• Nick Peterka

The Very First Massage Hodgepodgcast

Updated: Jan 14


On the very first episode of the Massage Hodgepodgcast, I am here to talk about what I’ll be talking about. This is the foundation. This is the framework. This will probably change over time.









On the show today…

  • Who is this podcast for?

  • What will this podcast will tackle?

  • What are the recurring themes and topics?

  • Format and structure.

  • Why should you subscribe?

  • About Nick.

Listen, read, watch! You can listen right here, or with a podcast app of your choice. You can also read the complete transcript below*, or scroll to the bottom of this post for the video.


You can browse all previous episodes on Libsyn and Youtube!

*Please note that this transcription is generated by a computer. While it has been lightly cleaned up, there are wonky typographical and formatting issues throughout.


Welcome to the massage hodgepodge cast. My name is Nick Peterka. I'm a licensed massage therapist in Portland, Oregon. And this is the very first episode of this podcast. And today we're going to be talking a little bit about who I am and where I came from and why I'm doing this. Before we get to some of my background information, I would like to touch on who this podcast is for the things that I'll be talking about, what I hope to to bring to the audience and the format and the structure and, and maybe offer you some compelling reasons to subscribe and to follow along. So step one, who is this podcast for? I would say on a big level it's for other health and wellness practitioners with a leaning towards body work. Obviously I am a massage therapist, so there'll be a lot of my perspective coming through on that.


Of course, I, I intend to investigate other types of bodywork modalities and, healthcare practitioners and explore what it is that they bring to other people as well. So it'll go beyond body work, but that will definitely be a leaning towards that topic. I think this could be great for students of massage therapy, or anyone considering a career in bodyworker massage therapy. I am getting back into this career after a little bit of a hiatus and I think it can be valuable to hear someone else's perspective and the things that they're going through and the way that the, that I might be approaching it, in any questions that you may have that maybe you could bring to me to, to answer and hopefully that can be a part of it too. So that I think is who it's for, which I hope that I can bring value to those people and that is my intention.


So what am I going to talk about? I plan to talk about the journey, the process, the good, the bad, the ugly of, of building this massage therapy practice. My practice Massage Hodgepodge just opened in Portland, Oregon and I've already stumbled a little bit. I'm just getting going. I have a lot of the, the pieces in place, except for those clients walking through the door. So that is my primary focus right now is getting myself out into the world and finding clients and telling them what I do and educating them on how I can serve them. And I think there's a lot of nuance, and strategy in that and different tactics that I'm going to explore and, and bring to this format and talk about what worked and what didn't work. And, and I think that'll be a recurring topic as to how Massage Hodgepodge is doing.


I would also like to speak about health and wellness from the broad to the granular. So health and wellness as, as a category as it were and, and how it sits in our culture, and issues that arise from that. And then really granular. We could take a particular practitioner and really get into what they do, why they do it, why they love what they do, what it sets up, sets them apart, what they, how they see it different from quote unquote regular massage or body work. And just there's so much richness to explore in that, in that realm. So the, the nuances of a specific modality really interests me. There's so many modalities out there just in the world of massage that I haven't even heard of honestly. I particularly practice something that's, I mean pretty normal quote unquote normal I guess.


My practice is deep tissue. It's relaxation. I'm aiming to sort of serve what I would call the office worker, desk jockeys, people that are, hunched over at a computer all day and, you know, having neck and shoulder problems. And I think I can really help people with that. Not to say that the way that I was trained as the only way, obviously I think there's shiatsu which I had the pleasure of studying over the summer at the Oregon school of massage. And there's shiatsu, there's ashiatsu with your with the feet on the walking on the, on the client with, being suspended by bars. There's Thai massage and, Tui Na and other types of body work like acupuncture. And just so many different modalities to practice and ways to practice those modalities that I think could be really interesting to learn about.


And I should say that one of the goals of massage hodgepodge as, as my clinical practice is to specifically examine as many modalities as possible and to, if I'm not going to be inspired to go down the rabbit hole of becoming a, for example, Thai massage practitioner, then to at least learn some, some interesting skills that they have and see if I could pull one or two things to just make my sessions a little more rich. Maybe some table stretches when it comes to time massage or just any little some things that you can pull. Even, my class over the summer in shiatsu, I already pulled some just really lovely techniques and strategies that can serve the client better and serve me better as the practitioner honestly. So that's another thing we're going to talk about.


I should note that every episode will be clearly notated and labeled. So you will have the opportunity through whatever podcast player you like and to review the episode and see if it's for you. It always drives me a little crazy when there's no show notes in the description and you have to kind of listen to gather if you want to be invested in this episode. There's just, there's so much coming at us that I think it can really help to get a little synopsis and to just to decide if you want to go a little deeper. So that's something I really believe in bringing to the audience just as sort of a courtesy. So what are some recurring themes and topics that I will be tackling here on the Massage Hodgepodgcast, practice building, that's really big for me right now.


As I said, Massage Hodgepodge just opened at the end of 2019. I'm actively pursuing a client base. I'm trying to get myself out there through a lot of means. Social media...in person. I joined the local, Pearl District Business Association here in Portland, Oregon, which is right where my practice is. I'm going to get out there and try and do chair massage for businesses and, local places to give people sample of what I do and to be able to talk to them about what I do. I hope that I can engage with people on a very personal level and explain to them how I can help. I think that's an important strategy, which maybe isn't always the most popular strategy, but so practice building and that's just everything. Social media, the website, the language.


There's just, there's so much out there. I should, I should say there are some really great podcasts out there that have come before me and I listened to just all of them regularly. The massage business blueprint. I hope I said that right. That's a great one. There's a practitioner in town - Isabel Spradlin. She has a great podcast. Again, I'll link to these things. I think there's so many rich resources, and some really great podcasts in the space already. And I hope to add to that. Another topic - muscles, anatomy, kinesiology. Like I said, I've been away from massage therapy as a regular practice for a while and I feel like I have some knowledge gaps in my kinesiology, and muscle anatomy. So I want to own a, fill those in.


I think when you can remind yourself about origins and insertions and functions and actions and, and really get really clear about, about how muscles do what they do, it just serves the clients so much better. So I have some, some colleagues and friends that can speak to some of those things on a really high level and I'm excited to bring them here to speak about those things and to educate me. And by educating me, educating anyone who's listening or reviewing perhaps is, is better said. Another topic, theme - self care. This is going to come up again and again and I'm aware that the term of self care is really loaded and overused right now. It doesn't make it any less valuable. It is often sort of, we think of it as like the things that we do to take care of ourselves.


Obviously it's a sort of literal definition, but to me it's, it's a state of mind. It's how you approach just your life in general. Or at least that's what I'm trying to get to. If I'm being honest. My, my self care on a macro level is pretty terrible right now. And I have a lot of work to do in that regard and toward the end of this episode when we talk a little bit more about me, I think I can, I can speak to that a little bit more. I've already touched on this a little bit, but another recurring theme is going to be modality, deep dives. I just love the idea of talking to that ashiatsu practitioner or multiple ashiatsu practitioners to see why they got into it and what they love about it and how it serves their clients and how it serves them as a therapist.


And just modalities are just really fascinating. Ethics and boundaries, ethics and boundaries. There are so many interesting scenarios to explore when it comes to setting your boundaries as a practitioner and to tackling ethical dilemmas. I had the pleasure of taking a really great course at East West college in Portland, Oregon over the summer (East West is where I, I studied back in in 2010) with Sarah Davis. Oh, shoot. Now I can't remember. It's Sarah Davis or Sarah Davies. I think it's Sarah Davis. [I was right!] And it is just wonderful the way she speaks about ethics and boundaries and the issues that she brings. I actually really hope to, to reach out to her and bring her on the show. That'd be really awesome. So ethics and boundaries just, that's gonna come up again and again. Another another important, a theme topic for me is the therapeutic relationship.


So in our culture, I think we often end up, not often, I don't know, there's this tendency to sort of price shop and, and people can bounce around even if it's not price shopping. People don't always invest in a therapeutic relationship when it comes to bodywork in the way that maybe they would invest in a mental hair, mental health care practitioner. So what do I mean? I mean, I think there's tremendous value to be found in finding a therapist that is good for you and sticking with them. It's a tragedy. I think it happens sometimes where someone maybe gets that first massage of their lives and it's just kind of okay and they don't know if that's just how it always is with every practitioner and they are, they're not inspired to try again. And I just, I believe that there's a really great practitioner for every person out there.


I mean probably more than one practitioner for every person out there, but in your own community, there's someone out there who can, who can really connect with, with your patterns and, and things that you're going through. And obviously I'm speaking to probably to a lot of body workers and healthcare practitioners already. So you understand. So I think the therapeutic relationship is interesting and I would love to get the, the, the take of other practitioners to see how they've served clients over time. The last one I wanted mention is longevity and burnout. This comes up all the time when you're speaking to a bodyworkers, massage therapists of all kinds. The last statistic I heard was three years is the average massage therapist lifespan in the field. There's a lot of energetic and emotional and physical burnout.


And I want to find practitioners who've been at this for 5, 10, 15, 20 years and to really find out what it is they do for themselves physically, emotionally, how the ground themselves, how they've made it sustainable over time so that I can make it sustainable for myself. And if you're listening, maybe you can take some of those tactics as well and apply them to your own practice. So that's the things we'll talk about. What's the format? A lot of it, well, not a lot of it. I'd say a good amount of it will be this me talking, kind of working through some things and bringing updates about massage Hodge podge in terms of practice building and things I'm going through. Interviews will be a very big part of it. Again, people from various modalities, people to speak about ethics and boundaries and just, there's so many different topics to dive into and to just gauge where people are interested to see what they want to bring out and speak.


Speak on. So interviews with fellow massage therapists, physical therapists, trainers, yoga instructors, chiropractors, physicians, nutritionists, just there's a lot to be learned. Since I'm in Portland, Oregon, I'm going to be tapping that local community to start. But I think over time I can can branch out and, and speak to people anywhere in the world, hopefully. Question and answer Q & A. I think the hope is that a community will start to listen and maybe submit questions and I can bring those whatever answers I may have. I don't know how much, I mean depending on the topic, I may be able to speak to some things, but to, to bring some of those questions to people who've been practicing longer than me to, to answer anything that comes up for people. I also hope to, to bring in some round table discussions so that would look like coming up with a single, let's say an ethical dilemma and I can bring on two or three therapists and pose this dilemma and see what their thinking is around it and how they would handle a specific situation that might come up.


I think that could be really valuable and just interesting to play out some, some different ideas. I remember in that class I took over this summer the instructor, she posed some just ethical dilemmas to the, to the class and there was not a universal agreement on the way to approach any one problem. In fact, there's quite a lot of variety in the approach and the opinions about what was okay and what wasn't okay and different situations. So I think that's really neat to be able to explore. So that's a lot. So why should you listen? I think if any of these concepts resonate with you, you could consider subscribing and, and following along and see what you think and send any questions and, and let me know if you think it could grow and change. And obviously I need to get better at speaking of this microphone and, and get rid of these ums and pauses.


And I hope to get better at that over time as well. So, apologies for any of the there is again, any of my, any of my stumbling along the way. I am committed to being, to open about this process of practice building and some things that I'm going through and, and to sharing that with you. So I hope that that brings a certain amount of value. I'm really just kind of caught up with this idea of authenticity and, and what it means to really just be present in the world and to share things in a real way. And it's, it's a little scary to do that. And I, I've had some, some people come into my life that have set a really great example and I'm trying to emulate some of that and we'll get to a little bit of that just a minute here.


I aim to use my curiosity as a guide to fill in my knowledge gaps. And I think there's just so much to know and there's, there's no end, especially in massage therapy to, to just getting deeper in and learning a little bit more about just muscles and fascia and energetic work and, and how it all comes together and how the Eastern philosophy meets the Western philosophy. And there's just a lot of richness there that, that I really want to get into and to speak to some people about. Okay. That's the Hodge hodgepodge...this naming thing is maybe a little challenging. I call my practice Massage Hodgepodge. It kind of suits me in a way. It's a little quirky and it's a little challenging to say. I will say that when I tell people the name of my practice, they tend to smile, which makes me happy.


But when I'm trying to speak perhaps a little too quickly, I tend to trip up and now I've really doubled down by calling this the Massage Hodgepodgcast. So I will have to maybe do some articulation exercises before, but as promised, this initial episode is a little bit about my background. So my name is Nick Peterka. I am the youngest of seven kids. I grew up in Brunswick, Ohio. That's in Northeast Ohio, about 30ish minutes south of Cleveland, Ohio. I grew up on a rural two acres in a really sort of wonderful supportive environment. I was the youngest, so I was spoiled on a certain level, which maybe as I get older I see how maybe that doesn't serve me that great, but that's something I'm sort of only awakening to now. I guess. I moved to Portland in 2004 after I got married. I met a lovely young girl in college when I was 19 and we, we rode that relationship escalator right to the top and maybe that wasn't the best choice. So we moved to Portland together with our two pugs and we sort of just decided over time that we were roommates and not romantic I guess. That's fair and we sort of separated and got a divorce and did that and


the grew apart and, and it was okay. It was friendly and, didn't make it easy necessarily, but that that happened. And then I kind of settled into life for a while. I had majored in Spanish in college and theater, so I'm not sure why I did that. I love the theater. I always like playwriting and I enjoyed acting when I was in school and I was always very musical and I still, I still like to play music and piano and guitar and sing and I took up the drums recently and all of that is really fun for me. You would think someone who studied Spanish and theater, I always joke that it should have led to a really wonderful career in telenovelas, but instead I completely lost it...I didn't completely, I largely lost the Spanish. I didn't keep up the practice and I didn't make time for the theater and I still dabble here and there with my writing, but it sort of fell away. And that's something I, I do hope to get back to in my life at some point. I will say that I, well, I'll get to that. Hold on. So I was waiting tables for a number of years here in Portland, Oregon and it served me fine. I did get a little stuck there though and I was


probably about six years into that when I thought something's got to change. And I was gearing up to sort of move my life in a different direction. I had really thought about going to live closer to my good friend, my best friend in New York city. And he still lives there now, although further North. But right before I was really ready to make that decision, I met another person, a lovely young woman here in Portland, while I was waiting tables and, we hit it off and I, that was a pretty quick turnaround. Actually. I think we met in 2009. We were married in 2010. Oh, wait, that's not right. We met in 2009 married in 2010.


I can't be right. Engaged in 2010 married in 2011. We had our first son in 2012. We had our second son in 2014 and she has a local business here in Portland. And I sort of over time took over some of the marketing community outreach, practices and that sort of became my role sort of in the family business. I was supporting her, her business with marketing and changing a lot of diapers and taking care of kids and warming up bottles and doing the dad thing, and loving it and having, just that really special time of life. Though I should, I don't want to oversell it. I don't miss the baby years. The boys are five and seven now and they are a real treat at this age. However, that marriage also didn't hold together, I guess you could say I'm not great at the marriage thing.


So that's that, that's, that's out there. And, and we, we had a very, a healthy approach. We were very focused on the kids. WeIl don't know that we did it in, there's an official way to do this, but, we called it conscious uncoupling in that sort of popular way. Now though, there's a whole movement in book around that which we can't confess to having followed. But I guess the spirit of the thing is that we did it in a friendly, positive way that that focuses less on who failed here or there or who said what or, you know, the, the disappointments that build up over time and more on what we learn from each other and how can it serve us in the future and most importantly of all, how can we be great co-parents to these two amazing little boys who depend on us. And that that is where our focus is. So, two times married in my life and when I was...shortly after meeting her... I wanted to, I still wanted to do something different and it just kind of came, came up. Massage and bodywork just kind of came up as an idea for me and I can't really speak to where, I can't pretend that I had some magical story about how it served me or even served someone I cared about. I just kind of found it interesting and I picked it. It's, it's weird. I, I used to feel really self conscious about this in school. You'd always hear people be like my grandfather was...he had cancer and they brought in a massage therapist and it just really helped his comfort and changed his life.


And I was so inspired and I just kind of, I just never participated in those conversations cause I felt self conscious about the fact that I didn't have an interesting massage therapy origin story. I just, I just liked it and I still just, I just like it and I picked it and I studied it at East West college here in Portland and I had great teachers and great classmates. And yeah, I just, I did that and it wasn't always easy. I definitely went through some periods where I wasn't so sure and I wasn't convinced that this was for me. But the more I got into it, the more I realized like, yeah, I was like, yeah, this, there's just a lot, there's a lot to dig into. And that connection with clients is just really wonderful and interesting, especially when you can find a client and you find the kind of that therapeutic relationship and people come back to you and you can see how what you're doing is helping them.


It's really, really wonderful. So that was, I was licensed in 2010 and then the kids were born and I sort of put that into inactive status and then was just raising those kids and doing the marketing in life was good and things were moving forward. And then the kids both got to school age, which is kind of this...just recently, I knew that I was going to want to get back into it. And then of course, conscious uncoupling and a whole different kind of life has evolved to where I am now. So. Well that's, that's a lot. Yeah, that's a lot. So that's, that's me. That's, that's where I am now. That's Massage Hodgepodge. That is just an intro as it were. That is the show for today. That is everything I have to say about what is coming. I hope to bring this to you in a week or so. It might take me a little while to get up to the pace that I want to do.


I do want this to come out weekly. I just haven't quite figured out the technical side of, of the pace of doing that. So that will be a little bit of a challenge. But I'm excited for it and I really hope if you've made it this far that you will subscribe and follow along. If you want to find me. I am at massagehodgepodge.com and I'm on Instagram largely on Instagram and Facebook a little bit. I think with Facebook it's going to skew a little bit more towards a local Portland community. Both @massagehodgepodge for those. And YouTube - That's kind of a separate thing With YouTube. I'm planning to bring full therapeutic sessions from myself and from other practitioners and that is something that I will discuss more, but I really think it can be really invaluable to share complete bodywork sessions.


I've already recorded one and I can just say I have some work to do or I'm going to hurt myself just getting back into this, I was like, what rewatching this video that I, that I shot and I was like, my body mechanics are all over the place. So it's if you're a body worker and you've never recorded yourself before and just, from doing it one time so far, I can tell you that it's a really cool way to just kind of give yourself some feedback. So, yeah, Instagram and YouTube and Facebook.Tik Tok. Honestly, having a lot of fun with Tik Tok. If you're not familiar, it's a can be a little bit of a rabbit hole. So be careful with the Tik Tok. It does skew young. I will say that. But people, 30 and up are starting to go there too. So that's the show for today. Thank you so much for listening and I will see you next time.



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