Recently I had the honor of being chosen as one of the top 100 professionals in my industry. I am so grateful to be considered for this, and look forward to helping people make better informed choices in their massage careers. Congratulations to all of my peers who had the honor of being chosen for this as well.
If you are interested in massage therapy treatments with Maria, please call (407)506-5215. TTo read full article follow this link-http://www.massagetherapyschoolsinformation.com/maria-sellars/
1. Tell us a bit more about you and your practice as it is today? i.e. are you a solo practitioner or a business owner? If solo, what kind of an establishment do you work for, how large is it, what is the clientele like, what is the specialty offered? If it is a business that you own, kindly include the same time of relevant information that will give the reader a good idea about your establishment/practice. Please also include where you live and work?
I am a solo practitioner in Altamonte Springs, Florida. I have been in the same location since 2010, but I have been practicing in the area since 2008. My office space is within a beautiful professional center that has a reception area.
My regular clientele ranges in age from 25-72 and I see most people on a bi-weekly or monthly schedule. My clients have varying backgrounds, ranging from teachers, to nurses, to television advertising salespeople and professional athletes. The majority of my business for the last 3 years has been repeat or referral based business.
2. Tell us why you chose to go into massage and at what point in your life did you decide to do so? What were you doing at the time? Where did you first hear about the massage career? What factors influenced your decision? What were you looking to get out of this decision?
Remembering back to childhood, I have always enjoyed massaging people. I worked on my first trigger point at 11 years old for my uncle who had a bad back. After that session I had to work on him at every family gathering. I always enjoyed doing massage but it was never something that I thought I would make a career of.
When I was 18 I moved to Florida from Michigan to attend the NPTI and become a Personal Trainer. They also offered a massage therapy program at the school, and I thought “No way could I never do that.” The thought of touching strangers did not appeal to me.
I moved to Florida with no car, with the economy was tanking, and Personal Trainers were not in demand. I wound up getting a job at the gas station and subway closest to my house so I could afford my bills. The idea of attending Massage school kept popping up in my head for some reason, but with no car I knew I could not afford it.
Then on Labor Day, 2007 I went in to work for my 6:00 am shift at the gas station, but it was unlike any shift I had ever experienced. Ten minutes after I arrived 2 men with t-shirts over their faces came rushing in to the gas station and robbed the store. One man had a gun and started to run after the other employees and the other came to me at the cashier stand and busted a bottle in my face and demanded the money.
I was able to remain calm, give them the money and get them out of the store with no one getting hurt. That day I registered for the massage program starting at NPTI in two weeks and vowed to make it work.
3. What were some of your questions and concerns before further pursuing your massage therapy goals? Talk about concerns with school and the profession itself.
When I started massage school I was only 19 years old, which is a pretty young age to get in to the industry. During that time I was most concerned with having to massage “creepy” people who were looking for more than a massage.
In my almost 7 years as an LMT, I have had maybe 5 inappropriate clients, and it is not something that I find myself having to worry about. Always represent yourself as a professional, always work for respectable establishments and never be afraid to call someone out and end a session for them being inappropriate.
Since I already knew what school I was going to (the same one I did Personal Training at), I really did not give that much consideration. However, I think schooling plays a big role in your career and I recommend looking at several massage schools before making your decision.
4. What is your specialty and what are the top three contributing factors to your success today?
I specialize in Deep Tissue massage and helping people to manage chronic pain. When it comes to my success in the industry I would say these 3 things are major contributors.
1) Communication – I make sure that my clients know clear and open communication between us is key to getting results. If you need more or less pressure, speak up. If you need more time spent in an area, say so. Many times people are afraid to speak up for whatever reason, so I clear the air before we even get started so they know the session is about them, not me, so do not be afraid to speak up. At the same time, it is also very important for me to communicate with the client for how they are feeling and what their goals are for each specific session.
2) Education – By constantly furthering my education I am able to bring people up to date information in regards to wellness as whole. Most of my clients have no idea when it comes to muscles, fascia, or their bodies in general. I have them watch a short video on fascia, I show them trigger point pain referral diagrams, teach them stretches that can aid in their healing process, recommend essential oils and information on how their nutrition affects their body. All of this helps them to get a better understanding of what it is we are working towards and how crucial their at home care is as well.
3) Reiteration – I follow up on how people are doing with their stretches, what inflammation causing foods have they cut from their diets, how much they have upped their water intake, etc. By reiterating these things, and holding them accountable, it is easier to get results that last because I don’t just say it once and never bring it up again.
5. What do you like about your specialty? What do you like about what you do in general as a career? Why?
With my specialty, I help people to get their quality of life back and there is no greater feeling in the world than that. I have people whose husbands have basically had to carry them in to my office, and they leave with a smile on their face. Few careers give you the ability to do that, and I feel so blessed that I am in one of those.
6. What do you not like about what you do? Why?
I do not like that in our modern Western society many people still view massage therapy as a luxury treatment. Massage therapy is far more than just a luxury treatment. It is one of the few medical treatments that can help people physically, mentally, and neurologically. Can you get results in one session, yes, but in many cases you need multiple treatments to get lasting results.
Since many people still view massage as a luxury, you really have to convince and educate them on the benefits so they realize that in the beginning of their treatment plan they will need to come in two times a week or at least one time a week to get results and benefits that last.
7. If there were three things you could change about your work or the industry as a whole what would they be? Why would you change them? What would you change them to?
1) I would like to see massage therapy coverage added to more major insurance plans. It is such a great preventative service that benefits people’s physical and emotional well being.
2) Higher pay from chiropractic and medical clinics. I have many friends who have been over worked and underpaid at some of these places which can end a career very quickly. We need to stand up for the value of our services and the worth of our only pair of hands.
3) Consistent licensing requirements throughout the states so that it is less of a hassle if you intend to move. I know this is a problem for many different industries and it can really create a hindrance if you have to move and go back to school.
8. How long do you plan to practice and what do you plan to do after?
I see myself being a massage therapist for at least 25 more years and I have been practicing for almost 7 already! Eventually, I would love to have my own Massage school and care clinic that emphasizes on wellness as a whole
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