Memoirs of a MasseurTodd Pequeen

Memoirs of a Masseur – May/June 2023

Memoirs of a Masseur May/June 2023 – Todd Pequeen

Washing sheets is one of my favorite daily activities. Washing machine, dryer (21 years after moving here I finally purchased a dryer as I previously hung my laundry), folding and putting away. Why? You ask. Washing sheets directly correlates to the number of massages (work) I had on that day, or on days previously. Yes—massage therapists are professionals at laundering their linens and removing stains—mainly blood, dirt (from feet), and occasional excrement or red wine. I’m not kidding nor am I rattled by anything left on my sheets, it is simply part of the job. Sometimes it is emotional baggage that is left behind. I have 20 sets of sheets in total, mostly white, however some are a powder blue, I even have a grey set. I like to keep them white but experiment with deals on Amazon or the newest of “bamboo” or “thread count” magic. White represents many amazing concepts to humans. Sometimes my wife takes charge, she is an expert at folding. I’ll admit I lack the discipline of a fine crease and a square or rectangular result. I am not militant in any way shape or form other than accepting massages and giving results, other than that I have quite the free spirit surfer attitude that I moved here with 23 years ago. I enjoy washing my regular clothes as well, just not as much as sheets and face cradle coverings, and the hand towels I wear on my shoulder to wipe sweat as a professional does not drip on their clients. Washing sheets also give me time to think about my clients and about the session, what could have gone better, both in my day and with my clients.

Not only am I an expert launderer I also am a bit of a jedi when it comes to understanding my clients, and for that matter anyone that I come in contact with. I am no mind reader, but I am obsessed with bodies, health, and motion. How one carries themselves stands out to me like wearing a fluorescent shirt at an all-white party. Our head positions, gate, and general flow of movements says a lot. Take some time to analyze yourself during your day, from doing the dishes to getting dressed in the morning be aware of your positioning and compensation. Freedom of movement, symmetry, breathing patterns, and even the speed and ease of conversation and the space a client is holding I am ever so aware of. It’s fascinating and non-judgmental. This level of caring and compassion I am not sure the common folk who never get massages understand about a trained professional. Fatigue, depression, energy, volume of voice and simple representation of oneself is the start of a proper body work session. It’s not magic, for me it’s 25 years of commitment to touch and body work and relating to another human being. As simple as being present and being my best self during my 600 hours a year of doing what I love. Re-read that and think about it. We, as body workers, are not in it for the money—trust me. The true professionals have a calling to ease the pain of this world and everything it represents within the body, mind, and spirit. This isn’t a joke—this is my profession, my calling, my passion, and my life. I am further blessed to be doing it here in Manuel Antonio, completely liberated from a spa or a boss or an entity that expects commissions. I am proud to be the first male masseur in Manuel Antonio and perhaps on the central Pacific coast, records do not exist. I remember the grind that it took to become legit both in the country’s eyes as well as the locals.

I know that generally every single one of us experience neck, shoulder, and lower back pain/tension as a rule of thumb. Mainly because most people spend their days sitting, in front of a phone and computer, or driving and being stagnant and regularly sit and watch T.V. at night. Those are all the evils of our beautiful body machines—stagnation. It shouldn’t be a new concept to anyone that the more you sit around doing nothing, not using your body, the more you will have body aches, mental aches, and malaise. I am an advocate of movement, body awareness, fluidity, and expressing our love of life through our daily activities. The choice is often to sit or to garden, clean our house, dance, walk, stretch, practice yoga, or jump in a pool or better yet the ocean to float, or swim. A chair and a computer is your enemy. I notice the toll your job takes on your body. A bit of anxiety always represents itself in the stomach and intestinal tract, shoulders are always a sign of responsibility and a lack of support from family or a work situation. It’s really not magic, we are all humans with basic needs and wants. A healthy component to promote consistent benefits of touch is weekly massage—the more the better—it is one thing you cannot overdose on. If an individual gives up the booze and/or drugs, often times they can afford more body work and self-care. Truthful touch and meaningful bodywork can often trigger long-buried memories of injury or abuse. Primary care physicians spend how much time with you? I am wholly engaged for 60, 90, or 120 minutes with you tangibly. They will write prescriptions to mask signs, I will not. I hear, see, feel, and understand as best I can with every client who blesses me with their time. It is that simple. It is beautiful. Washing my sheets after sunset is my favorite part of the day, finishing the day with what is a never-ending cycle of work and reward. Please support your local body worker as it means you are loving yourself, we can all use a little more of that.

Todd Pequeen is a pioneer of body work here in M.A. since 2000. He can be reached via WhatsApp or a phone call at (506) 8830-7727, or at [email protected], or check out his website at