A Woman With Magic HandsMelanie Lemay
Certified massage therapist and owner of Meyobay Massage
How did you get started in this business and how long has it been going? I am a massage therapist and massage educator, and actually started massaging when I was just a little girl. At 5 years old, I was massaging my mom, my grandmother and my cousins. My family kept saying, “You have magic hands.”
It took many years before I went to school for it and got certified (2003). I’ve studied and explored many different techniques, including Swedish, sports, Esalen, Thai, lava shell and lomi lomi.
I had a successful mobile-massage business back in Canada, using chair and table massage at events such as golf tournaments, conventions, music festivals and sports competitions. Thirty massage therapists worked under me doing massage therapy.
Before I moved to Hawaii, I worked as a coordinator in a spa called Studio Bliss, where I got experienced in training massage therapists and business management. I am now self-employed and offer my services on Kaua’i as a mobile massage therapist. I have more than 10 years under my belt, and I am also a teacher.
I enjoy sharing my knowledge with the world: I have a couples massage workshop (perfect for honeymooners) and also guest-teach at the Pacific Awareness Center.
Where are you from originally, and what role does that play in your business? I was born and raised in Montreal. I love that city. But it is too cold for me in the wintertime. Every time I went on vacations, I aimed for tropical weather with beaches and ocean. Growing up in a melting pot such as Montreal taught me to be open and willing to seek new ways of life.
I’ve always been surrounded by a multicultural community – artful, colorful and with people from all over the world with whom to share good times. It fostered a curiosity for the world around me, starting by tasting different foods.
In 2007, I came to Hawaii and started learning about lomi lomi. Since then, everywhere I go, I learn about different types of massages.
What is your specialty? I specialize in many types of massage including Swedish, deep tissue, Thai and hot lava shells. My uniqueness comes from blending all these modalities into one customized session, according to the client’s needs.
All of my experience and knowledge led me to the desire to share and teach people how to massage each other, too. Anyone with an interest in learning the healing touch can do it – all it takes is love and attention. I put my love for what I do into each massage and into my teaching. I believe my success comes from true love of what I do.
What sets your work apart? I realize that a great massage will come from listening to the moment and combining all of my knowledge to harmonize the body, mind and spirit. I developed a new style called Meyobay massage, which is a blend of 15-plus techniques, creating a unique and holistic experience every time. It provides therapeutic healing and other worldly relaxation. With the right massage, you can change your state of being and transcend into lasting bliss.
What is your business plan for the future? My dream has become to spread the power of the healing touch with a focus on health. I love teaching and have produced an instructional DVD showing my personalized and particular Meyobay methods. I want to produce more DVDs and have them distributed internationally so that people can learn from me anywhere in the world.
Right now, I balance my time among teaching, massaging private clients and having fun on this beautiful island. I see the possibility of hosting retreats, introducing people to holistic consciousness and uplifting levels of awareness.
What motivates you to get up and go to work every day? Living in paradise is such a privilege. Going to all the places on the island with great views and beautiful landscape is a plus. Whether I’m massaging or teaching, I’m elated that I get to share something of value. I get to spend my days connecting with people and making them feel good. It’s so gratifying, and I am entirely thankful for the gift that I have and the opportunity to share it.
All the positive feedback that I get from people keeps me going. I get energy from people appreciating my work and knowing the good that I do gives me motivation. When I teach couples, I can feel their love for each other and I am in awe of the harmony they exude. It amazes me every time when I see people taking their relationships to a whole new level through my teachings.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? Massage is such a big part of who I am, so it’s hard to think of it not being in my life. However, I always will have the desire to give back. I could see myself making a difference in the world by producing transformational movies or being an ambassador for a nonprofit organization. I have a philanthropic passion running inside me.
I could be a life coach and support people getting a better life, or host at a bed and breakfast here on Kaua’i – I love cooking for others and going on new adventures.
Or I would probably have teachers and facilitators from all over the world come to me and host special events to educate and grow, like a dance play shop, some yoga and meditation, or a workshop on nutrition and gardening. Maybe even having laughter parties!
Do you have a business motto or philosophy for doing business? Take care of your body if you want your soul to stay in it longer. My business motto is all about serving and getting the best out of you.
What is the most challenging aspect of your business? Since I’m self-employed, I get to take care of all the aspects of my business. I find the most challenging aspect of my business is everything that has to do with administration work and technology – managing my web-site, doing my taxes, invoicing and accounting, etc.