering with chronic pain who don't know where to turn and there aren’t many people who do what I do. So they go on the internet, and I pop up.
What do you understand by leadership?
Lynn: A leader is able to guide others positively. And in guiding and leading them, help them be better and feel better about themselves. It's not about telling them what to do, it's about teaching them how to do things better, which is how I lead.
To be a leader, you have to have something that other people want, whether it's knowledge or the way you do things. And it’s important that what you put out there, and teach people, is for the good of others rather than for yourself.
How has it informed your role as a woman leader?
Lynn: Being a woman has definitely helped me do what I do. But I think in other areas it's harder for women to lead, because they have to do everything bigger and better than a man to find their place. I've always had this desire to reach out to women who’ve had to give up their femininity to succeed. Women's qualities are so powerful that they should be celebrated. And possibly when a woman has reached her level, she could be more confident. So I teach a combination of massage and facial exercises for women in particular, to create a face that portrays who they really are, as opposed to a face that shows the toil of success.
As a woman leader, I bring a gentle touch, which I couldn’t do were I a man. I work on the face, head and shoulders in a feminine, naturally nurturing way, unlike when I do sports massage.
What are your top three tips for women who want to be leaders in their field?
Lynn: First be confident in yourself. Learn to love yourself and you’ll present from a place of stability, and confidence. And if you obviously love yourself you've already got people’s attention.
Teach and lead on things you’re passionate about and people will be interested. When you're passionate about what you’re leading on there's honesty, and realness. You have to live and breathe it and be it in order to pass it on.
And have fun with it, because, life has to be fun. Take things too seriously and people get bored. With fun, you’ll attract more people and you’ll lighten the subject and make it more reachable.
To find out more about Lynn Rae’s services, click here .
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Thanks a million. Much appreciated.