360-degrees in the massage profession

 I have done a little of everything in the massage field, and it has satisfied my desires to the fullest, but nothing is more gratifying as giving massages. I’ve worked in the field for over 15 years and started out working for someone out of their garage (yep, she made her garage into a massage studio and it was gorgeous). After that I moved around a bit from working in a spa, health club, private practice and eventually opening up my own massage business. Moving around from five different places, in three years was hard to keep a regular clientele, but I was always looking for that carrot on the end of the stick.

Then I found guaranteed money with teaching, and it was great from 2001-2008. I never had to worry about classes being cut, because massage was really popular around that time, and I would consistently have 10-15 students per class. But then the recession hit, and it was harder for students to get loans, and I eventually started seeing classes be cut, and my class sizes drop down to 4-6 per class. Luckily, I started MassageNerd.com a few years before the recession, and I could possibly handle my hours being cut, but I was so used to a regular amount each month, that I had to find other opportunities.

I got a job at Bon Vital’ as their social media director in April of this year and gave my notice the very next day. I actually gave the world’s longest notice, with six weeks, because it was in the middle of the quarter, and I wanted to finish my students out. I told my students about two weeks before my last day and most of them were devastated. It was so hard to see them upset, and I hated to do it, but I knew I couldn’t play the yo-yo game with not knowing if I had enough classes to teach that next quarter.

I was starting to feel a void in my life for the first time in a really long time, because I didn’t have that human contact as much and I was lying awake at night thinking what I could do to ignite my passion again. The very following day one of my past clients from 13 years ago found my number in the phone book and asked if I was interested in giving him a massage. I can’t tell you how much joy I felt after that phone call, and I scheduled him for the next day.

For the last few months, I’ve been averaging 3-4 massages a week, and it totally satisfies me. They always say that a massage therapist never completely retires from giving massages…They just cut down :)

8 thoughts on “360-degrees in the massage profession

  1. I would like to say thank you Ryan for all you have given us,you helped me get through school with your web-site Massagenerd.com,and your weekly web-cast that gives us a different view of massage through some of the best in the field,thanks again Ryan for inspiring us each and everyday its a pleasure to learn with Teachers and therapists like yourself!!!!!

  2. I am with you Ryan! Doing a handful of massages a week, peppered in with other types of similar work, really works well for me too. I love doing massage sometimes, but if I get burnt out if I do too many. The combination of several types of work is great. Look forward to what you put out next! Keep up all of your good work.

  3. I always tell people that I will be doing massage in one way or another for the rest of my life…even if it is only one session per month 😀

    A very dear friend who just passed away told me, when I was about 9 years old and fraught with worry about what I was going to “be when I grew up”, that it was ok and I didn’t have to choose; I could be a Renaissance Man. Being a Renaissance Man meant I didn’t have to one thing or another, I could be everything I wanted to be all at once!

    From that day forward I always knew that I wwanted to be a Rennaissance Man and I would delight in excitedly telling any adult who dared to ask me the dreaded question: “Which would you like to be when you grow up: a Dr or a Lawyer?”(standard question in my family…multiple choice only, no essay portion…haha)

    I think most of us massage therapists are Renaissance Men of a sort.

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