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My Journey into Massage Therapy

Why did I become a massage therapist?

massage therapist headshot

I’ve been interested and fascinated by alternative remedies my whole life. Growing up my mother would give us kids Olbas Oil if we had a cold or congested sinuses rather than any medication. She also loved a massage herself, more so as a treat on holiday or a spa

day with her girlfriends.

So I was curious to try a massage myself and I soon became fascinated by the healing power of touch. I used to wonder how were they able to do what they were doing, flowing seamlessly with hands, forearms, elbows. It felt wonderful and I was curious how it would feel to make someone else feel wonderful.

Chest stretch during massage

It took me a good 20 years to undertake any training, up until this point I was more of a massage enthusiast, curious about different types and lacking some courage and confidence to take on such a training course. It didn’t feel like a “proper” career choice and I certainly felt pressure to please my parents: good grades at school, go to university, go to another university for a Masters, work in an office and get promoted etc etc.

I qualified in January 2019 and started working as soon as I could, joining the graduate scheme at Neal’s Yard Remedies in Clapham, where newly qualified therapists offer their treatments at a reduced rate in order to gain experience of clients. I was fully booked every week and took on an extra slot in Borough.

Back massage

Then COVID happened. I don’t need to say anything more!

When the world began to re-open, I was able to reduce my hours in my previous job as a Data Analysis Manager and moved into the main clinic at Neal’s Yard Remedies first in Borough Market and then an opportunity arose in Covent Garden which I was keen to take hold of.

I experienced a great deal of stress during my time working in offices and would find I’d spend my free time trying to rebalance myself from that stress. But as I gained more experience of massage therapy treatments, I discovered an alternative to the work-life balance, rather than balancing out the weekday work with mindful activities, the two could be blended together: I could earn a living through a mindful connection and the joy of appreciative clients.

So it was just a matter of time and bravery before I left my “day job” and worked full time as a massage therapist. In October, the weight of balance had finally shifted, I gave my notice and myself a little break then got to updating my website and Instagram with my extra availability for massage treatments.

Folding massage towel

Since I have been working as a massage therapist what I’ve enjoyed so much about it is that it is very mindful work. Each client requires my absolute full attention, which I found hugely beneficial for my mental health. I can’t think about what I’m going to have for dinner, the issues the following client might have, why a guy hasn’t text me back, how good yesterday’s yoga class was. I found all these distractions flowed out of my head through connecting with the client in front of me and focusing on what I’m feeling in my hands, forearms, elbows or knees (there’s another post coming about that!)

And I still wear the same headband as I did when I was training. I don’t think I can massage without it!

If you’ve been thinking about a career change, I’d love to hear from you. It can be a daunting prospect but trust me, it’s worth it.

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