Tattoos and Massage? Yes… they work well together!

I developed a penchant for tattoos at a relatively young age.  When I was 18, I went into a creepy tattoo parlor here in Indianapolis and took my rite of passage.  Back in the day, this was pretty taboo.Image

When I got older, I got my original tattoo covered with a far more professional one, and started adding to my collection.  Once upon a time, folks who had a tattoo were looked down upon.  The fact that so many artists trained for years and years to be able to master their trade and create a piece of art that lasts a lifetime was terribly overlooked and underrated.  That still happens to some degree today, but tattooing is far more accepted and it has come to be seen more and more as an art form.

I’m of the opinion that tattoos are an art form; an incredible art form that is finally coming into its own and doesn’t carry the taboo that it did when I obtained my first tattoo.  Now a day, it’s not uncommon for “kids” around 18 to get their first tattoo.  I’m sure that most of us know someone with at least one tattoo.  It’s not uncommon to sit across the table from an attorney sporting a tattoo, or a doctor that took a similar rite when she wanted to immortalize an event or pay tribute to a loved one.

Each of us who have been tattooed has our reasons for sitting through the session whether gracefully, or not (if you really want a chuckle go to this link — this is NOT the way to get a tattoo).

  • Some of us experience a great deal of pain.
  • ImageSome of us experience some discomfort.
  • Some of us find ourselves in a meditative state while our bodies are altered and become the canvases for the artists creating the individual masterpiece to adorn the body being worked on.

Tattoos are as individual as the person getting the work done.

There is a distinct difference in a tattoo parlor and a tattoo studio.  When was the last time you stepped into an “art parlor”?  It doesn’t happen.  We go to art studios…

Massage is an art form as well.  As a massage therapist:

  • We take classes to learn anatomy and physiology.
  • We train to learn how to manipulate muscles and bring relief to aches and pains.
  • We go to workshops to learn different forms of healing (Gua Sha and cupping are favorites of mine… but more on that later).
  • We travel to workshops to learn different forms of massage (ask me about Lomi-Lomi if you REALLY want a treat and to be immersed in the art of massage!).
  • We learn to read our clients and what they need.
  • We learn to communicate through touch and non-verbal cues.
  • Our canvas, too, is the human body, but we dig beneath the flesh and work our art on tired muscles or overworked tendons that need a helping hand
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  • To “master” our trade, we read incessantly and practice without pause.  Even when I’m sleeping, I wake up often dreaming of how to improve my skills.
  • We never truly “master” our art because each human body is as unique as a drop of water from the ocean.

Massage, as with any other form of art, is a passion and a calling.  One doesn’t wake up in the morning and decide, “Hmm…I think I’d like to be a massage therapist”, and become one.  One doesn’t doze off in the evening thinking “well… if nothing else comes up tomorrow, I think I’ll become a massage therapist”.  I’m not a tattoo artist, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they don’t wake up impulsively and decide to buy some incredibly expensive equipment and pigments and start leaving their marks on the world.

What in the world does tattooing and massages have to do with one another?  Interestingly enough, they can be symbiotic.

  • Both are art forms that have been fighting for legitimacy since their entrance onto the modern stage.
  • Both tattoo artists and massage therapists are passionate about their work.
  • Both train incredibly hard to achieve greatness only to realize they are nowhere the pinnacle of their mastery.
  • Both bring joy and happiness, or a feeling of completion or homage to their client bases.
  • Both are located in one convenient location in downtown Indianapolis!!!

Ahhhh… now it’s making sense, I hope.  I am one of three massage therapists who are currently working out of the Firefly Tattoo Collective located at 429 E. Vermont Street in the Academy building in the Lockerbie District.Image

Traveling to the Firefly Tattoo Collective is a beautiful journey because it’s nestled in a historic area with beautiful older homes and newer homes.  Lots of trees and restaurants in the area, but this article isn’t to promote this great neighborhood downtown, it’s to let you know where to find me.

If you haven’t already clicked on the links to the Firefly website, I strongly recommend you check them out.  They’ve taken a venue that in days gone by would have been thought of as a borderline torture chamber, but they have taken the art of tattoo and created a studio that is wide open, full of natural sunlight, inviting and vibrant.  They’ve added their own pieces of fine artwork to make the location into a true artist’s studio.  They’ve incorporated into their studio two havens that are specially designed and decorated to take massage and energy healing clients to a place of deep relaxation and contentment to find peace and healing.

Even if you have no interest in getting a tattoo (or multiple), they have incredible artists that have fine art for sale and on display.  If you are interested in a tattoo (or multiple) the artists styles vary as greatly as you can imagine… The artists are Laura Black, Dina Verplank, Gerrit Verplank and Eddie Frank.

My rates can be found on my website (  or through the Firefly Tattoo Collective Website ( Feel free to email me at,  or if you are cruising around the Firefly site you can click on my page to be directed to my email address.  If you prefer, feel free to call me at 317 623 8868, please like my page on Facebook ( and PLEASE share my website and blog with as many people as you are able.

I’m excited to hear from you and discuss how I can demonstrate my art form, as well as show you around my new home and introduce you to some incredibly talented artists.