I am excited to introduce Alaria Godwin with Body Insight Wellbeing Catalyst to you this morning!
Where are you originally from and how long have you lived in the area?
My family moved a few times when I was a kid, and I carried on the tradition. Before moving here in 2018, I was in Lovingston, Virginia…population 780, one traffic signal in the entire county. Tim’s been here since 2004 and we did the long distance relationship thing for a few years, then I blinked first. (I’d fallen in love with Wimberley, too. I’m way past the point of uprooting my life for a man.)
Thank you for the opportunity! Body Insight Wellbeing Catalyst is primarily a massage therapy, manual lymphatic drainage, and cupping practice. I also offer energy and essential oils and services, Cosmic Compass, and massage tutoring both for professionals and laypeople. Recently, I’m feeling the pull to get back into collaborative soul empowerment retreats. I spent a lot of years as a Soul Recognition Facilitator, and I miss working with a team and playing in the empowerment fields. Between the rigorous SR, plus more trainings than I can remember since the early 90s inform a lot of my Somatic Translation work, where I help people build their Muscle/English dictionary. I joke that I’m fluent in only 2 languages – English and Muscle, plus only enough Spanish to make myself sound foolish.
I see clients by appointment only at the corner of 12 and 3237 in a suite shared with other bodyworkers, though we’re all independent businesses. I’m generally available Monday through Friday, 9am-6pm, with occasional pop up Saturdays if my partner is also working. I have online booking available (along with other information) at my website: BodyInsightLLC.com and I do take calls and texts at (512) 718-9815 when I’m not in sessions or on family time.
What brought you to open your business? What did you do previously?
I worked in the utility industry, with a specialized job that wasn’t duplicated anywhere else that we knew of, investing metered theft. I used to joke that I worked with liars, cheats, and thieves, and the customers were even worse. When that industry deregulated and my unit of 5 people went down to just me, I saw the writing on the wall. Since I was going to be job hunting anyway, I decided to find something I really wanted to do. I used the mid-1990s version of the book Do What You Are and at that time massage therapy was one of my recommended tracks. I did a lot of research into my top picks, took a 6-week introductory to massage therapy course, and knew I’d found what I’m here on earth to do. I get to be analytical and anatomically focused, plus draw on my intuition and long-time urge to help. Back in the late ‘90s we didn’t have the massage bar chains, and most LMTs were independent business owners, even if they contracted in at a spa, health club, or chiropractic office.
When did the idea of creating your business start? How long have you been in business? What was your inspiration to start?
I’m so lucky by coworkers kept disappearing and the company was talking about more “down sizing!” If I wasn’t looking at my job being phased out, I might have stayed in a soul-sucking job I just kind of fell into, but I had the opportunity to choose my next steps. How blessed is that? I started planning my career change in mid-1997, started school in early 1998, and launched my first independent massage practice shortly after graduation in July 1999. While I worked part time at an integrative wellness clinic, for a corporate seated massage company, and a day spa, I also ran my private practice until 2004, when I moved to Lovingston and worked exclusively for myself until I sold that business in 2018 to move here. I’ll be honest, when I decided to sell my practice and relocate to be closer to Tim, I wanted to just show up at someone else’s shop, work my magic, and go back home. After a bit of a meander into part time, then full time and managing a local spa here in town, I decided to go back to independent practice. I opened Body Insight in July, 2022, where for whatever reason I have more opportunities to work with people with more complex conditions, and under my own terms.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?
Setting my schedule and parameters, definitely! No one does what I do (just like no one does what you do, and so on) and while I’m definitely a rule follower, the rules need to make sense to me. One of the massage gigs I had back east wanted us to pitch packages, which I think is rude when someone is blissed out after a 90-minute massage. Not having to follow someone else’s “because that’s policy” rules is a big part of self-employment for a lot of us, I think.
Also, I love being able to see the results of my work with the clients who choose to return to my office. My background in massage is more medical, though I absolutely believe in the health benefits of relaxation. While I deeply appreciate those clients I saw at the spa, particularly those who followed me here, saw so many tourists who were only passing through that there wasn’t that same ability to cultivate a therapeutic relationship. It’s one thing for a client to walk out of the treatment room and say “that was amazing!” It’s quite another for them to return weeks or months later and say “that was amazing, please do it again!”
What makes you unique?
Other than “we’re all unique?” It sounds hokey, but my work is my calling – this is why God put me on this earth.
My early training and most of the continuing education I’ve taken prepared me to radically adapt my sessions as needed. I also offer Manual Lymphatic Drainage and am a Society for Oncology Massage Preferred Provider. Those are unique here in Wimberley. Hopefully no one in your audience needs those modifications, but if they do, I can work with them safely.
Can you tell a few things you offer?
In addition to the MLD and oncology massage, cupping therapy, and massage, I offer Young Living essential oil treatments and custom blends. I’ve worked on kids as young as 2 and will work with minors with a parent’s authorization (and presence, depending on age.) Kids get muscle aches too, especially young athletes.
In the less well known than massage arena, I was doing intuitive hands-on healing long before I ever thought of making a career of touch therapies, and I offer a whole range of modalities under the umbrella of “Somatic Translation.” I also teach couples to massage each other at home. Learning how to help your partner’s (or your kids’) aches and pains without wearing yourself out is easier than most people think, and we work with what you have – no special equipment needed!
What is your favorite part about what you do?
I get to help people feel better and boost their own healing. I love sharing information that’s useful.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
I’m partnering with other Wimberley small businesses to offer workshops like Creative Self Care: Eco-print and Massage, and my Massage Your Sweetheart workshops for couples who don’t want the full in-home tutoring.
I’m considering Complete Decongestive Therapy training since there’s no one closer than New Braunfels that’s available for people with lymphedema. Some of that’s outside of scope of practice in Texas, but not in other states, and laws can change.
And of course time off at home with my sweetie, doing what we love – home projects and getting out on the motorcycles.
What advice would you give to others that want to start something new?
Figure out what you love and wouldn’t burn out on, do some research to prepare yourself for success, and then go for it! That research step is one that a lot of people skip, but it’s easier to jump in and make it happen if you know what you’re really in for.
Any advice for juggling all the things in daily life?
In the short term, breathe! Most of the time, you can handle juggling 7 or 8 differently shaped objects, but when life feels overwhelming, you still have the power to take one second. One deep breath can go a long way to settling your nervous system and your mind. In the long term, for most of us women, fix your “broken no’s.” If you can’t say “no,” when you’ve already got a lot going on, self-care can’t happen. If you can’t care for yourself, it’s a lot harder to care for your kids.
101 FM 3237 #4
Monday through Friday
I have online booking available (along with other information) at my website: BodyInsightLLC.com
Call/Text (512) 718-9815