1. Tell us a bit more about you and your practice as it is today? i.e. are you a solo practitioner or a business owner? If solo, what kind of an establishment do you work for, how large is it, what is the clientele like, what is the specialty offered? If it is a business that you own, kindly include the same time of relevant information that will give the reader a good idea about your establishment/practice. Please also include where you live and work?
My name is Sonia Alexandra. I now reside in Boca Raton, FL. My primary business now is an online e-commerce continuing education and related products store. I also perform consulting, developing new therapies and facilitating workshops on a global level. I became an LMT in 1972
I opened my first holistic day spa in 1979 in Massillon, Ohio. My facility specialized in many forms of massage therapy: natural sauna, European skincare, reflexology, all natural nail and hair care and makeup. We provided a health-conscious lunch, as well as educational classes in the evening.
2. Tell us why you chose to go into massage and at what point in your life did you decide to do so? What were you doing at the time? Where did you first hear about the massage career? What factors influenced your decision? What were you looking to get out of this decision?
I chose the massage profession due to the fact as a 8 year old child living in Belgium, our next door neighbor suffered a stroke and I observed from my window a massage therapist going there to treat him. He recovered and from that time on I knew this was my calling; I wanted to help others feel better.
3. What were some of your questions and concerns before further pursuing your massage therapy goals? Talk about concerns with school and the profession itself.
In the early 70’s my mother brought my 2 siblings and I to the USA. As soon as I learned the language and graduated I found only one school in the entire state of Ohio, located in Columbus. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson owned the school and she attempted to discourage me. I was young and naïve, and in those days only the YMCA and private health clubs offered massage therapy. Of course, there was the presence of massage parlors but that was never an option. I was determined and graduated at the top of my class.
4. What is your specialty and what are the top three contributing factors to your success today?
My specialty became stone massage. I introduced the modality to the rest of the world in the mid 90’s. I became an overnight success, 25 years in the making, primarily due to my love for the rewarding work and my strong work ethic.
5. What do you like about your specialty? What do you like about what you do in general as a career? Why?
I love stone therapy due to the extraordinary results it facilitates. I have been blessed to love my chosen work.
6. What do you not like about what you do? Why?
For me, there are really no negatives, due to education and proper body dynamics. When applying therapy using the stones for the deeper tissue work, rest and a good diet and positive mind set are crucial, the rest is all small stuff.
7. If there were three things you could change about your work or the industry as a whole what would they be? Why would you change them? What would you change them to?
Education, education, education
8. How long do you plan to practice and what do you plan to do after?
I am still practicing on a limited scale and now focus my attention on educations and consulting work.
9. Do you currently have another job or business whether full time or part time? Tell us a bit more about it and how you are able to juggle that with your massage career?
I am in a position now, to be able to dedicate my time to projects that I feel passionate about: The link between body and mind and how we can make a tremendous difference in the lives of others.
10. What are some mistakes you made in your career pursuit that you’d like to warn other students about so they can learn from your experience and avoid it?
Life was very challenging in the early days of my massage career, it was not popular as it is now, and back then I had to recruit through lectures at women’s organizations or by joining business groups. I was earning a living as a single parent, it was just me and my young son. The greatest advice I can give in this area, is to ask for assistance and don’t try to be everything to everyone.
11. What would you advice someone who is looking at massage therapy schools? What do you recommend they look for and how? How do you recommend they determine whether the school is the right one for them?
I had no choice at to the school I attended; now it’s a different story. To determine what the correct choice is, speak to enrolled students, use referral system, or go see for yourself.
12. What do you recommend for someone who wants to go to massage school but cannot afford it?
Generally, government programs are available. Be determined to succeed, nothing can stop you now!
13. What are your three biggest points of advice for an aspiring massage therapist today? What should they do/not do? What should they think about and consider?
My opinion is to seek employment in a very successful facility such as a destination spa; the pay is fair but the advanced training and experience will be invaluable, in the long run.
14. Any open thoughts / comments – anything else that you’d like to share about yourself, the massage industry, profession, future, etc? If nothing, make one prediction for the future of massage?
Most of us will share that we are about caring, hoping, healing and making a difference in people’s lives. Most of us can also tell you we have experienced the healing phenomenon. It seems more prevalent when a close emotional bond has been established; I predict this form of healing will become more prominent in the future.
15. What is your passion outside of massage? What are your hobbies and interests which you pursue when you are not working? Tell us why you enjoy what you enjoy.
Life is my passion, in awe with nature, education. I love to read nonfiction and am continuously learning, sharing, teaching by example, and giving back in joy. This is the essence of who I am.
Sonia Alexandra is certified in all aspects of holistic health care, excels in blending an array of cutting edge products and technologies into a unique, holistic concept for mind and body wellness. This includes all aspects of massage therapy, esthetics as well as holistic cosmetology and anti-aging programs. She is a speaker and consultant, as well as a continuing education provider on a national and international basis, including organizations such as the NCBTMB. Sonia Alexandra is the founder of stone-healing.com, a globally recognized company that provides continuing education and products to the spa, wellness, holistic and related industries. She can be found on her websites here and here and on her blog.