What do you like best about doing massage?

  • I love having a job that allows you to help people, and one that people appreciate.  I also really enjoy having a job that allows me to move, use my hands, and provide the challenge of trying to decipher a patien’s ailments. (Ryan Chapman, Your Bodyworks massage outcall)

  • Being in that quiet, sacred space inside. I cherish those times. When I am with a client, I am with that client. All the mental treadmill noise just melts away and it’s just being there at the table. Awareness. (Dan Zavadil, In Tune Body Studio)

  • I like the physical and mental relationship I share with my client (partner) on the table. I like that it is not computer work and that I am a hands-on healer genuinely there to help people and make them feel great. (Hamish Tear, Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole)

  • If I can give a client five degrees of movement in his/her neck or spine, then that can be just enough to change a whole day. Maybe they won’t snap at their spouses or employers or will make a new connection due to a positive attitude rather than lose one because of a negative attitude. (Robert Jennings, Whitewater Massage)

What inspired you to get into this industry?

  • After an automobile accident, where both my wife and I sustained injuries, we were referred to a clinic that specializes automobile accident injuries and our treatment plan was Massage Therapy, not surgery or pharmaceuticals. After six months, we were even better than before the accident. My wife could lift our children without pain and I could take a breath without any pain. I was blown away with how out of balance our bodies had become and how much massage therapy had helped us. I decided to change careers right there and go to school to help others through the power of touch.  (Justin Rasik, Simply Balanced Body)

  • Essentially, I have always been drawn to healing and massage, but I had two little ones to raise, and it just didn’t seem like it was in the cards for me. Finally, after a nice career in advertising sales, I had some life shake-ups that finally cleared the path for me to reinvent my life. Here I am, now, a Licensed Massage Therapist and a business owner. I love it! (Kandace Blevin, Kandace Blevin Massage Therapy)

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

  • As a therapist, my biggest challenge is the misunderstanding of massage therapy and how it is not a luxury, but a necessity. It’s an investment in a client’s health. (Brenda Brunson, Simply Therapeutic Massage)

  • Balance. As a young dad, now with infant twins, making any time to recharge myself is completely impossible. I’m very lucky that my work relaxes and calms me as much as it does. I can’t imagine being able to do all that I do for my family if I were still a car salesman, waiter, insurance salesman, or any of the other jobs I’ve had.  (Victor Jacob, The Hideaway Spa)

  • I have a hard time accepting that people still think all massage is good for is an aide for stress relief. Even then they just think it’s a soothing “rub-a-dub.” People will walk around with intense pain for months, get surgeries, and take all the pills in the world, but they won’t try a therapeutic massage. (Gabby Williams, Chagrin Massage)


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

  • As a business owner, I struggle with our healthcare system. I recently began accepting insurance for massage, and I’m surprised that we don’t cover more preventative care alternatives.  I think we’ve come a long way, but we really need to address issues before it’s too late for the client. Doctors and massage therapists should partner more and create a plan for each client instead of slapping on more meds. As we age we need to stay mobile. We need circulation. A simple 60-minute massage can help alleviate stress, fatigue, high blood pressure…the list goes on.  (Jennifer Parks, Grounded Bodyworks)

  • Trying to run the business and balance my recreation and social activities.  It is very true that you could work 24/7 when you own your own business and sometimes I find it hard to step away from work to just go out and play. (Rochelle Ganoe, Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole)

  • Work/life balance. After 10 years I have come to realize that having complete days off without any business work isn’t realistic, at least for me. Often I’m doing work laundry on my “day off.” Recently I’ve added personal time on my “day on” and that has seemed to balance things more. (Camille Urueta, New Leaf Massage and Bodywork)

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

  • I’d like to see it more accepted as a valuable part of wellness care.  I’d like the medical community to recognize that massage can have a very positive impact on the health and well-being of most individuals and can reduce the need for a lot of prescription medications and even prevent the need for surgery in some cases.  I’d love it if health insurance companies would cover massage for both therapeutic and preventive care. (Helen Pope, Personal Performance Training and Rehabilitation)

  • I wish everyone could view massage therapy as pro-active health care and maintenance, and not as a “luxury” or only after an injury. I know most people would benefit from regular massage therapeutic care. I would like to see massage therapy become part of everyone’s lives.  Receiving massage on a regular basis promotes optimal health and vitality; massage is a healthy habit! (Brian Markovitz, Human Touch Masage)

  • I would love to have a “real” national massage therapy association that could unify ALL the states so we could all have the same standards of practice. By doing this I feel we would help bolster the public image of what a massage therapist really is. With legitimacy comes respect. When some states have zero requirements and others require 2000+ hour programs, the public, for good reason, is confused about our profession. (Jamin Rak, Portland Massage Therapy)

  • The one thing I would change about the massage industry is the fact that every state is not requiring national certification. As a massage therapist, I believe that the industry should work toward a greater recognition in the medical field. To do so I think there needs to be a more cohesive effort on national certification by all states. (Scott Gleaton, The Massage Artist)


What do you like to do for fun?

  • I’m also a Salsa instructor and former dancer. I love to dance and do it everyday for at least 10 minutes. And, of course, I love to go dancing. (Yami Otero, Puerto Rico)

  • We live in an old-style neighborhood where you can walk to just about anywhere if you have the time. We walk the dogs to the grocery store, we bike to the beach and swim, and I love to skateboard. Wilmington, NC, also has a huge theater community where I perform on occasion, most recently as Tim the Enchanter in “Spamalot.” My walking staff shot actual fire. It was really cool. (David Heck, Massage Solutions of Wilmington)

  • I am a computer geek and have fun with computer games, and I create iPhone apps. (Susan Bell, Dallas Area Massage)

How do you like to relax?

  • Does sleeping count? LOL. I am just getting into yoga and meditation to help calm my thoughts. I suppose the coffee is working against that, though. I probably drink too much coffee. Ok, I am sure I drink too much coffee. (Alesha Lifka, Mommy Bump Massage)

  • Massage 😉 …and boating at Lake Okoboji (Jennifer Wolfe, McColley Chiropractic)

  • I regularly barter to get massages once or twice a week (“barter” being the key word – I am not that rich!) I am not myself if I miss a session, so I practice what I preach. (Leo Feraer-Oporto, El Aephau Massage Therapy**)**

  • Hot tea and catching up on my favorite TV shows. (Claire Rambo, Three Waters Massage)


** Favorite healthy food?**

  • What’s that? Hah! A good spinach salad with pears, strawberries, almonds, walnuts… something like that. Or Thanksgiving leftovers in a sandwich…with a Guinness&Coke mixed drink 😉 (Jeni Spring, Heeling Sole)

  • My favorite healthy food is a coconut. It promotes a healthy immune system with its antibacterial and antifungal properties.  It is the highest quality of electrolytes you can intake. The oil is very good for moisturizing skin and it promotes healthy silk hair. It also smells good and tastes good. But best of all, I can get it free because it grows in my back yard! (Enrick Jr. Ortiz, E’s the Pain)


Favorite indulgence?

  • Carbs… is that a proper answer? (Jessica King, Avani Massage)

  • Meditating lying down…AND vegan chocolate chip cookies from Earthfare. Supreme deliciousness! (Amy Robertson, One Respe Wellness Center and Spa at Charleston Place)

  • A sip or two of some good bourbon. (Meaghan Bull, Studio Shen)

  • I have two that I am weak toward – Reeses™ peanut butter cups and a glass of Jim Beam and Coke. (Jason Walbridge, Suwannee Massage)

Favorite activity?

  • Laughing and smiling!  And they go along with just about everything else! (Brian Markovitz, Human Touch Massag)

  • Dancing with my kids! (Celestine Hoskie, Just Because Massage Therapy)

  • I like to bike. I ride 36 miles a week as one of my fitness routines. But if I had the time, I’d ride all day. Taking in all the scenery, people on a ride, going past the beach … so awesome for me. (Ann Wayman, Table for One Mobile Day Spa)

Favorite music to listen to?

  • Christian and/or old time Rock n’ Roll, soulful stuff like Norah Jones, Jack Johnson and Amos Lee. (Mark Kennon, Tailored Massage)

  • Everything… I grew up listening to everything from the 30s to 80s and beyond. (Jessica King, Avani Massage)

  • Barouque music, Mozart, Pachelbel, Black Gospel, Acapellas, Instruments, Celtic music, Chants…. (Mitsuko Ito, Decatur Healing Arts)


Favorite kind of ice cream?

  • If I could only ever have one flavor again, it would be a brand that no longer exists. The Creole Creme company used to make a flavor called “Creole Cream Cheese” and the only person who ever gave it to me was my grandmother. A delightful treat with a wonderful memory attached. (Victor Jacob, The Hideaway Spa)

  • Grapenut and rum raisin (Celestine Hoskie, Just Because…Massage Therapy)

  • The kind that is in my bowl! (Ryan Chapman, Your Bodyworks Massage outcall)

– by Laurie Volkmann