Restoring Hope is Beautiful: Words from Lisa Binkley
â€œIt wasn’t an easy decision to open my own practice. I thought about it for months, but deep down it just felt right and I knew this was the next step I needed to take in my career. I love my job, and I finally felt ready to create something of my own.â€
As Lisa sits at her desk, surrounded by her calming purple decor, she reflects on the experiences that have led up to this point in her career.
Lisa once worked for a broker in finance; she received her Associates in Business from Ohio Dominican University, but unsatisfied with the direction her career was headed, she found herself enrolling at AIAM a year later.
“It may surprise you, but I had no knowledge or background in Massage before AIAM. Coming out of a corporate mindset, I was so new to everything. I mean, I had heard of people getting massages, but nothing really prompted me to get one myself. I had never had a massage until a homework assignment for class; my education really did change everything for me!”
After graduation Lisa worked at various businesses including a chiropractor’s office, an airport chair massage service, Massage Envy, and Kingsdale Therapeutic Massage with other AIAM alumni.
Her advice to current students is to “find your home,” or area of Massage Therapy that calls to you. If you are not sure what that might be, Lisa advises starting off by working in a larger LMT business setting, where you can gain experience around seasoned professionals, trying many different areas of massage.
She also advises that a good therapist never stops learning.
“I never want to stop growing! I never pass up new education classes; recently I have taken classes to receive my certification in CranioSacral Therapy and it has opened up a whole new therapeutic realm for me. I make sure I am up to date on my certifications, clients love getting help from an educated massage therapist, and love when I explain to them why I am working on a certain part of their body. I have formed a tight relationship with many of my clients; some have even followed me from business to business. I would definitely recommend students start networking while in school!”
Lisa is very thankful for the neuromuscular training she received at AIAM.
â€œThe education you get at AIAM is very forward-thinking. There is a lot of solid career advice you can get from instructors, too. The fact AIAM offers NMT is HUGE. It is one of the most important skills you can have as a therapist, and most schools don’t offer it. At AIAM you are introduced to different modalities- and it doesn’t hurt that the school has a great reputation in the massage world with employers and clients. AIAMs reputation can give you a step up above other therapists for sure.â€
After speaking with Lisa it quickly becomes apparent she is very passionate about Massage Therapy. When asked why she loves her job, she instantly smiles.
“I love this career. It has helped me grow mind, body, and spirit- and that might sound cliche, but it’s true. I think all Massage Therapists grow in this way, whether they realize it quickly, or later on.”
“Massage is really special, and while the main function is to provide healing, you can’t forget about the Therapist portion, and that’s so rewarding. I get clients who walk in looking so down and defeated. They have tried everything to feel better; their doctor keeps feeding them prescriptions that just aren’t healing their pain. That’s where you can really shine. You give them their life back, and restore hope for forward momentum instead of just treading water. Now that client who 6 months ago was slumped and depressed, will walk in with a huge smile, seeing their happiness is just beautiful!“
Lisa also offers that students should remember some clients lead very painful lives, emotionally, which have over time affected their bodies physically. These people, she says just want positive touch, and your compassion.
Lisa plans to pursue a Tai Yoga Certification next so she can incorporate this stretching method in her services, accommodating her clients who are athletes.
She invites current AIAM students, or anyone interested in massage, to shoot her an email at [email protected] with any questions about Massage Therapy!
â€œI love what I do. I can never see this career growing old, never!â€