On Becoming a Massage Therapist
Sadly, I can’t remember when I had my first massage. The first one I can remember having was when I was in my twenties. I loved it then and have ever since. Lucky me - that I also do this for a living and people love to come see me! I went for massage when I was feeling stressed or to treat myself. I knew it felt good and was relaxing. I didn’t have too many aches and pains to resolve at that time, but I knew I felt more balanced when I left my massage therapist's office, both physically and mentally. I loved to see my massage therapist and I thought, what a great job that would be!
Before I had kids I worked as an Orthotist at Children’s Hospital and New England Medical Center. An Orthotist is a person who designs, manufactures and fits orthopedic braces (also called orthoses). I loved that job. I felt I was helping people. I loved the artisitic and creative aspects of designing, building and fitting the braces. I loved the personal interaction I had with my patients. They were lovely. They weren’t always happy to be wearing a brace but they were happy with the improvement in their quality of life or health. I hope that their time with me and our interactions were as valuable to them as they were to me. After several years I left my job as an Orthotist to have my kids and be a stay at home mom.
When I had been home with my kids for a number of years, and I felt that it would be manageable for myself and my family, I attended school to become a massage therapist. (I always like going to school, taking courses and learning new things...even today) I assumed that because I loved receiving massage and I liked working with and helping people that I would also love being a massage therapist. I was right! I do love it. People asked me “Are you sure you are going to like touching other people’s bodies all the time?” That had never crossed my mind. It felt perfectly natural to provide therapeutic touch to people. It makes them so happy, and it improves the quality of their life and their health. How could I not like that?
I learned several things about myself and what makes a good experience for a client from these jobs and from my personal experience in receiving massage.
- I love being able to interact one on one with people and feel that I have made a positive contribution to their lives.
- I like working cooperatively with people - teaching them as well as learning from them.
- Part of what makes me good at my job, and also makes for a profound and effective experience for my patient or client, is the energy I put out to them during our interactions and in their treatment. My massage is entirely different from another therapist’s for many reasons, but I feel one of the most influential factors is energy. By energy I don’t mean the vigor with which I give a massage, but the manner of my presence. Each person’s energy is unique. It’s wonderful when you find another person whose energy naturally complements yours and enhances the work you receive. I personally find that I need a certain type of energy in a massage therapist or any other type of health professional I see, for them to be most effective and comfortable for me.
So that is how I came to be a massage therapist. I may or may not be the right one for you. I'd be happy to help you figure that out. The important thing is that you find your massage therapist and avail yourself of all the benefits massage has to offer. Who knows, you may love it so much that you think…hmmm…what a great job that would be. It could happen.