Law of Attraction

Kip Yates LMT: How Massage Refresh Rejuvenates Body and Soul

Sarah Kirton


Published On June 12, 2024

Kip Yates LMT: How Massage Refresh Rejuvenates Body and Soul

In the world of wellness and alternative healing, Kip Yates, LMT, stands out as a dedicated practitioner who brings a unique blend of expertise and personal passion to his practice, Massage Refresh. With a background in Theatre Arts and a transformative career shift inspired by the challenges of the 2009 recession, Kip’s journey from aspiring actor to licensed massage therapist is as compelling as it is inspiring. Now based in Decatur, Texas, Kip combines his extensive training from the Swedish Institute with over a decade of experience to offer personalized, therapeutic massages that rejuvenate both body and spirit. In this exclusive interview, Kip shares his story, the philosophy behind Massage Refresh, and the profound health benefits of regular massage therapy.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and what inspired you to become a Licensed Massage Therapist?

Having a BFA in Theatre Arts, I moved to New York to be a professional actor. After a few years, I took a sales job that paid the bills for my growing family. When the 2009 recession hit, I was laid off from my sales job and decided to choose a new vocation. A long time before I became a massage therapist, I ran into an acquaintance a few years after graduating from college who was attending a massage school. It sounded very interesting. Being a massage therapist, instead of waiting tables or working other temporary jobs actors have to take, had an upside, but for whatever reason, I didn’t enroll in massage school. There was always an excuse. Perhaps it was too expensive. Perhaps I was not ready to go back to school. Learning anatomy and muscles seemed daunting at the time. I always had a convenient excuse not to enroll in massage school, so I didn’t.

After I was laid off, I decided to do something better than what I had been doing and be someone better than who I thought I was. I read that complementary alternative medical practices were a growing industry, so I enrolled for fall classes at the Swedish Institute. I knew I would learn a lot, and in 16 months I would be employable as a massage therapist. That’s exactly what happened after I graduated from the Swedish Institute and passed my state licensing exam. I worked at a couple of spas, but mostly at a physical therapy office, Physiofitness in Soho Manhattan. The work and experience I gained led me to start my massage practice, Massage Refresh. I came up with that particular name because massage therapy was a reboot for me. Since massage is refreshing and relaxing, it seemed a natural fit. I started Massage Refresh in 2011, and at the end of 2020, I moved my practice back home to Texas. I was in Wichita Falls, TX, for a few years and now practice in Decatur, Texas.

What are the core services offered at Massage Refresh, and how do they cater to different client needs?

I offer primarily Swedish and Deep Tissue massage, Prenatal massage, Sports massage, and Thai massage. I offer a customized therapeutic massage in increments of 60 minutes and 90 minutes, incorporating several different massage modalities and styles to accommodate different client needs. I have incorporated many different tools and techniques over my 13 years of practice and use them when the occasion calls.

Are there specific techniques or modalities you specialize in?

As mentioned before, during my customized treatments, I listen closely to what the client’s goals are and what they hope to achieve from the session or sessions. I then form a plan with the client to achieve those goals. Massage sessions can require everything from Swedish massage to Deep Tissue techniques, such as myofascial release, trigger point therapy, Tuina, and reflexology. Those are primarily the techniques I gravitate to, but I also incorporate a variety of stretches and resistance techniques as the situation calls for during the session. No two clients are the same, so the treatments differ too. A client may come to me one week and get a specific kind of therapeutic massage. The same client, three weeks later, might have something else going on with their body. This changes the plan, treatments, and modalities I use for that massage. It’s one of the things I enjoy about this career: each session I can be an anatomy sleuth to determine what is causing someone’s discomfort. By so doing, I figure out what I can do to relieve that discomfort. I like to educate my clients on how to avoid putting themselves in a position of discomfort. It’s a gratifying and satisfying job; not only do I help someone, but I teach them to help themselves.

What are the most significant health benefits of regular massage therapy?

I think getting massage therapy regularly is not only relaxing, but it’s great for resetting or rebooting all of the systems of the body. For instance, if someone visits me and they leave my session feeling great, they may book with me again in another week or month, depending on their maintenance schedule. I like to say, “Between massage appointments, life happens.” Massage therapy provides relief from the ups, downs, and stresses experienced between those sessions. It’s great to get on the table, hit the reboot button, and walk out feeling refreshed. I always get asked about how often one should come for a massage. There’s a legend that Bob Hope got a massage every day for 50 years and lived to be 100. I understand most of us can’t afford a massage every day. My general rule of thumb is to get a massage every time you change the oil on your car, at least. You want to treat your body at least as well as you do your car.

Lastly, in your opinion, what is one simple thing that we can do for our health and well-being?

Keep moving! I have seen it in my practice, especially with the elderly. There is a huge difference between the non-active person who comes in once a year for restorative massage and the active person who comes in at least 3 to 4 times a year for maintenance massage. There is a difference in how the tissues feel and how they respond to the massage. I always quote Brad Pitt’s line from the movie World War Z, “Life is movement!” Stay active and practice the self-care tips I offer between massage sessions. Avoid a sedentary life and appreciate all that life can bring you. That is one simple thing we all can do for our health and well-being.

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