How long have you known that you wanted to be a massage therapist?
Surprisingly, I knew that I wanted to be a massage only when I toured Atlanta School of Massage in 2009. Before that, I enjoyed receiving massage in high school and college at a nearby massage school. I always found massage to be interesting but did not consider it for a career. At the time I had just completed my bachelor’s degree in fine arts and graphic design. That was the vision of my future. Massage just fell into my lap. I was becoming unhappy with sitting in front of the computer all day and decided to discontinue my career in design. In that timeframe, my friend happened to send me an article about Atlanta School of Massage’s high test score for licensing exams. It sounded cool so I decided to go check out the school and massage has been my life ever since.
How did you first get your toes wet in the massage field?
I received a student massage for years at a massage school. One day upon my visit I noticed that a free 1-day massage class was being offered. I attended the class and the teachers told me I would make a great therapist. That piqued my interest and boosted my confidence. It was my first time thinking about massage in a realm other than receiving. It was probably another 5 years before I ended up attending massage school.
Where did you go to school for massage?
I attended Atlanta School of Massage in 2009.
How long have you been an instructor/working at Atlanta School of Massage?
I have been a lead instructor at ASM for about 4 years.
What is your favorite class/module and why?
My favorite module is the “Introduction to Massage” module. I love having the opportunity to support students through their journey into massage. It is inspiring seeing people every day that are passionate about learning. Progression is so apparent as the students are learning how to open massage tables on day one and a few weeks later they are doing full body massage sessions, interviews, and exhibiting exceptional professionalism and body mechanics. It makes me happy to see the willingness and growth. The excitement that students have when they acknowledge how far they have come is fulfilling.
What is your favorite aspect of being an instructor?
One of my favorite aspects of being an instructor is the countless and daily amounts of inspiration. Every single day I learn something new from students. We grow and become family-like. I realized that I can also inspire others just by being my authentic self within our learning space.
What was the best advice you ever received when you were in school?
When I was in school one of my goals was to get the most out of what was being offered. I put 100% of my effort into everything that I did and tried to be as present as possible. The best piece of advice that a grad came back to share with current students was to “trust the process”. This really resonated with the students because they sometimes can get ahead of themselves and miss the beautiful moments that are happening right in front of them.
What do you think is the most important thing for students going into the massage industry to remember today?
I believe one of the driving forces for performing bodywork is using your body efficiently when performing massage. This will determine the length of a massage career.
Why do you think ASM is the place for people seriously considering going into the massage industry to get their foundation?
Atlanta School of massage produces therapists with integrity within their professionalism, ethics, and massage therapy skills. When I worked at a spa as a hiring manager, ASM grads were the easiest to hire. Massage is not just about how great of a therapist you are, social skills are necessary as well. There were high-performance levels in all of these categories with ASM grads.
What makes you passionate about this field?
Generally what makes me passionate about the massage field is the art of it. Massage is creative and a form of connection and expression. The blend of clients with the therapist and chosen work is transformative. It feels amazing to improve people’s life experiences.
What is the most important thing for massage therapists to remember even after they are licensed and certified?
I believe that it is important to remember that our field is overseen by a code of conduct and that we must uphold integrity even when no one is watching.
What is one common misconception about the field?
Massage is often sexualized or made out to be a painful or excruciating service. Massage is simply non-sexual. Boundaries are arranged to create safety and trust for the client and the therapist. Regarding pain within massage, it is ok for massage to feel uncomfortable. Once it surpassed the “hurt so good” and turns I to actual pain, the pressure or modality should be adjusted to support the comfort level of the client.
Is there anything else you want to share?
I love what I do. It is a flexible career with many avenues.