People ask me all the time why I became a masseuse. Then I take the opportunity to educate them that I'm no longer a masseuse, but that I was for many years before I went to school for it to become a Licensed Massage Therapist. I knew that someday I wanted to practice legally, help Hands-On Healing Arts gain recognition as a valid and valuable aid to healthcare, gain access peripherally to Western Medicine, and touch the lives of people far and wide while taking good care of myself along the way.
A short road to becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist, it was not! No sir, not a short road at all. For my entire life, I've been a people person; interested in where people are from, what they're doing with their bodies and minds, what they hope for in the future. Generally, I like to know, what is your experience is like: this leads to how comfortable are you physically? emotionally? spiritually? Do you have any unmet needs that I can serve? Am I able to help myself or can I point you in the direction of someone who can - YES, please! I feel like that's what life is all about, helping out!
My journey as a healer goes back to being a very young child being super intrigued at other people's experiences and backgrounds, what people were up to as we crossed paths. My nature has always been very tactile, caring with a genuine concern for others' well-being and happiness. Others have noticed that I have a knack for intuitive understanding, connection, the feeling of love, and warmth with most everyone I encounter. My parents spent a lot of time hands-on with my brother and me as we grew up, so I've always had access to loads of supportive loving touch and I wanted to pass that as well as pertinent life skills onto others.
I used to get called upon as a kid, was asked to comfort homesick kids at my grandparent's summer camp between the ages of 8 and 16. I was known to be a trusted grounded spirit - people felt safe, warm, and cared for, I was able to be fully present and then lift spirits high. People were able to genuinely process through the emotions and were (eventually) convinced to be present and remain immersed, much of the time.
Also in that phase of my life, I spent a lot of time with my godmother who was a beautician; hairstylist, makeup artist, manicurist. She frequently complained of having pain all over would ask me to help her feel better from the time I was 12. She invited to me be creative and to use my intuition, she loved how hot my hands would get! I've always had good circulation and had a wildly passionate inclination toward healing and helping [myself and others] process through icky energy blocks.
Fast forward approximately 15 years and I felt stuck in a super craptastic long-distance relationship, trapped in my living situation at home with my folks in Elmer, NJ, was working a boring job that anyone could do, I was being driven to work by my parents as a grown-ass woman, and then I got hurt on the job. I fell while moving a crate of loose beer bottles. I was more concerned with hurting the bottles of beer than I was about hurting myself. That was my wake-up call. I felt as though it was time to embrace my life passion, JUMP for something massive for myself, and pursue my lifelong dream of using my natural talents to provide for myself.
I took a wild leap of faith - I ended my crappy relationship; got approval for a car loan for the Subaru Outback I'd be dreaming of for yearssss; enrolled in Cortiva Institute a massage school in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania that made me feel like I had found a home away from home. I moved to PA, in with some very good friends who I will forever be grateful to (thanks Nick and Mu!) and I tackled massage school like it was my SOLE/ SOUL purpose. The initial training changed me as a person in bigger ways than I could have ever imagined. Gaining this education moved me through life-altering paradigm shifts. I was 27 when I began, 28 when I graduated and my ego took some strides.
In this phase, I was awakened to some of my powerful energy, intuition, divine connection, and innate ability to help others to feel happier and more positive. It became required for me to use skills I'd been developing my whole life. This is fortunate for me because as professional licensed practitioners, we are required (by law) to do 24 hours of continuing education every 2 years; we must be CPR/ AED trained with live hours and testing; we have to know how to recognize and report child abuse; we are also required to take an Ethics Course. Some people don't care for Ethics, but I love talking about rules, regulations, boundaries, freaky experiences, how to react better when certain situations come up. It's really interesting (funny, complicated yet simplistic, messed up and at the same time happenstance) what people go through!
I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Rutgers University just prior to this stent of my life as I always knew I wanted to help people somehow. I figured out for myself that I'm not here to be average, that it is my goal to be the absolute best version of myself while helping others do the same. If you had known me before massage school, you'd be able to tell that I blossomed through the process. My energy and direction felt more evolved and well suited for where I feel I'm supposed to be, how I feel I'm supposed to operate with my special set of skills.
The initial core curriculum at Cortiva included Anatomy, Physiology, Pathologies for all systems of the body, Kinesiology, Medications and how massage affects certain common ones, Contraindications (there are times when it's not safe to give massage), Techniques for Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced Massage, Holy Toledo! There was a class for Business Practices and Laws for both local and federal regulations in the United States, Ethics, and 65 hours of hands-on time in the student clinic working on clients from the real world was required. I had to pass both physical and written practicals along the way, settle the bill prior to graduation, and pass the MBLEX (Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination) in order to get licensed. Lastly, I had to get professional liability insurance before being legally allowed to gain employment to give massage, I chose ABMP.
Becoming an LMT is one of the best things I've ever done for myself. It took a seriously long time to intuitively master the human body and my life-long self-healing journey coupled with a six and a half month process of formal training got me warmed up! This led to even more self-discovery, developed passion, and a hunger to travel the world to spread the practices/notions/ideas that I have for health, wellness, and happiness.
I've chosen continuing education taught by some of the best healers and teachers the field has to offer; I feel so lucky, so blessed. My fellow MT's have immense experience and exposure that excites me to gain such valuable tools so that I may better serve each person I reach and teach. I love lifelong learning, especially about how our bodies and minds work and how I can affect them both physically and energetically.
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