My name is Gary Tyler,Jr and I have been practicing massage as a licensed massage therapist for about 15 years. My practice has evolved to specialize in seniors and the injured. I have specialized in seniors for over 11 years and have seen an increasing need in this group. I live and work in Vernon and the surrounding areas of South Windsor, Manchester, Tolland, Glastonbury, Windsor and E. Windsor. My practice is called Total Touch Massage Therapy LLC.
How I chose to come into massage was really a very personal journey. I have been through many medical challenges, some when I was younger. When I was eight, I had a cancer called Burkittes Lymphoma which was at stage four when it was found. I survived this, and found when I was healed that I wanted to heal others. At age 9, I began giving rudimentary massages to my friends and family and this continued throughout my life.
After a number of years passed, I decided to pursue my passion and attended the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy. I graduated in December of 1999. As I began my career, it became obvious to me in a very short period of time that I wanted to specialize in working on seniors and the injured as more of a medical massage therapist. I have worked with West Side Chiropractors , St. Francis Hospital, South Windsor Senior Center, Vernon Senior Center, Rose Commons assisted living in Vernon, The Village in South Windsor, Riverside rehab in East Hartford and individual clients as well. I have two subcontractors working for me to handle the client load.
My current aspiration is to start a school to begin to educate other licensed massage therapists within our community to learn to work on our growing senior population. There is such a need for healing in our senior community and once these seniors learn the benefits of massage therapy they will learn they can heal faster as well as increase their movement and overall wellness. I do feel this area of massage has a huge need to recruit willing and educated massage therapist to serve this segment of our community.
I feel that I have been successful as a massage therapist as I do go the extra mile, and I do care. The well- being of my clients both physically and emotionally is important to me. Many of the seniors are scared or skeptical about massage and it is my job to put them at ease. It’s my job to calm them and help them gain some measure of confidence and control over their disease or injury that they are dealing with.
Working in conjunction with their medical doctor, physical therapy team and even chiropractor, the massage therapist can play an equally vital role in the overall well-being of the patient.
The only frustration that I come across at times is the skepticism from the traditional medical field of the benefits of massage. Often times massage is not covered by insurance, and has to be paid out of pocket by the patient.
I would encourage anyone who is passionate about a career in which you can truly touch and help people to enter the field of massage. In Connecticut you need only 500 hours to become licensed. But I would also ask you to consider the ever-growing population of seniors and continue your education to help a segment that truly needs attention.
Gary K. Tyler Jr. is a member of AMTA and the AMTA emergency Dept. Volunteer of the Year in 2014. He is a Rieki Level 3 and Cranial Sacrial therapy level 1. You can reach Gary on his business’ Facebook fan page here.