Dance Lover, Corporate Professional Valorie Wallace in Pursuit of Massage Therapy to Contribute to Society

Valorie WallaceI am a passionate, creative and eclectic person driven by the purpose to better my community. I’m in my mid-twenties and have lived in Portland, Oregon most of my life. I live with consistent joy and a motivation to constantly work on positive self-development.

I am obsessed with dancing and the purity of free movement. I surround myself with friends and family at all times—keeping my gratitude for their existence as the key motivator behind my actions. My interest in learning about and from others has led me to work in various industries.

I’ve worked within our famed local food industry, boutique retail and consumer media relations. Now, I would like to pursue a new career in massage therapy to increase my capabilities for helping others. I’m currently enrolled to start in April 2016 at East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon.

With the recent societal value placed on entrepreneurship in the age of modern technology and marketing, the need to maintain a balanced lifestyle is rising in urgency. One large example of this is the precarious position of self-starters who need to rely on newer structures which radically increase stress- student loans, contractual employment, pervasive digital marketing, etc.

As a public relations professional I study this paradox across different industries. My job is to analyze various demographics, their work and personal habits, and how their choice of media and amount of consumption affects their actions and beliefs. In a catch-22 circumstance, this fast-paced, deadline driven work helped me decide to pursue a different profession; I want to work to offset the overwhelming feelings brought by over saturated media culture.

With a lifelong dream to serve others, a passionate belief in the need to improve the mental health care system and a deep trust in the power of body awareness to improve physical ability, I am excited to start formal training in the practice of healing modalities.

What brought me to massage therapy as the ideal next step? I thought about what properties of joy bring healing and reintegration opportunities for those living with scars of trauma. I am fascinated by positive psychology and the significance of the state of mind to the health of the physical body. It was a revelation to realize the connection- the unexplainable duality between the status of the internal locus of control and resulting physical manifestations.

From the circumstances in war zones or run-of-the-mill business, I believe there is a desperate need for humanity to dramatically increase practices of mindfulness to improve health. With movement practices so near and dear to my heart, I am also eager to help others work on themselves towards physical realignment to aid in their own personal development. Three related core values directly influenced my decision to pursue massage therapy: service to my community, improving care and rehabilitation of mental health, and understanding the mind, body and spirit as a holistic system.

In the name of service, I would like to focus my career on directly improving the daily life for others. Though this means a shift in my type of employment, being in the corporate world of business services taught me to have confidence in risky decision making—risking “failure” for a cause with higher potential return is worth going for. Learning to make educated decisions which can vastly change things for the better is a core motivator for me to pursue therapeutic massage.

I intend to guide others in developing an understanding of the connectedness of their mental and physical health. Actions, routines, thought processes and self-reflections impact each other. I believe that internalizing the value of body awareness is crucial to feeling capable, strong and graceful. Too often I have put aside the daily stretching or a short strengthening practice (such as plank) because I mentally underestimated the impact the practice would have on my body.

I’m now maintaining mindfulness as a daily practice in otherwise basic tasks (such as a short length of exercise time or writing a note of gratitude to a friend). And too often people describe their ailments as isolated conditions. The incredible transformational power of taking the time to relax, repair and provide therapy to all body parts, not just ailments, is invaluable to improving self.

I now understand the significance of acute bodily awareness in the development of strength, endurance and maintenance of overall physical and mental health. I want to be part of the enlightened revolution to help others achieve this understanding. I want to develop and evolve strategies and modalities which make health a reachable goal for people with trauma or jobs where they focus on larger business priorities.

Overall, I am passionate about working in an industry focused on restoring and maintaining health by overcoming external factors. As a dancer who values my physical body, I want to help people to know themselves through movement. And as a digital native, I want to help people understand the significance of seeking serenity and simple beauty in the name of positive mental health. As I begin my educational journey, I look forward to the foundational learning of body sciences most of all.

My questions about the profession are around the extent of knowledge about the body. How long may it be until a practitioner has gathered enough experience they feel confident in their development of a treatment plan? Beyond the formulaic kind of knowledge, when does second nature feeling of deducing where someone is holding their stress kick-in? When does memorization of scientific words transcend definitions and help connect the dots to understanding the physical impact of lifestyle?

I am planning to practice massage for the duration of my professional career. I would like to use it as a foundation to continue training with various healing modalities. The dynamic nature of the career field is an amazing component. I look forward to always improving your positive impact on clients by developing a more robust educational foundation through continuing education courses.

When the time comes to slow down my active massage therapy practice, whether due to ability or circumstance, I am sure I will still be involved in other relevant avenues of service and support of my community. I am excited to start this next chapter by completing the foundational training for massage therapy.

For the progression of self-healing of mind and body, I pledge my future educational opportunities and lifelong support to my fellow humans!

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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