It all started a long, long time ago on a Tuesday afternoon in Kentucky. Ok, I’ll spare you the specific details, but the point is - I arrived!
I’m often asked how I became a massage therapist. I typically give the short answer, but today I’m going to give a little longer description.
After my arrival, my family eventually ended up in NC. Around the time I was 5 years old, I had a dream I was going to be a teacher. Being the type of person who finds comfort and meaning in signs, I spent the next 10 years thinking this would be my career path. I made all my decisions based around that one idea.
When I was in middle school, I played basketball for 1 year. At the end of the year, there was a parent/teacher vs student athlete game. I played, as did my dad. He loves basketball and is pretty great at it! He had a blast, but.. he also had a reality check. He’d torn his ACL when I was only about 1 year old and never had it tended to.
Insert the moment in my life where I learned what physical therapy was. My dad had the ACL replaced and was then prescribed PT. Mom would drive him to the office where the magical doctor would give him exercises, and when he would come home I’d ask what his homework was. Poor guy - for the most part he humored me and told or showed me what he had to do.
This was by far the coolest thing I’d ever seen! (Up until this point, I had no idea the human body actually interested me.) I was able to go with him to a PT session and even had the chance to shadow a PT at Duke Hospital when she was on rounds in one of the baby units. So - having seen what my job might look like and how I could impact my patients - I decided to hop on the path of becoming a pediatric PT.
In no particular order, the next few years involved me working with the Sickle Cell Center at Duke Hospital - both the adult and children’s side - I also completed high school and went on to get my Associate of Science degree, worked on several research studies with the pediatric hematologist, and somewhere in there I helped my friend move to Atlanta.
Stay with me - this actually is important!
I helped my friend, Jared, with the big move from Raleigh, NC to Atlanta, GA. We had a blast and once things were at least moderately settled in the new apartment, we walked around to meet some of the new neighbors. We ended up at one woman’s apartment - she had some friends over and invited us in. One of these friends happened to be a massage therapist. I talked to this woman for at least 3 hours! Asking everything from “what does your day look like”, and “what should I look for in a massage school”, to “what’s the worst part about your job”, and “what kind of income could I have”.
The move happened in April of 2011. I started massage school that July.
I had never had a massage. I really didn’t know what I was in for in a practical sense, but I’d talked to that woman for so long that something in me just knew this was the fit for me. My mom had always asked for little neck massages, as had friends and even co-workers.
Turns out - I made a pretty great decision. I became a licensed massage therapist in February of 2013. My work journey, I’ll keep abbreviated.. I worked for one chiropractor for about 8 months and at another chiropractic office for about a year and a half. I’ve owned my own massage business for 4 1/2 years at this point. Best decision ever!
My next step is to show other massage therapists how they can start and run their own massage practices. I am so excited to show you what’s possible! So buckle up, Buttercup!