One of the best side benefits of my massage practice is I get to have interesting conversations with people whom I might not have ever met otherwise.

I recently worked on a nice couple visiting from out of town. The gentleman mentioned his brother had gone to massage school and tried to start a practice. His brother did not end up staying in it very long because he didn’t find it lucrative enough. Then he asked how long I had been a massage therapist. I told him that I was a massage therapist before it was a household word. I explained I started when I was only 23 years old. Back then I had boundless energy and I was very enthusiastic. I probably spent almost as much time going out into the community to promote my business as I did doing massage for that first year.

He asked what made me want to do something for that long and how did it benefit me. I thought about that for a moment. My usual answer is that I just love doing massage and my community has supported me, so it’s worked out.

But honestly, it runs deeper than that. The fact that I have made a living, on my own terms, without having to be deceptive or go against my ethics, work around awful people or tolerate being harassed is a huge prize of its own. I have the added benefit of being a seeker of knowledge who enjoys learning new things and adding new skills to my toolbox.

Massage was a perfect breeding ground to harvest knowledge and experiences, all while continuing to do good work for Humanity. When the economy was tanking years ago, and I needed additional work I had to improvise. I looked around for things people were needing help with and noticed there were more people having surgery for their health and they needed help with recovery. It turned out the skills that I had honed in my massage business allowed me to branch out into caregiving work. The skills I had developed as a massage therapist increased my ability to help someone feel better, to heal or tolerate their new situation. From there, I began to help with the people at Sarah care. We exercise and sing and dance and play patriotic songs every day. I find working there to be very uplifting.

As long as I do good work and feel helpful to my community through caring I remain content. I am off to do three massages today! Namaste

Valentina Boonstra

Yoga instruction, massage therapy, pilates, pain relief, massage therapy, brevard county massage therapist, personal trainer, trainer for those in chronic illness