Our Fabric of Fabriq series explores the methodologies of our talented practitioners.When we caught up with Drew recently, his insightful philosophies pertaining to massage therapy helped to further explain (beyond being lovely, hilarious and having fabulous hair, obviously), why his clients love his work so much.
Drew Kaiser, whose massage work began in 2008 in Berlin, was initially drawn to Thai massage through his experience as a performance artist. “It was a great therapy to use in conjunction with my dance practice because it focuses a lot on whole-body integration, joint mobilization and yogic stretching.” Drew went on to study at the Cortiva Institute upon his return to the states, where he has been a well-rounded and sought after massage therapist ever since. We’re happy to have him, and here’s why:
Fabriq Spa: What initially drew you to the idea of massage therapy?
Drew: I went to undergrad to study dance and choreography, and in that time learned a lot about anatomy and how the body moves effectively through space. What I loved about Thai massage initially, and what I now appreciate about table massage, is that I can impart some of my knowledge of the body onto the bodies of others who may not have had the same experiences.
F: How does your work as a massage therapist help you in other areas of your life?
D: Massage is a constant reminder to myself to practice proper body alignment and self-care. While treating a client it is important to remember how I am using my own body. If I’m feeling uncomfortable then it translates to the client’s experience. If I am relaxed and feeling good, then so will the client. Outside of the treatment room, for example riding the bus or waiting in line, I’m constantly thinking of the little things I tell my clients to do outside of treatment like dropping my shoulders, standing with my weight balanced between both feet, etc.
F: What are the most common misconceptions about massage?
D: The word ‘massage’ encompasses many experiences. For me, the most important being the differences between a luxurious, indulgent experience and a potentially uncomfortable corrective treatment. It’s my job as the practitioner to determine where on that spectrum the client wants to be, and providing that for them. It usually ends up being a mixture of the two; I like to think of it as a spoonful of sugar helping the medicine go down.
F: If you could dispel one myth, or help to spread one idea surrounding the idea of body work and massage therapy, what would it be?
D: I have seen the corrective power of massage therapy and many peoples’ perception that it is just a luxury service. I would love to show more people that massage can actually address muscular complaints and help people feel better on a corporeal level. I think the luxury perception closes off massage therapy to a broader segment of the population, who could actually benefit greatly from regular massage therapy.
F: What is your favorite thing about your job?
D: My favorite thing is being able to help clients who have chronic pain actually feel better. When I can have an effect on their bodies and enable them to have a pain-free (or diminished pain) experience, even if only temporary, this provides more satisfaction than any other aspect of the work.
F: Why do you like working at Fabriq?
D: I like working at Fabriq Spa for many reasons – I love the area, I’ve always enjoyed Fabric Row since I moved to Philadelphia in 2010.
I walked by the Fabriq Spa space and could immediately imagine myself working in this cute little boho organic spa. Now that I’m working here, I love all of my colleagues, the space itself is so warm and easy to work in, I love my regular clients. And I love getting a discount on Suki products!! It’s easy and relaxed, I feel comfortable and I think that is relayed to our client base.
Okay, okay, now for the nitty-gritty. Favorite meal?
I live for Saag Paneer, and also the Stromboli from Best House in West Philly.
Oh, all kinds – elephants, bears, manatees. And dogs, just plain old dogs I love.
Oh! And what kind of dance do you do?
I’ve studied modern, contemporary, ballet, release… My dancing is a blend of all of these, and I’ve become more interested in pop/music video dancing lately.