When a Terrible Massage Leads to a New Career

Remember when you were a kid and there was a special talent that you had that none of the other kids could quite manage? For my brother it was making a fire truck siren sound so loud and so clear that the neighbors came out of their houses expecting to see a fire truck scream down the street. For me, it was the magic ability of my hands to make my mom, aunts and grandfather giddy with relief as I’d work on their aching shoulders and legs.

Even from a young age people said I should do massage professionally. Did I listen to them? Nope. Not even a little bit. While I liked doing it and loved the way people responded, I didn’t see massage therapy as a career choice. Instead I studied my way through college then hopped around stressful marketing jobs for a decade. For a brief moment around age 24 I considered enrolling in a massage therapy training but passed when I learned that it was a 6 month program — because at age 24 a six month commitment seemed like a lifetime. (File under: Things that you think only in your early twenties)

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On vacation with my young son in 2013, the day after a terrible massage that ironically led me to a career as a massage therapist.

But at the right time in life — ironically after receiving a very lackluster massage which made me think, “Hey, I can do a way better job than this person just did” — I finally got serious about embracing my natural talent.

Seven months earlier I had welcomed our first child and going back to the stress of office life wasn’t a way I wanted to spend my time. During that pregnancy a wonderful massage therapist helped ease some serious sciatic issues that began plaguing me as early as seven weeks. I have never forgotten how her work made my daily life so much better and it’s one of the reasons so much of my work focuses on prenatal and postpartum clients. 

A few weeks after that terrible massage opened me up to the possibility of a new career, I stumbled into an open house at an extraordinary massage therapy school. My training at Cumberland Institute of Holistic Therapies opened my eyes to a new way of understanding the mind-body connection and I’ve been hands on ever since.

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