What is your name?
Where do you practice massage therapy?
Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. My practice is split 50/50 on outcalls and home office appointments. It is also split about 60/30/10 – people, dogs, horses.
Are you an employee or self-employed?
Self-Employed. When I first graduated from people massage, I was employed part-time, two evenings a week at a salon.
What year did you begin practicing massage therapy?
I began practicing massage therapy in 2007, when I became a certified equine massage therapist through Thersage Equine Massage Certification, Milton, Wisconsin. In 2008, I became a certified canine massage therapist through Pet Massage Ltd, Toledo, Ohio. I obtained my people massage certification and license for the state of Wisconsin in 2011.
Describe your practice, the modalities you use, and what you try to achieve.
As I stated earlier, my practice is split on outcalls and home office appointments. I have two sets of equipment (table, sheets, hot stones, etc) – one for my vehicle and one for my home office. I go to people’s homes, businesses, & farms/barns/kennels or they have the option of coming to my home office. For my horse clients, I am usually focusing on deep tissue massage with horses that have muscular issues caused by injury, age, or performance. My dog clients are split between maintenance massage for older dogs and agility dogs. For my people massage services, I focus on relaxation, neuromuscular, hot stone, chair, and oncology massage. My main goal for all three is to bring comfort.
What kind of experience do you want your clients to have during a massage?
Besides bringing comfort to my clients, I want them to walk away with the feeling that I gave them the best massage and my hands were listening to what their body was saying.
What do you enjoy most about being a massage therapist?
I am in awe of the difference I can make in somebody’s life and not in a conceited way. When you are able to help make somebody comfortable in their last hours of life, it brings peace into your life. However, when you bring comfort to the loved ones surrounding the individual, it brings you to tears that YOU were able to make that difference in their lives as well.
Is there anything else that you’d like to describe about your practice?
I am currently still working my full-time position at a local college (non-massage related), while building up my massage clientele. It is a challenge, but I currently provide insurance for my family.
Your EducationWhich massage school did you attend?
- Horse – Therasage EMC, Milton WI
- Dog – Pet Massage Ltd, Toledo OH
- People – Blue Sky Professional Massage School – Madison WI
On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the best) how would you rate your school?
Horse – 4 It was too short! Haha
Dog – 5 Awesome home study program; not for folks that don’t have prior animal anatomy and experience. Definitely take the actual hands-on course
People – 4 My educational work background had me critiquing some procedures. Great school overall
What was your favorite part about your school?
The three available tracks – medical, relaxation, & energy. I took the medical track.
Describe additional education, formal or informal, you have received since graduating from massage school.
I am currently working on my certification for oncology massage and chair massage. I am always reading my massage magazines, on-line massage groups and talking with other massage therapists.
What advice would you give to prospective massage therapists about education? About practicing massage?
Most massage schools are pretty intense, so my best advice would be to get your life organized – family, work, and school. Spend a little extra and get a fantastic calendar to keep you on track for your assignments, quizzes, projects, and exams. Making my own flashcards were a HUGE plus for me and my studying skills.
Advice on practicing massage – remember that fantastic calendar? Get it again to keep track of your appointments. I color code my calendar, so I know if I am out or home. I also have a wipe-off wall calendar that shows my family my schedule as well. I also love, love, love my client programs that I have for soap notes, products for sale, and appointments.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before starting your journey as a massage therapist?
That is a tough one. I wish I had gone through the schooling years ago, but I’m not sure I’d have the same view of it as I do today. Also, I think our field has really taken on a wonderful, positive turn and is being more accepted in not only in the community but in the medical world. This is a great time to become a massage therapist!