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Meet Denise Maceluch of Ritual Massage Therapy in Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Denise Maceluch.

Denise, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have always been drawn to honing a business, inventing products and creating art. In first grade, my mom would buy packs of gum in bulk. I would sneak a bunch of packs and sell them to my classmates at school. In fourth grade I was squeezing toothpaste into an empty soap pump dispenser, years before this became available on the market. If Shark Tank was around at that time, I’d have been one of those kids you see pitching their inventions.

In junior high, I got a Bob Ross painting kit to learn how to paint and took my first pottery class. High school art classes included introduction to drawing and metal smithing.

A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree led to my most beloved medium, photography. I spent years working alongside professional photographers as a freelance photo assistant and incidentally film production assistant around NY and CT. I came to discover investing in a career of commercial or portrait photography was not going to fulfill my personal creative passion. I returned to school and earned an Associate’s Degree in Computer Graphics.

The next six years were spilt among working as a print media production assistant, motion picture film restoration artist and as a Photoshop assistant at “one of the largest and most creative agencies in world.” As each of these jobs afforded me some leniency into self-expression, the idea of committing to any one of them as a career left me feeling boxed in.

Massage Therapy had always been an interest lurking in the back of my mind. I thought, one day I’d like to learn more about this, but never considered it as a means to making a living. Yearning to create something inspirational, transformational and impactful while making a positive contribution to society led to enrolling at the Institute of Psycho-Structural Balancing (IPSB) in Culver City, CA. Consequentially a career emerged supplying me the artistic outlet to mold and manipulate muscles on ever-changing bodies. It has also afforded me the freedom to utilize my skills and creative expression in designing the marketing and advertising I use to promote a cause I genuinely believe in.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Typically it is a challenge for nearly all (LA based) independent minded massage therapists to build and maintain a financially sustainable private practice without supplementing income at a clinic, chiropractic office or spa. While this might sound substantial, over the past decade or so, a disparaging low rate has become the standard across the board at these establishments. Even high end spas have lowered their payroll to closely match the standard — cutting previous salaries by more than half. A competitive salary is a bargain basement livelihood.

Exceptional massage therapists are compelled to work alongside the mediocre and receive no recognition, just compensation or advancements for their perceptive skills and professional disposition. Spas, offices and clinics provide the practitioner and the public no discernible distinction between quality and unimpressive. Thus, a practitioner’s path to personal and financial growth is thwarted. Additionally, these establishments which are the primary locale to furnish a budding bodyworker a day job, ultimately provide no prospects toward the goal of a thriving professional career. Invested time and care between client and therapist is often bound by contract to remain solely under the management of the office/spa.

The current system, or lack thereof, for massage therapists to develop a considerable prosperous private practice, does little to support and celebrate those who can make an effective impact on society. Holistic practitioners are left with few options and many obstacles when attempting to build a hands-on client base of their own.

As a massage therapist, I spent many years struggling with being pigeonholed within this system. Working on the exclusive clientele of numerous mobile massage companies ensured confidence in my skills, but company contracts prohibited accepting client requests to see me privately. High praises and illustrious accolades from discerning clients don’t pay the bills.

Numerous attempts to go it alone included grassroots marketing, cold calls, brochures, business cards, post cards, referrals, a free website and self-promotion posts on every directory and massage therapy related site. None of these provided the stimulus needed to attract the clients who were seeking my services.

After years of failed marketing attempts and the accompanying frustration, it was not until I reluctantly followed the adage “you have to spend money to make money” that my business began to bloom. Obstacles continued and still arise on a near-daily basis. Trial and error learning new software and combating their accompanying endless glitches consumes precious time. But no obstacle has compared to the challenge of initially getting my business off the ground. A proper website supplemented by the appropriate software and marketing applications have all contributed to where I am today.

Yet, there is a sizable hurdle that still remains; the struggle to inspire the community to recognize the importance of regular massage sessions and convert that into action. For example, clients we meet at offices and events will declare their intentions to book their first in-home massage appointment, just as those who have booked once will claim to book again. But all too often life’s unexpected surprises interrupt their plan for restorative health resulting in massage treatments, and ultimately their well-being to fall by the wayside. Committing to the investment of massage therapy as a ritual in our lives will seamlessly integrate this health benefit as effortlessly as all the other habits that routinely make up our day-to-day. The struggle to invent new ways to heighten awareness has definitely been an ongoing challenge.

Ritual Massage Therapy – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Ritual Massage Therapy (RMT) is a mobile massage company providing in-home and on location therapeutic massage sessions for individuals, companies, events and productions within the Los Angeles area. Massage therapists travel to your preferred location fully equipped with massage table or chair and accompanying supplies to provide a healing retreat from the stress, pain and anxiety that permeate our daily lives.

RMT specializes in connecting knowledgeable, talented massage therapists with clients seeking relief from chronic conditions, athletic training and overactive lifestyles. We are known for being masters of our craft. We excel at providing exceptional service and pride ourselves on our approachable and responsive attention to each client’s needs. We recognize the importance of building individual client relationships with honesty, reliability, and respect for the purpose of guiding each individual toward their intended results.

I am most proud of my team of massage therapists who graciously dedicate their time and energy to the progress and improvement in the physical, mental and emotional quality of life, one individual at a time.

There are a number of aspects that set Ritual Massage Therapy apart from others. First, and these are in no particular order, Ritual Massage Therapy has set out to establish a solid and dependable group of highly motivated and skilled massage therapists that the public can rely on when seeking quality care. The objective is to connect clients seeking effective ongoing treatment with the talented massage therapists who yearn to apply their craft and innate abilities attuning to the needs of the individual before them. For those searching for the right massage therapist, they may find it is just as daunting as securing the right surgeon or car mechanic. RMT can assist in eliminating the confounding conditions that surround this search, when one seeks to embark on a journey of healing. Unlike many other mobile massage companies, each potential hire is met for an in person interview and a one-hour massage treatment. They are evaluated on their presence, touch, massage technique and time management skills. As each massage therapist has a distinct personal style and approach, observations are noted in order to best match the appropriate practitioner to the needs of the booking client.

Second, Ritual Massage Therapy has built a system for massage therapists to expand their private practice. When a client connects with a particular therapist and requests them for routine scheduled sessions the provider can decide whether they would like to accept the client into their private practice on a regular basis. This option becomes available after a designated period of time has been established investing in a working relationship with that client. For the massage therapist, every client becomes an opportunity to build their private practice.

Third, RMT is intent on emphasizing the importance of regular scheduled massage treatments. Imperative for those with chronic issues and a fundamental preventive measure for healthy individuals, routine massage treatments undoubtedly enhance the quality of life. For those with persistent problems massage treatments are comparable to an exercise routine, you will not see results if you work out (or receive massage treatments) only four or five times a year. For those who do not (think they) have issues hindering a balanced active lifestyle, regular massage sessions are fundamental for maintenance, similar to the regular oil change and checkup that protect the condition of your car. Implementing massage therapy as a weekly or monthly ritual will sustain and nurture your well-being for years to come.

Fourth, we aspire to transform the commonly misguided preconception that massage is a luxury and not a necessity. While this concept is slowly making its way into mainstream thought, as found on the internet in places such the Dr. OZ website, we are actively executing an affordable workplace wellness program to ensure massage therapy becomes a conventional standard for stress management and optimal wellness within every company and corporation throughout Los Angeles. Massage in the workplace is instrumental in bolstering employee health, a benefit that spills over into our everyday lives.

So, the next time someone asks “how are you feeling today” consider your answer. It may regard your physical, mental, spiritual or emotional status, all aspects of the human condition that are addressed within a massage therapy session. As a health benefit disguised as a luxury, the healing benefits of massage therapy can improve your condition and lift your spirits.

For more on the benefits and statistics surrounding workplace massage therapy and the fortune 500 companies, government agencies and organizations that have been utilizing massage in the workplace for decades, a simple google search will provide a vast supply of information.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
A business needs to be continuously nurtured and attended to. Success comes in stages and as each goal is reached, that plateau becomes the launching pad to undertake the next project. In being persistent, I have so far been able to achieve all the little feats that have allowed my business to prosper.

The ultimate success of Ritual Massage Therapy’s staying power will be when the total of all the goals I have set out to secure have materialized by way of the community’s vested interest in the company’s principles. When the fervor in adapting the fundamental desire to invest in a full and rich life leads to connecting with the services provided from Ritual Massage Therapy, the resulting accomplishment will be a benefit we can all revel in.


  • One Hour Massage: $100
  • 90 Minute Massage: $150
  • Chair Massage: $100 per hour per Massage Therapist

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© Denise Maceluch Ritual Massage Therapy

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