What Being a Successful Massage Therapist Means to Me – Deanna Bunata

DeAnna BunataI have chosen massage therapy as my career field because of the physical, emotional and spiritual healing it has on the body. My interest first sparked when I was in high school participating in my sports medicine classes. I was shown the basics of sports massage in order to help the athletes during a competition.

I have also received many massages to relax and heal my body; I personally enjoy Swedish massage with hot stone and aromatherapy. I have also received massages during physical therapy to help specific muscles to heal and grow after injuries.

When I first started at Provo College I didn’t know what to expect. I had a basic knowledge of what message therapy was, but I never expected to learn so much in a short period of time. I have grown so much as an individual by helping clients in clinic and by doing massages out of my home.

I have learned that massage therapy is more than just relaxing me-time. I have seen the physical, emotional, and spiritual healing that takes place during each massage session.

The physical healing I have seen has taken place in the massage clinic at Provo College. I have helped a client with her shoulders after she was in a car accident, she complained of pain and stiffness and was having a hard time lifting her left arm above her shoulder. I have taken what I have learned in class and from my instructors to help this client.

I have seen this client for 6 weeks and she has reported for the first time that she has no more pain or stiffness and can lift her left arm above her shoulder. I am so excited for her. Seeing this client’s progress is what being a successful massage therapist means to me, by helping others heal and grow.  It has been a wonderful journey seeing this client heal physically.

Through this last 6 weeks I have seen this same client heal not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. When I first started seeing this particular client she was unhappy and having a hard time. She didn’t like the fact that she couldn’t lift her left arm above her shoulder and that her activities were limited because of the stiffness. Through the last 6 weeks of working with her, I have slowly seen an improvement with her emotionally and spiritually.

She is happy with her progress and continues to see me weekly to work on her shoulders. Seeing this client happy and progressing has really shown me what being a Massage Therapist all is about. Taking what I have learned to help my client has helped me personally see that I am where I am supposed to be. This is the reason why I have chosen Massage Therapy as my career field.

Success to me is seeing my client’s progress, heal and happy: physically, mentally and spiritually. It is hard for me when I have been working on a client for a couple of weeks and don’t see them progressing like they want to. I have a client that I have been working with, and she really wants the swelling to go down in her legs so she can walk more comfortably. My client has had two knee replacements and there is a lot of swelling in her calves.

This causes her some difficulty walking and uncomfortable standing for long periods. I have asked my instructors what to do to help her with the swelling and what would be best to help her. Through my instructors guidance I have worked with this client to help with the swelling. I was seeing progress in her legs and noticing it was easier to do deeper massage strokes.

I expressed this to my client and she was unhappy with the progress. She wanted the swelling to be gone faster. I felt defeated that day, but I didn’t give up. I reassured the client that things would get easier, but it would take some time and a little bit of patience.

That night after clinic I went home and grabbed my books to do some research on what else I could do to help this client. I also talked with my director who has been a Massage Therapist for more than 25 years. Together we spoke with this clinic the next time she came to clinic we are trying a different approach to helping with the swelling in her legs.

During this process things have not been easy. I have learned not to give up and to use the resources around me (instructors and materials) to see what I can learn to help my clients when I feel like I am defeated.

Through the process of helping this client I have learned that you will not be successful with all your clients. There will be times were you don’t know what to do or the client will not be happy with the progress. You can’t fix everyone, all you can do it try your best. I can’t dwell on the unhappiness of this client. My success of being a Massage Therapist does not depend solely on this one client.

I have many other clients who see me on a regular basis who are happy. I continue to see and learn that my happiness is not through the success of my clients, but the attitude that I bring with me where ever I go. You can be successful and be unhappy, but it is a choice you make. You will attract more clients when you are happy and love what you do.

Happiness is about me, not about others or the success around me.  Seeing the positive and negative side of my clients has really shown me what being a Massage Therapist all is about. Taking what I have learned to help my clients has helped me personally see that I am where I am supposed to be. This is the reason why I have chosen Massage Therapy as my career field.

I am excited to see where this journey takes me.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

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