I'm writing this post to let loose some so-called "authenticity". It's a very catchy word being used around a lot on social media right now which is unfortunately not being applied in the correct way. "Authenticity" literally means "of undisputed origin, genuine, not a copy". How many carbon-copies of fitness, beauty & fashion influencers can you think of after hearing this statement?
Quite a lot, I would imagine.
I am seeing this trend amongst other therapists, too. Every "successful" therapist seems to have a running theme of the same aesthetic on their Instagrams, with the same "selfie" portrait describing the same massage techniques and benefits! It is really quite baffling to me how I am being told one thing by marketing "experts" - create an "authentic" brand - yet I am being shown quite the opposite in reality.
Here's another strange one for you - I set up my Instagram nearly 2 years ago and I still have less than 200 followers and about 4 likes max per post. I continuously get spam messages asking to post my face on their scam jewellery pages, or "promote our dog bandanas" (I do not own any dogs nor do I see the relevance to massage). My "authentic" reach is almost non-existent. My dear friend, who is a writer, set up a poetry page last week and immediately gained thousands of followers because he chose to have a post re-posted on one of these bot pages. So while he is now able to reach more "people", and thus gain business, this is the complete opposite of "authenticity"! I have known people with absolutely zero talent become popular and sell out gigs purely because they have such a great charm and likeability to them. Is this really what the world is supposed to be like? Your popularity and trustworthiness are based on you entirely being FAKE?
I am not afraid to say I am "failing" right now. I am not getting enough clients to stay in business let alone put a meal on my table. Is it my pricing? I think my treatment prices are about average for my area, and hardly costly (compared to "luxurious" spas). Is it me? Am I just not a great person? I don't want to think that; I do put in a lot of effort for the people I love, and I genuinely empathise with other people. I have a need to help others, and I have only heard good feedback from my massages. Is it my "marketing strategy"? Well, maybe, but honestly why should I have to burn myself out with sales when that is clearly not my field of experience or knowledge? My experience is massage, human anatomy, psychology, animal care, beauty therapy, etc... I don't see any doctors needing to advertise their services; people just assume the NHS is the only form of viable healthcare and naturally choose to book an appointment with their GP if they feel unwell. Why should I have to master a completely irrelevant skill to my profession and use my precious brain space to "promote" myself when I could be using that space to learn deeper knowledge of my already chosen modalities?
Ok, I'm definitely not comparing myself to a doctor here. There are of course many diseases and illnesses which massage cannot "cure" or be used as the sole form of treatment for. However, this principle also applies to modern healthcare - a GP is useless for a muscle strain, back pains or even mental health care. The most they will do is send you home with a prescription and maybe refer you to a specialist if, in their opinion, you need it. As a massage therapist I am instantly able to find where your areas of tension are in the body - it's what I do - and instead of giving you 10 minutes to describe your illness, I like to listen for hours (even outside the treatment itself) to give you a personalised remedy. Massage is also the perfect preventative tool for serious health complications because it is a treatment designed to avert further damage and maintain positive health rather than counteract an existing condition. Doctors and nurses are stressed out enough as it is, with so much use of the service and lack of adequate funding; and I can give you a great conclusion as to why that is below...
"Modern" science and its use in healthcare can trace back to the 1860s, when the West was in its beginning stages of inventions, entrepreneurs and "science". A lot of healthcare experiments are rooted in systematic classism, racism, ableism, and sexism - much of our knowledge and understanding of modern treatments comes from the use of torture on ethnic minorities, lower class women, "criminals", and disabled people. Whilst our societies have progressed since Sigmund Freud's paedophilic theories, Nazi Germany's medical torture on prisoners, and the MK Ultra programmes; and have actually developed leading science for the treatment of serious illnesses; I can't help but feel the systemic alienation from so-called "minorities" has continued on into modern civilization.
Think about it - to become a doctor or recognised healthcare professional, you have to undertake years of training and study that is either paid for by yourself or then becomes a debt to pay later on. To simply study by yourself, read the same information, and practice in the same way, is not enough to be "recognised". You have to be "approved" by another person who has undertaken the same training and worked for more years than you. You have to pay for a piece of paper that states this person, or group of people, have "approved" your knowledge and understanding, and be "supervised" by more people who have completed the same training and worked for more years than you, to ensure you are "qualified" to practice your chosen craft. I left university after a year, studying an Engineering degree, because I just don't see the point in all of this.
Modern "civilisation" can be traced even further back; the Hawaiian peoples were massacred and their islands destroyed by Christian settlers, the slave trade dates back to the 17th Century, even many of the Thai scriptures were destroyed during the Burmese invasions (so much so that the teachings were then engraved upon their architecture to remain permanent). There has always been a desire for power amongst dangerous men, which has in turn influenced the laymen and caused great suffering en masse to the truly "civilized". Those that see through it have always been labelled as "the outcast" for choosing against what has been forced upon them. Think about it - the "witches" of England were never casting any curses, most of them were hanged for rumours alone, which came from their abusive husbands, families or other women that did not like them. People that "speak out" about anything these days are ostracized for their opinions and mocked at as "conspiracy theorists". You have the "freedom" to say what you want, but that is also giving other people the "freedom" to respond nastily and hold you accountable for having an opinion -group narcissism is rather rampant in the West.
This is a system created by elitist people designed to make poor people continue to become poorer, and the rich to become richer, all whilst forcing those in the middle to blame the poor! When religion ceased to be accepted by the majority, the elite organizations of these religions created a new system of "politics" and "science". They recognized that there were mass inventors looking for more of a purpose in life than a Catholic "God" and so utilized this to create our modern system. Don't be fooled into thinking you can "work up the ladder" to become a CEO anymore; this system was never designed for you. That might have worked 40 years ago because it takes many generations for conditioning to work, but now that this time has passed and the conditioning runs deep, we are very much rooted within our dystopian reality.
You have 4 options in this environment as far as I can see: either control the system, play with the system, fight against the system, or completely and entirely disassociate from the system. Those that play are the majority of you - either working in a dead-end job just about managing your bills each month, middle-class or "comfortable" in a reasonably paying job due to your degree, or very wealthy and able to afford more than a few holidays each year. Those that fight against are people like me - unemployed or "artists", petty "criminals" that do as much harm as robbing billion-pound-making supermarkets like Tesco's of £40, and activists who choose to make loud and annoying protests. The people of this world who have disassociated entirely are either real criminals who commit murder and rape, travellers who have moved abroad to start afresh from their dead-end jobs, those who are lost in their reality and unable to escape, or already dead. And the people that "control" the system? The information is readily available - research the "Forbes Richest 100 people", the producers of Hollywood, the organized Churches across the globe, the monarchies, etcetera etcetera. We are all still animals, we have yet to evolve to a higher intelligence and we will be incapable of doing so unless we rid ourselves of these imaginary systems. Does that sound discomforting? Good, now you are feeling truth.
My "authenticity" is that I speak my mind. I have written blogs before detailing my opinions, which were rather controversial at the time; I have written aggressive Facebook posts about my opinion; I have arguments with people about my opinion, blah blah blah... you get the gist. I would class myself as "outspoken" in that sense. However, in speaking my mind, I try to keep this space open - I won't force my views down anyone's throat, but rather point out my logic. I also like to listen to "the other side" and hear the experiences of others, because "truth" can be perceived so differently depending on the language of the person. I probably write aggressively because I was raised in an angry household - please forgive me for continuously trying to relearn healthy behaviours and requiring more time. I don't think this makes me a bad person.
If you are reading this post and thinking I have it in for doctors and anyone who chooses university, well, you would be slightly correct. These people are not "the problem" themselves, but they are actively choosing to feed "the problem" by playing with the system. If the world were an idyllic "Mikaela Korth World" there would be no "university" to begin with. "Schools" would be designed to provide resources and tools for learning life skills, and "teachers" would act as guides rather than tutors. Your "career" would be your chosen skill, and true "engineers" with the capability of learning and experimenting would create the robots for so-called "low skill" work. "Public services" would be funded through tax, and billionaires would actually be taxed. "Professionals" would be recognized for their skill, not for their fancy acronyms. "Algorithms" and "SEOs" would not exist, and true artists would be recognised through their existence in the world.
But hey, the world doesn't revolve around me, and I'll probably go down the route of disassociation by fleeing the UK and travelling again, soon enough. In the mean time I would just like to share my gift of massage for those that need it. Maybe I will eventually "grow out of it" and play with the system myself. People like me are just "immature", "entitled", and a "nuisance", right? We all need to "grow up" and choose dead-end jobs like you, Steve from the pub? Or better yet, we should "just get a real job" and deplete our mental health through university then waste our lives away in a job we don't really want, we just took it because it would give us a decent salary, right, Ian from software? Or maybe we should just "be more ruthless" and do anything it takes to get us to the top, like John the bank-holder?
Can you see how all this conditioning really still exists amongst us? We might not be as awful as the societies before us who really did torture people (and human trafficking still exists around the globe, so we aren't really that much better), but it is by no means a kind-hearted or generous world. I don't want to come across as "entitled" or like "the world owes me a favour", but rather I would like to share my thoughts as a person who is "failing" in modern society.
Am I really "failing" if the environment is not suited to me? Is the environment "failing" if many people are like me and also cannot cope? Are you really "succeeding" if someone else has to "fail" as a result?
I am very much open to a discussion on this topic and I welcome your thoughts! Please leave a comment if you have a strong opinion to share...