I work in my private practice three days a week in Westford MA, and two days in a Spa in Lunenburg, MA. In Westford, I work in an office building where different therapies are offered to help the community ( Massage Therapists, Counselors, Psychologists, Hypno Therapy and Yoga Instructors).
In Lunenburg, I work at a Spa offering different modalities such as: Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue, Reflexology, Shiatsu, Sports massage, etc
Since I was a kid I wanted to be a Massage Therapist. I emigrated to USA from Uruguay in 2000 and in 2008 I had the opportunity to enroll in one of the most comprehensive Massage Therapy Training in the Country at the Swedish institute in NYC.
I graduated and started to work right away in different spas in NY. I was working as a Security Guard at that time and saw my dream come true when I became Massage Therapist. I love and enjoy my work and the opportunity to be able to help my client through quality touch.
One of my biggest concerns before starting Massage School was if I would succeed as a male therapist (since we are a minority in this profession and might have to work harder than female therapists to make a living..?)
I specialize in Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Myofascial Release. I think the three factors that make my practice successful today are: a) the passion that I have for this profession. b) the knowledge of the human body that I acquired in the School. c) my customer service skills.
What I like about my career is the ability to help my clients in different ways, the trust that my clients put on my hands, the long term relationships that I am creating with my clients and love to see the happier faces when a client leaves my studio. It is really huge the impact we have as massage therapists in the life of our clients.
I don’t like that some employers do not value the effort and sacrifice that massage therapists go through to become a professional and I feel we deserve more respect from them. Also the disadvantage that male massage therapists encounter in the profession.
I would change the Massage Therapist education and make it more equal in the whole Country. It is not fair that in NY we need 1000 hours of school while in California 50 hours (in some Counties) to become a massage therapist. I would bring all the schools in the Country to same level of knowledge and include Massage Therapy in the healthcare system. (I think we should learn from Canada in this matter).
I would like to do massage as long as my body and energy allow me. After that, maybe own a spa or massage establishment.
I think one mistake I made when I just starting working in massage therapy is that I was doing too many massages a day (5, 6, sometimes 7) and I was hurting myself. I learned to listen to my teachers and now I take care of myself to be in this profession as long as I can.
The first thing I would recommend to somebody who is searching a Massage School is to make sure it is an accredited School and registered by the State Board of Massage Therapy. Second, do a little research about the reputation of the school and the
percentage of graduation from that School. Maybe try to get financial aid or enroll in a Community College where the tuition might be not as expensive as in private schools.
The most important thing for a massage therapist is take care of him/her self. Proper body mechanic, good diet, exercise, good sleep. If is a male therapist be prepared to see that most people in this culture prefer a female therapist and if is a female therapist be prepared to encounter the misconception that some people have about female massage therapists.
I hope that massage therapy industry keeps on growing in this country and someday we will be part of the healthcare system being respected and valued as healthcare professionals.
My hobbies in my spare time are to play soccer and play chess.
Daniel Marquez is a Licensed Massage Therapist in NY and MA. He can be reached on his website here.