Why I Do What I Do

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Laura Meredith giving outdoor massage

Laura Meredith giving outdoor massage

Over the last six years of working in this profession, my clients have asked me many of the same questions over and over, but I think the most common one is “So what got you into this profession, anyway?” And what a great question it is, because the idea of becoming a licensed massage therapist, one who manually massages strangers for a living – sounds pretty far-fetched to most.

And of course it is kind of a far-fetched idea if you break it down; I meet people, sometimes for the first time, and have a quick chat with them, then step out of the room. They take most or all of their clothes off, get onto my table, and I massage them in a darkened room.

But over the course of  the next hour or so, the massage really does its thing. Massage works. Usually the client begins to deeply relax. Their breathing changes, deeper and slower with the occasional sigh of enjoyment, which is a good sign to me – a sign that suggests they may not get to do that very often.

Some people don’t make a peep. It helps them relax further to not think one single thought. To treat massage as a form of meditation is probably the easiest way to meditate, by the way…you must try it sometime.

Some clients begin to feel so comfortable with me that they tell me the story of them, the ups and downs and complicated turns of their lives. Their family, careers, relationships or lack thereof, their health, and about what makes them feel the way they do; in pain, and in a state of chronic tension. I assume they do this because by talking they are in a sense “unloading” some of their thoughts on me, and that, in turn, allows them to relax more. I like it when people talk…I want to get to know you.

I get to meet so many people from all walks of life being a massage therapist. I have made so many connections and friends through being involved in this field, clients and colleagues from all over the country who will travel all over the world spreading their love. And working side-by-side other massage therapists is truly a gift. Most of them are understanding and patient, and some of them I know are the most caring, talented people I’ve ever met.

But it is all really about you. When I spend a day with my head down, working out the kinks in your back, listening for your sighs and watching your breath, it gives me a sense of calm and purpose. After spending an hour talking to you and touching you, I know that you are relaxed and happier, you will sleep better tonight and will feel better tomorrow. And when tomorrow comes, the world might just be a little better because of that, no?

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About Laura Meredith

I got my first massage when I was about sixteen and was truly amazed by how good I felt during the treatment and afterwards. My thoughts and stress seemed to disintegrate for the entire hour I received the massage, and I remember that positive feeling lasting within me for a few months after. I didn’t realize till then that I even had enough tension to make my muscles tight and my head full of stress, but based on how much I enjoyed it, I know I must have. Since then I continued to get them on and off for years, always looking forward to my next birthday or Christmas, when I knew I would get a gift certificate for one. My decision to become a Massage Therapist happened in my early twenties. Something about it just intrigued me. After about a year of pondering it, I thought, “why not? It must be more relaxing than most jobs, and you get to help people, and make them feel better.” Thankfully, I was right! Being a massage therapist is a very rewarding career. It allows me to work with people “at their best,” as I call it, because well, most people are just really happy to be getting a massage, and they are almost always glad to see me. They relax, I relax…it’s a win-win situation, and I’m really, really glad I took that leap of faith and went ahead with my decision to go to massage school. From there, I attended Ithaca’s Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2006 and never looked back. I have spent my time over the last six years in a few different work environments. I’ve worked with clients suffering from general stress and tension, sore and tired athletes in luxury spa settings, and most currently, clients with chronic pain, tension, and daily work-related stress. I am licensed and registered to practice Massage Therapy and Hydrotherapy in New York state and am also registered to practice in Colorado. I am an Associated Bodywork and Massage Professional member and regularly take continuing education courses to better myself as a therapist. If you have any suggestions on a modality you’d like to see in my practice (hot stone therapy, trigger point therapy, etc…) please let me know…I love hearing about what YOU want! I live in Oneida and enjoy almost everything Central New York has to offer, including hiking, camping, photography, kayaking, snowboarding, and cooking. This is a great area and I believe that we hold the key to improving it, by improving ourselves first.