I absolutely love my massage practice and life in the Methow. The only thing I felt missing by living so rurally was potentially teaching massage. Even during massage school I wanted to teach, once I had more experience. My instructors were both inspiring teachers and people. Their seemingly endless knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and ability to get the best out of me was (and still is) something I strive for.
I was elated, then, when a friend asked if I’d be interested in teaching Sports Massage when she had to direct her energy elsewhere. I tried to play it a little cool, but I was instantly ecstatic. Sports massage is my favorite modality, not so much due to working with athletes, but because it draws on everything bodywork has to offer: deep tissue, Muscle Energy Technique, and Neuromuscular Technique, to name a few. I love thinking about primary and secondary muscles used in different sports, potential compensating patterns, and trying to treat what causes the particular aches/pains, injuries, or imbalances, in addition to treating the presenting symptoms.
Pulling into the Port Townsend ferry terminal
The Sports Massage training I had focused exclusively on pre- and post-event treatment. The Port Townsend School of Massage (PTSM) devotes twenty hours to the subject, allowing the students to really study specific sports and injuries associated with those in addition to learning treatments for events.
PTSM focuses on small class sizes, which was a great relief as well as a huge benefit to the students. The small class setting made it extremely easy for students to ask questions, and for me to tailor the class to them. I instantly felt at ease when I entered the room. I tend to get quite nervous when all attention is directed toward me, so I surprised myself when I had to reign myself in from lecturing all day.
Anyone I’ve spoken to about massage school has a similar feeling about their experience: the massage career draws amazingly open and positive people; I felt like I’d been there for years. The five students will complete their training next month, so it was easy to delve into the subject matter from many different angles: sports massage really is more a frame of mind than a specific method.
Like anything, there is no better way to fully learn something than to teach it. I am grateful for the opportunity to shape and solidify my own knowledge, while sharing it with others. I’m also so excited for the students. In just a month, they will enter an amazing profession, one that allows and requires a mixture of continual growth, learning, knowledge, creativity, and intuition.