Absolute Values? Professionalism and manifestations of the individual

This is the first post of a four part series on professional development. The series will utilize the terms Massage Therapist, Masseur and Masseuse as a touchstone.


Massage Therapy is a growing field of professional endeavor. As the last fifteen years have demonstrated, the creation of civic, secular infrastructure to consolidate and incorporate the profession, as a professional body has been implemented. As the process of civic, social and economic integration and incorporation has progressed for the massage profession, questions about manifestations of individualism and professionalism arise and are discussed more openly than ever before.

One of the most commonly occurring examples of individual expression among both clients and less often among LMT’s is linguistic. It is often floated in the form of a question: Massage Therapist, Masseur or Masseuse? Underlying this question is the concept of Wholeness. If wholeness is a product that professional massage facilitates it is worthwhile to note that culture, where the right to our own and our client’s privacy finds it’s reason for being,  and civilization, which is presumed to facilitate and protect this freedom, and our professional means of making a living are distinct from one another; i.e., culture is a human endeavor and civilization is a non-living by product of the former. Part of professionalism for LMT’s necessitates that as a profession we acknowledge this from time to time. Not only for ourselves as a body of professionals, or privately with our friends and family but also for the benefit of the public good.

The term “Massage Therapist” is the linguistic term with AAA credit ranking in professional LMT circles for a reason. This is a term that denotes a respect and acknowledgement of both diversity and the right to privacy that the ‘young’ amongst us, regardless of age are afforded by their elders as a protection while they undergo professional embryonic development. This deployment of terminology by general consensus is not intended to be a weapon of fascism to stunt growth or stifle creativity or silence self expression.

Within academia, the “organic” model of cultural axiology has been challenged by political scientists, sociologists, historians and economists as essentialist since at least the 1970’s. In a bait and switch that even Freud and Sophocles might recognize, some decades prior to the emergence of the term essentialism, the term “post modern” was coined and since then has been used to describe and isolate everything from art, “anti-intellectualism,” religious movements new and old, violence and terrorism for many of the same reasons. This led to a decline in philosophical focus on aesthetics and since axiology’s emergence in the late 1800’s, it has been routinely relegated to the three ring circus of identity politics at one end and derided as having contributed to eugenics movements at the other.

Less frequently published  in the professional massage community and far more popular are commentaries that frame manifestations of individualism in professional or civic contexts as a dialectic of “free will” vs. “determinism” of various sorts. Unfortunately, the absence of sustained dialogue in the massage profession about philosophy and role of dialectic in general in education and professional development has only served to reinforce the critical views cited above. Criticism of the individual begins with the collective. But as individualism sees only a part of the being, collectivism understands or sees the being as a part. This is syncretism on one hand and solipsism on the other. The latter is a logic based criticism and the former is both an aesthetic insight and a religious objection.  What then of wholeness and holism? What is the ground of being beneath our profession? That many of these views have been noted by scholars post September 11th 2001 as not only reactionary and derivative of conspiracy thinking but also as regressive is a matter of public record.

Richard Hofstadter in his classic work, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (Hofstadter 1952) cites an example of anti-intellectualism when describing the “post-Sputnik furor over American education.” He draws an example from California that had been ‘experimenting’ with curriculum. The new curriculum was criticized for “academic pettiness and snobbery.” The rebuttal of the reformers went on to state: “other goals of education such as preparation for citizenship, occupational competence, successful family life, self-realization in ethical, moral aesthetic and spiritual dimensions and the enjoyment of physical health.” Those who criticized this novel approach paused to note that one of the most complimented features of American education of the past was: “the attempt to avoid a highly rigid system of education. To do so does not mean that academic competence is not regarded as highly important to any society but it does recognize that historically, education systems which stress absorption of accumulated knowledge for it’s own sake have tended to produce decadence. Those who would “fix” the curriculum and freeze educational purpose misunderstand the unique function of education – in American democracy.While it is often disquieting for many LMT’s when encountering the terms “Masseur or Masseuse”, it is worthwhile to note that these terms denote one of three things about the LMT when choosing a professional designation.

  • biological sex
  • gender identity

Or in the case of clients

  • gender preference

The English language does not play dice with gender beyond the limit of semiotics. English does not string along gender and definite articles denoting gender as do other languages. For this reason, English in some circles of thought (both domestic and foreign) is presumed rightly or wrongly, to force gender assignment onto the senses by facilitating direct observation and experience. So to speak, facts are facts are they not? Without delving into how language and semiotics are celebrated and criticized often for the same reasons as those cited above, manifestations of individualism in a professional context still retain and are often coupled with culture based ethical value assignments made by individuals. When the LMT choir sings or repeatedly chants the mantra “Massage Therapist” note the historical age in which we find ourselves. Note the models of culture criticized above and pause to note that a vocation is not a profession regardless of what Wikipedia says or whom they quote.

  • A vocation is a calling.
  • A profession is a structured venue intended to facilitate the process of making a living within the parameters of ethics and axiology.

Professional massage therapy is truly in its infancy. It is less than 150 years old. The question is, is the baby sleeping or awake?

Of Paradigm Shifts, Logical Fallacies and Process Philosophy


  • Step One “We admitted we were powerless over the New Age—that our Higher Selves had turned us into flakes.”
  • Step Two “Came to believe that a powerful bullshit detector could restore us to sanity.”
  • Step Three “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of our lower selves and a good psychiatrist.”
  • Step Four “Made a searching and fearless disposal of our crystals, tarot decks, incense, angel cards, rising signs, wands, spells, medicine wheels, pendulums and lottery tickets.”
  • Step Five “Admitted to God, our Guru and our seminar leader the exact nature of our delusion.”
  • Step Six “Were entirely ready to take back our mind, body and spirit.”
  • Step Seven “Humbly asked our Higher Power to fuck off.”
  • Step Eight “Made a list of all the New Age assholes we’d been nice to and vowed to treat them all like shit.”
  • Step Nine “Insulted the New Age wherever possible, especially when to do so made us look bad.”
  • Step Ten “Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly relished in it.”
  • Step Eleven “Sought through television and newspapers to improve our conscious contact with humanity, concentrating only on our ability to understand what the hell was really happening in the world.”
  • Step Twelve “Having avoided a paradigm shift as the result of these steps, we vowed to carry the NAA message to New Agers everywhere and to practice being ordinary in all our affairs.”

What is a Paradigm Shift?

What is a Logical Fallacy?

What is Process Philosophy?

20 Steps I will take after you leave: From Thought Catalog

1. If I could put all of the hurt you have caused me into you, you would cry. If you knew how it felt when you don’t answer, you would answer, every time. Even just friends need each other sometimes, you know. This is the first step.

And she wrote, today I miss you. Today, I am not as strong as I was yesterday. Today I remember too much. Tomorrow, I will move on again. Tomorrow won’t have you and that will be just fine. Tomorrow will not be wrong for lacking you. But for today, now, for this moment, I miss you, and if I thought you missed me too, I would tell you. I would tell you until I didn’t have to miss you anymore. I would tell you until you finally heard me. That is how I feel today. Tomorrow, tomorrow I will be strong again. I’m sorry it can’t be everyday.

3. I can’t decide if you leaving was brave or cowardly. Maybe, maybe it was both. Neither of us will ever know if the other is really sorry.

4. Sometimes I wonder if love lies asleep inside of us. Does love for someone really ever leave us? It wakes up sometimes and we go, oh. There it is. Is it ever going to leave? Maybe not. Serendipity means a happy accident.

5. As we were loading the car you called me babe. It was a moment that you acknowledged and I chose to move right through, a spark of beauty through the everything else that I slid right past. It was not my spark to dwell on. It was not my beauty to hold. It used to be. It would never be. Sparks are only dangerous if you fuel them.

6. “We’ve got to get together sometime,” they say. Nobody really means it though. We’ve got to stop doing that, saying things we don’t mean.

7. I know you remember when you grab my hand, absent mindedly, in public. Someone had said let’s go, and you grabbed my hand, like a question, your fingers remembering and then really remembering, pulling away. Hearts are meant to break sometimes, and so hearts are going to break. You broke my heart but you are not broken. You still know how to love and you still know how to care. So you will be my friend, my dear, even though you broke our hearts.

8. I’m scared to let you go. I want you, but not like this.

9. His friend said, girl, he is poison. And my heart sobbed, because someone finally understood.

10. Forever hit a speed bump. Forever had a busy schedule and wandering eyes. Forever became too close to another girl. All of my favorite songs are telling you not to go.

11. Someone loves the bad guy, you know.

12. Her hand is in your hair, and my hand is in my heart, pulling off the pieces that you’ve touched. I’ve touched your hair like that. Like she does. Like you did, to my heart. She and I have nothing, you say, but if we ever do….I’ll tell you. And I wonder, if maybe you just did.

13. I ask, do you love me, and love says, oh god. I can’t remember. If it doesn’t break your heart, then was it even worth it?

14. I am ready to love you now, he said to her in her dreams.

15. Why is distance so hard for everyone else, but I can always remember what I love about someone?

16. When I’m trying to say something and the words are everywhere, I realize that’s where my heart is too. I don’t know a lot of words for this – I thought it was called love. Sometimes you have to feel something else to realize what you felt before was what you actually wanted.

17. If one hurts we all hurt. If one loves we all love. I haven’t cried enough to be done yet.

18. Someday we’ll all have beautiful children, heartbroken children, children who don’t know what they’re doing. We were once those children, too. When it comes to matters of the heart, I think we still are.

19. It was the loudest silence she had ever heard, and it lacked the peace a good silence should hold. After that moment, silence would never feel peaceful again.

20. I wish I could write my feelings into you. Someday I won’t write about you anymore. [tc-mark]

Siren Afire Reblog



by Amoret BriarRose

You’re busy telling me about calcium phosphorus and calcium carbonate,
how one will fill in spongy bones, making them brittle,
canceling out the little spaces that give and bend.
I watch your hands, how they flick over your coffee cup.
Tomorrow, we will fight, and I will thank the gods,
the brittle cement of perfection
again avoided.

*This author does not provide a Reblog option for subscribers. If this copy and paste reblog offends, please message me and I will remove it.

Open Letter to doTerra and Young Living Corporate Offices: FDA warning letter is a challenge and an opportunity



Last year, the FDA issued a warning letter to both Do Terra and Young Living Essential Oils CEO’s about the activities of their distributor networks.

The letter to Young Living states in part:You market your Young Living Essential Oil products through paid consultants; your compensation plan for your consultants is explained on your website http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/opportunity/compensation-plan. Your consultants promote many of your Young Living Essential Oil Products for conditions such as, but not limited to, viral infections (including ebola), Parkinson’s disease, autism, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, insomnia, heart disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dementia, and multiple sclerosis, that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners. Consumers interested in your Young Living Essential Oil products are then redirected by your consultants to your website, http://www.youngliving.com, to purchase your products and/or register as members (i.e., consultants)”.[1]

The letter to DoTerra states in part: “Your products are marketed through the website http://www.anytimeessentials.com/ and through paid “consultants,” http://www.anytimeessentials.com/work-home/, otherwise referred to as “wellness advocates,” http://www.mydoterra.com/. Your consultants promote your above mentioned dōTERRA Essential Oil products for conditions including, but not limited to, viral infections (including ebola), bacterial infections, cancer, brain injury, autism, endometriosis, Grave’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, tumor reduction, ADD/ADHD,  and other conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners. Moreover, your consultants redirect consumers to your website, http://www.doterra.com, to register as a customer or member (i.e., consultant), and to purchase your dōTERRA Essential Oil products.”

Here’s a PART of the rub if it’s not already obvious: “Your products are prescription drugs as defined in section 503(b)(1)(A) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 353(b)(1)(A)]) for some of the claims made for them because, in light of their toxicity or other potentiality for harmful effect, the method of their use, or the collateral measures necessary to their use, they are not safe for use except under the supervision of a practitioner licensed by law to administer them.”

When I come across responses or rebuttals to the information above I often find the same tropes repeated and an absence of detail and appropriate framing of the issues involved. Here are my suggestions for both DoTerra and Young Living corporate organizations on how to go about revamping their training and policy procedures to avoid such issues.

  • Show some respect for philosophy and history by acknowledging the value of diversity rather than avoiding the burden of education. i.e., Invest in your organizational longevity and your distributors long term patronage thru enhanced education offerings.
  • Create partnerships with Aromatherapy, Business and CAM educators that would offer perks for distributors who advance their education level with college degrees or appropriate certifications.
  • Redefine your branding strategy to clearly distinguish who your customers are and why.
  •  Be mindful of nepotism.

The “Forget You” Haiku

Where is the dark seed that grows

the “Forget You” plant?

Searching, now I see

It grows in the frozen heart

of one who has murdered love.

~ the monk Sosei

Stop Snitching On Deleted Posts: Thought for the Day



The old addage “A closed mouth admits no flies” is commonly considered sage wisdom and 9 times out of 10 I would put money on that statement. However, “A closed mouth admits no guilt” also acknowledges this, AND the fact that “We are as sick as the secrets we keep.”

The meme above is from the “minority” Ghetto of the inner city. It is associated with pictures that look like this:

HPIM3113_large eDZzMWd4MTI=_o_the-game---snitch-unit-stop-snitchin-stop-lyin-album 66758010_f8e81803

It’s only when ‘drama’ invades suburbia that the meme is provided with a “make over” in one community or “gentrified” in another:



And ‘engendered’ for ‘polite society':



When gender comes up we take the picture above forgranted. We forget that there are source and research issues about where this ‘common wisdom’ originated.


Discretion will always be the better part of valour.




Conspiracy, Hacking and The Gothic


What is a conspiracy?

There is more than one form of conspiracy according to epistemology, which is the branch of philosophy that deals with how we know what we know.

  • Conspiracy (civil), an agreement between persons to deceive, mislead, or defraud others of their legal rights, or to gain an unfair advantage
  • Conspiracy (criminal), an agreement between persons to break the law in the future, in some cases having committed an act to further that agreement
  • Conspiracy (political), an agreement between persons with the goal of gaining political power or meeting a political objective
  • conspiracy theory is an explanatory proposition that accuses two or more persons, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through secret planning and deliberate action, an illegal or harmful event or situation.
  • ** Do note that academics will call the definitions above invalid due to the collaborative nature of the source, i.e., Wikipedia!

“For the U.S. historian Richard Hofstadter, what distinguished the true “paranoid” conspiracy theory was its scale, not that “its exponents see conspiracies or plots here and there in history, but that they regard a ‘vast’ or ‘gigantic’ conspiracy as the motive force in historical events.”

Hofstadter’s definition of conspiracy would include the idea— given play in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code— that the Church has for two millennia systematically suppressed the truth about the bloodline of Jesus (a truly vast deception), but not the smaller-scale accusation that British (or French) intelligence agencies had Diana, Princess of Wales, brutally done away with in Paris in 1997. It is important not to overlook the smaller theories, since, if believed, it seems to me, they eventually add up to an idea of the world in which the authorities, including those whom we elect, are systematically corrupt and untruthful.”

For the man I will love

Can you love me at my worst the way you do at my best?

Will your arms wrap around me when tears fall from my eyes?

Will the secrets of my heart be safe in yours?

Will you speak good of me when I am elsewhere?

Can I trust the intentions of your being with all of mine?

Will the darkness lingering in my heart frighten you away,

or will you stand in the storm and take my hand

whispering, you are safe?

Will you bring fresh ideas and adventures for us to explore,

and ask me to do the same?

In the circle of your embrace,

will I find home?

Is your patience that of a saint,

for when my inner storm expands beyond the confines of this shell?

Can you forgive deeply and completely,

and ask me to the same?

Can you love a complicated being so intensely

that you see jewels among these shards?

Can you allow me the space to face my shadow,

without judgment,

without malice,

and allow, when I am ready, my refreshed return?

Does the darkness scare you,

or can you be the light that shines through?

Will you remember that,

though we journey together,

our passage to the next plane must be a solo endeavor,

and because of this,

we must travel our own path too?

Can you love me through the difficulty,

helping me to trust the human soul once again,

encouraging my independence,

delighting in my joy,

sitting in awe of that which lights me up,

and not be threatened?

I will, for you.

Can you for me?

~ Tracy Soulders

Paramedical Tatooing: Permanent Make up and Dermatology

Paramedical Tatoos demonstrate the value of medical esthetics in a unique way. Medical esthetics is distinct from cosmetology and requires extensive training beyond an associates degree or simple certification accepted by many spa employers.

While permanent make up is nothing new and somewhat common, not all educators in this area are created equal.

Key organizations for this level of esthetics education are listed in a previous post on a career in medical esthetics from a few years ago.

Dermatologist's Garden

Dermatologist's Garden

Magick From Scratch

Breaking down mystical practice and crafting new ritual tech from primary source texts.

Siren Afire

The Temptation of Transformation - The Audacity of Surrender

The Road, the Walker, and What Comes Next

Exploring Devotional Practice in Polytheism - Actual real-life blog of pagan author Silence Maestas


Uniquely Special. True Thoughts True Feelings.

Maddison Streff

Life In The Fast Lane

Big Red Carpet Nursing

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