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?
I have been practicing Manual/Massage Therapy for about 15 years and my practice has move to a more Posture, Pain, & Performance model. I have spent the last 13 years teaching part time in massage therapy & IT full time.
My practice is part time solo practitioner and my schedule varies from summer when I’m not in school to Fall & Spring. 3 days a week to 2 days in the Fall & Spring. I’m usually booked a month in advance and see many of the same clients in my schedule each month. I only take a new client once in a while. However, the age of my clients very from 20’s to 80’s.
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?
At the time I chose to get trained in massage therapy my wife & I own a Salon & Spa. I was an IT guy and I was searching for a skill that would help bring revenue to our business. I had always been involved in sports and the Florida College of Natural Health was just down the street from our business.
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.
My concerns was about males working in massage therapy where it was close to an 80/20 split. And of course I wanted to attend an accredited school where I would get great teachers. I checked out both concerns and found out that Florida College of Natural Health was accredited and during the time I was going there we had one of our instructor’s receive instructor of the year.
4. What is your specialty and what are the top three contributing factors to your success today?
The model that I use for my practice is Posture, Pain, & Performance model. The main modality that I use is Myoskeletal Alignment, however, I mix Myofascial Release, Muscle Energy, Thai & Shiatsu with MAT. So it is somewhat an eclectic practice. : )
I think the biggest part of my success is that I use Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques. And I am very much a people person and a good listener!
5. What do you like about your specialty? What do you like about what you do in general as a career? Why?
My specialty in Myoskeletal Alignment can help people not only feel better but it can also help them move to a more homeostasis state of being. Where they can help themselves continue a life of great health & well being!
6. What do you not like about what you do? Why?
I don’t like that Doctors don’t use more manual therapy to support surgeries for scar tissue after a procedure and the large difference manual therapy can make with pain & posture!!!
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?
Health care providers need to understand that after surgery they need to get their patients to MTs (with skills that we train in our program) to help with the rehabilitation asap. Especially with joint replacement! I get clients in my clinic that I know for a fact that would have benefited from my work or my students work and would have much more ROM today than they have now!!! And be living a different life style!
8. How long do you plan to practice and what do you plan to do after
I would like to practice as long as my health holds out! : ) And continue to teach!!!
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?
Yes, I teach Information Technology and I am the Department Chair for our School of Computing & Informatics at Ivy Tech Community College here in Terre Haute, Indiana.
I work 7 days a week but some days I only work 2 hours and others I’ll work I love what I do so it doesn’t feel like work : )
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?
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 believe you need to start with a couple of questions.
2. Time restriction. And then of course cost!
With those answered you then can narrow down you choices. Do you research check out schools web sites check the web for reviews then make calls to gather as much information as you can to make an informed decision.
12. What do you recommend for someone who wants to go to massage school but cannot afford it?
There are possible mentoring opportunities in some areas but I’m not that informed on this topic. Search the internet to find what might be available in your area. Stop by Massage establishments and ask if they know any opportunities locally.
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?
At this point I see massage therapy as a great part time job however, it is an excellent starting point into the health care field. MT jobs are very demanding on our bodies and to maintain a position where you do 5 or 8 hour massages a day I believe burnout comes not to many years after we start.
Statics show that many massage therapist only last about 5 years in the field before burnout is a big factor. So with these statics know to factor the wear & tear of this profession into your plan!
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?
Massage therapy is a wonderful profession even though it is so demanding physically if you are a people person. You have a chance to make a difference in people’s lives and can make a good income. There are always many factors to weigh when making decision into what profession to follow and do your search well because they all have their Pros & Cons!!!
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.
For many years I play competitive golf and was totally involved however, because golf takes its toll on your back for the last 2 years I haven’t play and miss it very much. Now between teaching IT and massage therapy I keep myself very busy and enjoy what I do and that I think, is the most important, enjoy your work!!!
Charlie Peebles is a State Certified MT, a member of AMTA, a Massage Therapy Coordinator at Indiana State University, an Approved Myoskeletal Alignment Instructor with NCBTMB.