Each month we will be showcasing interesting humans who are certain to inspire you. They are people across the United States who believe in living a full life, doing what they love, and each feels strongly about the many benefits of using hemp and CBD products. This month we'd like to introduce you to an individual who realized at a young age that he wanted to be a healer. This calling stemmed from his relationship with his mom, so he asked that we dedicate this article to her today on her birthday! So without further ado, meet injury recovery specialist, Marcus Rodriguez. "Love you mom, Happy Birthday!!!"
Name: Marcus Rodriguez
Location: Jiu Jitsu Massage 53 Bridge St Suite 304, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 274 Madison Ave Suite #1205, New York, NY 10016
Current Title: Injury Recovery Specialist
Education/Training: AOS 2004 - New York College of Health Professions
C+M: Let’s start from the beginning. Explain to us the difference between the kind of massages you perform and the average spa massage?
MR: Every "treatment" as opposed to "massage" is performed with Multiple Modalities of Sports Massage, Deep Tissue, Cupping, & IASTM- Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization.
Performing all of these modalities together has been beneficial in aid of recovery and maintenance. Breaking up those deep layers of myofacia that restrict ROM. My treatments are at a very high threshold. Communication is key. Also, other spas have different price options for each, but I don't understand why, so I don't.
C+M: Where did you get your inspiration to start a massage business?
MR: I have wanted to be a healer/ massage therapist since the age of 7. Mom was diagnosed with severe scoliosis and lived with pain for many years. She would wake up in the evenings screaming in pain. Massaging her legs and feet would ease her pain to allow her to sleep. My calling started at an early age without my knowledge. She eventually got the Harrington Rod surgery. Mom always said I have magnetic and healing hands, and throughout my school years, science was my best class.
C+M: We hear you are "born, raised, and still living in Brooklyn"! It sounds like you're really proud of your home city - can you tell us more about that?
MR: Growing up in Brooklyn in the late 70's and early 80's was truly an amazing experience that has made me into the person I am today. It was rough moving over a dozen times, all within Brooklyn. But this showed me how to cherish the little things in life. I have had to work for everything I have in my life from an early age.
Mom sacrificed a lot to raise my older sister Veronica and I. And I would love to say she raised two amazing individuals. You can be tough and be respectful at the same time no matter how difficult life can be.
C+M: What business or career moves lead you to the role you're currently in?
MR: Before becoming an L.M.T. I was always a blue collar worker since the age of 17. I was a plumber with a 3 generation company, Rocco Fanelli, for about 15 years. This family had a presence in Coney Island for generations. I had the honor of learning from all 3 generations and my partner Frankie.
Eventually, I decided to go to school part-time to become an L.M.T. while working full time. Started at Swedish Institute, and after 2 years decided to change schools to NY College of Health Professions. I then started the whole 3-year part-time program over again - best decision I ever made.
For about 11 years I worked out of various spas and had some private clients, but it just wasn't the right atmosphere for me. My life changed when I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, about 9 years ago! I have to say thank you Sifu Samuel Chan for getting me into BJJ. After enduring so many injuries, it was Sifu Samuel Chan who taught me how important recovery was. About 3 years ago is when I decided to start Jiu Jitsu Massage.
C+M: How did you learn about hemp/CBD topicals?
MR: I first started off trying out CBD tinctures and found no need for NSAIDS anymore. After having good results from CBD tincture figured having a great CBD lotion, cream, or balm would only enhance my treatments.
C+M: We hear you are an athlete yourself! What sports do you do? What tricks have you learned for recovery?
MR: Mountain biking (MBT), snowboarding, skateboarding, and Jiu Jitsu. I truly love the outdoors with my MTB getting muddy. "If you ain't full of mud you ain't really riding," is what I like to say. I started MTB riding over 20 years ago, and I've been a daredevil ever since.
Skateboarding was a tremendous part of growing up in Bensonhurst Brooklyn. That's how I met my closest friends of 30+ years, and we even started a group called L.S.A. - Local Skate Boarding Association.
In addition, Jiu Jitsu training for close to 9 years has taught me a lot about myself. I'm a third-degree purple belt and am currently training at Masterskya under Alex Ecklin and Van Flores.
For recovery, I have always been a firm believer in movement through injury. Trust me, I have had my fair share of injuries with extreme sports. Resting injuries only creates stagnation and more scar tissue. Lifehack: a good old butter knife (that's right, a butter knife) works wonders as an IASTM tool.
C+M: Do you use C+M on yourself? How do these products help you live your best life?
MR: I fell in love with C+M as soon as I received my first samples - it's a great product. Other creams and lotions used with IASTM tools would make a mess, but not C+M products. The penetration of the hemp pain cream is by far the best I have used, especially with cupping. I also get relief in my hands and forearms when giving a treatment. So it's a win-win for clientele and me.
C+M: What kind of clients do you get to work with? What do you love most about them?
MR: Most of the clientele I work with are athletic people from various sports. But mostly within the Jiu Jitsu and MMA community is where I'm known, plus a few weekend warriors as well.
Working with professional athletes like Marcos Tinoco, Matheus Diniz and Dan Covel has been a tremendous honor. I currently sponsor Marcos Tinoco and Dan Covel. It's truly amazing the response muscle tissue has from my treatments with someone athletic.
Sports Recovery with professional athletes has always put our profession in the background and we as people in our profession never get noticed. After all it is us that helps these professionals with recovery and maintenance. I want to change that. We should be noticed as people, not as a modality.
C+M: What feedback have you gotten from your clients after they experience your massages?
Everyone has different responses to my treatments - it really depends on the person's activity and frequency. But I get the most immediate response with ROM, because the results are noticeable right away. My passion and confidence shows in my treatments. Love what you do.
C+M: What do your friends/family have to say about your business and products?
They all love what I have accomplished in a short period of time. I didn't get into this profession for the money. I got into this profession to make a difference and to truly help people. I like to believe that I have, and I'm looking forward to an incredible future.
Photo Credit: Images 1-5 by Nicholas Accettura | Open & Shutter