We had the good fortune of connecting with Tara Kukla and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tara, how do you think about risk?
I quit my very secure, high paying job and opened my own massage business in the middle of a pandemic in 2020. I spent thousands of dollars on a business coach, the best in the country. I put myself out there and called many other business owners knowing full well I struggle deeply with social anxiety, to connect and build with others who also want to help the community. I left the comfort of my anti-social bubble, my cozy job that I could perform without even thinking about it, and put my trust in expensive coaching. Because I took these risks, I now have a business that I love and continue to learn from, work my own schedule and helped many other people, I have a much bigger knowledge in business and am considered the top 3% of massage therapists in the country who took these risks, and have much less social anxiety this day. Because of these RISKS I took, I have GROWN in so many ways including emotionally, mental strength, and knowledge of massage therapy.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Most of my clients that I would see were computer or desk workers, who had upper back pain, neck pain, and a lot of clients diagnosed with sciatica. When I left my job to open my own practice, I wanted to dive deeper on how to help these clients. I took advanced classes in myotherapy, a gentle therapy to help those with poor posture, headaches, back pain, hip pain, and nerve pain. I read hundreds of pages in books and took many hours of advanced courses to learn the connection between working at a desk and the pain it causes, so I can better help them long term. I then widened my practice to help those who have undergone surgery, cosmetic surgery, or diagnosed with autoimmune disorders with manual lymphatic drainage for less pain and less swelling. My thirst for knowledge is never ending, as there is always something to learn. I always say there is no such thing as “best”, because then that means your journey and growth has ended. There is no end to growth, you only get better and better.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am huge on travel. Of course, that has been put off to the side the last couple of years due to the pandemic. I love anything with water, natural pools, waterfalls, and just nature in general. Also Mexican food. Chips, salsa, chili rellenos, street tacos, I can’t get enough. So yummy!

If my best friend was visiting, I would take her (or him) for a day trip to hike a trail. We have a few trails in Arizona that leads to a natural waterfall. Then a Mexican restaurant like Unos Tacos Y Birria or Mucho Taco for street tacos and margheritas!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a huge shout out to my mother. I was raised in a family of licensed massage therapists including my mom and two sisters and worked for a family owned day spa in Mesa. My mother was also my boss, and a very talented trigger point therapist. She taught me a lot of what I know today, and continued to support me on my endeavors. She would train me in trigger point massage, deep tissue massage, couples massage, and passed down a lot of her knowledge unto me. She would advise me on how to deal with certain client interactions or situations, and supported me as I later on decided to enhance my knowledge of therapeutic massage from other educational courses. Best mother any one could ever ask for.

Website: https://eastvalleytherapeuticmassage.com/

Instagram: @eastvalleymassage

Facebook: East Valley Therapeutic Massage

Image Credits
Captured by Cass

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