Ben Brown, LMT, is the owner of HND + TMPL. He's been practicing for 18 years and was featured in the January/February 2023 issue of Massage & Bodywork magazine in “The Face of Bodywork.”
Below, learn more about Brown’s start and his practice.
• Business: HND + TMPL, New York City and Hudson Valley
• Training: Swedish Institute of Occupational Therapy
• Techniques: myofascial, deep tissue, sound healing, energy work
• Website: handandtemple.com
Q: What was it like when you started out on your own? What were the biggest challenges? What advice would you share to MTs who are starting out?
A: School instructors told me that I would only get hired right out of school with my license, which can take 5–10 months to obtain after graduating. New York state (NYS) only allows students to earn money once licensed. However, NYS has a loophole that will enable another licensed therapist to sponsor you until you receive your license. I got sponsored by three different therapists at three other locations and began my career. It was hustle culture at its finest, but I was ready. You can practice as much as you want. So that’s what I did after learning the basic strokes. I gave away massages to anyone I could who would let me touch them, and gradually became more strategic by targeting people of influence and resource (i.e., Pilates, yoga, and Gyrotonic instructors and their clients.) My reasoning was two-fold: get more experienced and build up my stamina. Those initial practice sessions turned into regular clients once I was licensed. So I had a ready-made clientele that grew with me.
Q: What is the significance of your practice name—HND + TMPL?
A: HND + TMPL (pronounced hand and temple) is the name of my practice. In part, I didn’t want to use my name and wanted to create something that would outlast me. The things I’ve learned can be shared and live on beyond me. Each of us has one body that presents us with all the experiences we will ever have in this form, so your body is precious and should be cared for with respect and reverence. It is a temple that houses your consciousness and spirit. Our hands are the tools to provide care and nurture. The hand is also symbolic of touch.