Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Gina Pasamba.
Maria, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Honestly, I didn’t think I would even get into Massage Therapy. I started as a Music Major attending a community college. My plan was getting my AA in Music then transfer to CSUN. And then that was when the budget cuts hit. First classes to get hit were music and art, like usual. I believe that was my saving grace. Music and singing is another way I express myself. After learning theory for music well let’s just say it became a little too technical. At this point I had to think if they only offered the classes I needed every two semesters what am I going to do. I had starting thinking and for some reason I decided to look at my high school yearbook. I started reading the little message that people wrote and I saw a continuous trend. All I saw were a lot of message about my singing and the times I massaged their shoulders during class. After reading what everyone wrote I decided to actually look around for massage schools around me. I found one pretty close to me and decided to set up an appointment with a counselor. There are better schools out there but I also had to consider the distances from my school to my little sister’s school. My parents got divorced and I had to make sure I wasn’t too far from their schools so I can still pick my sisters up after school. I ended up going to the first school I researched about.
I attended school full time. I only had one month of school to go then I was hospitalized for almost two weeks. Eventually getting my gallbladder removed. That held back almost two months. Since I had open wounds the school said it will be a liability so I had to sit it out until my wounds were healed. Eventually came back to school and finished up my time and got my Diploma in 2012.
First job I landed was at a spa in Studio City. Let’s just say I quit that job after my first day and I ended up going to my school and complaining about how it was unprofessional of them to send me to such a place. After that incident I landed a job with a Chiropractor. This Chiropractor I ended up working with mainly but I also had side jobs. I worked with Acupuncturist, Sports Doctors and even tried my hand in working for spas again. Spa scene is just not for me. I loved the experience and all the people I met working with doctors but there was something that always bugged me… I know what I am capable of and I felt my skills were never put into use.
My grandfather (may he rest in peace) gave me my first massage table. I started taking house calls, do massage parties but that put a strain on my back because I had to carry my table. Since most of the people I would see was family I decided to have a little set up in my house. I started from having no privacy, just my table set up in the living room. I graduated from the living room to the basement. I eventually converted my basement. Only had a bed sheet to divided the waiting area and treatment room at first. Eventually getting an office cubicle my brother’s best friend was getting rid of. Took it and set it up as my dividers. It was a not the prettiest but I was so proud of it. Relatives found out I had a set up and would start booking appointments. From themselves to their in laws. They came in as units.
Eventually sessions became family a family affair. Most of my sessions were practice sessions for me so they were free. Some of would just give me a tip here and there. Eventually my goal was to become a massage instructor but in order to do that the therapist needs at least 2 to 5 years of experience. So I practiced when I can. I took appointments at home simultaneously worked at doctor’s offices.
Eventually the doctor and I did not see eye to eye on how to treat patients and I left. I would never forget the day May 18, 2015. Upset, confused but extremely grateful because I learned a lot about how to be my own boss and gained experience because of him. I left with not even knowing what my plan was. One thing I knew though I BELIEVED IN MYSELF. AT THE END THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS… All I knew was I had a studio I can eventually rent if needed. I told my patients I would no longer be their therapist and that eventually the doctor will be getting another therapist for them. What happened after was a surprise to me. Most of those people decided to follow me. Most of said them would say the same thing, “I will never find a therapist as thorough and as kind hearted as you.” After hearing that, I took whatever I had saved up and put a deposit down for a studio on Ventura Blvd. Where I only worked for a couple of months.
Unfortunately, the surrounding businesses were way too loud for me and eventually had to move. I eventually partnered up with an Acupuncturist who I am still good friends with. We shared the space.
We took turns using the space and split the rent. Eventually, he decided to let go of the space and he asked if I want to take over. I had a month to think about it and decided to take over the space.
This has been a journey I was not aware I would be taking. During this journey, I eventually got myself a Spiritual Life Coach, Ms. Ari McIntyre. She helps me with my personal struggles, she has been playing an important role. Every day is a learning experience. My practice is Unorthodox… I might be a Therapeutic Massage Therapist but I am also an Intuitive Energy Healer. Not one session is the same. I incorporate energy work in all that I do. The Metaphysical world is another topic I can dabble in if needed. It has been two years since I have taken the leap to work for myself. A year having my own suite to work in. Looking back from where I started to where I start to the present time, all I can say is I am so grateful. God is good. One thing I definitely have learned is to never give up even when times are tough. Push through with all that you got. Eventually, one day, you will get to where you want to be. Take it one day at a time.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There has been obstacles and challenges for sure. Being self-employed you just don’t know what tomorrow will look like. One day you can be busy the next day you won’t be. I take it as it is. I used to stress out about every little thing. I realized life is too short to even stress. The most challenging thing of for me lately has been dealing with all types of energies. People are great but some people are just not aware of the kind of energy they put out. I am an Empath and I pick up on a lot of energies. Again, I am dabbling in the metaphysical world. This is what makes my practice different. If I am not in the right place energetically, I do not get work. Not one person comes in or sets up an appointment. If I am on top of taking care of myself and doing my energy cleansing and meditating that is when I start getting busy. It is the craziest thing to me but it is true, or me at least. I can only imagine a world that functions the same way. Everything is a working progress and I just take it one day at a time.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Touch Heals Therapeutic Massage Therapy story. Tell us more about the business.
Well, the name explains a lot. What is with the long name? If you were ever to look at my license I have about 5 names. It would only be right that my business name is as unique as my name. I specialize in Therapeutic Massage Therapy and Russian Deep Tissue. I also offer cupping. Cupping has been amazing. I totally get why it has been around for thousands of years. In my practice though I use surgical grade silicone cups because I feel it is a lot more pliable and I have better control of the cups.
What sets me aside from other businesses is customer service for one. I am on top of my customer service. I check up on my patients. I send text messages out a couple days after their appointment to see how they are feeling. Apparently, other businesses don’t do that. I want to make sure each person leaves my office feeling better than when they walked in, I also extend that care after sessions.
I went into this field not with the idea that it would be making money but I got into this field because I saw that healing aspects of what I do. It is such a rewarding feeling seeing people walk out in less or no pain after a treatment. Money just icing on the cake… I love what I do and I think that is what makes my sessions different. I have had massages from many people. I have only had two people who are actually are passionate about what they do. It makes a big difference when you love what you do.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
First and foremost, I have to thank The Man Above. I am grateful for my blessings. Without him, none of this would be possible. He has sent people in my life to help me with this journey.
My mom and siblings are my number one fans. My mom has been a big supporter. With my music with massage therapy. Other parents would tell their kids this isn’t a career but she kept telling me that I can do anything I put my mind to. She also taught me to be who I am no matter what, if people cannot accept you the way you are then they don’t deserve you. She has been pushing me since day one I am grateful. I love her!! Having a liberal mom is pretty awesome.
My dad for teaching me to be strong and to be who I am no matter what. He has taught me a lot of things that really came in handy. I am so glad he is in my life again.
My grandpa (mom’s side) always believed in me. Whether it came to my singing he was always cheering me on. He bought my first massage table for me. Which started it all. I wish he could have seen how far I have come. I know he would be so proud.
My spiritual life coach Ms. Ari McIntyre. She is one of my favorite people. Not only is she awesome but she is an entrepreneur as well. She has her candle making company (Candles by Ari), she is a spiritual life coach and she is a meditation instructor on top of all that she is a Mom. She is down to earth and I am grateful.
My best friends for sure! May who I have known since Junior high. She has been there for me no matter what. Life might get crazy but when we do catch up it is as if we are picking up where we left off.
Christine, I have known her since high school too. We have reconnected and she has been such a great support system. It is important to have people who actually cares about you. That is one thing I am grateful about. Paula, we both worked at the doctor’s office. She saw my transformation. She pushed me to get to where I am today. “We are Boss B*tches” she would say. We won’t settle for less. Having her when I made major transformations was a blessing. Everyone I mention here, we connect whether spiritually or emotionally.
Sisters are like built in best friends. I love these two young ladies. They make sure I laugh and I am ok. Having that kind of relationship is important especially when you are stressing. My brothers for being themselves and telling me like it is. I am thanking everyone but I have one person I always forget to thank or even recognize. I thank myself. I am thankful for being me and for never giving up. I will always push through because that is how I am.
A great big Thank You to all those who has come in to get treatment. Thank you so much for trusting me to work on you! It means so much to me. I push through and will always give my best. I just want the best for all of you. Without you, this wouldn’t happen. May God always bless and guide you all.
- Website: http://www.touchheals.wixsite.com/touchheals
- Phone: 747 235 6493
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/touchheals/
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/touchhealsTMT/
- Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/touch-heals-therapeutic-massage-therapy-woodland-hills