Scott Gould - **Hand Over Hand Massage & Wellness, **Loves Park, Ill.

  • Favorite healthy food? I just polished off a bag of baby carrots as I reached this question.

  • Favorite indulgence? My indulgence shares the same name. Indulgent Trail Mix.

  • Favorite activity? Actually, I am just going to refer you to the section below on what I do for fun.

  • Favorite movie/book? My favorite book of all time is called the “Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield. Movies are a different story. I love horror movies, some science fiction, and I have a weird fascination with apocalyptic movies involving weather.  I would have to say that my favorite movie is a tie between “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Twister”…and possibly a couple animated features here and there.

  • Favorite music for doing massage? I pretty much like music that has sounds of nature in the background.  It seems to be the most relaxing for both me and the clients.  I did get caught off guard with one CD when a goat starting bleating in the background.  Both the client and I started laughing.

  • Favorite music to listen to? OK, I really don’t listen to music much on my own time.  I should listen more, but I don’t.  Given the choice, I would probably have to say that 80s rock is probably my favorite.  I’ll blame that one on my sister who entered her teenage years in the 80s.

  • Favorite kind of ice cream? Something with chocolate and espresso.

Background in massage?

I graduated in June 2012 with an Associates of Applied Science degree in massage therapy from Rasmussen College in Rockford, Ill., and have my NCTMB. I am a private massage practitioner/owner for Hand Over Hand Massage & Wellness.  In addition to this, I am a part-time physician’s aide with Morsay Medical & Rehabilitation and a baker with Schnuck’s Markets.

What do you like best about doing massage?

I like seeing and hearing my clients describe the changes they experience after receiving one or more massages.  It is beyond satisfaction to hear that I had a literal hand in making someone feel better.

What inspired you to get into this industry?

This is a good question, one for which I’ve come up with a few answers.  When I was younger, I used to give family members back massages and rubs.  My father always insisted that I give him those hand-made coupon books for back massages as a Christmas gift.  I also helped with my mother’s physical therapy at home after a car accident left her paraplegic.  Because of this, I experienced first-hand the power of human touch in a person’s healing process.  Now she walks with a walker and is difficult to keep up with.

Despite these two truths, the fact that I was at a crossroads is the primary reason I entered the field.  I recently left a restaurant managerial position that I was in for 10 years and knew that I wanted something different. My father was pushing me to go into the medical field.  My interests lay in complementary and alternative medicine, so I got intrigued when I came across massage therapy in a college catalog.

What do you find are your biggest challenges – as a therapist? as a business owner?

I think my biggest challenge is that I want to do it all.  Massage therapy is a vast field with many different branches and branches within branches.

As a business owner, I think marketing might be my biggest challenge, learning what works and what doesn’t without spending your entire budget.

What one thing would you like to change/improve about the massage industry?

As I said before, a massage therapist can choose any direction from an infinite selection of possibilities.  Without limiting this, I do believe that a minimal education requirement needs to be set for the field.

What are you most excited about/interested in using with MassageBook?

I want accounting, SOAP notes, CRM, campaigns, e-mail, online booking, etc.  While all of these things are available online, I found myself using multiple programs just for one client and session.  I am most excited to find a program that integrates all of this, doesn’t nickel-and-dime me as some others, and remains consistently progressive to the needs of the massage therapists who use MassageBook.

How do you think MassageBook can help with your business?

As I just mentioned, almost everything is in one spot.  MassageBook has ALREADY helped me immensely with this in allowing me to cut my business expenses (from other programs) to minimal.  For a sole massage practitioner with minimal start-up, this was and is extremely important.

Who are the important people in your life?

My partner, my family, and my best friends have all been incredibly supportive in my growth.  I couldn’t have done any of this without them.  I am also very thankful for the wonderful instructors I had, several of whom I am proud to call friends.

What do you like to do for fun?

I have to admit that I am a massage therapy nerd.  I like to hear, read, see, and do massage therapy.  Outside of that, I definitely have a “thing” for social media and I really like to work out at the gym.

How do you like to relax?

The obvious answer is to get a massage.  I am so glad I know people to trade with.  A lot can be said, though, about taking a moment to be alone outside listening to the birds, etc.

Laurie Volkmann