"Get involved in your community—any community," says Adrienne Asta, AMTA volunteer, massage therapist and director of education at the Cortiva Institute in Wall, New Jersey. "AMTA is a great place to be," she adds, "It's a great way to feel supported in the beginning and throughout your career."
Read more about Adrienne, how she's celebrating National Massage Therapy Awareness Week and why she's looking forward to attending the AMTA 2011 National Convention in Portland.
What drew you to the massage therapy profession?
Many roads led me to massage. I wanted a job where I could work closely with people and be creative. The idea of healthy touch is very prominent in my family and I have always had a desire to share that with as many people as possible. What has kept me in the profession is the science of what we do. Having access to research keeps me in awe of our craft. I'm just as excited to practice now as I was when I was a massage student, if not more.
What types of education have aided in your success?
I continue my education all of the time, whether it's technique, business or instruction. But really, the lessons are all around us. A friend and colleague of mine says to our students, "It will be profound if you let it be." I approach every day with that philosophy, and I think that my clients benefit from that belief.
What do you enjoy most about your work environment? What are some of the challenges?
My practice is mostly in the homes of my clients. I love that they don't have to drive afterward and that they can relax in their own "safe" environment. Adequate space can sometimes be a challenge as well as climbing a flight of stairs with the table.
You mentioned you visit most of your clients in their homes. How did you initially find these clients?
I obtained my clients by letting my communities know I was pursuing a career in massage therapy: family, friends, workout partners, bowling teammates and other. I knew if one person from each community gave me an opportunity to help them, they could become an advocate for me. One of my very first clients is a group fitness instructor. Fortunately, she loved my work and gave me free publicity over her microphone in the middle of class. It was great! I'll also offer complimentary massage to someone in my community in hopes that they like my work and refer me to others. I volunteer frequently and donate massages to causes that I hold dear. It helps to be present and get involved. I'm a firm believer in "the more you give, the more you get."
How has your involvement with AMTA impacted your career?
AMTA has given me the community and motivation to keep advancing. The momentum and energy I get from being involved at the chapter and national levels makes me proud to do the the work I do. We really are making a positive difference in this world.
Currently, I volunteer as the second VP, awards chair and government relations co-chair of the New Jersey Chapter. I also volunteer with the sports team and membership committee and am involved with National Massage Therapy Awareness Week (NMTAW) each year. For this year's NMTAW, we are doing a fundraiser for the Massage Therapy Foundation. Cortiva Institute is donating the space for the clinic where AMTA members, students and mentors will provide one-hour massages. Our suggested donation is $35 and all proceeds will support the Foundation.
What are you most looking forward to at the AMTA National Convention in Portland?
I cannot wait to reconnect with industry friends from around the nation and feel the ultimate sense of community!