Olga Chwa was running a successful, full-time private massage therapy and yoga instruction practice focused on empowering her clients, many of whom were retired, people in pre-and post surgical situations, and a handful of folks with painful jaw issues.
Then, this global pandemic arrived with an airborne pathogen, which very few massage therapists are trained or sufficiently equipped to offer adequate protection from. Until now, massage therapy has provided protection from blood-borne pathogens. This is quite different. The prolonged and close contact nature of massage therapy classifies this service as high risk by many national health organizations.
The governor of Ohio, where Olga Chwa is based, issued orders that all massage therapists cease operations on a Friday. That Monday, stay-at-home orders for all residents came into effect. Despite this, one of Olga's clients insisted on needing to come in.
Olga has a strong ethical stance and a solid respect for public health policy - it was only late March - mere months into a novel respiratory virus we knew next to nothing about. Over twenty years prior, a young Olga was already active in public health and getting an understanding of worldwide epidemiology, working in HIV education. She knew better than to cut any corners on prevention.
Olga was in a quandary. She knew the physical relief from pain that this gentleman, now in the risk group due to age, got from his biweekly visits. Plus, he'd had a recent injury they were working out together, so Olga's therapist heart just wanted to help. But how?
Without touching or sharing a treatment room?
She remembered helping several friends over the phone in the decade since training in massage therapy...all of her decades of yoga teaching, all the breath-work and meditation training, and yoga nidra in particular, which in itself emerged from a devotion to dance and making poetry...creating transformations with grace.
So she offered her client to get on the phone, just to explore. No commitments.
At the end of that first hour he said, “Wow, Olga, I really feel like I’ve just had a massage! How’d you do that?”
And so it began. Over thirty appointments took place in the first six weeks and a new modality was created. Bodywork by telephone, Telemassage, emerged!
In a handful of weeks, Olga witnessed over a dozen clients understand something about themselves and their bodies that then changed how they lived. Many clients report that they are able to breathe in a more satisfying way after the sessions. Others fell in love with the experience of life that their bodies reveal to them.
Every session is unique, tailored to the moment - the basic anatomy of a telemassage is founded in listening and an encyclopedic range of movements and practices. I’m so curious about what you might discover within your inner world. As it began, the first session is commitment-free. Just an exploration - then we chat and if you got something out of it and wish to do it again, we'll figure that out.
Use the button below to connect with Olga's Caldendly booking site and choose your ideal day and time for your exploratory session.
he Curtain Fell in March 2020
How this Started
A massage by telephone?
How did that come to be?