"While many people have shared with me that they don't feel they could work in the environment that I do, I can't imagine working any other way," says Jenice Mattek, a massage therapist at Chicago Integrative Movement Specialists. Don't miss Jenice's session "Improving Posture by Working with Abdominal Scars" at the AMTA 2012 National Convention. Read more about Jenice below.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in massage therapy?
While working in a rehab center as an occupational therapist assistant I found myself drawn to continuing education programs that included more manual therapy techniques for treatment, lymph drainage and specifically myofascial release. I saw how this could help my clients but, at that time treatment plans did not include manual therapy, so I wasn't able to use the techniques. When I moved to Chicago, I found a massage therapy program that focused on clinical massage--a good match with my previous clinical experience. The skills I learned through my career in occupational therapy have helped me truly listen to my clients.
What is your current work environment like?
While many people have shared with me that they don't feel they could work in the environment that I do, I can't imagine working any other way. I work with my husband in our integrative clinic. While our methods of treating our clients may differ, the principles of our practice remain the same. Our clinic has chiropractic, fascial therapy, massage therapy and personal fitness. Whether the goal is to complete activities of daily living or compete at high level sports, we all work work using the same principles to help our patients and clients move better, with more efficiency and with less or no pain.
What do you enjoy most about your career as a massage therapist?
I most enjoy that I have been able to create a specialty. This speciality has allowed me to attract the type of clients I feel I am meant to serve, using the techniques I most enjoy.
What are some of the challenges?
The biggest challenge is the preconceived notion that "if it doesn't hurt, it doesn't work." It is a challenge I welcome. The fascial work that we use in our practice is very light and when accepted, extraordinarily effective without causing discomfort to the client.
What are you most looking forward to about the AMTA 2012 National Convention?
One thing I love about big events, is the energy you feel while you are there with like-minded professionals. I think this year's theme Elevate sends a powerful message to the all the massage therapists in attendance. While we are at the convention we work to "elevate" our minds and our understanding of ideas and concepts by learning from others. The theme of Elevate, together with this energy, is like fuel for when you return to your practice.
What will be some of the key take-aways of “Improving Posture by Working with Abdominal Scars”?
We are really excited and honored to have the opportunity to share this information. Some key take-aways:
1. The "silent" problems abdominal scars can be for our clients.
2. How manual therapy of an abdominal scar can become Pandora's box for our clients.
3. Creating and teaching your clients stabilization of the abdominal area after scar release for improved posture.
Don't miss Jenice's session "Improving Posture by Working with Abdominal Scars" at the AMTA 2012 National Convention!