James F. Mills
During his time working in corporate America, the thing that kept Miles Barry sane was his weekly massage. So, when it came time to leave the corporate world, he naturally gravitated to massage as his next profession.
“Massage became my lifeline to get through all the corporate bullshit,” says Barry. “I liked working one on one with people. I was always interested in the body. So becoming a massage therapist just seemed like the next stop on my life’s journey.”
A graduate of Culver City’s Institute of Psycho Structural Balancing, Barry is now a massage therapist, or a bodyworker as he likes to call himself. Specializing in Swedish massage, he’s got a growing list of clients who swear by him and his magic hands.
“I found that through receiving bodywork, I was able to connect with myself and my body in more rewarding ways,” says Barry, an upstate New York native who grew up in San Francisco. “Now I find that clients who I work with are experiencing the same things.”
At a typical session, Barry is part massage therapist, part psychotherapist, making a point to discuss what a client needs.
“Is it to become more relaxed and stress-free or is it rehabilitation from an injury?” he asks, explaining that understanding what the client’s needs are helps him focus his bodywork better. “I try to treat each person individually, treat their individual needs. It’s not a cookie cutter situation.”
Through multiple messages, he builds a rapport with the clients and gets to know their bodies better. “I know the areas that want to be touched and those that don’t,” he says. “It’s muscle memory. The body stores memories in the muscles.”
His work isn’t just about the massage. It’s also about helping clients learn to relax between sessions.
“I work with clients session by session to teach simple relaxation techniques, better breathing techniques, stretching and muscle toning that helps people release the tension they hold on a day-to-day basis,” he explains. “It’s imperative to learn and practice new techniques in order to maintain that relaxed state long after the massage session.”
Barry moved to Los Angeles in 2007 and fell in love with both the weather and the lifestyle here. “I love the eccentricities in the city,” he says, feeling that being here helped him on his journey to becoming a massage therapist.
Even though he’s built a loyal following, he continues to take classes to expand his technique, to help him become a better artist in the field of bodywork. Currently, he’s studying acupressure and deep-tissue circulatory massage.
Next up, he’s planning to study reflexology and Shiatsu, a Japanese form of massage that emphasizes holistic bodywork.
“It’s all about helping the client,” says Barry. “This is a more spiritual way to deal with humans. It humanizes us as people.”