Deanna is originally from Garnett, KS. She lived on a farm in rural Coffey county for 32 years before moving to Kansas City to study massage therapy. She graduated from Wellspring in 2011, passing the National Certification Exam shortly after. She is licensed in the state of Missouri and the city of Overland Park, KS. Deanna recently took some time to share her experiences as a massage therapist with Wellspring Life.
WL: What led you to become a Massage Therapist?
DF: In the early 90’s, I was diagnosed with a disease that the medical profession told me was not treatable. I began a quest to get my health back on track and found many ways to correct my body’s imbalance through natural healing. When faced with being single after 32 years of marriage, I needed to find a career to support myself. I wanted one that I could be passionate about and where I could help others learn more about helping their bodies to heal. Massage therapy was an even better choice than I had anticipated.
WL: What was your favorite aspect of life at Wellspring?
DF: I loved receiving bodywork 3 times a week! I always learned just as much from receiving a massage as I did giving a massage. I liked the small class sizes and that much of the staff are massage therapists.
WL: Where do you work and how long have you been there?
DF: After passing my National Certification, I took a job (the next day) with New Life Massage. The owner was one of our speakers during our business class at Wellspring. He critiqued our resumes and then after class asked me to call him for a job. I have worked for him for almost 2 years and do corporate chair massage. One of the corporations that I work at is Burns and McDonnell, just down the street from Wellspring. I passed it every day on my way to school, never imagining that someday I would work there. I also do chair massage at Quintiles, Cerner, Honeywell and the Nazarene Global Ministry Center.
WL: What do you love most about your work?
DF: I see clients in their workplace so they are usually stressed when they come in for the massage. Sometimes they come in about ready to scream but they always leave relaxed, calm, and appreciative. Clients trust me to help them feel better and there is no greater reward for me.
WL: What do you find most challenging?
DF: My biggest challenge is taking care of my own body. I am trying to build my clientele which means working as much as possible and doing as many massages as requested. It is challenging to make time to take care of myself while I am busy taking care of others, but it is a must if you want to stay in this industry.
WL: How do you stay current with trends in your industry?
DF: I take CE classes from Wellspring, online from ABMP and locally in KC. I still learn from other therapists, too, whenever I receive a massage.
WL: What expectations of your work did you have when you started that turned out to be false/true?
DF: I think most of us going into the field think we will earn a lot more money than we do. I didn’t know until halfway through school that I couldn’t do massage 40 hours a week. 15 to 20 hours a week is my limit as it is for most therapists. So, if you think you will get rich doing massage that is false. It takes years to build a clientele whether you work for yourself or for someone else. The expectation that I had that that people want to feel better and take better care of their bodies turned out to be very true. There are so many people today that are looking for ways to be healthier and massage therapy is such a benefit for everyone. You just have to find ways to reach those people and keep them as clients.
WL: What advice would you give to current Wellspring students preparing to enter your field?
DF: Keep your options open. I never planned on doing corporate chair massage, but I love it! I wanted to start my own business right away but I am glad that I worked in the field before I did. Every day is a learning experience. You will learn just as much working in the field as you did in school.
Always give the massage that you would expect yourself. Listen to what your client is telling you. Nothing will chase your clients away quicker than to do nothing that they asked you to.
Be honest. If you don’t know about a certain medical problem that they have mentioned, tell them you need to refresh your memory on that one.
Educate your clients.They want to feel better all the time, not just when you give them a massage. Tell them what they can do in between massages to keep those muscles in great shape.
Above all, be confident. It will show in your work and your clients will trust you.