The other day I had the pleasant opportunity to meet with an enterprising young man who, along with the help of his brother, aspires to revolutionize the way technology works for massage professionals. After a lengthy conversation about how I currently use technology in my practice for online scheduling, client/data management, payment processing, etc., and what improvements would help simplify the task of running my business, he asked me a question that had absolutely nothing to do with technology. “What one thing makes you passionate about massage?”
I wasn’t certain how to answer at first…did he mean what makes me passionate about getting massage, giving massage, massage as an alternative form of healthcare? But as I was contemplating how to answer, it hit me…the moment I decided to be a massage therapist.
I never intended to be a massage therapist. I went to massage school on a whim. My dear friend Becca invited me to accompany her to an open house/orientation at the local massage school, and not having any other plans for the evening I accepted her invitation. After the orientation I decided to enroll in the upcoming night course. I was working full time in healthcare and thought that massage would be a fun skill to learn, and maybe a way to earn a little extra spending money on the side. On the first day of school Iris,the owner of the school, came to address the new class. She said something that I will never forget, mainly because I didn’t believe her, “there will come a time when giving massage is as beneficial for you as it is for the person receiving.” Yeah, right!
Fast forward about a year and a half, I had graduated at the top of my class, passed the certification exam and became licensed to practice massage in the state of Florida. I was still working full time in healthcare as a scheduling coordinator for a group of surgeons. It was stressful because I had to coordinate any diagnostic testing that needed to be done before surgery, get pre-authorizations from the insurance companies, and in many cases the patients had just been given a cancer diagnosis, so time was always of the essence. I had a handful of what I called “occasional clients”, people who would call me once every blue moon to schedule a massage, but I wasn’t doing massage on a regular basis.
One evening after work, I was seeing one of those clients in her home for a massage. Some time in the middle of that massage I became acutely aware of the fact that I felt amazing! I wasn’t stressed out about which insurance company I was going to have to go to battle with the next day, or which surgeon’s personality I would have to deal with. I was completely absorbed in the moment, in tune with the body on my table, the music in the air, the aroma of the oil I was using…and I felt great. Ah-ha, Iris was right! It was then that I decided that if I could make a living doing something that made me feel so awesome, that I owed it to myself to pursue it further. And that is what makes me passionate about massage.