If you asked me when I was younger what I wanted to be when I grew up, the only answer I ever had was that I wanted to do something that helped other people. Having experienced tragedy early in life, I wanted to have a career in which I was able to help people overcome pain and suffering in their own lives. I believed that the best way for me to do this was to become a talk therapist. This led me to obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. I loved the field and was passionate about all that I had been learning, however, upon graduating I was unable to find work in the field. Being a college graduate with no clue what to do next, I ended up serving tables and working a couple unfulfilling corporate jobs. After about 2 years, decided that I valued my happiness over a paycheck, quit my job and went back to the drawing board. I enrolled in a 2 year advanced hypnotherapy program, got certified in Reiki and dove into a solid yoga practice. At this point I decided that I would go back to school for a Masters in Social Work. To my surprise, I was not accepted into the program. Although initially devastated, I took it as a sign that there was another way that I was supposed to be helping people.
I had been learning a lot about the body through work with my personal trainer. From this, in combination with my yoga practice and hypnotherapy training, I realized how fascinated I was with the way the body worked on every level – physically, emotionally, and energetically. I wanted to be able to help people heal on all levels while working with the body. I asked the universe for a sign as to what to do next and no sooner than I had asked, I saw a woman in line at Starbucks with scrubs on that had the logo for a local massage therapy school. A light bulb went off and a week later I was enrolled to begin school at the National Institute of Massotherapy in Akron, Ohio.
The moment I started working on people I knew that I had found my calling. I witnessed first-hand that by holding space for the person on the table, their body and mind could get exactly what it needed out of the session. I get to watch people heal on every level and I can say with all honesty, nothing makes me feel more purposeful in this world. It is a gift for me to work with people and bring them relief from the daily stressors that are put on the body.
One of the things I love most about being a massage therapist is how many different modalities there are to explore. I get to continue to be a student of the healing arts by learning all of the different ways in which I can be of benefit to my clients. Because the body is continuously changing, each time the body is on the table it is asking for something different. I love that no two massages are ever the same. It keeps me motivated and engaged as a therapist. My passion for bringing about well-being to myself and my clients has led me to take the path of becoming a 200 hour certified yoga and Certified Integrative Nutrition Holistic Health Coach.
My favorite type of client is one that values the importance of massage as a regular self-care practice. I truly believe that every single person – no matter age, gender, or career – can benefit from receiving massage on a regular basis. There are so many benefits from reduced cortisol levels, reduction of inflammation, increase in endorphins, the list goes on. I believe that taking care of our bodies is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and to the people in our lives. When we feel nourished in body, mind, and soul we are able to show up as our best self.
“Touch was never meant to be a luxury. It is a basic human need. It is an action that validates life and gives hope to both the receiver and the giver” – Irene Smith