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Bodywork Buddy Blog

Bodywork Buddy: business management software for the solo therapist that keeps you organized and makes tax time a breeze.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

My Inspiration to Become a Massage Therapist

massage therapy


After high school, I was at a loss for what to do. I scored really high on my ACT test for literature. The community college counselor got all excited and said "that was MY major!". My thought was.... then what are you doing as a college counselor? Not that there's anything wrong with being a counselor, I just didn't see the connection to a literature degree. 

I didn't want to teach below college level, and I didn't want to go to school for the years needed to teach at the college level, and I didn't know there were many other options available for a possible English or Lit major. (Now I know otherwise, but at the time, I thought those were my only options.)  I despised math, and didn't feel particularly passionate about any other subjects in school.

I took a few community college classes after HS, which included a "career exploration" class. We took several personality tests and researched different careers that we might be interested in or that popped up as a good fit for our personalities.

I can't actually remember if massage therapist came up in my test results, but nurse definitely did and that kind of started me exploring similar paths. I was more interested in holistic health than nursing, and looked into acupuncture and massage. 

Acupuncture really intrigued me, but it was more schooling than I wanted to do and would have also involved relocating which I couldn't afford at the time. So I looked a little deeper into massage therapy. I interviewed a therapist and received my first massage. 

I don't actually remember it being anything amazing. Not because of the quality of the massage, but I think I was paying too much attention to everything to just enjoy it.


*Woo Warning*
If you're triggered into anger by mention of energy work or anything woo, skip over this next part. Side note: I'm not huge into woo, but I really hate how much energy therapists get harassed and bullied online these days by science-minded therapists who think they're superior. It's part of the industry, it always has been. Build a bridge and get over it.

Then I watched this therapist give a massage (with permission from her client). After only about 10 minutes into the session, I got very warm and felt like I was going to puke. I quietly slipped out of the room, and felt fine after a couple of minutes in the waiting area. I didn't go back into the treatment room, thinking I must be getting sick.

When the therapist came out at the end of the session, she asked why I had left the room. After I told her what happened, she explained that was the energy being released during the massage. Whaaaa??!

This is in the 90's, you guys. 


Talking about "energy" was not a common thing, and in fact I had never heard it discussed having come from a small farming community. I didn't know what to think of that. I found it fascinating and started to look further into massage therapy. You would think I would have gone down a more energetic path in my bodywork career, but it just really wasn't for me. My school was kind of heavy on the energetic aspect of massage, and maybe that's why I didn't get more into it as I felt my school left out a lot of science that I think would have made for a better balanced education. 

Anyway, that's where it all started - and here I am almost 20 years later still in the industry. I still have a private practice as well as working on Bodywork Buddy. There was certainly no such thing as online scheduling 20 years ago, and I'm so grateful for how much easier it has made running my practice!

What first got you interested in massage and bodywork? Do you remember receiving your first massage?




Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.