Finding My Path (written by: Sarah Fuhs)
I wanted to make a difference.
That’s the simple answer to the number one question I get asked about massage.
How did you get into massage?
I was 23, a recent graduate from college and although my credentials sounded impressive on paper, I had no idea what I wanted out of life. It wasn’t like I’d never thought about it. I’d spent 4 years doing nothing BUT thinking about it. I’d held the chair in my sorority designed to teach young women how to network, how to navigate the world outside of our comfortable college surroundings. I was on the Chancellor’s list, invested in an unpaid internship to learn how to manage other people, summa cum laude and the whole 9 yards. I majored in Communication Studies with an emphasis on international relations with a double minor in Business Management and Spanish. In short, I was a type A high-strung perfectionist with a major caffeine addiction.
But how to go from “wanting to make a difference” to SEEING the impact in person?
To be honest, I tripped into massage. I was looking at any and every option out of college, holding 3-4 jobs at a time, and was completely confused. Was this what I spent 4 years getting a degree for? Right about that time my uncle was telling us all about the fluid that was on his heart and lungs and he was talking about the massage therapist who helped save his life.
So, I started looking into it as an option. I read some books and found a school. And that’s how I walked into a field that still has its fair share of landmines, is underrepresented in the medical field and is only just now beginning to gain the respect it deserves.
In reality, I had no idea what trajectory I was setting my life course on. It resonated with me and my gut instincts insisted that this was the path for me. But I didn’t really know what massage would come to mean to me. I didn’t know the people who would change my life with their stories, their pain, their persistence and their struggles. In massage school we were taught the idea of “holding space for someone” to relax or release their troubles but I didn’t know what it would feel like to be the one listening.
I’ve been doing this for four years now and there’s still so much to learn. But one thing I do know, nothing is sweeter than when a patient who has come in with pain says the magic words:
I feel better.
Being a massage therapist has taught me to relax a bit, to enjoy the moments with people and to take nothing for granted. I’m still a type A perfectionist with an obscene caffeine addiction but being a massage therapist has taught me to slow down and appreciate life so much more.
It’s taught me pain can be invisible and that life can be short. It has humbled me and strengthened me. I’ve lived thousands of moments with patients over the years- some humorous, some painful and some tragic.
My sessions are always tailored to improvement because that’s what drives me. I want the people who come see me to live full beautiful lives outside the massage room. I want to celebrate life’s journey with them and cheer them on in their achievements. I don’t want them held back by pain. Massage nurtures the body like nothing else, which is where the name for my business originated.
So, why massage as a career?
I guess I took the road less traveled. And it has indeed made all the difference.
Til next time,