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 business is a Solepropieter/LLC. It is primarily myself- but last year I did hire up to 11 people to help with the demand and events.
I offer out call (where the therapist goes to the patient/client) massage only in Wisconsin for homes, hotels, offices and Events. My clientele is mostly business travelers from out of state. The session is Swedish/Deep Tissue based. I incorporate everything I have learned in school – I do not believe the client always knows what they want. I listen to them then offer in the session the appropriate modality.
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 finished my commitment in the US Army and was looking for a new career. I saw a commercial on TV for massage therapy and decided to look into it. I based my decision on the need to be active and through intuition. I had no idea when I signed up for massage school, that I had made the best decision for myself and personality type.
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.
I had no concerns or goals for massage therapy. I was just open, and was lucky that it worked out.
4. What is your specialty and what are the top three contributing factors to your success today?
This business travels on location for chair or table massage and is successful because not too many other LMT’s do it in my area. It is also successful because I am comfortable enough to wait for unplanned work, and because I listen to the clients about their requests. I make sure I spend enough time in whatever area they ask for to be worked on.
5. What do you like about your specialty? What do you like about what you do in general as a career? Why?
I love being in a home setting when I go to work. I love love people, and I love when they feel better weather it is from stress or a aliment that requires medical treatment. I love being part of my clients general health.
6. What do you not like about what you do? Why?
After 10 years of being a LMT, I do not like that I do not know what my schedule is for the most part. My needs are changing, as in I have a family that I like to spend time with on nights and weekends. It does not serve me to work those hours too much anymore without prior planning.
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?
If I could change anything about this industry, it would be that LMT’s could only be a massage therapist and not have to get another job in another industry to make ends meet. I would make the field more important for health for the public, like making massage a requirement for company wellness, like some companies do when they offer a gym for employees to use. I would also change the clientele in a way they would have more time available to get their massages. All these changes would give work to people that offer massage and it would help people take care of themselves.
8. How long do you plan to practice and what do you plan to do after?
I plan to practice as long as I physically can. Then after that I plan to be financially secure enough to give environment presentations for Pachamama Alliance and care for animals.
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 do massage full-time.
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?
Biggest mistake in massage I made was stretching my money too far to not allow for unplanned time off. I thought because I made excellent money in the beginning that I would never have financial trouble. Just because I make money does not mean I should buy an expensive place to live.
11.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?
Make sure that you do not have a criminal background if you want to be a massage therapist. If you do, you will most likely not get a license to practice. Do not work for a company that does not care if you have a license either. Understand that you will most likely have to get your own clientele to work on, do not expect most companies to give you leads. Most of the work is nights and weekends, do not expect to make a lot of money if you are not available then.
12. 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?
It is a prediction of mine but it also is true- Massage Therapists are in demand. Your clients are looking for you, do not give up. Get yourself out there to find them, do not rely on referrals to keep you busy.
Jessica Dragan, LMT can be reached at www.LuxuryMassageTherapist.com