Jay Mars, CEO of Jay’s Essential Touch, has taken the traveling massage therapy qualifier of his business to its most logical extension. For the bulk of its ten-year existence, Jay’s Essential Touch was only mobile in its immediate vicinity, first out of Texas, where he received in accreditation in 2010, then out of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Mars would come to you, whether it was to your home or an event, and provide his signature massage therapy. He always traveled outside of his current state for work, but was never gone too long from his designated home.
Now, Mars isn’t playing. As of the writing of this article, Mars was working in Minneapolis before coming back to leave again sometime before the printing of our next issue. “I have dedicated a year to travel to build my clients for my mission to get a RV, for my dream as a traveling healer,” Mars said.
Jay Mars is from Mississippi but was least likely to remain; job stability isn’t as certain there. Using his good grades as leverage, he convinced his mom to approve his move to Minnesota, to live with family. But he didn’t have time for that snow, so he moved back to Mississippi. That song and dance would repeat. He did love the fruit trees part of Mississippi, that was cool.
Traveling Mars found himself enlisting in the military and was immediately shuttled off to Iraq right after basic, in 2005. After a time, he was asking himself why as he did his college best “to stay live to go back home.” The war didn’t make any sense for him. But he was there.
Back problems led to a slight addiction to the pain pills provided by the military, but they also had a day spa over there, ran by these ladies from the Philippians. His back improved after the hour massage. “I was amazed at what they could do,” Mars said. So he went back and after each visit, Mars would peak around observe, notice little details, started asking for the two-hour sessions and would spend the last thirty asking unashamedly asking pointed questions of the ladies from the Philippians.
Back from Iraq, Mars recruited for the national guard but the spirit was never in it. His travels took him to Texas, where there is a massage therapy business on every corner, like McDonalds he said. “Massage therapy found me.” One day on the internet, a learn-to-do-this ad popped up and a curious Mars clicked. “I never thought I would take it seriously, just needed something to occupy my mind.” He graduated from massage therapy right around when his military contract ended.
A lot of solders come back from serving with some form of post-traumatic syndrome. “Massage therapy helped me with my post-traumatic stress before it could get out of hand, Mars said. “My clients were helping me at the same time as I was helping them.”
Mars practices a style of massage therapy that blends Eastern and Western philosophies. Eastern style means healing the spirit and the mental. Eastern means using herbs and oils. Your wrist, used too often at work, might be sore because you hate your job. That’s Eastern. Western philosophy entails consulting a doctor for your sore wrist. Prescriptions, rehab stints, stretches. “The science of the thing,” said Mars, describing Western style. The ladies from Philippians took him to mold both. “I find I have more progress with my work when I tap into the spiritual.”
And he brings that spa experience to you. If that means your home, he said, “I want to remind the client that their home is a relaxing atmosphere,” even with all of the distractions there.
Mars, who worked part-time as a therapist at a local clinic at first, had to win the trust of potential clients. He didn’t exactly fit the perfect image of massage therapist. “They said you shouldn’t have any tattoos; I have thirteen tattoos. You shouldn’t have any piercings; I have three piercings. You should be well groomed, I got a beard. I got dreads,” he said.
Mars has found his rhythm. He’s been full-time for years, and has recently moved his studio into the Penta Building office space on Calhoun Street. But Mars is out more than in. He can work for five minutes or three hours, whatever it takes. “I have to have music,” Mars said, about the atmosphere he creates, “to focus on something.”
Jay’s Essential Touch | Traveling Massage Therapy
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