BRIGHTON, England — “I love talking with people who want to make a difference in the world, who want to help people. It’s an amazing thing to me,” says Nina Frizoni, office manager at Jing, a massage school in Brighton, England. She worked for the school as office manager for a year, fell in love with the massage profession, and went through the program a year later. That was nine years ago, and she is still in love. “I get to help students see where they are in their massage career,” says Frizoni, “find out where they want to go, and if Jing can help them get there.”

I spoke with Frizoni about her role in the school and what inspired her to become part of massage education. She said, “It’s kind of like ripples in a pond. They talk to me and take a course. Then they get really good at what they do and get people out of pain again, and again, and again, and they change the lives of clients they meet.”

Frizoni paused, looked away for a moment, back and me, and then continued, “It’s an interesting thing about massage. Because people see it as an undervalued profession and then they realize the power of it, the power of what it can do. People get passed from doctor to physio to osteopath, and then they get addicted to pain killers and then, in desperation, they see a massage therapist, and it’s the massage that gets them out of pain.”

Frizoni loves working with people who want to learn massage, partly because they “come to school to learn skills, but what they actually learn is confidence.”

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I talked with Frizoni about the adjectives we use in America to describe massage such as Swedish massage, therapeutic massage, and deep tissue massage. I asked her the term she prefers and why. She uses the term Fusion Massage, because it blends, or fuses, Eastern techniques and Western techniques. The name of the textbook the school uses is titled Massage Fusion, written by Rachel Fairweather and Meghan Mari, founders of the school. Frizoni added, “There are so many teachers who say, ‘You know, Trigger Point Therapy, that is the thing you should do.’ And another person says, ‘No, no, no, myofascial work, that’s the thing you should do.’ But if you are great at massage, it does not matter what you do. What matters is how you connect with your clients.”

I was curious about what type of massage Frizoni likes to receive, as a client. She smiled and said, “One from any of our students. I am such a massage snob now. Ten years working in massage has made me an incredible snob in the industry.”

Frizoni added, “If I had to pick a massage technique, it would be myofascial release. I think it’s a bit magic the way that it feels when you receive it, and it’s gotten me out of a lot of chronic pain. I fell out of a window a few years ago. One of the teachers here did a lot of myofascial and scar tissue work, and I am totally functional now. I praise intensive care and the National Health Service here in the UK, but it was the massage that helped me get back on my feet.”

Featured Image Credit: https://www.geni.com/people/Nina-Frizoni/6000000003799724683

cropped-susansalvo41.jpg  Dr. Susan Salvo is a massage therapist, author, educator, researcher, explorer, and perpetual student. To learn more, check out the “About Susan” tab. You can contact Susan at susansalvo@hotmail.com.