Ep 162 – Paul Kelly on How to Build Something from Nothing: “The Rebel MT” with Allison Denney

Massage therapist writing notes on a desk.

Paul Kelly is the owner of Temple Human Performance (www.templehp.com) and the creator of the brand Physiokinetics. To an outsider, he makes it all look so easy. But talking with him reveals how grit and the determination to get up and do something every day is what has enabled him to build a successful business.

Allison's column in Massage & Bodywork magazine:

Feelization: Connect with Clients on a Deeper Level,” by Allison Denney, Massage & Bodywork magazine, September/October 2021, page 85.

The Case for Consistency: Treating Persistent Injuries,” by Allison Denney, Massage & Bodywork magazine, July/August 2021, page 80.

Buddha’s Six-Pack: Serratus and Intercostals, with a Diaphragm Chaser,” by Allison Denney, Massage & Bodywork magazine, May/June 2021, page 86.

Contact Allison Denney:


Author Images: 
Allison Denney, The Rebel MT.
Author Bio: 

Allison Denney is a certified massage therapist and certified YouTuber. You can find her massage tutorials at YouTube.com/RebelMassage. She is also passionate about creating products that are kind, simple, and productive for therapists to use in their practices. Her products, along with access to her blog and CE opportunities, can be found at rebelmassage.com.  


This podcast sponsored by:

Anatomy Trains:  

Anatomy Trains is a global leader in online anatomy education and also provides in-classroom certification programs for structural integration in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, Japan, and China, as well as fresh-tissue cadaver dissection labs and weekend courses. The work of Anatomy Trains originated with founder Tom Myers, who mapped the human body into 13 myofascial meridians in his original book, currently in its fourth edition and translated into 12 languages. The principles of Anatomy Trains are used by osteopaths, physical therapists, bodyworkers, massage therapists, personal trainers, yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonics, and other body-minded manual therapists and movement professionals. Anatomy Trains inspires these practitioners to work with holistic anatomy in treating system-wide patterns to provide improved client outcomes in terms of structure and function.  

Website: anatomytrains.com  

Email: info@anatomytrains.com   

Facebook: facebook.com/AnatomyTrains  

Instagram: instagram.com/anatomytrainsofficial  

YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UC2g6TOEFrX4b-CigknssKHA  

Full Transcript: 

0:00:00.1 Speaker 1: Anatomy Trains is delighted to announce a brand new dissection livestream specialty class in September 18th: LumboPelvic Stability, a one-day layered dissection with Anatomy Train's author Tom Myers and master dissector Todd Garcia. The early bird price of $150 is held until September 10th. After September 10th, the price is $250. Come see the body's actual core for yourself. This course will be provided over Zoom webinar, with multiple camera views, live chat, and Q&A. Visit anatomytrains.com to sign up.

0:00:34.6 Speaker 2: This episode is brought to you by the Massage Mentor Institute. Diane Matkowski, also known as the Massage Mentor, and Allison Denney, also known as Rebel Massage, have teamed up to bring you the Massage Mentor Institute. MMI is a collection of teachings and education opportunities from industry leaders around the world, because your continuing education experience should be whatever you want it to be. They are building community one body part at a time, and they want you to be a part of it. Head over to themassagementorinstitute.com today to see more, learn more, and do more.


0:01:21.1 Speaker 3: How do we find our success? How do we know which path to take? How do we build something out of nothing? No one will tell you it is easy. Paul Kelly will tell you that it is all about getting up every day, believing in yourself, and surrounding yourself with the people who motivate you.


0:01:45.5 Paul Kelly: Hello, my name is Paul Kelly, and I am the owner and originator of the Temple Human Performance Services.

0:01:52.7 Speaker 3: Temple Human Performance Services is his clinic, but he also has a brand.

0:01:57.5 PK: And then, Physiokinetix is our brand that we created out of the Temple, which is our training system, our home study programs, our certifications now that are nationally certified, all of our content, our reseller program that we started for the clinicians, so that they can help grow their businesses.

0:02:18.1 S3: This all sounds pretty impressive, but I wanted to know how it all started. Paul told me that early on, he knew he was fascinated by how the human body moves.

0:02:29.4 PK: I love the human body as form and function. When I was just a child, I used to study and listen to the AMA channel on TV. It was on public TV, channel 2. And I used to watch the medical channels on Sunday and listen to all the different ones. It was fascinating to me. And... So then, yeah, and then being in sports as a child, I played every sport. Back then, we played every sport every season. We didn't play one sport, we played 'em all. So I'd go from soccer season, to baseball season, to football season, to basketball season, to hockey, to... You know what I mean? We just rotated the whole year. And so, I was always into this, and then... I was wanting to look good in high school too. So you go through puberty, and you're all scraggly and scrawny. I was 5'11, 135 pounds; I was a little skinny guy. And... Wanted... I was a track athlete too, and was a pole vaulter decathlete, so I was really into being strong, and so you had to get strong to pole vault and lift my body weight and do all that jump.

0:03:38.4 S3: That child-like curiosity led him right into college.

0:03:42.5 PK: Well, I'm... In college, I was a cheerleader in college, so, not many people know that, but I was competing in competitions then, so we were... I was lifting not only girls all day long, but guys sometimes on our shoulders, and always having to be in the best shape I could be and really physically. And we competed in these national competitions. They have one called UCA, it's a big national competition that they would hold every single year, so we would train for it year-round, and... Not only that, but having the games and stuff that we did, and flying to all the different games and performing everywhere. All through college, I did that for five years. And then I did it during the summer, so I traveled to colleges and universities all over the United States and taught camps, taught college kids, taught high school kids, taught all kinds of people, for many, many summers. And that was my summer gig, and then, during the year, I was doing some modeling on the side and some acting on the side; we always had to have that going on too to help with finances, because I was paying for all of my schooling you know and my expenses, so you had to have a couple jobs.

0:04:52.0 S3: And if all of that wasn't enough, Paul decided to dive into the world of opening his own business.

0:04:58.5 PK: So it was fun; a lotta stuff going on in college, and during that time is when I started my training business, and at that time, it started with training, 'cause I was in school for sports medicine and the exercise science and all that, and learning all those things, and so... I started incorporating that into my business structure right away, and so, I sat down with my best friend in the kitchen, and we drew out a picture of this guy right here. I don't think you can really see it out there, but it's a picture of a guy with his arms extended and his chest up, and he's looking up.


0:05:30.1 S3: Paul was looking up too. He was in school competing and starting his own business on the side. I wanted to know how he kept his motivation.

0:05:39.9 PK: Yeah, I can get bored really easy with things, if... I love the human body, but I also like to see progression. I like to see things... Move, and I like to learn why. I like to really teach understanding, and I like to understand, so to teach understanding, you have to really understand. And so, I like to be able to convey that message when I'm working with my clients. And so, myself, I am that type of person; I like to learn, I like to be the best. It doesn't mean that I am the best, but I like to at least have a striving point, a value system that at least I live by. And that helps motivate me.

0:06:24.9 S3: But a lot of people might not find it so easy to be their own motivator. I asked Paul how he kept his own momentum going.

0:06:33.1 PK: I'm the kinda person that people would say, "Man, you've been knocked down so many times, and you get back up, it's just amazing. How do you do that?" Well, that's the thing: Life is about getting up when you're down and believing that you can do it and you can make a difference, even despite what people may tell you. And a lotta people... I think a lotta people that have become successful didn't take no for an answer in things. They said, "Yes, I can." I'm a big "Yes, I can" guy. And so, how do you get... If you don't wanna say... Well, maybe you need to find a niche that's good for you, and then all of a sudden, your spirit is there. Do you get what I'm saying? And maybe it's... It wasn't... Maybe I found my niche, and my niche is what drives me. And I think a lotta people still haven't maybe found their niche. And maybe I don't change a whole lot outside my niche, but my niche is broad, and I got a lot to learn in my niche. You know what I mean? So, I chose a good one for that. But I think that's a lot of what helped me is because I didn't know what I wanted to do necessarily, and I created this hybrid. Yeah, I didn't know back then; I just tried. I got up every day, and the one thing I could tell anybody about being successful was just getting up everyday and doing something.


0:07:56.1 S3: So Paul did exactly that. He got up every day and did something. But he also did this with the knowledge that he only had himself to rely on.

0:08:05.4 PK: It was rough. It... But I think it's just... I didn't have anyone to depend on but myself. That's another thing. When you don't have anyone's... I was... Not that my parents weren't there for me; that's not what I'm saying. But my parents... We grew up on a farm, and we grew up to learn how to take care of ourselves, and to be responsible for our own lives. And so, by the age of 18, yes, you were responsible for your own life, and I was responsible to go to college if I wanted to. I wasn't pushed. So those are some things that I just had in me; I had that drive because I had to have that drive.

0:08:44.8 S3: That drive opened a lot of doors for Paul. Working hard at school and in cheerleading was challenging, but he was also digging deep and listening to those around him.

0:08:54.9 PK: It was just an amazing four years of traveling around with some of the best in the world, and being around the best, you start to learn to be a winner. There's that mentality about winning. I can tell you, unless you just don't give up, you don't know it. You just have to keep in there. And that's kinda part of that whole... What keeps driving me today is because of my experiences that I... But there's been times, like I sat in my living room one time, and this is on Christmas one year, and I will never forget this, because it was probably one of the hardest times in my life, and I was a senior in college. And I was broke back then; we didn't have any money. I was working three jobs, and it was Christmas time, and that's the worst time to be broke, you know what I mean? You couldn't even buy anything for your mom, or your dad, or your... Anybody.

0:09:51.9 PK: So I remember just being super depressed and just sitting there going, "You know what I'm gonna do? I'm just gonna sit down and make stuff for people." I just wanted that. That's humble. This is a humbling time. And... Gosh, it's just like, you have absolutely nothing. I have furniture that's been given to me from hand-me-downs. I have a couple of t-shirts that I've recycled for about five years, you know what I mean? It's that time of your life when you're just raw, and I think that's... When you go through that time, and then you look back, I can look back at that time now and go, "Man... " I didn't know where I could go, but I just knew I should just try.


0:10:34.8 S3: Paul's transition from being a student to his independence in the field, he attributes to a connection he made with one of those people that he wanted to be like while he was at the University of Tennessee.

0:10:46.0 PK: Jenny Moshak, who's traveled around the world now; she just got done traveling around the world with the women's basketball team, asked me to be on this TV show that was at UT at the time, and it was a therapy show. And she was hosting it, and she was talking about body parts, like what I do now. And she was talking about rib injuries, and rotator cuff injuries, and stuff like that, and I was her model. So, I was really interested in it, because one, it was my major. I was real fascinated about the joints in the body, and the physiology, and she was using me as an example and showing me, and it was really cool. I was in the thing, and... And it got me interested, and it motivated me. I said, "Wow, this is really cool. She can fix shoulders. That's really neat." And then she would work on me, 'cause I was always getting hurt. So, she put my ribs in when no one was putting ribs in. She was way advanced. We were doing, back then, different types of positional release techniques that were very brand new. Different types of muscle energy, and positional release, and high velocities, and all kinds of different things back then that we learned.

0:11:52.3 PK: And I went to a structural core school. It was a rolfing-style school of the 10 session work. And so, I did that schooling, and that was like a year and a half or something like that I did. I did that after I graduated. So in 1998, I did that that year. I had met a... One of our divers at UT, and her name was Tracy Bonner. She was a National Championship diver, and she was in this... She was like, "Paul, you gotta try this structural integration stuff, man. You'd really like it." 'Cause I was looking for something else. I'm always looking for more and more. I've been treated by some really important, really profound people, like some osteopaths that affected me, and I'm like, "Man, there's stuff out there that I don't know about. I gotta learn about this stuff."


0:12:42.3 S3: And that is when Paul met someone else who became yet another strong influence for him and his career.

0:12:49.5 PK: I wasn't convinced at that time, but I used it, I used it. And that's when it led into me looking for the best in that field at that time, which was Erik Dalton. And... Erik approached me; I went to one of his seminars in Nashville, Tennessee. Yeah, so Erik got on stage and does what he does. He's real funny, and kinda makes you think, and real fun to listen to, and... It was funny, 'cause I was sitting right in the front row, and Erik said, "Hey, come on up here on stage with me." So I go, "Okay." So I walked up on stage, and he was like, "Hey, sit down, let's do this thing," and whatever, so he starts showing a demo on me or whatever. That's how I met him.

0:13:29.1 S3: Erik and Paul hit it off. Their camaraderie was like a brotherhood that helped Paul begin to envision a new path.

0:13:36.8 PK: And then Erik and I started a long relationship here of me helping him to teach and learning from him and mentoring, and then me teaching and mentoring and starting a mentoring program at my office, and... Yeah, just teaching people all over the world. For a good 20-some years, I did it. The idea is that afterwards, I was like, "Hey, Erik, I wanna start this stuff called Physiokinetix," and... I had a dream... This is really interesting. I had a dream about my logo, and... It was so strange. I swear, I got up in the morning and drew out my logo with a pencil and colored it in with a colored pencil. [chuckle] All my colors, and I brought it to work. I was working with a graphic design lady at the time, and she was my logo lady, and she had the hardest time. She kept bringing me these logos, I was like, "Nah, no, nah, not that one." I couldn't decide.

0:14:42.2 PK: So I had this dream, right? I had a dream, and... [chuckle] Lo and behold, it's this logo of an infinity symbol with these colors, and all these colors on the base of it is yellow and green, and yellow is the beginning, and it has meaning, and I'm a big color person, so... Yellow just has meaning to me about beginnings and the early start of a day, and then green is stable. We start getting green, 'cause we're getting stronger when we start growing. And then, purple is power, power. We start to gain power from stability. And then, blue is performance. Blue is when we can move. When we're airy, when we're blue, we're moving around the room, you know what I mean? We got energy. And so, those are... Those colors all had meaning in them. Lo and behold, I dreamt it up, and it all worked out, and the infinity symbol's cross-patterning, and the brain, the way that everything works. Think about the entered center of the X is like the corpus callosum of the brain. It's just crossing everything into our body and downward, and it's just got... It has a lot of meaning in it to me. And I was like... I brought that in, I was like, "Man, this is it, man, this is the logo," and sure enough, man, it just really was.


0:16:02.0 S3: And so, Paul's brand, Physiokinetix, was born.

0:16:06.7 PK: It's about moving for life. That's what it's about. The whole thing is, it was about that. This was before... Now, everyone's doing like, "Move you." Everyone's doing... Everyone... You see it all over the place now. But this is going back about six, seven years ago, when this was kinda thought up. And... I just kinda waited to bring it out probably a little too long, but hey, it's never too late to do something you love.

0:16:29.5 S3: Paul continues to do what he loves. He and his team work every day helping people to live the life that they want to live.

0:16:38.3 PK: What's neat about my team is, everybody knows my stuff. They know how we treat people, and how we get them on the table and off the table, and when I say, "Hey, listen, this person has instability in their right SI, and they have whatever is wrong with them," I may describe it to them, they know what to do.

0:17:00.2 S3: Paul also continues to make connections and build community. I met Paul through Diane Matkowski and the Massage Mentor Institute, where our mutual belief and learning from each other shines.

0:17:12.6 PK: It's not about competing against each other. Everyone brings to the table their own expertises to things. And as far as me as a presenter is concerned... We always have this saying: You can't really teach your experience. You can show it, but you can't make everybody like you. You know what I mean? So, I think that's really unique in itself when you bring a bunch of people to go, "You see that?" Everyone has their own unique experience on how they teach.


0:17:43.1 S3: But Paul has one more connection that he made that deeply influenced him, and I asked him to share this story with you.

0:17:51.2 PK: I had a really unique and exciting opportunity to work on Burt Reynolds right before he passed away, in his last movie, The Last Movie Star. And he was... Man, he... I had always kind of admired him growing up. He was in all these movies that I used to watch when I was a kid, and I watched Deliverance, heaven help me, golly, I watched that when I was way too young to see that movie. But it definitely shocked me for the rest of my life, and I'll never forget it, but... And then, I remember all his movies, and here I was, I got called in; this is a crazy story. I was in my office, and I was going through the day just working on people, and then my secretary goes, "Hey, Paul, I got a phone call for you," and I go, "Okay." So I pick up the phone and it's... He goes... This guy goes, "Hey, is this Paul Kelly?", and I go, "Yeah." He goes, "I was wondering if you wouldn't mind. I've got a guy that's really injured right now, and I don't know if you could come out; we're shooting the movie here in town. His name is Burt Reynolds. Is there any way you could come out here and work on him? He's having a hard time getting out of his chair." I'm like, "What! Of course I could come out and work on Burt Reynolds."

0:19:00.1 PK: So, I was just like, "Oh my gosh, this is crazy." So... Yeah, so here I am going out there, and I had a really... Man, what an experience, especially because now, he's passed, and... Just a unique guy; he's an Aquarian, you know. He's just... I'm an Aquarian, you know, so we're... He's just one of those kinda really cool guys. He's just... In his whole Sally Field story; he told me his whole life story about Sally Field, and... It was just really cool. But just him in general, his injury, let's talk about that. The poor guy has his cane, and he's all bent over when I come and see him, and he has a real bad left lumbar right thoracic scoliosis; that's what he has. Well, he broke his tailbone and landed on it in a rock in Deliverance, when he went over the waterfall; he actually did that. And that pain on his face is really him when he comes out of that water, so when I go back and watch that movie, which I don't really want to, but when you go back and watch it, that's really live, and... He just went back and relived that with me. But there's been a lotta stuff there, and I really just wanted to help him. I didn't care who he was. That totally went out of my mind as soon as I started to look at him, and I just wanted him to have his best last movie, you know what I mean?

0:20:16.8 PK: And so, I just spent two days with him, about six hours with him, in different times, and then throughout the week in the set, and I just really enjoyed just seeing somebody at their best, and then seeing 'em at their most humblest. You know what I mean? And it goes to show you that we gotta take care of ourselves through our whole life. He's just a really... It was just a really cool experience, as far as ones that I'll always remember.


0:20:41.3 S3: Paul's journey from growing up on a farm to a successful human movement business has been one of strength, grit, fortitude, and connections. He is an inspiration to anyone who wants to build something from nothing. For more information about Paul Kelly and his work, head to templehp.com. That's www.T-E-M-P-L-E-H-P.com. Or, look for him on Facebook or Instagram.


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