Just three years ago, 28-year-old Rebecca Faria brought her exclusive detox massage techniques to the United States. The Brazilian lymphatic massage master has since opened up her own business, Detox by Rebecca, in Los Angeles and amassed an A-list clientele that includes Ariana Grande, Becky G, Chloe Grace-Moretz, Hailey Bieber, Jennifer Aniston, Kourtney Kardashian, Lucy Hale, Olivia Culpo, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and more. We had the chance to chat with Faria all about her treatments, getting her foot into the celebrity world and her journey to founding a successful business.
You’ve been mastering your detox massage technique for a decade. Can you tell us more about your exclusive style and how it's different from the standard lymphatic massage?
I have been studying for all these years, always trying to improve my treatment, so then I'm able to understand the root problem of each client. Each person is different. Each person needs a different treatment to be done on them. So I talk to my clients, I understand about their routine, their lifestyle, their needs and then I decide what I'm going to do on them. Besides the manual lymphatic, I use different equipment, always trying to target whatever they need the most.
Let’s go back a bit. Can you tell us more about your journey into this business?
In Brazil, I did different trainings. This is something fairly popular in Brazil, so you can find different types of trainings. After, in Australia, I studied Chinese medicine there. And then I came to the US and I was able to translate my master's degree that I did in Brazil.
What about lymphatic massages made you interested enough to want to do it professionally?
As I told you, this is something popular in Brazil, so it's a part of the culture. You kind of grow up seeing your mom's doing it, your grandma. As soon as I finished high school, I knew that I wanted to study body aesthetics and massage. So that's what I did. And since the beginning, I was working so I could learn more. I would say that 90% of everything I know, I learned by practicing it. And I've always been passionate about it. I've always known since I was young by watching my family doing it, that I wanted to do it. And then my challenge was bringing lymphatics to the United States and to do something that didn't exist here at that time. So that was my main challenge, but I've always wanted to do it here.
Of all places in the United States, why open your business in Los Angeles?
I've always loved the US. I've always wanted to come here. I tried to find a city where I thought that I would have more of a chance with lymphatic, and that city was L.A. because here people are very into wellness, beauty and health. So I had my target, which was L.A., but to come to L.A. was a challenge. So I came first to an island close to Boston called Martha's Vineyard and I was working on summer vacation there, saving… because I needed some money to start a business here. When I had enough, I came to L.A. and then I had enough cash to start my business. So I rented a room, I started doing house calls by Uber because I didn't have a car at that time, and then I saved some money so I could buy a car, then I could rent a place. It was very low, really step by step. I came here three years ago. It was not that smooth.
How did you stay motivated during the early stages?
I was able to keep motivated because I knew that only I was able to show people my work here. They would have all the benefits of lymphatic drainage, either for their health, their looks or their bodies. I really saw a huge potential. And every single client that I did was always happy after. They were always appreciative of my work, so that was my motivation. I was learning the language. Every day I saw some progress, also in my personal life. So I was like, “Yes, now I can talk on the phone. Now I can understand the movie.” That was very motivating for me as well, being able to learn about the place and the language and the culture.
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You've gained quite the high-profile clientele. How did you became a go-to for so many celebrities?
Every single client, since the beginning, I've always given my best to every single one. So they were referring me to their friends. All my business was word of mouth. I've never done any type of publicity before, or I didn't even have Instagram in the beginning when I had just moved here. I would just try to show people my work. So I would be like, “Let me do my massage on you. You don't even have to pay me.” And then one person would refer to others. At some point, I started to do some bloggers, people with more followers on Instagram, they would post me and refer me. But to get where I am today— where I see Kardashians, Hailey Bieber, Ariana Grande— it took me three years, and I would say that my clients were building trust with me. They feel comfortable to refer me because they know I know how to behave myself. I won't act weird because they are celebrities. I am discreet. I am simple, so they feel comfortable. They feel comfortable by referring me to their friends.
Let’s talk more about the actual treatment. How does it detoxify the body?
So we have the lymphatic system in our bodies, which is responsible for filtering things that we shouldn't have inside of us. I always do the analogy with a sink. If you were a sink, the drain out of the sink would be your lymph nodes and the pipe could be the lymphatic system. If the drain gets clogged, the sink will be full of water and trash and nothing will flow into the pipe. When we do lymphatic drainage massages, we try to clean these drains and release the toxins that can be stuck in the body and release inflammation and release water weight. As a result, the client feels lighter, healthier. It's good for the immune system, for their blood flow because the lymphatic system is a part of your immune system, it’s a part of your blood system. So it's either good for the way clients look, but it's even more beneficial for their health because we're releasing toxins that can build up into conditions in the future.
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What is your favorite part about your job?
It's very rewarding seeing my clients improving their overall health by doing the treatment with me. I also talk to them a lot. I try to understand their lifestyle, I tell them what they should change, and I see them improve from what they looked like one year ago and how much healthier they are right now. It's very rewarding to feel like we're changing people's lives.
For people that are also looking to start their own business, what is the best piece of advice you can offer?
I would say start humble. Treat every single client the same way. Don't look for money, look for quality. Since the beginning, all the money I would make, I would invest in my business. I was not money hungry. You have to always invest in the quality of your business and give your best to every single client because then they will refer you to their friends and that's how you're going to grow… You have to build a loyal community and a community that trusts you.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity. Detox by Rebecca is located at 8840 Wilshire Blvd. 90211. Join the waitlist.
Photography by: Detox by Rebecca Imagery; Eduardo Orelha