We had the good fortune of connecting with Natasha Teresa Skidmore and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Natasha Teresa, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my first manual therapy business in Sacramento, California in 2018. I was a full-time student in community college chipping away at my pre-health GEs, working part-time at a sports injury clinic and commuting over three hours a day, six days a week. With a full-time academic schedule, a part-time salary, and no time for extra work, pricey Sacramento housing was unattainable. As my grades began to slip to B’s and my boss declined to give me a raise after four years, I decided to take a leap of faith; I quit my job at the sports injury clinic and started my own business as a manual therapist. The payoff was a success, within a month, I was able to open my own practice and in the first week of business, my schedule was booked out for the rest of the semester by long-term clients.

When I was accepted with a full-tuition scholarship to study Human Biology at USC in 2020, I had to move to Los Angeles and was faced with the challenge of re-establishing the manual therapy business I had built from scratch the previous year. This business was my only source of income. Luckily, I was able to sell my practice in Sacramento and establish a new practice in Los Angeles within a month before classes began. Business was uncertain at first, but slowly as the word spread, my practice grew. Currently I am booked out six – eight months in advance. Starting this Fall I will be attending UCLA’s graduate Master’s of Nursing program to become a Nurse Practitioner.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I have always built my business success around a social network. My clients have told me that I am able to establish deep connections with them. I have a child-like wonder about people, and I find it incredibly fascinating to hear each individuals’ story while they are on my massage table. Beyond my ability to form bonds with my clients, my medical knowledge has also been key to expanding my ability to help so many people. I cater very specifically to treating chronic pain and musculoskeletal conditions often associated with jobs that create poor mechanical posture. Additionally, I treat professional athletes who damage their bodies from immense physical use. All massage therapists are healers in their own way, and every therapist has a unique set of strengths within their technique. It’s just a matter of finding a style that suits the client best for their needs. I am not afraid to try different techniques in my practice and I enjoy going against the grain of what is considered ‘normal massage’. I feel as if part of my purpose in this world is to heal suffering in others through my intuitive physical touch. Through touch I am able to empathically relate to the physical pain of my clients. This connection allows me to perform effective treatments and guide people through their therapeutic recovery. My clients often compare my intuition to a supernatural sense. My goal is to one day open a large-scale holistic medical practice that incorporates regenerative medicine techniques and my own ability to prescribe medications and diagnose conditions. It is important to provide a service to people where they can seek pain relief from methods beyond just surgical intervention. The journey up until this point hasn’t been easy but the struggles have been worthwhile because of all of the people that I have been able to heal along the way.

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.
If it was a Sunday, I would take them to Day Trip LA for a house dance set or a low-key vinyl set at Sunday Sessions. The next day we would go on a hike at the Ray Miller Trail in Malibu followed by a meal at The Real Coconut Kitchen. Another great place to take visitors is the Griffith Observatory for an amazing panoramic view of Los Angeles or even to see a meteor shower in Joshua Tree. I love to skateboard in the Pacific Palisades or in Venice, so we would stop by there as well. For lunch one day we would go to La Chouquette for the best French cuisine in town and another day to Sushi Ippo for all you can eat sushi. Of course, one night for dinner we get the best take out pizza in the city, Apollonia Pizzeria in Mid-Wilshire.
If we still had room for dessert aftwards, Cake Monkey Bakery in Fairfax District has the best apple pie in LA. Not joking! I am a regular at Bloom’s Cafe, shoutout to the mahi mahi & salmon plates for keeping my belly full. Their chocolate chip cookies are also bomb.
We would also take a shopping trip to the Melrose Trading Post for some great vintage clothes and goods from local artists. I would show my guest some fun take-home art from Hippy Blaine in Venice, plants from Ian at Shopyoichi (he makes THE BEST decorative pots), and soy wax candles from Katherine’s Gold Map.

I am a big dancer and love going to venues that host funky disco music, especially Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Creatington, Zebulon, or the Caribbean speak-easy at Clifton’s. I for sure would introduce my guest to all the amazing individuals I have met in Los Angeles and start the evening off at Laurel Hardware in Weho for cocktails but also their bomb chicken wings. If we feel like getting our money’s worth on a girl’s night, I’d suggest the all you can drink menu at Bacari on 3rd. For east side drinks, I love El Prado in Echo Park as well as The Friend in Silverlake. To escape the socal heat, I would suggest the IMAX movie theater in Universal Studios one day. Angelini Alimentari on Beverly Boulevard has the best Salmon Avocado Toast, which I often get for lunch in between clients while I’m working down the street. Hopefully the trip would end with going to my good friends Cory and Ryan’s place– they throw the best underground house parties in LA filled with genuine people and up and coming dj’s like Sloppi Poppi and Bob Voyage. Another good place to check out amazing musical talent is The Goldfish and Lodge Room in Highland Park.
And I couldn’t forget ending the trip with my self-care ritual, which is going to Treasure Island Beach in Laguna Beach after eating some Melt premium chocolates to watch the sunset.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Definitely all my long-term clients (you know who you are!). With my profession, I form deep connections with all individuals who step through my door. I have been seeing over 100+ clients over the years, and they have watched me grow through my 20’s and take big risks to achieve my dreams. I come from an unstable family support network, so my clients have been my main cheerleaders through my academic and professional goals. They have pushed me out of my comfort zone to reach for dreams bigger than myself. My clients really see something special in me to allow me to heal their chronic pain and injuries, and I am extremely grateful for that. Each individual has taught me beautiful life lessons through their experiences that I am lucky enough to hear about on my massage table day after day. I also want to give a shout out to the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund at USC for believing in me and financially supporting my academic career so I could create my business in Los Angeles while being a full-time student. Additionally, I would like to give a shout out to my closest friends in Los Angeles who quickly became my family and have taught me to be grounded and present in every moment.

Website: http://natashateresacmt.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/natashafascia/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/natasha-teresa-los-angeles

Image Credits
Spencer Starnes

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