For my 3rd interview in the Featured Practitioner series, I speak with an ultra-marathoner in Colorado whose treatment methods set him apart in the massage therapy field.
Keep reading to find out more about how he decided on this specialization and why he’s passionate about helping clients!
As a marketing strategy consultant with management experience in hospital and medical clinics, I’ve worked alongside healthcare practice owners around the country. All of them have a strong desire to serve their patients—but sometimes they find it difficult to navigate the marketing side of running a financially successful business. My focus is to help practitioners evaluate their practice’s marketing goals as it relates to a long-term strategy.
In the Featured Practitioner interview series, I get to interview a variety of practice owners who have a distinct specialization, and I invite them to share:
- why they picked the niche (here’s an article that explains what the niche concept),
- how it connects them with Ideal Patients, and
- why a niche makes it possible to achieve their long-term goals.
You can read previous Featured Practitioner articles here:
I met today’s guest through Instagram after he interacted with one of my posts. Once I saw his incredible pictures (seriously, check them out!), I knew he had a fantastic story to tell. So I asked him to share it with you.
Without further ado, let’s dive in to my interview with today’s featured guest!
Jacob (“Jake”) Corley, LMT, FRCms
- Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT)
- Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist (FRCms)
- Level 4 Thai Massage Therapist
- Advanced Neuromuscular Therapist
- Positional Release Therapist
- Kinstretch® Certified
- Levels 1 & 2 Functional Movement Systems Certification
- FMT Basic & Performance Kinesiology Taping Certification
Optimal Function and Wellness
Boulder, Colorado, United States
“Move well, be well”
Niche Focus Analysis
Jacob has a very narrow focus for his business, which allows him to reach customers who are ideal for his expertise. This allows him to stand out in a fairly crowded fitness market.
Here are the elements of the Triple Niche at Optimal Function and Wellness:
1. Strategic Marketing Goals:
- Jacob’s philosophy and culture stem from his own experiences with injury and pain.
- He continually acquires new knowledge and training to improve his craft.
- He believes it is important to educate and empower patients as part of the therapy process.
- In the near future, Jacob will be offering virtual services through his website to serve even more clients.
Athletic adults age mid-30s to 50s
Boulder, Colorado, United States
4. Health Condition & Symptoms:
Pain Management, Mobility, and Recovery
5. Treatment or Technique:
Jacob’s specializations include:
- Neuromuscular Therapy,
- Thai Massage,
- Sports Massage, and
- Mobility Specialist
His services at Optimal Function and Wellness include:
- Integrated Positional Therapy (IPT)
- Myofascial Release Therapy
- Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Therapy (NMRT)
- Therapeutic Thai Massage
- Sports Massage
- Myofascial Decompression Therapy (Cupping Therapy)
- Rock Tape
- Functional Movement Screen
6. Body System or Area:
Joint range of motion and back/spine/psoas
7. Delivery Method:
- Private Mobility Classes
- On-site Mobility Classes
- On-site Corporate Chair Massage
- Outcall Massage Therapy (the therapist comes to a client’s location)
8. Patient Interests:
Ultramarathoners, climbers, hikers, CrossFit members, and professional athletes
Jacob’s Niche: A Summary
Based on my interview with Jacob and research of his practice’s social media, I believe he specializes in this niche:
Athletic adults in their mid-30s to 50s with chronic pain who want to enjoy outdoor sports and prevent injuries while avoiding drugs and surgery.
Read more about how to find your niche here: What Does it Take to Develop a Triple Niche?
Interview with Jacob Corley
My conversation with Jacob began with a mutual admiration for our respective areas of expertise. When describing his niche, Jacob said:
“It’s been long process, and I’m glad that someone else feels as passionate about it as I do.”
Jacob is the owner of Optimal Function and Wellness, and their website has this saying:
Life’s too short to live in pain. We’re passionate about getting you back to 100% without the use of drugs or surgery.
Q: What are your credentials and licenses?
Jacob has a long list of credentials. Here’s how he describes it:
“I finished 800 hours of massage schooling. I am also an Advanced Neuromuscular Therapist, which is a 280-hour continuing education course.
Jacob explained that at that point, he decided to obtain further training in sports therapy.
“I took my Level 1 and 2 with Functional Movement Screening Systems, which helps practitioners to evaluate the risk of injury by looking at global joint movement. Then I got into kinesiotaping levels 1 (basic) and 2 (performance).”
“From there, I recently got certified as a Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist, which is a prerequisite for the Kinstretch® certification for active joint range of motion, mobility training.”
Kinstretch® is a movement enhancement system that has been adopted by Nike and other pro teams including the Seattle Seahawks, Mariners, and many other pro baseball, football, and hockey teams.
Jacob further explains:
“Kinstretch® is great. For the first time in my life, I’m on the cutting edge of something, which is pretty cool.”
Jacob is just 1 of the 3 Kinstretch® certified practitioners in Colorado. He hopes other practitioners will soon join their ranks. (Find out more about it here.)
Q: How did you get interested in Kinstretch®?
Jacob explains that this technique is not very well known in the field of massage.
“A lot of people who are into functional range conditioning are athletic trainers. One of my colleagues told me about this certification, because I had been studying all sorts of mobility practices and was teaching group classes. She steered me into this direction. Within the first two hours of the Kinstretch® course, I realized that this is the missing piece of the entire puzzle. It was a really amazing moment. I thought, ‘this is the best choice I could have ever made.’”
Q: Why do you believe this fits the “last piece of the puzzle”?
“Kinstretch® gives me an opportunity to educate my clients after I’m done working on them. I can give them homework based on their current joint range of motion and their limitations.
“It also gives me an opportunity to work with my clients for longer. So we’ll often start with an hour massage to work on the soft tissues and see where the joints are at, and then we’ll do an hour of Kinstretch® with private mobility training to get them to ‘own’ where they currently are. I can empower my clients to take back their life and their range of motion, and not fully rely on me to get them out of pain. I give them tools so they can prevent pain from happening. Or if it does show up, they aren’t helpless.”
Jacob provides DIY (Do-It-Yourself) techniques so clients can extend their range of motion without constant visits. But he also creates the opportunity for clients to develop mental strength by realizing they have the ability to improve on their own.
“When I work with clients, they benefit from my knowledge and ability to recognize the underlying problems, and they can build on that with self-awareness to continue the healing process on their own.”
Q: What benefits do your services provide for clients?
One of the concerns that keeps many patients from scheduling an appointment for massage therapy (or chiropractic, or many other alternative treatments) is their confusion about how much commitment it will require, and whether the treatment will ever end.
They may feel that a practitioner urges them for additional visits just to squeeze them out of more money. Some patients worry they will never see an outcomes or the resolution they expected to achieve. This experience can negatively affect a patient’s perspective on all alternative medicine treatment methods.
In response, Jacob states:
“During a session with me, clients get more than a massage: they also get a chance to learn about their body, to use tools that prevent injury, to limit how often they see me, and to enjoy long-lasting change.”
After hearing Jacob’s passion for learning new things, I asked him whether it has changed his approach to serving clients.
“I like to test therapy methods on myself. After I got Kinstretch® certified, I stopped doing everything else to see how it would affect my body. That way, I could truly experience what it allowed me to do and how it felt. Since I’ve gone through all the movements first, I have more empathy for what my clients feel.”
Q: How did you get interested in becoming a healthcare practitioner?
Since Jacob is an ultramarathoner and climber, I wondered why he got interested in becoming an LMT-plus. Here’s what Jacob had to say about his “why”:
“I have been an active athlete my whole life. Toward the end of high school, I was an incredibly stiff and injury-prone athlete. I have yet to meet another person who had the level of stiffness that I had. I was in a car accident at age 15 and experienced terrible back pain, so I saw a chiropractor in town. After the first session, I immediately felt relief… but the problem didn’t totally resolve. I didn’t know there were steps I could do on my own.”
“I knew it was bad when as a 16-year-old, I couldn’t move my hands past my knees to touch my toes. I had dislocated my shoulder, and I was in chronic back pain and stiffness to the point where I had to brush my teeth by reaching from my knees. I visited a lot of doctors; once they saw my MRIs, they told me that my scoliosis would continue to get worse, and that’s the reason I was in pain. They said if I didn’t have surgery, I was screwed.”
“My parents opted out for me having surgery on my back. There was no real diagnosis effort. Then I started going to a chiropractor, and that didn’t really work. I started to get massage.”
Once he did that, everything changed.
Q: Why did you choose massage therapy as a profession?
Jacob says he experienced a negative side of modern medicine—especially the way physicians tend to completely overlook the mechanics of the body. Once he found relief during his massage therapy training, it ignited a passion to help others have the same outcome.
Here’s what he told me:
“I was intending to be a physical therapist but decided to go into massage therapy instead, because I really wanted to work with athletes. Once I started massage school, I realized that if I could be fixed, then I could help other people. In the 10 years I’ve been seeing patients, my condition was by far the worst I’ve ever seen.”
“I’ve experienced the amazing benefits of specialty therapy such as Thai Massage and Kinstretch®. The relief that is possible for conditions that are normally considered irreversible is incredible. Kinstretch® changed my life in an amazing way. I have a lot less pain and a lot more control.”
Here’s a photo of Jacob teaching a mobility class.
View this post on Instagram
“Mobility is more then meets the eye. If you think your not going to get a work out, your absolutely wrong. Isolating joints, while holding the rest of your body in tension, is no easy task. This class has not only improved my range of motion & flexibility, but has also helped tighten and tone the rest of my body. If you’re looking to increase your strength & not feel 100 years old…. @jake.corley 's class is a must!”⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #mobility ⠀ #kinstretch #functionalrangeconditioning #bouldercolorado ⠀ #colorado ⠀ #painfree ⠀ #yoga ⠀ #yogatherapy ⠀ #movement ⠀ #movementismedicine #mobilitytraining ⠀ #enduranceathlete
Q: What mistakes did you make as a young person that caused your back injuries?
“I think poor athletic coaching had a lot to do with my injuries as a teen. There was no head-to-toe assessment. I was never asked to perform a squat in front of a practitioner. Nobody ever checked my range of motion when I was playing sports or told me ‘Hey, this is what your limitations are. This is how you can prevent getting hurt.’ There was so much negligence.”
Q: How do you help prevent this from happening to other young people?
“I’ve been working more with youth. A few of my clients have brought their children in for a functional movement screen and private Kinstretch® training, which gives them some control over their body and to get an idea of where they have limitations.”
Q: What’s your perspective on how the medical community manages pain and mobility problems?
“A lot of my clients have been to their MDs, to chiropractors, and to Physical Therapists, and they suddenly realize ‘I’m not getting the right answers.’ Medical professionals don’t always evaluate the main problem; MDs may not check whether their shoulder has full rotation and full range of motion before they say, ‘Here are some pills for your shoulder to make the pain go away.’ My recommendation would be, ‘Actually, if you work on the internal rotation of your shoulder, your capsule would probably open up and you’ll stop getting that pinching sensation.’”
“Pain is your body’s way of communicating to you. Taking pills will just mask the underlying problem. Pills are never going to solve the dysfunction; all they do is cover up what your body is trying to tell you.”
Q: Who are your primary target patients?
“I like to leave my treatments open for everyone, but most of patients are adults in their mid-30s to 50s. My target demographic is someone who has been living with chronic pain and is sick and tired of being sick and tired. I also help people who are trying to prevent injuries, to increase their range of motion, and be proactive versus reactive.”
Q: How did you decide to pick this niche?
Jacob decided to focus on neuromuscular therapy, positional release, Kinstretch®, and functional movement because he personally experienced injuries with treatments that didn’t work. He is passionate about making movement as functional as possible.
Here’s what he said about it:
“I got into this niche about 5 years ago. I had started to get into backpacking and was demanding more out of my body. When I moved to Boulder and started working at the CrossFit gym, I learned about dynamic movements that I’d never seen before. That made me realize that I wasn’t doing everything I could be doing to educate people on how to get their joints to move, and how they could stay injury free.”
“The major driver for my work is that I want the average person to feel confident enough in their own body that they can do whatever they want with their life. Whether it be running a marathon, going on a hike, or playing with their kids on the floor without pain—I want to give them that freedom.”
Q: Would you say the majority of your clients fit a certain mindset?
After reviewing Jacob’s website, I got the sense that he primarily focuses on treating athletes. He agrees:
“A big part of my focus is on athletes. Here in Boulder, we have a lot of pro-level athletes, but my real passion is for average people to have the confidence in their own body to go on a hike and not worry about whether their knee is going to hurt.”
“Someone who says, ‘I want to run a 5-K, even though I’m 50 years old and have never run in my life.’ And my response is, ‘I’m going to assess your joint range of motion and make sure everything is working well. Here’s how you can prevent getting hurt, and we’ll go from there.’”
Q: Are you associated with a CrossFit gym?
“Yes, I am. I currently have two offices, but my main hub is out of a gym called CrossFit Sanitas.”
I (Grace) am a member of a CrossFit gym too, CrossFit Mill Town in Camas WA. My status is more of a “casual athlete,” and I definitely enjoy the camaraderie and mental toughness that are available from a functional movement program. When my IT band got injured a few years ago, the massage therapists and PTs who helped me get back to shape had a significant impact on how I view my body mechanics.
I could tell that pictures on Jacob’s website were taken in a CrossFit gym, so I asked if he gets a lot of clients from there.
“Yes, probably 60% to 70% of my clients are from the CrossFit community.”
We talked about the shared experience that happens in the CrossFit community. Members are taught proper body mechanics, and we are all eager to improve our form. Someone who walks in off the street may not realize how important this is—until something goes wrong.
In Jacob’s words,
“Yeah, you don’t know why body mechanics are important until you go skiing and find out too late, ‘My knee exploded.’”
“Most people don’t realize how important it is to listen to your body when it tells you that something is wrong. When you’re in CrossFit or a sport that emphasizes functional movement, you constantly hear other athletes talk about range of motion and functional movement, and they’re constantly checking each other’s form to prevent injury.”
I asked Jacob if he’d participate in the CrossFit Open this spring. He said,
“No, I did not participate in the Open; I’ve been running ultra-marathons all spring. I just did the Behind the Rocks 50K, which was in Moab. And we’re doing the Rim to Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon. Then I’ll be running a 50-mile ultramarathon race in May at Bryce Canyon National Park.”
Here are some pictures from those adventures:
View this post on Instagram
T minus 24 Hours until the Bryce Canyon Ultras begin! This scenic, mountain course runs along the western edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau with most of the miles on this rugged course between 7,000–9,000 ft.⠀ ⠀ Good luck to all the racers competing this weekend! “If you can't run, then walk. And if you can't walk, then crawl. Do what you have to do. Just keep moving forward and never, ever give up.” -@ultramarathon . . . #adventure #trailrunning #ultrarunning #movement #locomotion #getoutside #mobility #movementismedicine #brycecanyonultrasphoto
View this post on Instagram
Running an Ultra Marathon can teach you a lot about yourself. Unlike other sports, such as skiing and swimming, the long time commitment of ultrarunning affords runners the opportunity to go deep into their own mind and to experience things that most people in this world couldn’t fathom.⠀ ⠀ In true Ultra fashion, the Bryce Canyon Ultras course was deceptively challenging. Runners experienced everything from below freezing temperatures, long grueling climbs and technical descents over exposed terrain. ⠀ ⠀ The biggest takeaway from this experience is to surround yourself with people who will help you reach your full potential. It takes a village to help you realize what you are fully capable of! @2_pugsinapod @griff_industries @ajongewaard @k80_knight @mike.aidala @jaalashaw . . . #brycecanyonultras #ultrarunning #trailrunning #adventure #brycecanyon #mountainrunning #mobility #fitness #kinstretch #functionalrangeconditioning #movementismedicine
Q: Do your family or friends join you on ultramarathons?
“I have a couple of friends who are on the same level; but it’s a very small group of people who want to do that. It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, by any means.”
I told Jacob that I used to live 1 mile away from the Appalachian Trail (AT) in Pennsylvania, and our family often went on short hikes around Boiling Springs and White Rock Acres.
When I asked if he had ever hiked the AT, Jacob answered,
“I’ve done a couple of sections; some of the lower Vermont sections, and a winter section in New Hampshire in January. That was an experience.”
Since moving away from the East Coast, I (Grace) miss the Pennsylvania forests. I mentioned a great movie about an ultramarathoner named Karl “The Speedgoat” Meltzer, who ran the entire Appalachian Trail (Karl Melzer: Made to Be Broken). The amount of mental pressure to do that is incredible. Here is a trailer of the movie:
Q: Where are you from originally?
“I’m from Massachusetts. I moved to Colorado because of the mountains. Boulder looked like a really cool place. I came to visit it, and pretty much never left.”
Jacob asked if I live in Eastern Washington, and I responded that nope, I live on the rainy side! It’s like two different states here; the east side is mountainous and dry. On the west, once the Columbia River gets wider and the Gorge shows up, it’s green year-round. I know Colorado has its pros as well, but I really love living in the Pacific Northwest.
Q: Have you ever taken StrengthsFinder?
I asked Jacob if he had taken the StrengthsFinder® assessment, which is a personality test that explains why we feel motivated to make decisions. Out of the 34 possible traits we have as humans, each of us has a “Top 5” that are the driving force behind what we do. Millions of people have taken the assessment, and I’ve found it really helpful.
Although he hasn’t taken it yet, Jacob talked a lot about wanting to help people gain confidence, enjoy their lives, and feel better about themselves.
Here’s what he said:
“When I see people, they are often in pain and unable to do things that make them feel confident. It becomes a spiral of emotions. Where they’re in pain, they can’t do anything. If they’re not doing anything, they’re not improving, and the cycle continues.
“If I can empower someone by telling them ‘You’re okay; here are some exercises to start to take back your life,’ I see their response change right away.”
Q: How does your niche benefit your patients specifically?
We talked about how his clients are looking for pain relief, but Jacob’s work does a lot more than that.
Here’s how he describes it:
“My work gives my clients body awareness. It gives them the ability to feel better, and to have more knowledge about their body. I feel like in terms of what they’re getting for their dollar, it’s more beneficial than paying $85 to get a massage and that’s it.”
“I definitely want my clients to get a regular massage, but with my service they get educated about their movement and body mechanics. I establish a common language with them so if they ever relocate, they can go to another practitioner who can communicate at the same level.”
“I think establishing a common language between practitioners, coaches, and clients is a really important way to make continuous progress.”
Q: What’s your secret to connecting with clients?
A lot of practitioners have putting their finger on exactly how their patients would describe their problem, and why they choose one practitioner over another. Jacob said that his secret is to experience the same circumstances that his clients are experiencing, and he tries to see life from the patient’s point of view.
“My fiancée is a schoolteacher, and she has helped me to be able to teach my clients, and how to establish a common language. Instead of asking ‘Is THIS what it feels like?’ I ask ‘WHAT does it feel like?’ This lets them articulate what they feel, which allows a connection between their brain and body that clicks—not having someone tell them ‘This is what your pain is.’ How would I know? I want to hear what my patients tell me. There’s a mind-body connection. When my client can say, ‘It’s a pinching kind of pain,’ they learn to describe the transition from pinching to tightness to relief. That’s how we know that change is happening.”
Jacob educates his clients on how to communicate their body experience to him as a practitioner.
“When someone says, ‘I’m in pain,’ I tell them, ‘Okay; go into that pain.’”
[I recommend a similar approach to my clients with the Employee for a Day technique.]
“One of my mentors said that talking about pain is similar to tasting wine. You have to get familiar with the tiniest perception of flavor and aroma, and use a common language to express it. Just saying ‘it tastes sweet and fruity’ or ‘it tastes like alcohol’ is not enough.”
“I don’t want to describe my client’s pain for them; I want to know what THEY feel and how THEY describe it. Is the pain sharp, burning, crampy? What does it feel like to YOU? Once my client can describe their sensations, it gives them a bio-marker of what it felt like yesterday compared to today.”
Q: Have any patients come to you specifically because they heard that you have specialized training?
“People usually ask for the Thai massage and mobility services. Once they find out about Kinstretch®, they decide to get an exercise prescription on top of their sports massage. So in that sense, a lot of people do find me because of my specialized training.”
Q: What are some of the positive effects to your or your business since you decided to specialize?
“I have definitely gotten the clients that I had been searching for. I wouldn’t necessarily say more clients, but those who I really want to be seeing are coming back more often.”
Q: Do you think there are any challenges with working in a niche?
“Yes, I do actually. I would say that the hardest part of being in a niche is explaining what you do, and trying to deliver that effectively. Sometimes, educating someone on A) why you’re different or B) what you offer can be a big part of the battle. Even getting them to consider making an appointment can be difficult, as opposed to ‘Oh, you do massage therapy? I know how that works! I just walk through the door, lie down, get a massage for 50 minutes, and walk out.’ That’s not how we do it here.”
“When a client shows up, I screen them before I even start treatment, because I need to know what their body is doing. Every single person who comes through the door gets a functional movement screen, where I look at each joint individually to measure the limitations. I evaluate where we can make the most improvement, and then we decide where to go from there.”
“It’s so important to set boundaries on which clients you will and won’t see. Not every person will be a good match for what you do. By trying to convert every single person who comes through the door into a buyer, you could create more problems.”
Q: Are there any situations in which using a niche as a practitioner is NOT a good idea?
“No. I think if you don’t know what your passion is, then maybe wait to jump into a niche market. First you need to define your personal sound, your personal flavor, and what makes you unique. I always encourage people to say ‘That’s me. That’s my fingerprint.’ Jump into that. Once you’ve found the place where you want to be, then everything clicks.”
During our interview, I mentioned to Jacob that he emphasizes sensations: flavor, sound, wine tasting. He responded:
“That’s what I do: I just talk to people; I don’t even notice what I’ve said until people say it back to me!”
One of my (Grace’s) secrets to “hearing my own voice” is to record an audio file while I’m talking. I use the Voice Memo app on my iPhone. It’s simple; you just talk out loud about a topic, or record yourself while giving a presentation. Later you can transcribe the recording, and that becomes the basis for blog posts, videos and new products you could develop. When you listen to a recording of yourself, it can reveal a lot about how you think. If you like to talk, this is a great technique to get content. (For other ideas on how to generate fresh content for your blog, check out this article).
Q: Do you find marketing your business to be a challenge?
I asked Jacob whether he has had trouble with the marketing side of his company. He responded:
“I decided to revamp the website. “I’m also in the process of potentially launching online Kinstretch® training.
“Marketing is my weak point. I’m really good at what I do, but when it comes to marketing, I’m not as sure what to do. A lot of it is the time it takes to do it, and not having an outlet to share my story. I’ve been so busy with my practice that I don’t have time to get my information out.”
One of the best ways to convince potential patients to try something is by showing results, such as Before-and-After stories or explaining how you overcame adversity. Stories are a really compelling way to convert clients who are on the fence about whether to proceed with an appointment.
A great way to overcome this challenge is to create a marketing strategy that clarifies your goals, niche area, and Ideal Patients. Find out more about how to do this here.
Q: How do you attract new clients?
Jacob says that because his established clients are getting educated on new methods like Kinstretch®, functional movement, range conditioning, and kinesiology taping, more of his clients come from word-of-mouth referrals.
“I’m always going for more training classes. My clients will say, ‘Jacob’s going to a new seminar—I can’t wait until he’s back on Monday and is super excited about what he’s learned!’”
Q: Have you changed your pricing so you generate income apart from 1-on-1 visits?
“I keep my prices relatively affordable so I don’t exceed the range of people who really need my help. You never want to punish people from getting access, but you also want to generate more profit and better outcomes.”
Q: What are some tips you would give to a practice owner on how to develop their niche?
“Going back to what I was saying before, you need to define why you’re doing what you’re doing. Define who you are. Define what your target market is, and how you can help them. Get a whiteboard with some sticky notes, throw some ideas on there, and run with it.”
Jacob describes exactly what I’ve tell my clients: to stand apart from the competition and grow their business in a healthy, balanced way, they need to pick a focus area and stick with it. One problem a lot of practice owners have is that they all tend to have the same generic message that says “get relief from pain.” This won’t convince people to seek YOUR help. By choosing a specific area of expertise and focusing on how you are different than your competitors, patients are much more likely to seek your help. It’s not something a lot of people like to hear, but niche marketing really works.
You can tell by reading his story that Jacob has embraced his specialization. While he offers help to a variety of people, he also has limits around his clients’ expectations and seeks to understand how they describe their pain.
Boundaries are really important in business. If a potential customer isn’t willing to go through your process or to complete the work that’s required, they won’t be a good fit.
Q: How important is it to get more training as a massage therapist?
After spending thousands of hours in his education, and signed up for additional certifications, Jacob is obviously extremely dedicated to learning as much as possible in order to improve his skills and serve clients in the best way possible.
Jacob responded this way:
“The average person is not going to spend their money and time getting advanced functional movement training. That’s what motivates me to keep working more: I want to keep learning and stay current so I can help my clients.”
Jacob told me that he is committed to keeping up his skills and believes that learning about the new discoveries in functional medicine is very helpful to his patients.
“One issue I see in the wellness/massage/fitness industry is that people don’t update their skills to keep up with current techniques. They learn something; but when new research comes out, they continue to practice off the old way. Practitioners like this are essentially doing their clients a disservice. I just can’t get down with that.”
We talked about the 3 types of people who help usher in new discoveries in society, as described by Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point.
These 3 types include:
- Connectors – an individual who has a vast network of connections and can spread new ideas quickly
- Mavens – an individual who is constantly seeking out new inventions to test, and who has strong opinions about which ones are the best
- Salespeople – an individual who can tap into the unmet desires of others and persuade them to do something.
Jacob agreed that he likes to be in the forefront of new discoveries in the field of massage and functional movement (the Maven).
He says the best thing he can do for his clients is to continue improving his skills. His primary goals are to stay healthy, pass on what he’s learning to clients, and give them as much value as possible.
Q: Do you recommend functional therapy training for other LMTs?
During our conversation, I was really impressed by the incredible benefits Jacob himself has experienced as a result of massage therapy, and how he can offer relief to clients using a variety of techniques. Since I had never heard of these method before, I told him that I was now eager to tell others about it.
Surprisingly, the Kinstretch® technique is rather unknown in the massage therapy world. Not only is Jacob one of 3 certified Kinstretch® certified practitioners in Colorado, but he’s also one of the few LMTs who has this training.
“There are almost no massage therapists trained in Kinstretch®; it’s mostly used by sports trainers, CrossFit coaches, and strength and conditioning coaches.”
He encourages anyone who is passionate about functional movement to look into the Kinstretch® method.
Q: Who inspires you?
Jacob mentioned several mentors and trainers who have impacted his work:
- Lee Albert, the founder of Integrative Positional Therapy in Massachusetts
- Lotus Palm School founder Kam Thye Chow in Kansas
- Dewey Nielsen of Functional Anatomy Seminars in Oregon was one of Jacob’s FRC® Kinstretch® instructors.
- Andreo Spina, DC, creator of Kinstretch® has also made a big impact on him.
As you can see, Jacob is passionate about making a difference in the athletic community in Boulder and beyond.
When we finished the call, he said:
“I’m glad you see the value of the techniques I use. I’ve been wondering, ‘How do I tell people that this could be a cool thing to try in your area’?”
Hopefully by reading his story, you have some new ideas about functional fitness and how you can establish a niche in your own business.
To find out more about Jacob and his practice, Optimal Function and Wellness, by visiting:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/optimalfunction_wellnessYouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf0c35GfngoLN8IVjYBODug
I’m always looking for licensed practitioners who work in areas that are off the beaten path. Although my work background was in medical facilities, I appreciate science-based alternative methods and have discovered some great options to replace dangerous drugs and surgery for pain relief. I was introduced to Thai Massage by Beth Petersen, LMT; geriatric massage from Chris Flaig, LMT, CTB; and now to Kinstretch® thanks to Jacob Corley, LMT, FRCms.
If you are a licensed provider with a niche marketing focus and are interested in being interviewed for a future Featured Niche Practitioner article, review the requirements and fill out a brief questionnaire to be considered!
And if you want to attract more customers and increase the profit margins in your practice, I’d love to talk. Find out more here.
Grace LaConte is a business consultant, writer, workplace equity strategist, and the founder of LaConte Consulting. Her risk management tools are used around the globe, and she has successfully reversed toxic work environments for clients in the healthcare and non-profit fields. Grace specializes in lactation law compliance & policy development, reducing staff turnover after maternity leave, and creating a participatory work culture.