Why did you become a massage therapist?
“As a massage therapist, I get to come in and make people feel good. It’s really satisfying to make people feel great again. Total strangers come in and literally put their body into my hands and trust me. Which is huge, because where else in life do people do that? Some people have pain and very often I am able to help them have less pain. Some people are stressed and they are looking for a way to get unstressed and some people just want a pleasant experience. Almost always people leave my office smiling and feeling really good, and that is very satisfying. It makes me feel good as well. Sometimes I think I should be paying them because I get as much enjoyment at what I am doing as they do. It can be just as an amazing experience for the therapist as for the client.”
When was the first time you helped somebody as a massage therapist?
“The first client that I worked with, that really was what I would call a serious pain case situation. There was a woman who came in to see me for massage, and I was pretty fresh out of school. She has been in an automobile accident three years before and she was still in pain. She took a lot of pain medication every day and she started seeing me regularly. I started paying attention to where she hurt and focused attention on it. I have not been taught to keep notes, but I started keeping notes so I could see if there was progress. After the first session, she came back and said: “I got a good night sleep for the first since I got the accident”. The third time she came in she stopped taking her pain medication. I thought it was amazing. I worked with her consistently for a little while. Here was this woman who been in pain for the last three years that wasn’t in pain anymore, and that was extremely satisfying.”
What is one piece of advice you would pass on to people who are wanting to improve their health?
“Attitude is the key and cultivating a good attitude. Something someone told me when I was young, said that the key to happiness is gratitude. My observation is that I think they were right. Just recently I read an article written by a psychologist that gratitude is the key. Cultivating that in your life I think is good. Also, taking care of your body, moving. Our modern life is set up to minimize movement, and we pay the price. There are some things that are out of our control but our attitude and how active we stay is within our control. If we do that, other things fall into place.”
~Alice Sanvito, Massage St. Louis
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