Christopher Harris Sr. Graduated from Irene’s September 2014
Irene’s – Why did you choose massage therapy as a career?
Christopher – Technically, massage therapy chose me. My previous career in corporate lost me! During my time of transition, I was contacted by Irenes’, over a year after I inquired about the free couples massage class. I continued on the path because I wanted to help the youth athletes I was coaching at the time. I had no clue what that it would turn into what it has.
Irene’s – Where do you practice massage therapy?
Christopher – Currently my company, Maximum Movement Solutions, is inside an office in Dearborn, MI. However, I travel to clients all over the world.
Irene’s – What is the most rewarding part of your massage career?
Christopher – This is probably the hardest question to answer. It’s extremely rewarding and humbling to have clients trust you with their pain management and performance, but building relationships with people will always be at the top for me as well.
Irene’s – Do you have a favorite memory from massage school?
Christopher – I feel this question is unfair because I have too many awesome moments to choose from! HUGS! The hugs I received from my classmates and instructors always seemed to come at the best times. They didn’t know it, but their love kept me going through some tough times. Also, my exit interview with Jen. The dialogue and questions she asked gave me even more reassurance that I wanted to stay in my lane. Really wish we would’ve recorded it!
Irene’s – What was the best class you took at Irene’s massage school?
Christopher – Infant Massage! LOL Had absolutely nothing to do with my career choice but it was awesome walking around the room with two babies at a time. A close second would be “Intro to Myofascial Release” with Teresa Stayer. She’s no longer with us, but it was in her class I learned what it meant to ground and how to not take on my client’s trauma while still being present. I also loved that she dressed as if she was going to a five-star restaurant while instructing and doing sessions. She added “swag” and confidence like no other. Just like most athletes say, “When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you play good.”
Irene’s – What bodywork modalities or massage techniques do you find most effective?
Christopher – I use assessment tools I learned from Jeanette, Rob Kelly, and Mike Rice almost every day. Reflexology and myofascial release are game changers for me.
Irene’s – How did you get started on your path?
Christopher – I searched for the things I would’ve loved to have as a former athlete and traveled across the country to learn from as many people as I could. Not everything was a workshop or seminar, sometimes it was just flying to a different state to take someone out to dinner and allow them to pour into me.
Irene’s – What do you do for self-care to provide longevity for your massage career?
Christopher – Lifting weights is beyond crucial for me, but not in the typical sense. I work to strengthen the imbalances and muscles I use most while working with clients. It’s always great to get body work done by other Irene’s grads too.
Irene’s – To what do you attribute your success as a massage therapist?
Christopher – First, I am a man of faith. I truly believe my path was ordained by God and I walk in His plan for me. Second, I am not afraid to jump out of a plane and build a parachute on my way to the ground. If I want it, I’m going to get it! Lastly, I refuse to fail my son. He comes with me to the office frequently and I want him to be proud of his daddy.
Irene’s – What marketing do you feel has worked best to promote your massage practice?
Christopher – Nothing beats word of mouth. I’m trying to be better at social media but there’s nothing like getting referrals from those you’ve worked with. I also like to set my table up at different events to work with some that I otherwise wouldn’t see.
Irene’s – What do you feel was the biggest mistake you made as a massage therapist and how did you address it?
Christopher – By far my biggest mistake was not being selfish enough on the business side. I allowed my feelings for others and their success to dictate my moves. I did what I felt others would want me to do and made sure to be considerate of everyone except myself. The pandemic really made me reevaluate myself and with that, I moved to Philadelphia for a great opportunity. While there, I was able to build myself as a therapist AND a business person. Now that I’m back in Michigan, I move more calculated and correctly.
Irene’s – What continuing education have you taken after graduating from massage school?
Christopher – Cupping, RockTape, and IASTM to name a few.
Irene’s – What’s the coolest thing you’ve done because of your career?
Christopher – Working with the Lions was cool because I was on the sidelines during the games. The coolest aspect would be seeing the behind-the-scenes of how athletes prepare during the offseason and being able to have an impact on what happens during that time. However, traveling will always be a top perk for me.
Irene’s – Do you have any advice for new massage therapists?
Christopher – NEVER STOP STUDYING! Also, don’t take random CEUs just to brag about a class. Find what you want to do and create a plan based on that. PLEASE prioritize getting work done on yourself. It will be very hard in the beginning while building your business, but prioritize yourself early so you’re not playing catch up.
Irene’s – What is the best way for massage clients to contact you?
Christopher – Call or text 248-990-1501
Instagram @StretchGuy_CJ and @MaximumMovementSolutions