“Being a member of the AMTA has been one of the best decisions I made early in my career,” says AMTA member Lee Stang who currently runs her own clinic, teaches at the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy (CCMT), and is a core massage therapist for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). “The support I’ve received at the various levels of my career has been key to helping me get to the place I am today.”
Read Lee’s story below
What specifically drew you to the massage therapy profession?
Prior to my career as a massage therapist, I was the director of a long term head injury rehabilitation center. The physical therapy staff introduced me to the tremendous benefits of myofascial release. Two therapists who had just returned from a myofascial workshop worked with a client who was in a comatose state in an unwinding session. The administering of splints to this client was usually a struggle, but they were able to facilitate the lengthening of his arms to get the splints on with ease. I thought to myself, "I could learn how to do that." Further exploration into this technique led me to massage school and the rest, as they say, is history.
What has kept you in the profession?
The single most important thing for me in this profession is the people: the clients I work with, the colleagues I have crossed paths with, the students who keep me learning, and the lifelong friendships that have flourished over the years. There is tremendous diversity in this field--from the people you work on, to the people you work with, and to the venues where massage is practiced. There is never a dull moment and the opportunities are endless!
What types of education and experiences have aided in your success?
As a new massage therapist, I wanted to do everything. For the first five years, I attended a lot of workshops in various topics. I found my calling when I stumbled into Whitney Lowe’s Assessment Class at the AMTA National Convention in Washington, DC. Certainly, my OMERI orthopedic training has been the foundation for the work I do now at my clinic. This training has led me to work with professional athletes in two Olympic games and now the WTA.
Equally important, however, has been working at Ground Zero during 9/11 with the AMTA Massage Emergency Response Team, administering massage throughout the pregnancy of my two grandchildren, and working with women in their battle against breast cancer. All of these experiences have impacted how my career has developed, in addition to how I run my business.
What do you enjoy most about your current work environment?
I love the ability to work in different environments. I work at my clinic, as a teacher at CCMT and as a core massage therapist with the WTA. I find it enjoyable to work at my clinic because of the staff and the clients who come to us for help with injury, pain and stress. Teaching at CCMT has made me work hard to stay on top of my game and ahead of those students that are hungry to learn. My work with the WTA has allowed me to travel to tennis tournaments throughout the world. The opportunity to work with sports medicine staff, as well as elite athletes from around the world, is tremendously exciting.
What is one thing you would tell a first-time attendee to expect at the AMTA National Convention?
Fun--in all aspects of the word, and especially if they just reach out for all of the opportunities to meet new people. It is possible to meet and greet with our board, members from other states and leaders in the education field. The networking, along with the educational benefits, makes the National Convention a must-attend event. And, be sure to seek out and get to know members of the Connecticut Chapter; they are some of the best folks you will ever meet!
>> View Lee's AMTA's Find a Massage Therapst profile.
>> Learn more about all that the AMTA 2011 National Convention has to offer you!