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”Investing in your physical 401k”

Physical Advantage has been a tour de force in the world of massage therapy for nearly 20 years, and has graced the pages of countless magazines both domestic as well as international from Vogue to Glamour.

What Laurie Towers tries to do at Physical Advantage is push massage into its rightful arena alongside other integral components of physical therapy and rehabilitation. As most of her clients are dancers and athletes from stage and sports team franchises, it’s easy enough to get their gospel out to the masses through both word of mouth and publicity.
In addition to and continuity of Laurie’s feelings on health and fitness, she , along with her co-founder Elite Ziegelman created The Bridal Body Shop in 2011, to help get brides and groom in shape for the biggest day of their lives. Their mantra of “It’s a dress for a day, but it’s your body for a lifetime” reflects their philosophy that health and fitness should not be inspired by a calendar marking but should be an investment that becomes a lifestyle.

Physical Knead


BusinessInterviews.com: Why do you feel that it’s important to chance the public’s perception of massage?

Laurie: Well the bottom line is that massage has just two recognizable faces as far as the public is concerned. It’s either an indulgence of luxury, or it’s something that’s attached with sexual connotations. The truth is both of these are stereotypes that have been spoon fed to society for decades. What people forget that massage is the most integral feature in physical therapy. Before we had devices like ultra sound, a TENS unit or any other form of technical stimulation, is was manual therapy that got the job done, and usually most effectively. Massage is primal and instinctive, and even a child will innately know to rub an area after it’s injured, without ever having to be taught to do so.

BusinessInterviews.com: Where does your passion for health and fitness come from and when did you know that you wanted to make it your career?

Laurie: You know I have to say how fortunate I am to be able to generate an income with something that is so part of my general being and has been for so long that I can’t recall it ever not being there. It evolved naturally and without interruption went from one stage to the next.

I have to say that my childhood played an enormous role in molding my way of thinking and formed philosophies. A high premium was placed on a good diet coupled with exercise, in my household and in retrospect I can see now how far ahead of her time my mother was. Every day she would take a chair out of the kitchen, sit in front of our old black and white TV set and she would devote that half hour to exercising with Jack La Lalanne. Never missed a day.
Our diets had little sugars and fat, and in fact any snack or treat was enjoyed on just ONE day, and then it disappeared until that day came around that following week. Sodas weren’t even an option, as were desserts . Snacks were fruits and vegetables like carrot sticks and celery and my brother and I didn’t know any different and were absolutely fine with that. A great respect for healthy eating was formed then and has carried us throughout our lives.

BusinessInterviews.com: What’s one marketing strategy that’s worked really well for you?

Laurie: The way I look at marketing is like throwing spaghetti against the wall. Eventually one of them has to stick. Same thing applies here. In business to create a spin or buzz the only thing you need to be consistent with is your tenacity. Try EVERYTHING and just zero in on the one that works best at that time and give that a little extra seasoning. Also, knowing that what works at that particular may be based largely on the economic climate at the time, so it may be more effective at one juncture and less at another. Always mix it up, because the routine can start to become stale and when you lose your fire for something, the flame will go out for the public too. Tenacity is what separates certain people from the rest of the pack. Skill certainly counts, as does timing and luck, but tenacity is what keeps you from losing your grip when gale winds are against you and THAT is what makes the difference in the outcome of your success.

BusinessInterviews.com: After you get a bride or groom in shape for their wedding day, how to you prepare them to remain committed to a healthier lifestyle in the long-term?

Laurie: Our mantra at The Bridal Body Shop is “It’s a dress for a day , but it’s your body for a lifetime” is the singular philosophy we are selling them. We come into existence with the “one per customer” deal with our bodies. No returns no exchanges, and a large amount of time the stain is on ourselves when something goes wrong. We are a society that is largely malnourished and happy to remain ignorant about it. Interestingly enough the fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar one, that tends to work in the short term for people rather than the long. We tend to use getting into shape or the ideology of it, based on a calendar incentive rather than a general way of living. We don’t invest in what I call our “physical 401k” and it truly is about everything we do for our bodies now, that determines how well we age. This is what we hope we impart on those who train with us, and even on those who don’t. The biggest kick for me and my business partner Elite Ziegelman are that fact that we both turned 50 this year, and we just LOVE the looks on the faces of those young brides coming in when they find that we are double their ages! I say this not to be self-aggrandizing but we truly are walking billboards for what we preach. Without having to say a word, and we couldn’t be more honest.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are fitness or health trends that you’re excited about?

Laurie: I for the most part tend to not like trends in any field and the truth is the fitness is industry is generally recycled philosophy that is repackaged, and sold to the same audience without them even knowing it. If we look to our pioneers in the industry we will see that kettle balls , circuit training and other ideologies, have made their appearances nearly 50 years ago and simply have been brushed off, shot from a different angle, and sold to another generation. All these principles are solid and worthy it’s just that the public uses them ONLY in the short term and that’s the reason they are not effective. Embracing them as a lifestyle is the only way to see results.

BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally in 2014?

Laurie: So many things have me pumped every year, but the upcoming year has two businesses in the going direction I want. Firstly Physical Advantage is branding and slowly becoming a mini chain within a chain of gyms in the franchise sense. The Bridal Body Shop although still in its infancy stage as a business is has a few exciting directions to go in. Our radio show seems to have an audience that constantly grows, so hopefully we move on to a broader plane through entertainment.

There really are endless possibilities so we just embrace everything as it comes but the best part is that we enjoy what we are doing so it hardly feels like working. Thomas Jefferson had a quote that I just love “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have if it” All I can say is a big amen to that.

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