Why did you become a Massage Therapist?


“So, why did you become a massage therapist?” A question I still have trouble answering, and I get asked pretty often. Truth is, I was an untethered directionless 21 year old wandering around thinking I should be doing something. Massage therapy wasn't a calling, or something I had a vested interest in, I didn’t have a miraculous recovery from an injury that inspired me to do the work. I hardly had a grasp on the potential of massage beyond relaxation.

While talking with a friend they mentioned they were considering massage school as something they wanted to do. After going home and googling “Massage School Portland” I came to the conclusion that it seemed like something I could do (for now) and I could commit a year of my life to education and see where things fell. I went to an orientation the next week and enrolled at East West College in 2010.

That’s how I found myself holding the title Licensed Massage Therapist.

End of story. Kind of..

Photo by John carleton

Photo by John carleton

Now having been a massage therapist for six years, it occurs to me that I'd rather answer the question “So, why are you a massage therapist?”

Let me tell you! I’m a massage therapist because this work is endlessly rewarding! I've facilitated healing in ways I never thought possible! I get to help others by using intentional, positive touch combined with therapeutic knowledge. I've watched my clients of every age, gender, and physical ability have more ease in their body, let go of emotional burdens, heal injuries, release restrictions, and feel better overall body and mind.

I feel lucky to have a job that enhances my life keeping me connected to my own body and mind while helping others connect to theirs. Massage isn't just about relaxation or working out knots, it can be a tool to help people continue down the path of life with a little more ease. This work to me is meaningful. Massage fulfills my desire to do good in the world and it makes me happy.

I suppose that’s why.

What do I wear during a massage?

What do you wear when it comes to massage?

I usually encourage clients to, “Undress to your level of comfort.” But sometimes that can seem vague, especially to a new client. Here’s what you need to know about clothing during a session:

First, no matter what, you’ll always be covered (draped) with a sheet and a blanket. You’ll never be left feeling exposed or chilly. When I work on an arm, I fold the sheet back and tuck it under your arm so it’s secure. (No drafts, my friends.) I follow the same protocol for the leg.

When I work on the full back, I fold the drape down at the hips. If you’re wearing a bra, I’ll work around it. If you’re wearing a tank top or shorts or long johns, I’ll work through it. I know plenty of very effective massage techniques that can be administered over clothing. If I feel I can’t effectively treat your issue through the clothing you’ve chosen to wear, I’ll tell you, and we’ll figure out another approach.

Please know that I don’t care, and I’m not judging you. This massage is about you and it’s important you feel comfortable. For some people that means leaving some clothing on. For others, it means taking it all off. There is no right or wrong, this is your massage.

Enjoy your next massage!