Job diary: I'm a snake massagist who's served over 20,000 clients - Business Insider

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1/24/2021 6:16:00 PM

Job diary: I charge up to $300 for 'snake massages' that help people de-stress and reduce pain. Over 20,000 people have signed up for my sessions. (by JennyPowersBK)

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Courtesy of SerpentessaSerpentessa (not her real name) is a former professional belly dancer and a 'snake priestess' who uses snakes to conduct healing massages for her clients.For 33 years, she's been facilitating interactions between snakes and people, ranging from thrill-seekers and nature lovers to people suffering from PTSD.

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This is what her job is like, as told to freelance writer Jenny Powers.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.I was 29 years old and working as a professional belly dancer in New York City in 1984 when a childhood friend of my husband's gave me a boa constrictor. It was my first snake and I christened her Sophia, a tribute to the Greek Goddess of Wisdom. 

Sophia was bred in captivity and used to being handled by humans, so the learning curve of getting acquainted with one another was more on my end than hers, but little by little, we began to establish a friendship.I'm not a licensed massage therapist, but I like to consider myself a

21st century snake priestess.Over the past 33 years, I'd estimate that between private sessions, coaching groups, and events, I've given more than 20,000 people a live snake encounter. I've also been featured on shows like Entertainment Tonight and The Today Show.

Snakes are incredibly powerful animalsSnake medicine and integrating snakes into wellness activities is nothing new, in fact people have long held snakes as asymbol of healingand renewal.As a longtime sufferer of endometriosis, when I first was given Sophie I noticed she was particularly drawn to the inflamed area around my belly as if she could sense my pain and discomfort. 

Each time she made her way to my belly, entwining herself around me in what felt like a hug, my physical pain would disappear, often alleviating my need for a hot water bottle. But while I was relieved of my physical pain rather quickly, the toll of both the emotional and psychological effects that endometriosis had left on me took much longer to shed. Eventually though, as our friendship blossomed and my healing continued, I was able to regain the ability to feel joy within my body.

It may come as a surprise, but as I opened myself up to the healing process and the connection between Sophia and I continued to grow, I began to receive messages in the form of images and word fragments from her which I refer to as snake 'hisspers," so I came to consider myself sort of an inter-species facilitator with a speciality in boa constrictors.

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My snakes are not a tool or propA client during a snake massage session.Courtesy of SerpentessaI am not manipulating them in any fashion; they are the ones truly doing the work. My role is to help guide them in the interaction with clients. No one has ever been bitten or hurt during one of my sessions.

As the snake's journey around the body, they can stimulate the vagus nerve, which for some can help de-stress, increase happiness, and reduce pain. It can be a very transformative experience invoking a combination of fear, fascination, and cathartic release. 

In 1990, I introduced working with snakes to others. By this time, I'd brought more snakes in my life. Initially, I offered meet-and-greet encounters for children at events where I could educate them about snakes while directing them through a hands-on experience. 

Snakes can be a meaningful addition in dance groups and communitiesA post shared by Serpentessa (@serpentessa_snake_witch)Working with women dancers, I would teach them to incorporate snakes into their performances as I had in my belly dancing. As men too became interested, I began facilitating mixed groups. A shamanic healer I know also invited me to work with some of her clients.

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JennyPowersBK Good business JennyPowersBK Ted Cruz and Matt Gaetz do it everyday on Twitter for free. JennyPowersBK well, then I am well under priced for my snake massages JennyPowersBK Do you think this is what people really need right now?