Friday, July 29, 2016

Why Laura Amato, one of our RMTS, loves being a massage therapist and how she got into it.

My connection to massage therapy began at a young age. As early as 8, if not younger, I can recall my parents requesting a back massage, my cousins asking me to tickle their arms as we would drift off to sleep, and my friends desiring a simple shoulder squeeze to release some of our school acquired muscle tension. The response to each act of touch was one of relief and relaxation, usually often followed by “Laura, your hands are magical.” I would laugh it off, never thinking much of it, at the same moment having it slowly seep into my subconscious as a possibility. I was the type of person that found joy in lending an ear,  a hand, advice, laughter or comfort to the people I cared about, so, if a simple act of kindness could bring some ease to their life, I was more than happy to oblige. In school, I was a pretty well rounded student, obtaining an average of 80s and 90s in most of my studies, math being my highest mark. That being the case, when it came time to figure out my path into post secondary education, not knowing what I wanted to do and only factoring in my strengths in terms of grades, I chose to attend Waterloo University for the Math and Business Double Degree Program. Even while choosing this direction, massage remained in the back of my mind—a fall back should my “impassioned career” never materialize.  Moving away from home, my friends, and my family for the first time and shifting from a variety of different subjects to focus on one very specific field proved to be a challenging feat during my first year. I slowly started realizing that my enjoyment of mathematics was limited at this capacity and, even more so, that it was not going to lead me to a career that I would love. I became despondent, isolating myself while attempting to figure out what my next step should be.  After approaching student services and taking a suggested aptitude test to assist me in identifying my best options, I was surprised and somewhat elated to find Massage Therapist as a 70%+ match under the careers that were best suited for me. At that moment, the gears began turning— why was I keeping massage as my backup option? It was something I was good at, enjoyed, and it allowed me to help others while pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Why had I not considered it before? I was not initially met with support from my peers or family, but I knew it was the right decision for me. Thankfully, with the moral support from a few close friends, I was able to happily move in a direction that finally felt like the path I was meant to take. Since graduating from the Massage Therapy Program in 2008, I have come to appreciate my career much more than I could imagine. I never realized how rewarding it would be. The autonomy I have in my practice, the seemingly limitless resources available to further my knowledge both in my profession and in the health industry, the feeling I get when I know I have genuinely helped my clients, and especially the level of rapport I am able to achieve with both my coworkers and clientele. As clich├ęd as it sounds, it is more than a job, it is where I belong. 

No comments: