We were lucky enough to have the nice folks over at VoyageMIA magazine reach out to us about doing an interview about our business. In it, we cover how we got started as a business, what we do, about the stretching industry and a little bit about myself and our personal lives too!
If you like, you can check out the full article directly on VoyageMIA from the link below, or read on, we've copied the text from the article to this post.
VoyageMIA full article: http://voyagemia.com/interview/meet-miami-stretch-therapy-south-beach/
- - -
"Today we’d like to introduce you to Gavin Ravens.
Gavin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started my stretching career as a personal trainer 6 years ago. I was really excited about beginning work in my new field. I loved working out and I thought it would be pretty easy, so I went for it. I got certified, but to my surprise, absolutely no gym would hire me. I literally went to every gym in South Beach and got turned down by every single one. So, I did what I thought any successful person would do and started my own company.
At first, it was incredibly difficult. It took us almost 2 years to build our business to where we could call it full-time. I had to take other work to make ends meet, but with the love and support of my wife, we were able to make it through.
I took notice that just about all of my clients had some type of pain, at one point or another, during our workouts. I asked around and found people who were very good at identifying the cause and treating it with simple stretches and assisted exercises. It piqued my interest that such seemingly complex issues had simple solutions. I decided that I wanted to learn this and apply it first-hand with my clients.
I began developing this skill for myself by studying with other professionals, taking workshops, reading books, and practicing on clients until I was comfortable enough to offer what I began calling Stretch Therapy, as a separate service. And when we did, wow! It was amazing. Everyone loved it. Just about all of our clients signed up for the additional service. We doubled our business overnight and we were ecstatic.
From there on out, personal training began to fade into the background. It was an easy enough job at that point, and the money was good, but what training lacked intellectually for me, stretching provided in abundance. Every person was such a unique experience and I loved having a direct effort in the success of each session.
Jump ahead to 2016 and we’ve developed our comprehensive system of stretch therapy. We found it to be so effective and successful that we decided to make it our sole business. We now dedicate all of our efforts to building our business of in-home stretch therapy.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of the major issues we’ve had as a business is having people identify with what we do. Stretch Therapy is a new industry and because of that, it is completely unregulated. This means that the types of services available and the quality of those services can vary widely. I think that will change in time, but for now, it can be a challenge for people to relate to and understand exactly what we do.
What I’ve seen many colleagues do is brand their service or practice with a particular name, but I feel like doing that distracts from the greater idea of helping people understand our industry as a whole. We want to help build something greater than what our single company can offer. Ideally, we’d like to see a unified practice of Stretch Therapy or a standardized form of education like you see in Massage Therapy.
Because of this non-regulation, there is little way to tell if you’re working with a qualified or unqualified practitioner. Anyone can call themselves a stretch therapist with no legal binding or ramifications. A person might be qualified, but who knows? To compare that to Massage Therapy, practicing massage without a license could get you jail time and carry a hefty fine. We don’t have anything like that in our field.
We’ve grown accustomed to having this problem and learned to overcome it by educating our clients one-by-one on what we do, how we do it, why we’re qualified and what they can come to expect from our service. Taking the time to educate our clients like this has really paid off. It’s a grassroots kind of approach, but it’s beginning to take a stronger hold. More and more people reach out to us in this day with a better understanding of what it is we do because of what people have told them or from what they’ve read about us online.
Please tell us about Miami Stretch Therapy.
Our business is in-home stretch therapy. We travel to client’s homes all over Miami. We go from Pinecrest to Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach all the way out to the Everglades. We’ve found that going to people’s homes allows us to work with a group of people that otherwise might not have time, or not be able to travel to a location.
That, and our type of therapy is really what makes us stand out. We call what we do Stretch Therapy, but most of what to do is preparing our clients for stretching. We take the time to do this because stretching alone doesn’t work as effectively to release muscular tension as it does when you incorporate tissue-softening beforehand. Muscles can often get tight to the point where stretching can even cause strain the muscle and injury if forced.
We take the time to thoroughly release as much muscular tension as we can before stretching. This includes many forms of bodywork including massage, soft-tissue manipulation and vibrational therapy. After which, we then perform assisted therapeutic stretching to release the remaining tension in the targeted muscles.
After we’re finished stretching, we may incorporate a type of strength-training to make sure everything is functioning correctly and in harmony with the rest of the body. Not all clients need this, but it’s worth mentioning. We then generally follow up with a topical salve to reduce recovery time.
All of these, put together, make our system of Stretch Therapy. It’s very efficient and effective in relieving everyday muscular tightness and stiffness, as well as in treating many medical conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, lower-back pain and plantar fasciitis. We’ve found that if a condition has some type of muscular element, Stretch Therapy can help.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My childhood was not the brightest one. What I can say, is that my wife and I enjoy life like we were still kids. We laugh, we play and have fun just as if we were still young. I think it’s an important part of living a happy, fulfilled life. It’s almost as if we’re living our childhoods all over again, just the way we would have wanted them to be. And if you would allow me the exception of picking a fairly recent memory, I would have to pick my all-time favorite memory of meeting my wife.
People speak about love at first sight and I suppose that’s what it was. A simple moment that changed my life forever. I was walking into a hotel lobby and I saw her. The sight of her caught me, and I fell into a cloud of comfort. It was as if this cloud was hugging me, head to toe. Then, the cloud became warm I felt like everything was going to be ok, and would always be, as long as I could be with this woman.
I went up to talk with her and bing-bang-boom, a year and a half later we were married! We’ve since enjoyed each other’s company, every day, for the past 4 years. I don’t think we’ve ever spent a day apart. And how lucky I am that I still get to enjoy life in this warm, comfortable cloud with her, every day. I’m very fortunate that this memory has continued to live on."
Thanks for reading! That's the whole article that VoyageMIA put together for us. We hope you enjoyed it! Happy stretching!