How long have you known that you wanted to be a massage therapist?
Since I was about 7, I massaged my mom.
How did you first get your toes wet in the massage field?
When I was 18, I received my first professional massage at a resort spa. My therapist was an older gentleman, who went WAY too deep massaging my glutes. Although looking back, I realize that I needed the work, but without much explanation, I was left thinking “If this is what massage really is, I want no part of it”
Where did you go to school for massage?
ASM – 2003
How long have you been an instructor/working at Atlanta School of Massage?
What is your favorite class/module and why?
Aromatherapy has my heart, but I also love teaching musculoskeletal anatomy.
Who was your favorite instructor and why?
There have been a few that have truly impacted my career. Carol Venclick was not only my instructor during Massage and Aesthetics school, but I also considered her a mentor during my first few years teaching at ASM. Geoff West was an instructor when I first begin teaching. The way he communicated and taught, spoke to me. It was very intentional and almost gentle in a sense. I can only aspire to be as thoughtful in my communication as he was. Aaron Gunn worked with me for 12 years until he moved out of state two years ago. Aaron blended humor and storytelling to get his educational points across. I admit I still think of his stories when I’m teaching certain subjects. And finally, Lovelace Linares. Lovelace made such an impact on my teaching career. I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt, I would not be the hard-working, knowledgeable and passionate teacher with an above-average work ethic without him as my director during my formative years as a massage teacher.
What is your favorite aspect of being an instructor?
I love seeing the excitement and passion ignite in students. Especially when they begin to connect dots and see how everything works together. I also greatly love being part of the legacy that ASM leaves to potential students to come. I can only hope that I make the impact on the lives of my students, as my instructors made on mine.
What was the best advice you ever received when you were in school?
Body Mechanics, Grounding myself & its ok to not be perfect.
What do you think is the most important thing for students going into the massage industry to remember today?
Massage the easiest part, most of the battle is fighting with your own ego and adopting better communications habits with yourself and the client.
Why do you think ASM is the place for people seriously considering going into the massage industry to get their foundation?
You can go to any school and learn massage. You can go to any school and learn deep tissue and NMT. But ASM will teach you how to be a respectful, ethical, communicative, emotionally literate, highly skilled and extremely knowledgeable massage therapist. A massage therapist that can not only provide a wonderful massage, but whose clients feel safe, comfortable and at ease in their presence.
What makes you passionate about this field?
I love every aspect of wellness. Massage to me is just one portion of the entire wellness industry. Which means there is always something to learn, there is always a tool or technique that can be used. I never feel stagnate or stuck.
What is the most important thing for massage therapists to remember even after they are licensed and certified?
Don’t allow yourself to get lazy- study your muscles and keep your body mechanics in check. Don’t allow yourself to get complacent- grow and keep learning. Always keep your ego in check, no matter how awesome you think your massage skills are, there will always be someone who disagrees.
What is one common misconception about the field?
We don’t FIX anyone. A good massage therapist who has their ego in check knows that we manipulate the client’s tissues to facilitate their own body’s physiological healing processes. Massage therapists are not magic, all-knowing or have hands from God. We use our experience in the industry, knowledge of the anatomy and assessment of the client’s posture, all which help us to be able to feel for very subtle shifts in the body. Then our hands go where the palpatory findings lead them.
Is there anything else you want to share?
If you decide to come to ASM, prepare to have your world turned upside down in the best ways possible. The amount of inner growth that you will experience far outweighs the physical and kinesthetic growth you can visually see. True, you learn massage. But that’s just scraping the surface. What you really learn is a beautiful, sometimes messy deep dive of who you really are. More importantly, this makes way for you to be your best self, at your highest calling.