What is your name?
Where do you practice massage therapy?
What year did you begin practicing massage therapy?
Describe your practice, the modalities you use, and what you try to achieve.
I am a co-owner of a massage therapy practice with two full-time LMT’s (myself included) and 6 part-time LMTs (sub-contractors). We have 3 treatment rooms but will be expanding to a larger office with 5 treatment rooms on 12/1/12. Swedish massage is my most commonly used modality, but I also do Deep Tissue work, Myofascial Release, and am a Bellanina Certified Facelift Specialist. I will also be a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM) very soon (training and requirements completed, paperwork submitted).
What kind of experience do you want your clients to have during a massage?
No matter why they are there – pain relief, relaxation, or stress/tension relief – I want them to feel better walking out the door than when they came in. I also want them to feel like they were treated with respect and as a unique individual.
What do you enjoy most about being a massage therapist?
I love working with the body, which I find absolutely fascinating, and having the opportunity to help people. I also love being able to work for myself.
Is there anything else that you’d like to describe about your practice?
Right out of school, I worked for 6 months at a national chain. It was a great learning experience but I definitely wanted more control over what kind of experience my clients could have and never doubted that I would be working for myself within the first year. I was extremely fortunate to connect with another therapist I went to school with and opened our own place sharing expenses and marketing efforts. We have what we think is a unique business model designed to help other therapists build their own clientele; our growth is a testament to its success. However, we work hard, often 6 days a week, and our team are not just good therapists but good fits with each other.
Which massage school did you attend?
Manatee Technical Institute
On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the best) how would you rate your school?
What was your favorite part about your school?
My instructor instilled a thirst to learn more than just what we could learn in school. She helped open our minds and generated excitement about the almost endless possibilities of further education.
Describe additional education, formal or informal, you have received since graduating from massage school.
I’ve attended a 3-day Myofascial Release seminar, a 3-day Deep Tissue Workshop, and have purchased many training DVD’s and books. I also have accessed YouTube training videos and online webinars from ABMP. We have a library of education materials in our office. My business partner and I also schedule “practice” time every week (which sometimes gets cancelled but we try!) to work on new techniques. This has the added benefit of receiving body work on a regular basis.
What advice would you give to prospective massage therapists about education? About practicing massage?
I love this profession. Some things I’ve learned in my first 2+ years:
1. Take care of yourself
2. Always be looking to learn new things
3. It’s a business. If you want to work for yourself, you’ll need to do much more than just perform awesome massages. You have to be the accountant, business manager, marketing director (including social media and website), owner (responsible for business development) and systems manager. Don’t like the sound of all that? Then work for someone else.
4. When at all possible, stay in touch with other therapists. If you can team up with one or more that you share common work ethics with, it will go a long way to providing emotional and intellectual support and growth.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before starting your journey as a massage therapist?
This is my 3rd major career change in life; I wish I had made the change much sooner.