This is why I do what I do…
It’s not always the big things. Yes, it was really cool to be at Tough Mudder or Cyclefest and treat the participants before and after their activities. But knowing that someone’s Aunt can brush her own hair, and how much that improves the quality of her life? That’s rewarding on a level that’s hard to describe.
This is the story of why I got into massage. I hope you enjoy!
In high school I was always giving close friends back rubs. I loved helping them feel better and getting praised for it. In college it became common for me to rub everyone’s shoulders in computer lab after I was done with my project. When I met my husband, he said, “you know, this is something you could do for a living.” I’d never had a massage before and didn’t realize it was even a profession. When I walked into Sarasota School of Massage Therapy, it was like coming home. I loved it! I graduated in 2003 and have been a full-time massage therapist in Sarasota since. (With the small exception of my 9th month of pregnancy and my daughter’s infancy.)
In massage school I learned that I could really help my husband with his headaches, neck pain, and TMJ dysfunction with massage therapy. As soon as I graduated I took a neuromuscular massage class on those areas. The change in him was amazing! He had so much more energy and was less grumpy after working a long day. This was a man who was almost sent home from the Gulf War (he was a paratrooper) because his jaw was so bad that he couldn’t eat! And there he was, crunching on apples with a smile on his face.
I started focusing on patients with those same issues and found that I was really good at helping them get rid of headaches with massage, and I could help them have less headaches overall! Patients reported that they weren’t yelling at their kids as much, had more tolerance for their spouses, and could focus better at work! Less pain meant better sleep and they just kept on improving between sessions.
Next I took myofascial release classes (a different massage modality) on the head and neck and fell in love with the technique. Not only did it feel great to receive, it was extremely beneficial to the patient. By working on the most superficial layers of tissue and progressing deeper more slowly, patients were more comfortable during treatment and results lasted longer.
From there I studied more and more neuromuscular and myofascial techniques, eventually becoming a Certified Neuromuscular Therapist. I took other classes as well, in Aromatherapy, Stretching, and SweThai. I started doing round table talks at the Sarasota School of Massage Therapy in 2007 and started teaching in 2008 in the Swedish program. I loved it! Here’s a photo of me (back row, third from left) at class 170’s graduation:
After I had my daughter I met a local chiropractor that understood how important it is to treat the muscles during chiropractic care. From there I was trained intensively over two and a half years by a world renowned physical therapist in rehab techniques and protocols, and furthered that study with the ISFTA to become a Certified Rehab Specialist. I worked on hundreds of patients using therapeutic exercise and manual therapy. I loved it! Below is a picture of the team during Talk Like a Pirate Day!
Eventually I decided that I missed owning my own business and the flexibility that gave me with my little girl. I walked away from a great position to restart my own business, which leads us to today.